As someone who is always ready to share my opinions, I clicked through the survey the ever quizzical New York Times had recently. They said:

As you know, the New York Times announced it would begin charging for online services in 2010.

No I did not know that. Or I had decided to not remember that. Anyway, the plan they pitched to me, their self-nominated-reader-authority, was this:

  • You get to read 10 articles a month for free, and then you get a dismal screen that looks like the above image.
  • You can then pay $5 to get even more Bill Cunningham in your life (of course they know we’re completely addicted to his weekly cheerful fashion proclamations).
  • Any article that is linked to within another service, i.e. facebook and google reader, is free for reading, thereby (I think) multiplying your free 10 articles by the number of literate and generous friends that you have.

Here were my suggestions, that I’m sure went straight to the top:

1. Start offering classy “I’m a subscriber” in Helvetica t-shirts to feed the hungry multitude looking for a portable status symbol in this consumer opportunity.

2. Offer an online subscription & Weekender pairing. If I’m already going to pay $5 (not to mention having to enter my credit card information, oh the drudgery) for more articles, I would just as well choose to pay $22 and get the paper every Sunday and my free t-shirt.

What do you guys think? Any body else share their opinions with the NYT?