With Washington Post paywall, links on Twitter don’t count against the meter

The Washington Post building in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post building in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Washington Post this week announced details on their new paywall, a “metered subscription model,” according to a letter from Post publisher Katharine Weymouth, that will be phased in beginning June 12.

Through this new system, anyone accessing The Post’s website “will initially be able to view 20 pieces of content per month before being asked to subscribe,” writes Weymouth. Digital subscriptions start at $9.99 a month and “home delivery subscribers will continue to have complimentary access to all of The Post’s digital products.”

One detail from Weymouth’s letter that might be of interest to those that access The Post’s website through links on Twitter, Facebook or other websites where its content is shared: “Readers who come to The Post through search engines or shared links will be able to access the linked page regardless of the number of articles they have previously viewed.” A Washington Post PR representative confirmed via Twitter that this includes a link sent in a tweet.

I’ll be interested to see how long it takes me to hit the paywall, as the majority of my Post reading now comes through links from the paper’s official accounts, reporters and columnists that I follow on Twitter.

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The forgotten election issue

A November 2 opinion piece by Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman touches on something that’s been on my mind recently: The role that the next president (and/or the one after) could play in shaping the Supreme Court is large. As Feldman’s column, “Top election issue: Supreme Court, not the economy,” points out:

…four justices are 74 or older, meaning they will be at least 78 by the end of the term. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is already 79, with Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy not far behind at 76 and Justice Stephen Breyer at 74. One hopes, of course, that they all live long lives, but the notion that all four will still be willing and able to serve the next four years is preposterous. Several will retire and be replaced — and even one replacement could fundamentally change the configuration of the court.

The fact that several justices could be replaced over the next one or two presidential terms could very well have a bigger impact on our futures than whether we have an Obama or Romney-driven economy for the next four years. But why have the campaigns and especially the media been nearly silent about this issue?