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Categories: Featured, Newspapers. Tags: ,

Read the Times for free: 11 ways to sneak behind the paywall

August 15, 2010 6 Comments

As I've written before, there's some confusion in the Times marketing team around how their paywall works. The basic idea ought to be that if content is behind the Times paywall, people might pay for it. If it's not, they won't.

Before you agree to give them any money, here are 11 bits of the new Times website that you can see for free, despite its new paywall ...

1 The main category pages

The aim of the paywall is that you can't get past the home page of The Times - click on the any of the categories along the top header (News, Opinion, Business etc), and you're told to log in.

Times top categories

Times top categories

But you can still see what's in the categories by using the back-door listings view. Here are the URLs to check the stories in the following sections: NewsOpinionBusinessMoneySportLifeArts.

2 Sub-section pages

OK, not that enthralling so far. But use a URL of the right form, and you can even sneak through the paywall and check out some sub-sections further down. You just change the ending, so here are the URLs for:

But actually, it gets better than that ... If you were on the home page, and tried to click to the Football section via the top menu like this:

Home page mega dropdown menu

Home page mega dropdown menu

You'd be told to log in.

But, fortunately, you can access some subsection pages via hacking some URLs to include /public/.

So here's the public version of the football page (this is on http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/football/ - but it's the same page as the unreachable http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/football/):

Times football page

Times football page

There's also an accessible version of the cricket page and the River Cafe recipe page, even though they're deep beyond the paywall.

3 Free stock market information

Interested in what's going on with the FTSE 100?  See a graph just 15 minutes old, together with info on key movers and sector changes. There are also figures for currencies and commodities and bonds:

Stock market info

Stock market info

Don't like the FTSE 100? You can click the links along the top to see other indices like the Dow Jones or Nikkei225.

4 Guides to countries for doing business

The Business City Guides section has guides to countries if you want to do business there, covering the economy, infrastructure, workforce and business costs - such as Switzerland and Malaysia.

5 Young Photographer of the Year

The 9th Times Young Photographer of the Year is available to anyone, it would seem, including tips for budding photojournalists.

6 Summer with a twist

Summer with a twist: free

Summer with a twist: free

Suggestions for things to do this summer (sponsored by Courvoisier). With a twist.

7 Monthly science quiz

It's not very interactive, but here's August's science quiz, for instance.

8 Enter competitions

You can enter the competitions at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/competitions/ - such as the Times travel photo competition.

Times travel photo competition

Times travel photo competition

You can also win tickets to the Barclays Premier League game of your choice.

9 Mapping British Business

OK, this one's on the http://www.mappingbritishbusiness.co.uk/ URL (and sponsored by Lloyds TSB) but it's got the Times header and colour scheme - and the articles themselves are on thetimes.co.uk URLs, such as:

10 Need to know

The Need to Know page (sponsored by Accenture - there may be a pattern here ...) is available to anyone (as I mentioned in the intro). There's a video and a heat map so you can see which stories are most popular.

Need to know: heat map

Need to know: heat map

11 Search for things for sale

On top of all these, you can also search for:

You might also like
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  2. Why the reported Times paywall numbers are meaningless.
  3. The Times paywall – some questions to mull over
  4. Some meaningful numbers on the Times paywall
  5. Behind the Times paywall: 46,154 readers a day

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