I just couldn't wait for my Seattle Times paywall to kick in, so I clicked a bunch of headlines today to use up my monthly allotment of free articles, and presto:
Surprisingly, unlike the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other relevant newspapers, the Seattle Times paywall appears to be pretty damn nonporous—in other words, no getting around it by clicking through offsite links from Google News, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. You know, the way most modern humans find 99 percent of the content they consume.
Also, no obvious URL-editing workarounds or page-loading tricks. It's a pretty solid wall.*
I suppose, maybe, this could be intentional. They might see this as the only way to keep Google from stealing all their money. Or perhaps it just represents a lack of technical sophistication—a paywall that doesn't distinguish the HTTP referer would be much easier to implement. Either way, it can't help but reduce the paper's online readership, but I guess that's a sacrifice they're willing to make in return for higher subscription revenues.
* Actually, I've already discovered a couple of ways around the paywall, but Tim says it would be poor sportsmanship to share them on Slog, because suddenly he's all BFF with Frank Blethen or something.