Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has hit out at the Times for putting its website behind a paywall, believing the business model won't work and is making the paper irrelevant on the web.
Speaking to The Wall this week – while publicising the launch of the London office of Wikia, its open source community collaboration site – Wales reveals that putting the Times behind a paywall was the wrong thing to do.
"I think it's not going to last, I think they will give up," explained Wales, citing that if he were to write something for a newspaper, he would "rather write where it is going to be read."
Another brick in the (pay)wall
To highlight his problems with the paywall he notes that he tried to share a Times Online link with his Twitter followers but got replies from people saying they couldn't read it.
As Wales explained: "The Times had made itself irrelevant. [The story] could not be tweeted and it could not be picked up by the blogs.
"No one is talking about the Times, I don't think it will work."
Earlier this month, News Corp head Rupert Murdoch told press that the Times paywall was going to be a success and that we were "witnessing the start of a new business model for the internet."
Given that Wales is a promoter of a free and open internet, it's unlikely he will take Murdoch's side in the on-going paywall argument anytime soon.
Via Brand Republic