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I often find it confusing when people charge The Times with having introduced reader fees without having launched a service that really takes advantage of the internet (have you seen those infographics or daily emails?).
But a new launch on TheTimes.co.uk and SundayTimes.co.uk may help put paid to that…
The papers are launching Dashboard, a feature that lets customers receive…
— custom notifications of new stories in particular sections
— notifications when a previously-read article gets updated
— and a history list of previously-read articles.
You can’t do that in print. It’s also somewhat unique amongst news websites, even if it is essentially a friendlier version of RSS-type functionality.
The paradigm the section-subscriptions revolve around is of “following”, which certainly sounds Twitter-ish.
Rupert Everett probably likes it. Times Newspapers has taken its bullishness about the paid model to a prime-time TV ad, starring the actor, who explains why “good journalism” is so valuable.
Everett will be the only personality used in the campaign, the publisher tells paidContent:UK.
Still no official metrics on customer take-up.