... how to create permanent links to New York Times stories that don't disappear behind their archive wall after a few days. It's a bit klunky, but since we bloggers link to the Times frequently I thought I'd pass it along. Here's how to do it:
- The Times provides an RSS feed for all their stories in conjunction with Dave Winer's Userland. The various feeds are all listed here. You'll need to subscribe to all or some of these feeds in your news aggregator (for example, I subscribe to National, International, Opinion, and Politics).
- The RSS feed provides a URL for each story that has some additional stuff tacked onto the normal Times URL. For example, here is the normal URL for the Thomas Friedman column I linked to last night along with the expanded link from the Userland RSS feed:
- The expanded URL indicates that the link comes from a blog, and according to Dave the Times has agreed that "now and in the future this link will work without a fee to access the archive."
And what if you read the Times the semi-old fashioned way, by just scanning their website? There's no way to generate the permanent URL yourself, so if you want to link to something you've found you'll have to keep a couple of keywords in mind and then search through the appropriate RSS feed in your aggregator and look for the story there. That's a bit of a pain, but it might help wean you off your non-RSS ways and begin reading news the 21st century way. There's a silver lining to every cloud, isn't there?
If you want to know more, Dave explains the whole thing here and has a bit of discussion about it here.
I don't like the idea of the Times closing its archives. Working with them is great but the NYT is on the wrong side here - archives need to be open. Otherwise you'll simply have people 1. not link to teh Times anymore (there goes that whole "paper-of-record" thing) or massively copy and paste instead of doing short excerpts. That latter will be my strategy.