On the very day that the Times puts up its paywall, the Guardian goes the complete opposite direction – and unveils a WordPress plugin intended to gets its content out there, on as many other people’s sites as possible, free of charge.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, and signed up for an API key, you get effectively a subeditor’s view of the Guardian’s archives. If you find a story you like, and want to republish, you save it down to your own WordPress installation, then edit and publish it as normal. It even checks stories for updates. Much neater than a DIY solution based on something like the FeedWordPress plugin, and without the potential for licensing headaches… as long as you’re happy enough to leave the credits and adverts in place.
The blogger (or whoever) gets free, simplified access to the Guardian’s content, without licensing worries; the Guardian gets additional attention for its material, a wider spread of advertising impressions, and a PR victory over its Murdoch rivals.
If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can download it from WordPress.org.
Update: worth noting Public Strategist’s problems with the plugin: ‘Nowhere in those extensive conditions does it state that the Guardian claims the right to extend that control to the host blog.‘