Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fools Day

Okay, so maybe you got our April Fools Day joke. Or maybe you didn't.

In case you haven't figured it out, PortalSelect is fake. We have absolutely no plans to charge people to access Pacific Northwest Portal.

Why did we do this?

Well, first, we wanted to have a bit of fun, but on a serious note, we also wanted to make a point. PortalSelect is a parody of TimesSelect, which is the New York Times' walled off section of its website. You basically have to pay fifty bucks to get access to it (which we think is ridiculous).

Our philosophy is that news and commentary should be free. That's what the Internet is about. Before TimesSelect, columnists such as Paul Krugman received a lot of attention from the blogosphere. That has all but evaporated - it doesn't happen any more. The New York Times is apparently more interested in short term profit then expanding its readership (and growing its business), which is too bad.

In introducing TimesSelect, the company has made itself less relevant and damaged its reputation. Their website is now littered with little orange graphics which point out which articles and content are walled off.

There's a very real possibility that the Seattle Times Company may try something similiar should the P-I go under. (The Spokane Spokesman-Review already has, and that's why we almost never link to them). If and when the Times is a monopoly in Seattle, they may think they have nothing to lose. Well, they do, and we'll make sure they know that.

But you can rest assured that the entire NPI network will always remain free. (And yes, we promise we'll never play a trick like this again.)

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