Alien abductions. Will the Independent be free offline before The Times charges online?

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Everyone subscribed to this blog knows that The Times will start to charge for access to its online content. It’s not a huge cost; £1 a day or £2 a week. They’re splitting off The Sunday Times into a different site in order to make this happen.

Good luck to them. They’ll need it.

Any insights on who the payment partner might be? An ideal chance to showcase a single click payment system.

This isn’t a news blog. I merely wanted to highlight the timing of two events.

The same day we’re reading about The Times trying to charge for online access we’re also speculating that The Independent might start giving its paper self away for free.

Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev bought The Independent for £1. Analysts are backing the idea that he might drop the cover price. This is what he did when he bought the London Evening Standard. They like the idea because it can be used to attract advertisers at a time when print advertising is very fragile.

So; there’s the possible flip. Newspapers can’t fund themselves with ads alone online but might have to try that very same tactic offline.

Oh, and the alien abductions?

Xenophilia is a blog that collects strange news stories from around the world. Xeno posts yeti sightings, videos of UFOs and debates whether shaky footage shows a real ghost or just a fake one...

The Times may or may not be pleased to know that their online cover charge has qualified for Xenophilia today. Someone out there thinks the newspaper plans are... strange.

So; which do you think will happen first? The Times' paywall or a free paper copy of the Indie?

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