Remember when News Corp. first launched The Daily – the Apple iPad news app (early review here) – and somebody indexed all of its stories in blog format so they could easily be read on the web? Well, that guy (Andy Baio) has put a post up about how he did it, and said that he’s taking it down, but it’s not for the reasons you might think.
"For the last three weeks, I’ve indexed The Daily," says Baio. "Now that my free trial’s up, I’ve had an intimate look at what they have to offer and, sad to say, I don’t plan on subscribing. As a result, I’m ending The Daily: Indexed, my unofficial table of contents for every article they published publicly."
"I’m surprised and grateful that The Daily executive and legal team never tried to shut it down," he adds. "On the contrary, when asked directly about it, publisher Greg Clayman said, ‘If people like our content enough to put it together in a blog and share it with folks, that’s great! It drives people back to us.’ They seem like a nice bunch of folks, and I hope they succeed with their big publishing experiment."
Wow, that is not a response that is typical of what you might expect to come from Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp., which has become notorious for its criticism of news aggregation, even threatening to block content from Google in the past, and going so far as to have content removed from other aggregators.
They really need this Daily thing to succeed though, and indexing/linking to its content on the web does give it exposure, but the question still remains, why doesn’t The Daily just offer this itself? Then people would start to question why they were paying for the app, when they can just get the content for free online.
Sure, the app has some bells and whistles, you just won’t find in the web-based versions of its content – rotatable images and things like that, but is that what people are supposed to pay for?
Either way, The Daily’s response to Baio will most likely inspire others to index the content since Baio is stopping. That, along with Baio’s own instructions of how to do so.
Another question that comes to mind is how many other people are deciding not to subscribe after their free trial runs up?
The Daily is reportedly coming to Android this Spring, so at the very least it won’t be limited to an iPad audience, in case others don’t follow in Baio’s footsteps.