Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said The Times has “made itself irrelevant” by putting its website behind a paywall.
While speaking to Brand Republic about the launch of the London office of Wikia, Wales had a pop at the newspaper saying it wouldn’t work. He added the business model made the paper irrelevant on the web.
“I think it’s not going to last, I think they will give up,” said Wales. He said that if he was going to write something for a newspaper, he would “rather write where it is going to be read.”
However, he said he could see paywalls continuing to work for the Wall Street Journal and FT.com.
Wales continued to push the issue giving an example of when he tried to share a Times Online link with his Twitter followers but got replies from people saying they couldn’t read it.
“The Times had made itself irrelevant. [The story] could not be tweeted and it could not be picked up by the blogs.
“No one is talking about the Times, I don’t think it will work.”
Of course it’s no secret that there is no love lost between News Corp head Rupert Murdoch and Wikipedia. In June an article on the Digger owned Fox News website alleged that a worldwide network of paedophiles was using Wikipedia to foster its own agenda.
Earlier this month, the Digger wrote a letter to himself by way of syndicated News Corp content appearing in The Wall Street Journal and The Australian, saying no one needs to worry because the Times paywall is going to be a success. We are apparently “witnessing the start of a new business model for the internet.”