Don’t ask me to explain all the details of the pay wall system (can’t people set up rotating faux blogs and tweets, rich with daily NYT links, to get around the limits?), but I know there will be an articles quota, twenty per month. So the new NYT incentive is to have more than twenty must-read articles each month. Maybe they’re hire Bill Simmons. Maybe they’ll support more blogs. Maybe they’ll keep their reporters in the field and cover more controversial science topics. The best case outcome is that the infovores find tricky ways through the pay wall, some of the non-paying non-infovores spend more time on yahoo.com, some of them pay up, while the quantity and quality of good content increases. I wouldn’t bet on that, but most of the analysis I am reading does not focus on how the supply side will change. The NYT arguably will be running fewer cliched or predictable or easily substitutable articles. It should make the paper less comprehensive, but sharper at the edges.
The incentive of NYT writers to keep blogs — so people can access their columns easily — will go up.