New York Times HQ to block desktop access to force staff to go mobile

new york times mobile
The Times is planning to block its desktop homepage temporarily next week.

If you work at the New York Times, make sure to charge your phone next week.

The Times sent out an internal memo on Friday that notified employees that starting next week the news agency would be temporarily blocking access to its own desktop homepage inside its headquarters.

Calling it an experiment, the memo told employees that if they attempt to enter nytimes.com on their office desktops that they would receive a message saying "to look at The Times on your phone or tablet."

"More than half of our traffic to The Times is on mobile. We're hopeful that this temporary change will help spur us to make mobile an even more central part of everything that we do," the memo read.

Clifford Levy, the assistant masthead editor for the Times, reinforced the message with a tweet that said, "How important is mobile for @nytimes? We're blocking access to our home page on desktop in our building."

In the last year, the Times has taken big strides to boost its mobile readership via the creation of "NYT Now," a free phone app that allows readers to scour through Times stories on their phones.

The short-term blockage will only occur at the New York Times offices in midtown Manhattan and if employees do need to use the Times desktop homepage for work they can access it for a day by typing in their e-mail address.

The mobile experiment may be brief, but for some Times reporters it has spurred tongue-in-cheek ideas for innovation, possibly even with virtual reality.

"Idea for @cliffordlevy: Week where we can only see NYTimes.com on Oculus Rift," tweeted Michael Roston, the Times' senior science staff editor. "Also, we all get Oculus Rifts."

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