Linked by Mufasa on Tue 13th Jul 2010 15:57 UTC
Editorial I read David's post worrying about the end of the free internet and I had to respond, as I strongly disagree that free and advertising-supported content is the future. If anything, it is advertising-supported content that is destined to be a niche strategy, because of new internet technology that enables entirely new models and empowers consumers to have exactly what they want. Advertising will not support much content creation, so I suggest what will.
Thread beginning with comment 433390
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Maybe I'm just cheap
by Zifre on Tue 13th Jul 2010 17:15 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.

Arguments like "everybody pays hundreds of dollars per month for TV, movies, newpapers, etc." don't work. I don't, so it's not "everybody", and I'm sure there are plenty of people like me. I have no TV. I would sometimes like to watch TV, but there is no way that I would pay $50 per month to the cable company for it. I get a newspaper every once in a while. I subscribe to one magazine. And I have pretty cheap DSL. I buy books sometimes.

I might pay something like $5 per month for a few sites that I visit a lot, (mostly OSNews and Ars Technica), but don't ever expect me to pay even one cent to read a blog post. I certainly would never pay more than $25 per month for the content that I read on the internet.

Also, a lot of people use the internet to find information, not to have it passively fed to them like on a news site. If I look up something, and I see that one of the search results in Google wants me to pay to read it, I ignore it.

The problem is, there is great demand for cheap information. If information becomes more expensive, people will consume less information. It's that simple.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by elektrik on Tue 13th Jul 2010 17:59 in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.

Arguments like "everybody pays hundreds of dollars per month for TV, movies, newpapers, etc." don't work. I don't, so it's not "everybody", and I'm sure there are plenty of people like me. I have no TV. I would sometimes like to watch TV, but there is no way that I would pay $50 per month to the cable company for it. I get a newspaper every once in a while. I subscribe to one magazine. And I have pretty cheap DSL. I buy books sometimes.

I might pay something like $5 per month for a few sites that I visit a lot, (mostly OSNews and Ars Technica), but don't ever expect me to pay even one cent to read a blog post. I certainly would never pay more than $25 per month for the content that I read on the internet.

Also, a lot of people use the internet to find information, not to have it passively fed to them like on a news site. If I look up something, and I see that one of the search results in Google wants me to pay to read it, I ignore it.

The problem is, there is great demand for cheap information. If information becomes more expensive, people will consume less information. It's that simple.


And that's where articles like this (and rebuttals) miss the mark. They never take into account the human factor. I share your opinion-I already 'pay too much' for my internet, what with my cell phone data access plan and AT & T U-verse account. If were to be charged to look at the internet on top of that, I'll be much more likely to go 'back in time' and play games offline, subscribe to newspapers, etc.

I know, I'm sure this sounds like a 'radical' opinion, but if I have to choose between paying hundreds of dollars (as opinioned) for TV, internet, etc. and feeding myself, taking vacations with that money saved, etc. it's going to be a no brainer IMHO

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Maybe I'm just cheap
by helf on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:32 in reply to "RE: Maybe I'm just cheap"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I've already been tempted to subscribe to a few good newspapers that I like and just use that. I refuse to do "micropayments".

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by shmerl on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:09 in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.


I agree. Users aren't eager to start paying for content or services which are free now. They are already paying some good money for unlimited connection etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by earksiinni on Sat 17th Jul 2010 13:46 in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Your point is valid, but it's not actually a problem. Rather, it's the tip of the spear in a war that would erupt if micropayments really did become widespread. Perhaps there really would be a huge upheaval with users leaving the Internet en masse.

I say, bring it on! Not only is the system out of balance with content providers getting the short end of the stick (verily, it's a nub rather than an end), but people don't think about their internet usage enough. I mean, no one pauses to think, "Why is there such an enormous demand for free content? What is the significance of this?" It's not like we're any happier or wiser than we were 20 years ago. Radically altering the economics of the 'net would force us to confront these issues.

Reply Parent Score: 1