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.
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Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Tue 13th Jul 2010 22:59 UTC
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I'd suggest reading Clay Shirky's "The Case Against Micropayments" at

...which I believe to be just as relevant now as ten years ago when it was written... in response to the claim in 1998 that we'd have micropayments by 2000.

Yes, the landscape has changed but the central premise remains valid. There is no amount you can charge that is small enough to bring the psychological burden (of deciding whether something is worth the cost) close to zero.

Therefore, micropayments are inherently flawed on the premise that they're unavoidably inconvenient and readers will, if given an acceptably good alternative, always flock to the competitors who remained free.

As for subscription as an alternative, I'd like to draw attention to points made by other commenters on the varying income levels around the world, the difficulty of attracting readers (free or otherwise) in an information-saturated world, and the continuing march toward automated aggregation technologies and the prevalence of writers using alternative business models (eg. TechDirt) or writing for pleasure.

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