Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More on Free

Following up on my recent post about online economic models, I point you to this by Levi Asher. Summation:
If the New York Times puts its web content behind a payment wall, that will be the end of my lifelong relationship with the New York Times.
And this:
...the New York Times was absolutely instrumental in the early popular discoveries of Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan. Can a newspaper with a cultural legacy like this continue to thrive behind a payment wall?
I know, I know, I'm 35 going on 95, but this still makes me shake my head. In the comments to the post, Katharine Weber writes this, which I think is succinct and totally sensible (emphasis mine):
But Levi. Could you have reasonably refused to read the NYT twenty years ago if you had to buy it at a newsstand or pay for home delivery instead of just having free copies handed to you on the street or dropped in your driveway? . . . Much has changed, yes. But has the economic rule which used to be as certain as the laws of gravity, the rule of paying for things of value, really begun to vanish? How is this not a zero sum game?
I'm still waiting for a substantive response to this line of thinking. There have been plenty of cultural developments that I love in the past 10 years: Netflix, iTunes, The Wire. One way or another, I pay for all of them.

(Via Conversational Reading)


Anonymous Levi Asher said...

John, here's my brief attempt at a a substantive response.

9:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home