12 comments posted · 12 followers · following 1
#1: An insignificant number will pony up. My guess is less than 0.1% will pony up. Probably much less than that. Remember, most people are coming in from links on blogs and Google and other sites. They don't care enough bout you or your site or, very likely, even your town to bother signing up.
But just try finding some actual numbers on that. Nobody appears to be studying it.
But importantly, it's still an annoyance. A small point, smaller than the next point (which is NOT the same point).
#2. That paywalls discourage links is not the same as paywalls are annoying. Paywalls discourage links BECAUSE paywalls are annoying. Just as good etiquette should prevent you from linking to a huge mo-fo PDF file without warning, good manners should prevent you from linking to spam sites, garbage, or anything requiring you to sign up.
#3. Again, this is a different point. It is BECAUSE paywalls discourage links that they are anti-web. It requires the link-discouraging part plus some other premises. To complete the syllogism:
a. Any action that tends against the essence of a thing is anti-that-thing.
b. The essence of the web is links.
c. Paywalls discourage links.
d. Ergo, paywalls are anti-web.
But you did try to present an argument here: that the essence of the web is not links because there are things on the web that have nothing to do with links.
It should come as no surprise, given that the essence of the web is links, that things that have nothing to do with links are not on the web. iTunes is not on the web. You have confused the web with the Internet.
#4. This one wasn't about piracy. It was about other smaller (or bigger, I don't care) entities such as bloggers and online-only news companies etc. eating your lunch. If you don't provide the news for free, someone else surely will. And they will eat your lunch.
#5. This was the one about piracy. And people will definitely find ways around paywalls if it is easy. <a href="http://www.bugmenot.com/view/nytimes.com"target="_blank">And it is easy.
#6. Really? Then you should sell ice to Eskimos.
#7. Yeah, but online ads don't HAVE to support the industry like print ads were. Get rid of the whole print apparatus, and you don't have to make as much revenue. You said this yourself in our interview!
#8. Right: #8 does follow from #7 :)
#9. Like, if it ain't broke don't fix it? <a href="http://www.j-source.ca/english_new/detail.php?id=3072...target="_blank">I think it's broke.
#10. Agree. And you have WSJ on your side. Someone help me out here.
And I agree with your closer.
Competition: I submit that, generally, there is already only one player in most local markets. I don't think this model exacerbates that. In fact I think there would be much less advantage to incumbency. If you have smart editors linking, as a service to their readers, to the best coverage they can find, they will choose the best content. If I'm allowed to indulge this fantasy, they will do this on a case-by-case basis, and nobody will have a built-in advantage. That means that news organizations that want to get linked to will have to produce the best content they can, every time. And that could be a Metroland paper or some blogger or a CP story. It will increase competition, promote quality coverage, allow players of all sizes to participate, skirt monopolies, and create a more informed public.
International: my best guess is that the big newswires will not be around much longer. Their distribution model is broken and they don't seem to be in a hurry to fix it. So their only remaining advantage is they are holders of large foreign bureaus. But, given the above, why would the world need these bureaus if it can get decent coverage from the Washington Post or the London Times or whatever the local coverage happens to be?
Print: this is a model for online news, and doesn't really bear on the print issues. But I think you already know my answer to your question. Start socking away some money for a smart phone. But don't be in too big a hurry. I'd say 10 years before the free metro dailies go tits up.
Sharing data = a Disqus user can post on this blog with Intense Debate enabled, and I'll still see his avatar and so on. You guys can compete on feature sets, rather than the number of installed users. Otherwise the system with the most users will just win, eventually, even if its features are crappier.
I'd say, between you and Disqus, the first one to come out supporting trackbacks will be the winner.
I foresee a comment system API call coming up...we can't be having multiple distinct comment communities. You guys will have to share data, I predict.
Here's what you need to do to get me back on Disqus: when I comment on someone's blog you need to show my display name, and not my login name. I did change that at the URL you give above, but what's the point? And, you need to assure me that I can take my comments with me if I ever decide to leave Disqus again.