Comment 37241

By SarahBanks (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:55:42

First off, I want to say that Ryan did a great job on Tuesday night. He represented the "new wave" with great intelligence, eloquence and insight. It really is a shame there weren't more of his ilk in the crowd. (Doesn't say much for the social capital that is cultivated via blogs, message boards etc---log off once in a while, people! Come out and support your fresh-faced peeps!)

I'm skeptical about paid content and especially don't like The Spec's idea of providing a small taste on the Web that requires readers to read the print version if they want the deeper story.

I'm curious to see how the NY Times idea of "metering" their readers and charging only those who visit their site on a very regular basis works out. That's supposed to happen a year from now according to this article just published yesterday:

http://www.cbc.ca/fp/story/2010/01/20/2465317.html

That makes a bit more sense to me.

But say the Toronto Star starts charging me for access to their paper online. Truth be told, I'd be much more inclined to purchase a print version. This is largely because of the "skimming" nature that I go about reading papers online. I just don't feel the experience is worth a fee. Whereas, the experience of reading a full article and turning a page while sipping a latte is a much more gratifying experience and worth the $1.00.

I'm also concerned about the domino effect of paid content. If it all of sudden takes off, then does this mean I'll have to pay for every paper and mag out there online that I want to read. That's an unwieldy amount of subscriptions to keep track of. And I may only want one article a year from the San Francisco Chronicle but I don't want to pay for it.

Finally, I think it's vital that there be no fees associated with posting online comments/feedback on articles. i.e. If you subscribe to the print version and want to comment online, you shouldn't be required to have an online subscription to do so.

It's an interesting unknown frontier upon us. And I think the Ryans of the world should take the helm.

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