From Dr. Baker: Columnist Terry Gallagher is writing this week …
All that free content on the web? Who pays for that?
It’s a crucial topic for news organizations, as more and more of them erect paywalls that require readers to pay for access.
On one side, you have the notion that because people have grown accustomed to getting content for free on the internet, they have a right to continue to do so forever.
On the other side, you have the argument that journalism is a real job for which people ought to get paid, and it seems perfectly reasonable to make readers foot the bill.
It seems to be working. Last year, for the first time in its history, the New York Times made more money off of circulation than advertising, thanks mostly to rapid growth in paid subscribers to its web site.
But what about all that other content that’s still free on the web (like Read The Spirit), created by writers, editors, artists, video producers and others who also are interested in making a living?
Why do they give it away for free? Maybe as readers, we should look at is as a gift.
“When done properly, gifts work like nothing else,” according to marketing guru Seth Godin, who’s been quoted here before. “Gifts have to be truly given, not given in anticipation of a repayment. True gifts are part of being in a community . . . . and part of being an artist. Plus, giving a gift feels good.”
Does reading a post like this make you feel like part of a community?
- The Gift: What do you give away?
- The Gift: Should we look out for Number … 2?
- The Gift: Balancing what’s free on the sharp edge of a paywall
- The Gift: Come on now … you did get help, didn’t you?
- The Gift: Sheldon Brown added to the links that bind bike riders