Comment on Free Will Cost

Free Will Cost

The ongoing debate continues. Will the majority of online content remain free to consumers? Yes and no; if you really need a yes or no, then no. Imagine the internet as a self-contained, large emerging economy comprising of new business owners and customers in a new territory. As the internet slowly transitions out of its thirty plus years growth phase into a shorter sustainable or plateau phase, like minds will merge and eventually move towards an even shorter consolidation period -- small sites will combine to become bigger sites and bigger sites will gobble up the smaller sites to create an economy similar to something of a 80:20 rule, where 20% of the internet sites will command 80% of the content while the rest will dabble in free content, propaganda and amateur videos. These top 20% of sites will dictate whether or not they should charge for content. And I say a business is in business to make money and greed will open the doors to charging for whatever content the business can dominant and the consumer is willing to pay.

I, a wanna-be propaganda blogger with no credentials or writing talent to speak of, will remain a free online source. The likes of well-respected, talented and critically-acclaimed writers will not remain free or already do charge for content through their employers like the Wall Street Journal or New York Times. If I have to, I will pay for the works of talented, knowledgeable and well-researched writers and journalists, such as the news people from PBS, like the straight-face supposedly politically unbiased Jim Lehrer or Charlie Rose, for his smart, no-nonsense inquisitions; or the liberal views of the New York Times writers like the conservative David Brooks, David Leonhardt or Maureen Dowd; or the well-written thoughts of right-leaning writers like Mary O'Grady or Joseph Rago for their fresh and smart perspectives in the ever great and snobby pages of the Wall Street Journal; or even the thoughts of Howard Kurtz, the unannounced political affiliation media journalist who's working for Fox News -- doesn't that say he's conservative?

Regardless of whether or not I agree with their views, these are individuals whose work needs little time researching on my end to validate and fact-check through endless websites; in the trade-off between time and money, that time saving of having to peruse through multiple sites for data accuracy, not to mention avoiding the internet temptation of being sucked into some side-track story of how ingested poisonous mushrooms attack the body, deserves some of my money.

I know you're spewing out contradictory sentences about the millions of programmers and self-proclaimed writers creating web contents and posting them freely as we speak. I'll get into the what-abouts and the how-come-it-hasn't-happened-yet some other time. Just know that if you can make money online by charging for content, you'd charge for it too. For now, read some of the great works by the writers listed above.


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