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July 16, 2010

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Alan

I think that charging for comments might be a better way to get revenue while maintaining the popularity associated with providing free news.

Although it's a one time fee in the article below and for non-revenue reasons, I can see people willing to pay to comment, or pay a monthly/yearly fee that lets you be more interactive with the paper.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/63730

Scott

Murdoch is experimenting and, yes, that should be congratulated on general principles.

But even if Murdoch has a good idea, that doesn't mean he has the resources or profile to execute that plan. Teh internetz differs from print and screen in the sheer volume of its content, which is better placed to consolidate the idiosyncrasies of every unique user.

Stick to the lowest common denominator stuff, Rupert. Now, if the Guardian actually did introduce non-obligatory subscriptions with extras for subscribers (Guardian Plus, or - more fittingly for the Guardianista - Guardian Elite), then with their abler grasp of design and user interaction, they might actually have a chance of succeeding in wringing some money out of the webz.

While paying for online news content *might* be the way forward, there's no signs that the early adopters of such a system would willingly give up information and money to the companies of Rupert Murdoch, who derive what they can from ignorance and obligation. Arguably his most reputable property, The Times' website (unlike their paper) is awful to look at and to use and so utterly *non-experimental* that paying for it must, to the new adopter class, seem akin to PPV Ceefax.

ejoch

Charging for comments is a very good idea. Firstly because, you'd screen out a certain percentage of the drivel/madness that puts off the average reader from even looking at the comments.
Secondly, a newspaper even having a comments section is a drain on their technical infrastructure and so actually costs a lot of money without directly bringing any back.

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