To pick a couple of examples more or less at random, last year Barry Diller of IAC said, of content available on the web, "It is not free, and is not going to be," Steve Brill of Journalism Online said that users "just need to get back into the habit of doing so [paying for content] online", and Rupert Murdoch of News Corp said "Web users will have to pay for what they watch and use."The Collapse of Complex Business Models
Diller, Brill, and Murdoch seem be stating a simple fact--we will have to pay them--but this fact is not in fact a fact. Instead, it is a choice, one its proponents often decline to spell out in full, because, spelled out in full, it would read something like this:
"Web users will have to pay for what they watch and use, or else we will have to stop making content in the costly and complex way we have grown accustomed to making it. And we don't know how to do that..."
In the future, at least some methods of producing video for the web will become as complex, with as many details to attend to, as television has today, and people will doubtless make pots of money on those forms of production. It's tempting, at least for the people benefitting from the old complexity, to imagine that if things used to be complex, and they're going to be complex, then everything can just stay complex in the meantime. That's not how it works, however.
(Image: Learning from bridge collapses I-35W Minneapolis and Tacoma Narrows, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from goldenswamp's photostream)
- Clay Shirky's Harvard talk: Here Comes Everybody
- To Publish Without Perishing (Clay Shirky guestblog post) - Boing ...
- Clay Shirky's masterpiece: Here Comes Everybody
- Clay Shirky on Colbert
- Shirky: "What will replace newspapers?" is a plea to not be living ...
- Shirky talks activism: how group forming networks change protest ...
- Clay Shirky on information overload versus filter failure
- The Newspaper Industry and the Arrival of the Glaciers
- Why paywalls won't help most big newspapers
- Notes from a news-site paywall attempt
- Newspaper columnist quits over paywall
- NYTimes kills its paywall: "Google visitors make more dough than ...
- Bullshit about newspapers' future, dissected
- Report: NYT will soon kill TimesSelect online paywall
- iTunes App Store shows strengths, weaknesses of a walled garden ...
- "NetShare" app briefly scales iPhone's walled garden ...
- 1984, iPad edition
- WiFi walled-gardens suck
- Tim Bray on the iPhone vision
- Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either) - Boing ...
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.