Some of you may have heard about how many newspapers around the world are starting to charge their users and subscribers money for their content. You may have also heard about mobile phone companies are starting to make unlimited data plans extinct as well.
Why is this happening now when we used to use the internet so freely and for free?
The New York Times has recently established a pay wall on its websites and apps. While many knew this day was coming, it’s still taking some people by surprise. Having to pay up to $35 a month to read the NYT is not going to be met with open arms by many, except the already loyal Times fanatics. I do love the Times but I do not have the money nor the urge to embrace the new fee.
To me it’s unfortunate that the Internet will no longer be free but again I say that selfishly because I’m cheap and I don’t want to pay. At the same time I also worry that this will cause the Internet to become a battlefield—pay for authentic journalism or read your news off of a blog written by a forty-two year-old who never obtained that college degree and now spends his days emerged in the web. Is this fear legitimate?
I’m not sure. I may be wrong to think that pay walls will cause more people to turn to “free” medias and news sources, and those deemed “free” are so because they are not adequate sources.
Another question I have is, how long will it be until donations are no longer enough for websites? Wikipedia relies heavily on donations to keep its content free but at the same time it is not credited by college professors or allowed in academic classrooms. I mean, I could spend all day on Wikipedia clicking link after link learning about random events, people, and things but it’s for my own benefit. How much longer will people continue to use Wikipedia for their own benefit before a pay wall will be constructed there as well?
The times of a free Internet are ending and that means the time for the new millennium cyber-geeks to find loopholes, glitches and prototypes in the system.
How much development can happen before it all will crash and burn? When the Internet replaces another medium, will it eventually end up eating its own leg to survive?
With it always ever-changing will humanity ever REALLY know what the Internet is capable of accomplishing and destroying?
…where’s the robot with all the answers to future, aren’t we close to creating that yet or we still stuck on the hovercraft…
EXTRA! EXTRA!: “Why I like the New York Times Paywall”