Clicks and links will bring all the walls tumbling down

The New York Times has just abandoned its two-year effort to charge for content online, taking down TimesSelect, the pay wall around its columnists and much of its archives. So content is now and forever free. That isn’t because people won’t pay for content – some did. It’s because there is a new economy of content online that isn’t built on scarcity and control but instead relies on the idea that content must be public and permanent to realise its value in the wider conversation.The Times’ public rationale behind TimesSelect did sound good: they were building another revenue stream to balance dependence on advertising. They believed that the Times’ brand and content had unique value, worth seeking out and paying for. They also gave this premium service to paper subscribers for free to support fading print circulation.,,2175369,00.html

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