By the time you have gotten to the end of this sentence, I will have charged you 27 cents to read it.
It’s part of my new effort to boost revenue from online content. [14 cents more.]
It is necessary in order to monetize this site and prevent right-sizing. [16 cents.]
There are still a few bugs in the system, like how much to charge for clicks to new pages [18 cents] and how to issue refunds for accidental clicks.
The easy part [27 cents] was installing the metering software on your computer, which took place when you subscribed. (You thought it was a software update, didn’t you?) [35 cents.]
My financial analysts haven’t yet determined whether these micropayments will be adequate to save this publication, but in desperate times, [42 cents] you have to try everything.
The good news is that even poor people — like unemployed former journalists — can afford to learn a little about what’s going on in the world. [53 cents] The bad news is that this new system, if it catches on, might have a polarizing effect on the classes, giving the wealthy more control [67 cents] than ever over information and, hence, more power over everything than ever.
There is also the question of whether consumers will be willing to pay for information [74 cents] they don’t necessarily want or like (about the latest suicide bombing in Baghdad, say) and whether information purchase patterns will have a chilling effect on the coverage of specific kinds of news and/or specific [83 cents] reporters. (Aw, who cares about that?)
And then there’s the old unauthorized download and distribution of news problem, a la Napster. My attorneys may have to get involved. [96 cents.]
Anyway, I’m having a sale this week on items you already read. [$1.06]