world internet is abuzz with talk about this weeks’ Time cover story advocating micropayments for online content. Rex Sorgatz even put together a really smart model of how they might work.
The problem, for those not following along, is that newspapers and some magazines are dying, loosing revenue from their print editions (because they didn’t play nice with the internet early on), and they think this (i.e. not playing nice with the internet now) is going to be their salvation.
It’s not going to work, and Clay Shirky has done a great job of explaining why (via). Essentially, because people pony up on micropayments only when they have no other alternative. The only way for this to succeed is for the New York Times (or whoever) to convince all similar content providers to implement a micropayment system system at the same time.