I couldn’t have said it better myself...

Tom Kreider calls for "Slaves of the Internet to Unite.” Hear, hear.

Content providers don’t get that content people might actually read is something worth paying for. Journalism was a notoriously low-paid profession even before the days of the Internet (in the mid-1980s, I wrote a column for a failry large newspaper for the whopping sum of $30 a column; I think I got something like $70 from The New York Times for freelance articles). Then the hook was that all this work for little pay might eventually lead to something more journalistically prestigious (though usually it led to looking for higher paying work in advertising; my first corporate job was staffed mostly by ex-newspapermen, and, yes, they were all men). These days, giving away your work is justified because you’ll get so many “eyeballs” to read your work.  Of course, content providers need all those eyeballs to sell advertising, the profits from which for some reason you don’t get to share in. Alas, there is a steady stream of “wanna-be” writers and recent communications grads who are willing to enaslave themselves to someone who is making a buck off their free labor (e.g., these guys). Eventually, someone is going to figure out that editors and writers who actually know how to provide coherent content is worth paying for because it does more just contribute to their Google Analytics—it engages readers.  

Perhaps information on the Internet is suppossed to be free, but the work to sort through all that information and figure what is important and what’s not, and, moreover, present it in an interesting way that’s relevant to an audience shouldn’t be. Because it’s work and it requires a special talent to perform that work. To prove my point, just take a look at most of the crap that’s on the Internet. 

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