The gatekeepers have been replaced with paywalls
“Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”
This is what goes through my mind whenever I click on an article and receive a message that looks like this:
Sorry, but the content is on the other side of this paywall.
The first reaction is one of outrage.
We expect content to be free. That’s the model that has worked for the Internet in the past couple of decades.
There’s more content than ever before. The world’s collective intelligence produces exabytes of content every single day.
Yet, there was a time when we’d gladly pay for the content we wanted to consume. Before the internet, everyone would happily pay to read a newspaper or a magazine. There was the occasional one-page ad, but we all knew that we had to pay for the privilege of consuming the creative output of an editorial team.
But then the internet exploded in popularity. Suddenly, anyone who wanted to write was a few clicks away from starting their blog. Little money was needed to start a publishing business.
But more than that, there were no gatekeepers. Anyone who wanted to was able to.
Access to free content made blogs popular in the first place.
But it wasn’t quite free…
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