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I would pay ___ monthly for a good online newspaper/magazine

Displaying poll results.
$0
  13396 votes / 39%
$0.01-$2
  5944 votes / 17%
$2.01-$4
  3329 votes / 9%
$4.01-$6
  2720 votes / 8%
$6.01-$8
  544 votes / 1%
$8.01-$10
  878 votes / 2%
>$10
  909 votes / 2%
I don't know what those words mean
  5882 votes / 17%
33602 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I would pay ___ monthly for a good online newspaper/magazine

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  • Oh crap... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by masterwit (1800118) * on Monday January 03, 2011 @11:44PM (#34750614) Journal

    ...I was going to make some complaint / argument for $0. But then I remembered I tossed Slashdot a few bucks a while back.
    ---
      To maintain complete accuracy in this poll, I recommend my vote be removed immediately. Thanks.

  • by Cogita (1119237) on Monday January 03, 2011 @11:45PM (#34750624)
    Depending on format/reading options, I'd consider it, but I've seen to many books being removed from e-readers to trust purchasing anything I can't hold in my hands or read on any machine I like. Otherwise, well, I'd just prefer to stay with paper.
    • Amen to that, good sir. Paper for books and CD's/LP's for music for me. I do NOT like "purchasing" something only to find out later I merely purchased a non-refundable revocable license to media that can disappear at the drop of a hat.

      If I buy it I own it, and the only way I know of enforcing that right now is sticking with physical media.

      • by raddan (519638) *
        So what you're saying is that you'd never pay for a car wash.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          You no more buy a car wash than you buy a haircut. You're confusing goods and services, but considering that the entertainment companies and the media they own have been blurring the line for years (DRM, etc) that's easy to understand.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Actually, they can do that with physical copies as well, it's just too difficult.
        The exact same copyright applies to both.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@world3. n e t> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @12:20PM (#34765802) Homepage

        That's why I never buy anything with DRM until it is broken. I don't buy games consoles until I can copy the games, I don't buy phones until they can be rooted/jailbroken, I don't buy videos until I can rip them, I don't buy ebooks until I can control them, I don't subscribe to online magazines until I can download a printable PDF, buy products I can't replace the battery on or service myself.

        DRM automatically makes any product a piece of shit in my book. Your online newspaper is worthless to me unless it is DRM free, and while I will pay for quality journalism there are plenty of DRM free sources of it. It's better for you anyway because you don't have to spend time and money supporting popular devices like the Kindle or Android/iOS, you can just make a nicely formatted web page or PDF and be fully compatible.

    • Depending on format/reading options, I'd consider it, but I've seen to many books being removed from e-readers to trust purchasing anything I can't hold in my hands or read on any machine I like. Otherwise, well, I'd just prefer to stay with paper.

      Your heirs will wish they could rescind all your paper subscriptions when they're cleaning out your basement.

      But more seriously, I could see getting a decent magazine delivered electronically, especially if it were of ephemeral nature. Perhaps a news weekly like "Time" or "Newsweek". Wait, I said "decent" didn't I? But you get the point. Once a week or two has passed, most of the value of that kind magazine is gone.

      My one caveat would be that I'd like to be able to save "clippings" in some format of article

  • Good online content? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewsWatcher (450241) on Monday January 03, 2011 @11:56PM (#34750670)

    Good online content can be pretty hard to find. I already pay $20 per month for my subscription to the New York Times on my Kindle.

    That isn't quite the same as paying for access to their website, but it is an online version, insofar as it is not a physical copy of the paper.

    FWIW I am a believer that if you don't pay for news, then the newspapers will go under.

    And no, I don't think citizen reporting and blogs from some college student are ever going to replace serious journalism.

    I don't really care if a rock band loses out on revenues from internet piracy, but newspapers are the grease that make democracy work.

    I say pay them $20 per month, same as NYT, and if they can't survive on that, given no distribution costs, then they need to rethink their business models.

    • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:33AM (#34750874) Journal

      I haven't seen GOOD journalism in a major newspaper in a VERY long time. That ship has sailed.

      • by seifried (12921) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @02:42AM (#34751536) Homepage
        Try the economist [economist.com]. It's weekly, and there are no bylines (you wanna write for them, you don't get your name in lights, it's a good thing I think).
        • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:07AM (#34752056) Journal

          Try the economist [economist.com]. It's weekly, and there are no bylines (you wanna write for them, you don't get your name in lights, it's a good thing I think).

          Moreover, The Economist does not waste space on horoscopes, gossip columns, sports, or other trash. However there are numerous pages of advertising for jobs and education gathered near the ends of the magazine (easily skipped over). If you subscribe to the print edition, you get access to the same content online and a few extras.
          They also take definite editorial positions which are well-reasoned, and tend to have in-depth and thoughtful coverage of significant stories. Highly recommended reading, even if you don't necessarily agree with their editorial stance.

          • by TempeTerra (83076)

            The Economist is one of the few publications I will pay to read, and even then I occasionally hit an article where I know some of the background already and the editorial stance smacks me in the face. Still, it is a more reasonable editorial stance than I see anywhere else so I can't really complain. It's just enough to keep me from subscribing.

            In other news, I read down the list of options for this poll thinking "hmm... two bucks for a good paper, yep. four bucks for a good paper, yep, ten bucks a month fo

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        The Economist, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, those are the last three out there in my opinion.

    • by AchilleTalon (540925) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @01:12AM (#34751054) Homepage
      My current newspaper is charging an extra 2$/month to its subscribers to get the electronic full copy, not the website access which is free. I believe this is a very bad idea. Why would I want to pay an extra 2$/month when I am receiving the paper copy anyway? It should be included in the subscription or there should be an option to subscribe without the paper copy at a reduce fee. After all, no printing costs and distribution costs for an electronic copy. This should be reflected in the pricing structure.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        That sounds like a prime example of an 'old media' company who tried to update themselves but just missed the point. Out of interest, which paper is it, and have you tried writing to them to point out the problem? I'd be interested to know what they say, and you never know, they might even realise their error.

        I suppose one could make the argument that they need to amortise the set up costs for the online distribution (I'd say per-user bandwidth costs are negligible for a newspaper), but then that obviously

      • by Mack428 (802800)
        That is my point. When most magazines will let you get a year subscription for $10 - $20, to get a paper copy mailed to me, why would I want to pay more than that to get it electronically also or instead? If the electronic price is lower than the paper copy price per year then it makes sense to me. Otherwise. No dice.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        So you can read it on your kindle?(or whatever).

        SO you can read it at other places? because reading a paper on a busy bus is a pain, at best? Because you want more then one person reading the information at a time? Because you need the paper version to cut out letters for your ransom note?

    • by mjwx (966435)

      FWIW I am a believer that if you don't pay for news, then the newspapers will go under.

      I too believe this, which is why I refuse to pay another cent to the likes of Murdoch, Packer and Fairfax.

    • "Good online content can be pretty hard to find."

      Billions are spent on online subscriptions every year. It all depends on what you want. What will people pay for "Good Online Content"?

      The answer is at your nearest pr0n site. What's the going monthly rate these days for an online porn "magazine", $10/20/30 per month?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Well, since the cost of a newspaper subscription is less then the cost of the paper. The subscription price for most newspapers is eaten by the cost of getting you the paper.

      Newspapers are NOT the grease that makes democracy work. Accurate and reliable information is the grease that make democracy work.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      FWIW I am a believer that if you don't pay for news, then the newspapers will go under.

      Bullshit. Not only is this weekly paper [illinoistimes.com] free to read on the internet, the paper version is free, too. And guess what? They've been profitable for decades.

      And if you're having a hard time finding good online content, you're not looking very hard.

  • by shrdlu (42466) on Monday January 03, 2011 @11:56PM (#34750672)

    I give money (to Kindle -- I know, I know) for The New Yorker, and for Barron's. I don't subscribe to any newspaper because there isn't one offered that I want to read.

    I actually PREFER the Kindle version of these to the printed version. They are nothing but words. I like words. I don't have to look at pointless pictures, page my way through advertisements, or discover that the article I'm reading is "continued on page 137" (which I hate). The cartoons from The New Yorker are included in their own section, which is a bonus.

    I've subscribed to others on a trial basis, and also found them worthwhile (but there's only so much time in the day). Foreign Affairs is a good one (although it's only six issues a year).

    Not everything can (or should) be read in this format. Sometimes Barron's graphs are a bit rough, but I'm used to it. Words are good.

  • Ads? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by proverbialcow (177020) on Monday January 03, 2011 @11:57PM (#34750680) Journal
    Are subscription fees their only source of revenue? If not, I'll pass, or at least not pay anything for the privilege. (Kind of like how I won't subscribe to cable or Hulu Plus.) Consumer Reports, on the other hand, I pay for.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      You do know that the cost for cable is for the company offering the delivery service, right? not that people making shows. That non movie cable was NEVER OFFERED to be 'free of commercials?

      If you watch TV, did someone give you the antenna, or did you pay for it?
      How about the electricity? sine you pay for that should all TV be free?

  • by android.dreamer (1948792) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:08AM (#34750718)
    I really think it depends on the value. If it was generic news I can hear anywhere, then I wouldn't want to pay at all (NY Times, Time Magazine, etc.). If it was a flip book of nude celebrities having sex in ultra high DPI holographic 3D, then I would gladly pay a few bucks for that subscription.
    • I really think it depends on the value. If it was generic news I can hear anywhere, then I wouldn't want to pay at all (NY Times, Time Magazine, etc.). If it was a flip book of nude celebrities having sex in ultra high DPI holographic 3D, then I would gladly pay a few bucks for that subscription.

      You make a fair point about the value, which is linked to availability of the news.

      But value is also a function of the interest of a person.

      And finally, what to do with the guy who quickly browses 20 websites for the news? Should that guy pay 20 times as much?

      My point is: it's really difficult to fix a price for a digital copy that isn't even tangible like a paper copy.

    • ... "It depends". It depends on what the content actually is, how well it's presented, and so forth. A good online version of, say, Scientific American is something I'd pay some money for. But People magazine? I wouldn't take it for free, no matter how holographic 3D it was.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:11AM (#34750734)

    I've been a subscriber for 25+ years. If you subscribe, the online copy comes for free.

    I like the paper edition, because I can take it into the bathtub. Something I would not do with my SchtinkPad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe it's a SchtinkPad because you *don't* take it into the bathtub.
  • by gordguide (307383) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:11AM (#34750736)
    I don't have a problem with paying a small amount for "a good online newspaper" ... whatever that is. But, the days of me entering into relationships with companies are nearing an end. These firms want to aggregate, sell, and out-and-out mismanage my personal information; to the point where if it is publicly disclosed they want no liability for their negligence. They don't want to get me as a subscriber, they want to monetarize the "subscription experience". No. A thousand times no. There was a time when I would have gone for that. That time is over, and it's not my fault ... it's theirs.
    • There are some other complaints I have, about relationships with these companies. Newspapers will not sell a plain old subscription, they insist that it automatically renew, at the "standard" rate of course. Magazines have been pulling the old hard sell. "Our subscription rates are doubling next week, better hurry up and renew now before the hike!" Another classic is a high barrier to quitting. Have to give them 30 days notice, in writing. Email doesn't count as written notice, of course. Or you're s

      • by raddan (519638) *
        OTOH, credit card companies are usually a good ally when it comes to disputing charges (quite possibly the only case where they are "in your corner").

        My wife and I were stung once by a gym that tried to pull these shenanigans ("Oh, but you have to notify us 60 days in advance... in writing... and you have a pay a termination fee... You didn't see that in the contract?") on us. But after a phone call to the CC company (thanks to a tip from a coworker), the problem went away. We probably burned a bridge
  • by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:15AM (#34750756) Homepage Journal

    I haven't seen a magazine worth subscribing to since Byte's hayday. Even though they're free, I couldn't be bothered surfing to most of the magazine sites that are already available.

    Some of the magazine articles linked to from Slashdot stories are barely English, others are so biased and pre-decided it's not even funny. Pay for such content? Surely you jest!

    • by jschrod (172610)
      Tip: An online magazine that's worth every cent of its subscription price is http://lwn.net/ [lwn.net]. Since your pet project focuses on Ubuntu, you might be interested.
    • by raddan (519638) *
      There are some excellent scientific and engineering journals that are absolutely worth the money. I quite enjoyed my ACM [acm.org] subscription. It's a little pricey, and it's not as technical as an actual scientific journal might be, but it's enjoyable for technically-minded people nonetheless.

      I also have subscribed to the WSJ in the past, and in general, found their reporting to be very good, despite my frequent disagreement with their editorials. The Christian Science Monitor is also a decent source of news.
    • by kent_eh (543303)
      Indeed. There isn't currently a magazine that I feel is consistently worth my while to subscribe to.
      I do buy individual issues of some magazines, but generally less than 2-3 issues of any one title per year.

      So, for that reason, I voted $0

      If there was a way to buy (in the traditional non-revocable sense of the word) single copies, then fine, but not a re-occurring monthly subscription/bill.
  • true price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Odinlake (1057938) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:18AM (#34750778)
    Below a certain threshold it is no longer a matter of "how much", but rather that I don't want to entrust my credit card (etc.) information to yet another company that will most likely do their best to screw me over one way or the other since their income from me is so marginal anyway. I just know the agreement will have sly passages and change randomly, I will be bombarded by "offers" and have every piece of data about me sold to third parties, like the Russian mafia and the Chinese govt. Personally, I don't think any on-line magazine I know is worth all that even at $0.01.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Obviously in the past you have dealt with AOL and their "we absolutely refuse to acknowledge your attempts to discontinue your subscription" business model. 15 years ago I pointed out that AOL had a diminishing total revenue per customer curve and a steadily increasing cost of obtaining each new customer. When those two curves cross, the company collapses.
  • I subscribe to a monthly newsletter [thelurioreport.com].. I guess you could say the guy's idea's intrigued me.

  • by avilliers (1158273) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:44AM (#34750932)

    Well, I already pay more for some scientific journals online. So obviously the right content is worth more than that to me.

    For general interest, I wouldn't currently pay because plenty of good quality content is free. And if I'm paying (such as for the Economist) I prefer the print version, where I find it easier to read multiple medium length articles.

  • I still buy books in preference to on-line or pdf material, for me, electronic versions just arn't the same.

  • Am I the only person who actually WANTS these companies to go out of business? I don't want my mother to be able to get the news via paper because it allows her to continue to ignore technology. If I could snap my fingers, new papers, record labels, the POTs phone companies, etc would go out of business. Bring on the technological Darwinism (and give it a push in the right direction if you can).
    • I got broadband and a linux laptop for my mum. She loves it but now she wants a printer so she can print articles out.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        get hear a cheap universal ebook reader and calibre so she can export them to her reader.

      • She loves it but now she wants a printer so she can print articles out.

        This reminds me of the story about "grandma" patiently composing an email with her new computer, and then printing it so she could fold it into an envelope and mail it.

    • Yes, never mind individual choice, I'm sure you know best.

      If someone doesn't care about telecommunications technology, so what?

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I don't want my mother to be able to get the news via paper because it allows her to continue to ignore technology.

      Even if paper disappeared tomorrow, I still wouldn't be able to get my dad to use a computer or cell phone. It's maddening to have to snail-mail paper photos to him, when with anybody else I can just text or email the picture.

      His father in law was like that, too -- "I lived all these years without indoor plumbing, and I don't need it now!"

      I hope I never get like that.

  • by PatPending (953482) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @03:23AM (#34751698)

    Your vote (1) has been registered.

    Oh, yeah? But I voted for zero!

    Golly! I'm a-hopin' these /. folks ain't a-writing code for them thar votin' machines!

  • I have a subscription to The Economist paper magazine for ages now which entitles me to access restricted content on the website for free and yet I almost never use the website. Why ...

    - The paper magazine is small enough and practical enough to take anywhere I feel like reading it.
    - It's very easy on your eyes to read it.
    - It's surprisingly unlikelly for me to damage the paper magazine in a way that makes the content unrecoverable.
    - If somehow I loose or damage my paper magazine I don't really care that mu

    • by JustOK (667959)

      you hate trees, don't you? You like how they're raised on factory tree farms, not allowed to run around and be free.

  • by dugeen (1224138) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:08AM (#34752212) Journal
    It's not the expense, it's the repeating card debits that are the problem. These are next to impossible to cancel so I won't subscribe to anything monthly unless it explicitly states on the signup page that payments are single payments.
  • Why bother reading tedious articles when I can get local and international news from radio?

    Heck, I can work AND listen to the radio at the same time.

  • It needs to be UNENCRYPTED PDF (or better yet Epub) and cost LESS than a print magazine.

    Problem is all magazines out there are greedy and expect people to happily pay newsstand price for a digital copy that is locked and really not readable on any devices.

  • Stratfor? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ornlu (1706502) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @10:20AM (#34753480)

    Has anyone here heard of Stratfor? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratfor [wikipedia.org]

    Their analysis costs like $320 a year (or like $40 a month if you don't buy the full year at a time). It includes first-hand accounts and full strategic analysis of international events, like the Mumbai attacks, the Mexican cartel violence, and the new TSA groping procedures. Today's free-to-non-members article is about the strategic implications of Egypt destroying churches. Last week's one was about the real nuts/bolts of START: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101227-making-sense-start-debate [stratfor.com]. Another good recent article was about the actual balance of power shifts that the European economic crisis is causing: http://www.stratfor.com/content/europes-new-plan [stratfor.com]

    I know the cost is outrageous. But it's hands down the best "reporting" I've ever seen. It's unbiased (Seriously. It really IS unbiased. I didn't even think that was possible until I subscribed...), and most of the reporting is done by ex-military or ex-intelligence agents.

    I think my answer to the poll is that I'm willing to pay >$10 but I'll probably let my subscription run out and then just get their free weekly emails instead. I never thought I'd have TOO much access to intelligent, informed, timely, accurate, well written information. I hate to sound like a fanboy or a spammer for them, but their briefs really are that good.

    • by TempeTerra (83076)

      Ah, you bastard! I thought Jimmy had given up his nag campaign now. I feel like I just got goatse'd

  • Hard to provide an answer if it's not clear if we are talking about say a daily newspaper or a monthly magazine.
  • Seriously: what's the difference between a newspaper/magazine vs. website other than media the content is displayed upon, frequency of updates, and paid access?

    I picked "I don't know what those words mean" because, well, given the peculiar juxtaposition I'm not sure I/we really know. People may have a natural reaction to the terms, and an impulsive response to the question, but upon reflection it seems either a matter of a tautology or a "does a fish need a bicycle" - either pointless or nonsensical.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      upon reflection it seems either a matter of a tautology or a "does a fish need a bicycle"

      Thank you for that, it reminded me of "Ice Cream for Crows" that they played on Ben's Whacky Radio today -- Captain Beefheart has died. [guardian.co.uk]

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:38AM (#34754232)

    My initial response is $0, because I don't understand why I'm paying ANYTHING for a newspaper or magazine that includes advertising. The cost of a traditional print newspaper subscription is supposed to cover the distribution costs -- that is, to pay the carrier. Advertising pays for everything else. In the case of a web version, there is no carrier, and web-hosting costs are tiny in comparison to traditional distribution costs.

    OTOH, I would pay several dollars per month for a newspaper/magazine subscription that did NOT have advertising.

  • Free with Ads (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CuriousGeorge113 (47122) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @12:15PM (#34754680) Homepage

    We all want everything online to be free.

    Then, we all install ad-blocker in firefox so we aren't annoyed by the over-obtrusive ads required to keep a decent site free.

    Then, we bitch and moan when our favorite site either (a) starts pumping out crap because they had to get rid of all their decent editors or (b) starts charging for content that we used to get for free.

    • by iammani (1392285)

      I am willing to pay for ad free, reasonable ToS, and privacy guaranteed service. Is any one offering one?

    • We all want everything online to be free.

      Then, we all install ad-blocker in firefox so we aren't annoyed by the over-obtrusive ads required to keep a decent site free.

      Then, we bitch and moan when our favorite site either (a) starts pumping out crap because they had to get rid of all their decent editors or (b) starts charging for content that we used to get for free.

      Yes, we do. What's your point? I want everything online to be free AND I want to block the ads. I refuse to pay for any website online. Either that's a viable business model and I get what I want, or it's not, and everything not behind a paywall goes bankrupt. Capitalism in action, that's the way it's supposed to work.

      If there aren't enough people willing to pay for something, it's not the fault of the people who are unwilling to pay for it. It's just a bad business model where people aren't willing to

    • While we're not America's best consumers (damn I hate that term), to be honest my family and I enjoy exchanging some of our income for shiny new stuff. Give us intelligent advertising for decently interesting, quality stuff and we'll dive into it even if you don't sandwich it into a magazine or TV show.

      But I refuse to believe I'm doing anyone a favor, let alone owe it to anyone, to spend time on adverts that are crap themselves, on behalf of products that look like crap the way they're presented. I'm not go

  • I don't go to any particular news site, I go to aggregators like slashdot and google news. I read news from 10s of different sources a day and then perhaps 10s of different sources the next day. I don't think the subscription model works well for this usage pattern and I think my usage pattern is probably fairly common.

  • As a payer of the licence fee from which the BBC receives its funding, I am already paying for excellent online content - include news and magazine articles. I don't know if this counts as me paying for online news though, since I am not choosing to pay for the online news in particular. Plus, since since the licence fee only applies to people that sometimes watch television programmes as they are broadcast, if you don't fit into that category, you are still entitled to the BBC's online news - which would

  • It's been hard enough for me to get used to paying for electronic versions of novels. At least they give something new; the newspapers and magazines often just echo what other people on the internet are saying.

    I know, if you don't patronize these services they'll go out of business. But I can't fund every industry. Given a choice between paying for fiction or news, I'll choose fiction. News is depressing.

  • With the exception of Consumer Reports and MAD Magazine, all good paper monthly magazine got the lions share of their revenue from advertising. Subscription/newstand costs were barely enough to cover printing and distribution. For online distribution, the marginal costs of distribution approaches zero, and Google has demonstrated that there are plenty of people willing to pay for eyeballs. That, and a hard and fast rule I have about never giving out credit card information over the web tells me that the sub
  • 1. No ads. If I am buying HBO, I don't want to get stuck with TBS 2. No tracking (besides how many people read each article.) I am paying for privacy as much as for my own attention. 3. Articles that are well written, not lacking important backround details. Ideally, they should be footnoted so I can double check their research. At the very least link to related content on the web that the writer looked at.
  • The Internet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by br00tus (528477) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @05:34PM (#34758454)
    I've been using the Internet for over 20 years - back then most people tended to use the word Internet to refer to the protocol, not the entire network, which was more balkanized (ARPanet, NYSERnet, SURAnet etc.), had more prominent connections with Bitnet, UUCP networks, x.25 networks, and even FIDOnet.

    Anyhow, coming from that background I remember Usenet, which actually had some intelligent conversations going on up into the early 1990s - even in silly groups like alt.religion.kibology. Before AIM and Facebook and Twitter were popular, people would go on IRC channels, and you could get technical help, or even sense the rhythm of the community - unlike Usenet, this is not totally dead yet, with networks like Freenode still performing a good job.

    I recall fondly these distributed networks where one could often find much intelligent discussion. It was all free as well - people, often younger people, would fall over themselves trying to get one of their servers onto EFnet or one of the other IRC networks.

    Corporate domination and expansion has killed much of this. Nowadays the communal IRC channel has made way for the individualized Facebook, or even more individualized AIM private message. The distributed Usenet q&a groups are now replaced with client/server web sites. Of course, these things which belonged to a sort of commons are now filtered through, controlled and owned by corporations. The intelligence level has dropped a lot. Nowadays the idea of a distributed, non-corporate network is associated with what the MafiAA call "piracy", with Limewire forced to close, with Bittorrent sites under attack. Sites like Craigslist, which hold onto the old values to some extent, are under attack as headline-seeking attorney generals attack men and women who seek to privately exchange one's money for another's carnal labor. I'm sure if Usenet or IRC were developed today, the RIAA/MPAA would jump on them even more than they have as "tools for piracy", or by attorney generals as tools for prostitution, pornography while they're on a hysterical anti-sex crusade, which often has the side effect of knocking out the non-prurient parts of these networks as well.

    I bemoan how the Internet has lost a lot of this culture, I'll leave it to others to bemoan how with the Internet propaganda rags like Time Magazine are not able to make the big bucks pushing advertisements and propaganda to the masses any more.

  • There is exactly one website I have ever found to be worth paying access for (and no, it's not porn, I get all of that I want for free). Sorry, newspaper and magazine guys, your subscription model is dead, dead, dead. And if you don't adapt, so is your newspaper/magazine.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @12:50PM (#34766172) Homepage

    I love LWN. I've been a subscriber for years, and I'm currently at the "Professional" level of about $7 a month. I like the main page, but I LOVE the kernel page. Ever since that got stopped summing up kernel discussions (don't remember the list name) they've been my connection to watching Linux develop.

    I also love Ars Technica, and I'm a subscriber there too. Don't remember for how much. That turns off the ads (good, but I already get rid of the annoying ones with FlashBlock) and automatically enters me into their contests. How can you beat the in-dept architecture coverage and great articles?

    I've been reading both for years and they both do such a great job, they deserve my support. There are a lot of sites/blogs I read daily but wouldn't pay for. I've considered paying for /., but the ads don't bother me much and I really don't like the "per pageview" thing, I'd much prefer a flat rate (*hint hint*).

The universe is all a spin-off of the Big Bang.

 



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