March 22, 2001
Salon and the Death of The Web
I was browsing the news the other day and I saw a proposal Salon.com (an on-line magazine) had to keep their services on-line in this quarter of slumping ad revenue: charge people a $30 fee to access their service. I hear all of you now, "What? They want to charge us to read that crap? No way am I paying. I'll go someplace else where the same crap is free!" A year ago I would have had that same reaction. Now that I'm involved with a web content provider, I must change my vote. Paying for the web is fun! Everyone is doing it. Come on, chuck $30 over at salon, give yahoo $20 and then give [insert company I work with] $100 just 'cause I sent you. Fact of the matter is, the only people who care if these sites die, at this point, are the people who get the money from the sites in question.
The web has become a world of moochers. Free music, free information and even free isps! Suddenly people expect surfers to give up $30 to read movie reviews and news? Please! As much as I, for my own financial well being, would love to think this will actually happen, I would be deluding myself. Web content providers will be dead before America and/or the world breaks open its checkbook.
Honestly, I think people don't get that these sites take money to run. The people who run these sites don't do it for free. It can be costly to run a magazine of any kind. Some people say,"oh, those ads pay for the site! I don't need to pay." For one thing, ads normally only pay if you click them. How many of you have clicked an ad in the past few months? Not I. Normally when I see an ad, I try to get the page to scroll where I can't even see it anymore. I've even been known to see an ad for something, like amazon.com, say "Oh yeah, wasn't that book I needed coming out this month?" and then visit amazon.com and buy the book without even clicking on the ad. Not very helpful. People, including myself, even complain when a company puts popup ads on a site to supplement their income. I don't want to buy a toaster, I just want to read the content and it takes to much effort to close that popup window. With today's economy, it's an effort that, I guess, I'm willing to make.
With all the dot.coms failing and ad revenue going way down, it won't be long until only 1 or 2 of my favorite content oriented sites are still alive. I lost Icebox.com a few weeks ago. Web users don't care right now. There are plenty of sites to go around. However, I'd like to think we're an intelligent enough population that we will care when the web only contains pornography and sites designed by ten year olds in love with NSynch. . . On second thought, long live penis.com!
Here's a site where you can watch as the Dot.coms die.
Posted by vixen at March 22, 2001 07:56 AM
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