Andrew Sullivan will give it a try, as you probably have heard by now. I wish him well with it, but I also hope no one else tries too hard. (Note by the way that Sullivan will allow a free RSS feed, with complete posts, and free links from other blogs, so this is hardly a full gate.) In the limiting case, imagine a blogosphere where everything is gated for some price. What could we at MR link to? There would be every day “What I’ve been Reading,” with links to Amazon (they’re not going to gate), rather than every few weeks. More from Wikipedia, and more travel notes. More abstract requests from readers (“what should I do with my life?”, and “does she really love me?”). More government statistics and more BBC.
I’ve long thought that the last ten years have been a golden age for the blogosphere, and that soon the financial constraints are really going to start biting on MSM. Many of you already get upset at FT links, which have a fairly strict gate, and perhaps the few remaining newspapers will all work that way within two or three years’ time.
What do you all think? Here are comments from Felix Salmon.