Reading this made me sigh. In the contours of this latest iteration of the argument over charging for content, I’ve recognized an unfortunate pattern. Those who advocate the “charge ‘em” strategy cast themselves as hardheaded pragmatists and their opponents as wild-eyed Web idealists and anarchists.
Sadly, however, I submit that most of us in the “charging for content is a bad bet for newspapers” camp are coming at this from the perspective of bitter experience. We are grizzled veterans of this argument. We have Been There and Done That. We aren’t grave-dancing; we’re saying, “Maybe you don’t want to fall into that grave that almost swallowed us.”