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Josh Koenig

Cheerio Lance. You're a damn fine wordsmith. I'm a starving artist/activist myself so you'll have to be content with my applause. However, I would encourage you to think further and further outside the box about how "news" is going to happen in the future and how it's going to get paid for.

I've been an open-source partisan for quite a while now. There are ways to make big money off of this, but they're just beginning to emerge. It's not going to be subscriptions because information that is not universally accesible is not credible. It's not going to be advertising because the advertising industry (meaning paying for column-inches) is going to continue to whither in favor of more innovative marketing strategies.

The financing models that will drive new media are based on providing value, on service. Straight-up blogging will probably never pay because in truth, most blogs provide more value to their authors in terms of exposure and credibility than they do to most readers. You'll get tips, and really successful people will in the future be able to make a living off derivative products, just like the Ramones made a living for 20 years by performing relentlessly and selling shitloads of t-shirts.

Going pro is another option, but then you're supposed to provide value to your boss, which can put you in an interesting ethical place as a writer (especially as a writer on political issues).

Another idea that just came to me for big organizations; what about charging for the right to comment? Someone slap the NYT up the head. How many $50 yearly subscriptions could they sell if that mean the right to leave a comment directly on their op-ed columns? It would be the place to see and be seen.

For indie bloggers, there's also the ability to turn your blog into a book -- because books are never going to go away -- or turn your credibility into a consulting career, a stint in academia.

There are a lot of ways it could go down, but the bottom line is that the means of production and distribution for information are going to be globally democratized in the 21st Century. That's a profound shift from the 19th/20th, and what it means for the press and for citizens is really anyone's guess. I think it could be really good though.

The Heretik

I will be back, Lance. Actually I am pretty sure I never leave.

Jack (CommonSenseDesk)

Hey, that was a clue ~ "the fourth of the Tudor roses at State and Division".

Stay dry and good luck!

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