Paying for Content

I am speaking at an ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers workshop entitled, “Practical Applications of LIDAR” in Washington, DC on Friday. There is a substantial fee to attend this workshop. This brings up the interesting issue of paying for content.

BTI – Before the Internet most people expected to pay for content, whether it be in the form of a publication or some type of training/workshop. That is all changed now, with some notable exceptions like the National Geographic and the New York Times who charge for their online content and professional organizations like ASCE who have a business model built on providing educational outreach, at least in part.

I wonder sometimes if this change is for the better. Would we better off paying for what we want to consume, rather than having to search for advertising-supported content? Would people support a for-pay service that was more tailored to their interests? In the consumer space it looks like Apple and Amazon have a great model with very low cost pricing – like 99 cents for an article.

What do you think?

1 Comment

  • I do gladdly pay for unbias knowledge on the internet, provided it is of value. I recall a very commercial site that first wanted a Visa number. Then one could ASK anything and members competed to answer your question. My question about registry edits was returned by the member emailing a link to some corrective software. Good thing I tried it out first on a lesser important computer because it wiped most of the registry clean. As such, there needs to be a web based, third party validation process or unconnected organization to substantiate the knowledge for fee providers. ASTM, CGSB, CSA and ULC cannot cover everything.

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