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A View from Brad King

PC Magazine Charges for User Community

Slashdot has a discussion thread going about an Australian magazine’s decision to charge its users an annual fee to post in the forums – if they aren’t magazine subscribers. The decision, as you can imagine, sent the netizens into a…

  • May 3, 2005

Slashdot has a discussion thread going about an Australian magazine’s decision to charge its users an annual fee to post in the forums – if they aren’t magazine subscribers.

The decision, as you can imagine, sent the netizens into a frezy because – as the SD thread points out – the magazine is charging the people who created the community a fee to be in the community.

That strikes me as an amazingly shortsighted decision for two reasons:

1) Media is rapidly moving from atoms to bits (thank you Mr. Negroponte), and creating an atom-based business model is a mistake for future revenues.

and

2) The magazine should already be making money off the community – either through advertising and page views, sponsorships, or subscriptions. They are, in essence, double charging their most loyal folks.

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