Shirky: ads will migrate to the Web
Friday, October 4th, 2002
Clay Shirky writes: “Weblogs aren’t a form of micropublishing that now needs micropayments. By removing both costs and the barriers, weblogs have drained publishing of its financial value, making a coin of the realm unnecessary. One obvious response is to restore print economics by creating artificial scarcity: readers can’t read if they don’t pay. However, the history of generating user fees through artificial scarcity is grim. Without barriers to entry, you will almost certainly have high-quality competition that costs nothing. This leaves only indirect methods for revenue. Advertising and sponsorships are still around, of course. There is a glut of supply, but this suggests that over time advertising dollars will migrate to the Web as a low-cost alternative to traditional media.”
If you write something long enough, people will draw diametrically opposed lessons. Jeff Jarvis reads the same post as “very depressing to the community of bloggers.”
My view: the pie for professional writers is going to get lots bigger.