This Web is Free
Tuesday, February 25, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Here's an interesting thought for a Tuesday afternoon.
It requires a little setup.
And then blam!
In Sunday's piece, I was going to point to the Business Week cover story on Webcasting. It was hard to locate the piece from the home page. I used their search engine. Nice stuff.
I clicked on the link, and got to a page that said it would cost $2 to read the article. Well, hmmm. OK. No.
Interesting policy! The current issue is freely available on the web, but back issues cost money.
I went to the San Jose Mercury-News website this morning
to look up an article that I knew would be there about Steve Jobs and Pixar and their deal with Disney. I had heard that in the interview with Merc reporter Jodi Mardesich, Jobs had denied having any official capacity at Apple beyond being an 'advisor to Gil.'
I thought this was an interesting contrast to the posters of Steve Jobs as a young man that are popping up all over Apple corporate headquarters in Cupertino. Ooops. I snuck some news in there.
I found the story, in their business section, but it cost money too!
The third part to the setup is the project I'm working on this week, that will open up Classified Ads serving to anyone with a Mac web server (Windows soon), so they can compete with local newspapers like the Mercury-News and national publications like Business Week. All the scripts are free. I want lots of servers.
So I realize I'm on the other side of a fence from the print pubs that have made the transition to the web.
They're making it easy to compete. If you want to own the free version of Business Week, go for it. It's wide open. Same with the San Jose Mercury and every other local paper that's applying the print economic model to the web. An opening like this hasn't happened in several generations.
What amazon.com is doing to the book retail industry can be repeated in news. Most of the major websites and pushcast services are just shoveling print reporting thru their channels. They don't carry independent voices. Ask them why. I'm curious.
A temporary dislocation.The barriers are coming down. Hire a few good reporters and cut their lead time to ten minutes. Trust their judgement. Run a few ads. You don't have to be much of a technical wiz to put up a high-flow site. Let me know. We can help.
Something new can happen. I bet it will!
So, I still believe in the web, after all these years.
Well, after two years. ;->
PS: A quiz. Which is more interesting, www.macweek.com or www.macintouch.com? Think it's a fluke? Think again.