Thursday, February 24, 2005


In a post on Wired today Adam Peneberg argues that the subscription only model of the WSJ may render it irrelevant in the broader sense of having legs in its writing. Several years ago I was at a monetary conference with Robert Bartley in Mexico. We were riding to lunch and I asked him whether the electronic edition of the WSJ had cut into the print edition revenues. I said I found that with all my travel I really liked the electronic edition. He asked me "Do you still subscribe to the print edition?" I replied "Sure." He said "So we are now getting an extra $39 per year from you for the additional service of the electronic journal?"

But the question raised in Wired is worth pondering. The NYT recently queried its electronic subscribers whether we would pay (and if so how might be best to set up a subscription model) for the electronic edition. My immediate response (and I suspect a fair amount of others) was no. The Times gives you one perspective on the news. It is no longer, as a professor once told me when I was an undergradute, "America's paper of record." (If it ever was.)

So how does a closed model fit in with the open ones in the blogosphere? Obviously there are going to be many models that work but Peneberg's article is worth thinking about - it can be found at,1284,66697,00.html?tw=rss.CUL

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