Everybody is taking potshots at Walter Isaacson’s Time magazine cover story in which he suggests, among other things, that newspapers and magazines might be able to avoid obsolescence by charging online readers micropayments per article consumed, like iTunes charging 99 cents a song.
In his “Stop the Presses” column on Editor & Publisher’s Web site, digital news pioneer Steve Outing dismisses Isaacson’s idea, “Ugh. This approach hasn’t worked. It won’t work. Is completely counter to the nature of the Internet. It will hasten newspapers’ death spiral.”
Then Outing wastes a couple gigamillion electrons pondering an as-yet-unhatched Web idea called Kachingle.
Subscribers to Kachingle paid a nominal fee, the current suggested contribution is $5, and when they find something online, be it the cover story of The New York Times or Joe’s blog posting on his favorite crab dip recipe, the user can click on a Kachingle icon that I’m sure will be added amid the ones for Digg, Facebook, Newsvine, Fark, reddit, Yahoo!, Google, AOL, etc., etc.
At the end of the month the subscribers’ five bucks would be proportionately distributed among the content providers based on page views.
Sorry, Steve, you and I have seen too many of these come and go. Next idea?