Periodically, informed bloggers raise the issue of what will pay for journalism in a digital world. Here's what I wrote on Dan Kennedy's MediaNation.com blog on March 26, 2007:
A LONGER DISCOURSE:
The notion of a network of sites, each of which have their own online subcribers, which share content, was developed starting in 1994 by what has become Clickshare Service Corp. (http://www.clickshare.com/aboutus ) We prototyped and then built a federated-authentication, privacy-protected transaction and user-preference exchange service which is scalable and ready to go as the market matures for the service. Pricing of content -- whether within the subscription service or on a per-click basis -- is entirely set by the vendor of the content -- the network has nothing to do with pricing and anybody can join or exit the network.
So there is nothing that would be subject to antitrust scrutiny. Anyone interested in discussing this capability further can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . (Disclosure, I was a founder of Clickshare, and am a major stockholder). The notion of micropayments remains highly controversial; a dozen or more companies have risen and fallen on that sword; we've always viewed what we build as a distributed user management system (DUM -- unfortuate acronym) not a micropayment system. But it enables micropayments -- or subscription networks -- or advertising "pay-per-attention" facility where users can be credited for viewing an ad, and use those credits to purchase content elsewhere.
It's a network for exchange of value, one implementation -- perhaps the least popular -- being micropayments. In my opinion, micropayments will eventually win out becuase they are so user friendly. But anyone who has anything to do with selling advertising, or subscriptions, will bash the idea indefinitely.