Simply put: I hate the business model of this blog, well actually I hated the business model of this blog.
The monetization of Internet content is easily one of the most compelling, rich, and fascinating narrative threads occurring within the online writing community today. On a daily basis, discussions seem to sporadically ignite concerning the nature of advertising, sponsorships, and membership drives.
Yet, despite the excessive volume of discussion, few people dare to embark upon a measurably new path. Although reticence is certainly comprehendible with regard to career stability, the publishing sphere is ripe for disruption, and those who dare to experiment are likely to be well-rewarded.
Today, Ben Brooks has implemented a pseudo-paywall system for his site, The Brooks Review. Admittedly, when I heard the term “paywall,” my immediate reaction was of sincere pessimism. Experiences with The New York Times, The London Times, and The Wall Street Journal have each left me with rather bitter sentiments for paywall implementations.
And yet, Ben has embarked upon this path intelligently. Rather than simply following the industry standard, Ben evidently took a long, hard look at the pre-existing paywall landscape, and has sought to improve the situation. Offering a number of novel intricacies to the equation, Ben has contributed something measurably new to the discussion. Regardless of any degree of success, I believe the contribution is of the utmost importance, and Ben has certainly made one today.
Thus, despite any divergence of opinion between myself and Ben in matters of technology and business, I cannot help but tip my hat toward his bold decision today. Independent writers are increasingly shaping the landscape for intelligent discourse, and monetization — for better or worse — is an integral element of such an equation. Rather than simply perpetuating the status quo, Ben has embarked upon something unique, and that’s certainly deserving of praise.
Further information is available from The Brooks Review Membership Page.