Blogging Network Debate at Daily Pundit

· Salon Bloggers, Weblog Concepts

William Quick announced Daily Pundit Premium and introduces the business model of Blogging Network. (Subscribers pay $2.99 for unlimited access to network blogs. 50% of this goes to upkeep. The other half is prorated among the blogs the subscriber actually reads.)
The interesting part is the extensive comments section. Collectively, people are grasping with two competing ideas, simply put:

  1. It’s reasonable to be expected to pay for high-quality content.
  2. The web is based on linking.

This same debate comes up when talking about any site that requires fees (such as the Wall Street Journal and Salon Premium) or even registration (such as the New York Times).
As one of Quick’s readers comments:

I can’t blame anyone for trying some new method to make money from writing for the web. I think someone like you, a professional writer, has the best shot at something like that. Me, I wouldn’t put my site behind a subscription wall, and I’m already up to my eyeballs in hosting fees, so adding more is not appealling.

But the thing that bothers me the most about this is not the $3 a month, it’s the fact that links make blogs work, and … this … busts … links. No matter how stunning a piece might be, if it’s behind a subscription wall, people are going to be reluctant to link it. And if you link to me, I won’t have a clue what you’re saying if I haven’t subscribed.