Validators: Asking for donations to pay for the news

By Andy Oram
August 24, 2008

How many ways can content (news, books, movies, etc.) be funded? There are really only a few ways throughout history. Unit sales (treating a movie or a book like a candy bar or a pair of shoes) are increasingly obsolete when information can travel the Internet. There are also subscriptions, advertising, and various kinds of subsidies (a category that also covers academic positions for people who do research).

The New York times has a short article on community-funded journalism, in which the public pays a journalist in advance to cover a topic. I'm blogging this because, in the first place, it suggests a way technical information could be developed, and in the second place I anticipated the idea a year ago in my short story Validators.

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