The future of the “free internet”

So…the NY Times and all the other old school papers are dying. The Times took out a loan on their Manhattan property today. Their stocks are at an all time low. The old world publishing world is as dead as the auto industry.

So what if the Times made all of their content free via RSS? Only text. No pictures, no visualizations, no hyperlinks…NO EXPERIENCE.

The Apple Store provides an experience that eventually drives sales in computers and iPhones. The New York Times site provides an experience that simply isn’t driving sales of their physical object anymore.

What if The Times charged $20 a year for access to the whole website experience? Beautiful design. Photos. Visualizations to help you understand the data better. You pay for the experience.

Because information is free. It’s the digital era. Everything is copy and pastable. But the experience, well, you gotta pay.

Subscriptions to human powered convenience and/or an experience – it’s the future of the internet. Driving traffic to your site is meaningless anymore. Providing an experience is everything.