business, technology

Paywalls and Crowdsourcing

I saw this in the NYTimes recently:

The Lede is tracking reports of the damage and the tsunami warnings. Are you in an affected area? What are you seeing? Send your photos to

What’s interesting to me is that they are basically asking people to work for the NYTimes for free. This isn’t a new idea, it actually already has a name, it’s called crowdsourcing.

What makes it interesting is this:

Taking a step that has tempted and terrified much of the newspaper industry, The New York Times announced… that it would charge some frequent readers for access to its Web site

I seems that the crowdsourcing was popularized on a paradigm of openness and freeness (ex. wikipedia). It’ll be interesting to watch how (if) the goodwill of the “crowd” changes when The New York Times’ paywall comes up.