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 pix@nyt.com

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.

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