Nicholas Carr: Actually, Information Does NOT Want to Be Free

With all the hubbub over the New York Times (overdue) announcement that they would begin charging for internet access to their content, the enemies of solvency and profits have come out of the woodwork to rail against the Times actually getting paid for what they do.

As a blogger, I’m conflicted as to how the metering system ought to work, but I have no problem paying something for the Times’ content as it is some of the very best out there. 

Here’s Nicholas Carr on the notion that “Information Wants to Be Free”…

From Rough Type:

Do the math. Sit down right now, and add up what you pay every month for:

-Internet service

-Cable TV service

-Cellular telephone service (voice, data, messaging)

-Landline telephone service

-Satellite radio


-Wi-Fi hotspots


-Other information services

So what’s the total? $100? $200? $300? $400? Gizmodo reports that monthly information subscriptions and fees can easily run to $500 or more nowadays. A lot of people today probably spend more on information than they spend on food.

The reason we fork out all that dough is (I’m going to whisper the rest of this sentence) because we place a high monetary value on the content we receive as a result of those subscriptions and fees.

Now somebody remind me how we all came to think that information wants to be free.

There is no shortage of “free” information out there (this blog for example) but much of it is worth exactly what you pay for it…zero!  Carr’s point is a simple one, we are paying for plenty of info when you really think about it, whether “it” wants to be free or not.


Information Wants to Be Free My Ass (Rough Type)

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