The pundits opining about Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for his media conglomerate’s online content miss the forest for the trees. The majority spout conjecture about whether or not people would pay and in that context whether or not anyone should charge, considering the abundance of alternative online informational sources. What everyone should ask: Can you put content behind a paywall, even just require registration, and fully participate in the Google economy?
Can we be honest, here? If your business is content and selling online advertising around it, you must pay homage to the great Google algorithm. As was with previous age’s deities, the minions must make sacrifices before the great Google god. To receive its blessings, they must do Google’s bidding—quite literally on keywords—and give away all their worldly possessions (e.g., content, for free). But can they give to Lord Google and keep something for themselves, too?