Information deserves to be free*

Marco Arment recently wrote about the initial failings of his iOS based, subscription only magazine he launched last October.

“Since The Magazine had no ads, and people could only subscribe in the app, I figured there was no reason to show full article text on the site — it could only lose money and dilute the value of subscribing.

That was the biggest mistake I’ve made with The Magazine to date.”

His article gave me a lot of confidence in my decision to write my forthcoming Pride and Paradev book as a series of articles available freely* on this blog for anyone to read/discuss.

I will eventually package this content into a Leanpub eBook in a series of formats that readers will be able to buy for convenience, not content.

I detest the concept of a Paywall, I am more than happy to pay for the convenience of consuming nicely packaged content, but I believe that content should be free*, to read quote and share, not hidden in a subscription only iOS app, or behind a convoluted paywall that blocks you based upon an odd combination of cookies and IP addresses.

No matter how much effort you put into your Paywall/DRM, people will find ways of circumventing it, so making your content freely* available just makes sense. By building DRM into your product, you’ll have to recoup the DRM engineering cost/effort by charging your genuine readers more. But you’re punishing the wrong people!

If you make your content good enough, people will be more than happy to support you and pay for a convenient way to consume it.

* free as in freedom

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

2 thoughts on “Information deserves to be free*”

  1. I’m looking forward to the collected ebook. I think you should also make desk calendars and motivational posters replacing the inspirational messages with contradictions.


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