As much as I loathe the NY Times, especially when it tries to be culturally relevant...
...in this case, it's on to something. Sort of, but worth thinking about. Virginia Heffernan, who it's been scientifically proven is wrong about everything, is wrong about what she frets about in the Times today, in her article "The Death of the Open Web," which is a typical piece of NYT silliness.
She's worried that with more stuff going behind a paywall -- a lot of News Corp's titles, for instance -- and she frets about the app universe, especially Apple's, for its restrictions and censorship and general all-around supervised play.
Neglecting, naturally for a New York Times writer, the giant, floating, pulsating reality in front of her. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter -- all open, WIDE open, all growing at an amazing clip. YouTube, for those who don't know, is the second-largest search engine in the world. In addition to being a wide-open platform for video. In addition to changing the entire media landscape for ever -- by creating an open, democratic, chaotic video marketplace.
How's that for open? Yes, Virginia, there are apps. And news sites behind a paywall. But that's hardly the trend.
On the other hand, she's right that the chaos and craziness of the web has encouraged people to think about ways to tame it, a bit. To create great experiences for people who want them.
I think what we're doing at Ricochet is sort of an interesting blend -- we want everyone, anyone, to be able to read our content. But in order to create a more civilized, readable, less-swampy and more enjoyable conversational experience, we're asking people who want to participate to become members, to pay a (small) monthly fee.
Which I'm sure is something Virginia Heffernan will worry about.