Steve Outing has an excellent article in Editor & Publisher about possible ways to save publications. One solution that he rightly says has no future is the pay-for-news system that Wall Street Journal is gonna try and maybe the New York Times and other places too. The solution that he puts more faith in is value-added extras for paying customers. He says that these might include: merchandise from the pub, lectures, seminars, phone applications, discounts with other businesses, etc.. Obviously, this ain’t a tried-and-true method yet but it’s definitely worth a shot. What does the industry have to lose at this point (that they haven’t already)?
But… as I’ve been arguing for a while, the big problem is that in a tech/Net world, there’s no such thing as long-term answers anymore. Any solution that comes into play is likely going to be wiped out by a hot new technology or social media paradigm in less than a year. As such, pubs/mags are going to have to keep experimenting and working on cutting edge tech solutions on an ongoing basis from now on if they want to survive.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.