Journalism not alone in lacking a revenue model

5 05 2009

Ad Age: The Coming End of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook Socialism:

I love YouTube, I’ve made some interesting connections through Facebook, and I enjoy Twittering. (Last week, for instance, I tweeted about an astonishing bit of information I came across in Britain’s Daily Telegraph: YouTube “reportedly uses as much bandwidth as the entire internet took up in 2000.”)

But I also know it can’t go on like this. The digital Robin Hoods can’t keep redistributing the wealth forever, because eventually the wealth runs out. Investors get sick of propping up private ventures that don’t have viable business models, and shareholders of public companies, like Google, get cranky about flushing cash down the drain.

So what can we do? Not much, I suppose, other than enjoy it while it lasts — and maybe twitter a prayer for VCs everywhere.

Facebook may be in for the long haul, based on the increasing ads I’m seeing there.

But the article raises a good question: How is it that so many very intelligent people have come to expect all the wonders of the Internet for free? They scoff when worriers like me talk about pay-for-content. We’re used to it that way. But sooner or later, somebody has to pay the bills.

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