My employer today began its grand experiment - charging for its web site.
I believe this will not work. But giving it away for free clearly did not work in a business sense, so I suppose there's no harm in trying.
The advertising model for the web does not work. No one, with the possible exception of a few major brands, is making money this way. So if people want quality information, the kind gathered and written by professionals, sooner or later they will have to pay in one way or another.
I have to eat, and in five short years I'll be paying to send my daughter to college. So as a "professional" (as in "gets paid for it") I grit my teeth and accept it.
But this is a sad day indeed, because all I really want is to write stories and have lots of people read them. The web was great for that - a substantially larger audience of potential readers. But I must admit it is a bit self-indulgent of me to expect my employer to subsidize that vanity.
If I still want that audience, I of course have Advogato or Inkstain. I have the freedom to write what I want, when I want, for whom I want. Alas, I can't have my cake and eat it too. I can't have the comfort of a salary for my work and free distribution of it as well.