Its a Golden Age for Consumers

Two completely different spheres have my thoughts overlapping like a Venn diagram. A recent interview with Arianna Huffington in the Financial Post and links from the Law Librarian Blog (among many other sources) showing an Inside Look at the WestlawNext and “New Lexis” Platforms.

Both these articles touch on monetization of web delivered services and how content producers may reap the rewards of their labours.

The Huffington Post model:

The Huffington Post is committed to the link economy and our business model is advertising-supported. The Greek philosopher Herodotus … said you cannot enter into the same river twice, and I think we need to acknowledge that there are changes in consumer habits, for example, that are here to stay. In a way, it’s a golden age for consumers: They can go on the Internet, go from site to site, go into greater depths by following links and have everything at their fingertips and also participate … be empowered themselves to not just consume news, but share news, develop a story themselves. The idea of walled gardens or micropayments, unless it’s for very specialized information, I think goes against the trend in consumer habits and the link economy.

And Jill Schachner Chanen, quoted at LLB, from an ABA article:

As of late December, West had not priced its new platform, but the company said when the platform is launched it will only be available as an upgrade. LexisNexis had not determined its pricing, but company representatives said many of the features on the new platform might be made available on an a la carte basis.

There are many ways to deliver valued content. Consumer expectations are being reshaped daily. It is the responsibility of content providers to deliver a marketable product that meets the needs of their niche of consumers. I am sure that a reliable crystal ball manufacturer would come in handy for all of us right about now. The next few years will be very interesting.

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