I don't think anyone explained the micro part of microbilling to the Globe and Mail


$4.95 per article.

The newspaper itself is almost seven times cheaper than that.

Wow, that’s some really dumb shit. $.02 per word for a shitty internet article. Oh, but you can buy a 4pack!

Good thing they made it expire after thirty days. I mean, if I just decided to visit that 289-word article whenever I pleased, how could they keep up with the bandwidth?

And people wonder why the newspaper industry is having a hard time adjusting to the digital age . . .

That pricing seems pretty common for access to archived material. The local daily here does the same thing.

Yeah, that price is for researchers and other media using their stories.
Archival services have been charging an arm and a leg for ages here (and I think it’s the same in other areas) - the difference is just that now some smaller newspapers can host their own archives online and instead of a special log-in process, they just use the regular web.

They have a frontpage with free content and whatnot.

Now, I’m not saying that traditional media has got pricing right or that they aren’t completely at a loss as to how they use the net - but giving away their archives have never been part of the business model.

That’s why I always head to the university library when I want to see an old article from the local paper. They’ve got the last century or so on microfilm, connected to a film scanner.

Sure, that’s what libraries are great for. They also often have access to all sorts of archives you can access from their computers. But they spend money for that access, so while it’s free for you, someone still gets paid.