The other day, the New York Times announced its model to charge frequent readers of their website (prices here). As could be expected, the move caused a lot of chatter. I’m with Rob who called this The End of Free, writing “I believe this marks the end of an era where everyone scrambled to make something free and marveled at all the people who used it. Increasingly I’ve found myself looking at all the free options and then going for the higher quality paid option. That doesn’t mean that free will no longer exist, just that products you use heavily or want more quality/reliability out of will be paid.” (my emphasis) One of the Times’ own writers makes a very compelling case for the principle itself here.