Sunday, December 02, 2012

Episode 1532: Why The Silence, Duotrope?

As a sort of follow-up to yesterday's post, I have to mention that I don't understand why Duotrope's Digest didn't move to an advertising-driven model instead. Given that the site is run by a bunch of writers and former editors, this whole decision to move towards a subscription-based model seems like a slap in the face to the writing community. I'm sure they chose this path because it's the only way they saw the site ever becoming self-sustaining in terms of enabling them to pay the people who work on it, but their continued silence in the face of mounting criticism on their Facebook page strikes me as rather curious. (Several comments have also pointed out how one month's notice, right as we're entering the Christmas season, is probably the worst time of year to expect people to suddenly part with a chunk of money.) Are they hoping that if they bury their collective heads in the sand and keep pushing the message that a paywall is going up, people will just fall into line with their wallets out? There sure seem to be people who are unquestioningly, nay enthusiastically, forking over the money, and bully for them. I just find it disconcerting that the team behind the site have so far not spoken up to address the legitimate concerns people have raised, beyond a perfunctory claim that in the long run, they believe the paid model will improve the accuracy of their statistics, arguably the most attractive feature of the site, after its massive catalogue of listings. Oh really? When there is no question whatsoever that a sizeable chunk of your 'freeloaders' will just leave the site come January, thus reducing your sample size? (Inverted commas, because I'm not sure it's fair to pin the label on the 90% who typically don't donate to the site. The Internet has raised a whole generation of consumers with an entitlement mentality who are disinclined to pay for something if it's already being provided for free anyway, so you can hardly blame them in this case.)

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