How much would you pay for good content?

I was listening to Clay Johnson speak at Mesh conference last month. Mesh is a digital marketing conference that happens in Toronto every year and it’s known for three things: 1) great speakers, 2) great swag, and 3) outrageous prices for attendance.

So ask your employer if they’ll cover the cost of Mesh and if they say no, pay for it out of your own pocket. It’s that good.

But back to Clay Johnson — he’s the author of The Information Diet, a book about how we’re consuming way too much content. And just like how our diets are full of junk, our information diet is also full of crap. And junk content is frying our brains, making us dumb.

He also noted during his speech that his book cost less than an empty Moleskine notebook meaning that he could have made more money if he left the pages of his book blank. And that’s when he chewed us out for not paying for content.

So when I ran out of my 10 free articles from New York Times last month, I thought it was time I started paying for good, high-quality content. I’ve been reading the New York Times online for over 10 years and it’s never disappointed me with its fantastic writing, photos and more recently, short video documentaries.

Sure, Twitter gives me my news faster but anyone can bang out 140 characters about how they thought they felt an earthquake. NYTimes tells me why I should care or at least why anyone cares.

Maybe you hate NYTimes and all its elitist, New Yorker mentality. Fair enough. But think about the last amazing thing you read and ask yourself, how much would you pay for it?

Of course, I know I’m preaching to the converted. This is a book blog and most people still pay for books. But there are lots of people complaining about how e-book prices need to be lower. And many more people think NYTimes should have stayed free.

I should note that I pay $15/month (the equivalent of three lattes at Starbucks) and I read way more articles knowing that I paid for it.

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