Clay Shirky on micropayments for online news

I am very specifically not enjoying the current wave of handwringing over whether or not some version of micropayments, online subscription, or paywalls could work for typical U.S. news organizations.

But here’s Clay Shirky:

“The essential thing to understand about small payments is that users don’t like being nickel-and-dimed. We have the phrase ‘nickel-and-dimed’ because this dislike is both general and strong. The result is that small payment systems don’t survive contact with online markets, because we express our hatred of small payments by switching to alternatives, whether supported by subscription or subsidy.”

Read the whole thing.