The threat from micropayments isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that they will come to pass. The threat is that talking about them will waste our time, and now is not the time to be wasting time. The internet really is a revolution for the media ecology, and the changes it is forcing on existing models are large. What matters at newspapers and magazines isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t publishing, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reporting. We should be talking about new models for employing reporters rather than resuscitating old models for employing publishers; the more time we waste fantasizing about magic solutions for the latter problem, the less time we have to figure out real solutions to the former one.
This concept of “wasting our time” is an important one, I think, and Clay’s right to focus on the heart of the matter – “new models for employing reporters.” Personally, I think this answer is subscription not micropayment (in other words, the conversations about micropayments are precisely incorrect).