Sympathy for the Devil

Interesting discussion on about Parker's closing his site.

I like this discussion centered around costs and value. A public posting board is like a public park, and it is easier to maintain than a building with sticks and bricks and a staff.

A site like, say, Jancis Robinson’s, which generates heaps of professional content (plus a lively discussion from subscribers at least professional enough to foot the subscription bill) offers a much higher value than a public chatroom. Appellation America’s bill was over a half million dollars a year, not $250, but it also offered incredible content.

This is private enterprise, folks, and if you don’t pony up, you can only hope that your click can be converted to enough cash to balance the books. All addictive drugs are marketed on a first-one’s-free basis, but ask your dealer – it doesn’t create a lifetime free entitlement. What did you think?

Parker would have kept it going if it made any sense, and it doesn’t fall to us outsiders to second guess his books. I recommend either paying the piper or sending him a very nice note thanking him for the eight-year free ride, then moving on to the content-free sites, which I hope you may find worth more than you are paying.