Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 07/03/2001Today's buzz word: monetize. No, not a soft drink to accompany the Royal Academy's Cezannewichs, but the magic spell to stop your dotcom from becoming dotgone.

Wednesday
07/03/2001 Today's buzz word: monetize. No, not a soft drink to accompany the Royal Academy's Cezannewichs, but the magic spell to stop your dotcom from becoming dotgone. It means -- and take this slowly, as it's a major breakthrough in new economy thinking -- to charge people for services instead of giving them away. (How much would you pay for this diary, eh? No, don't answer that, I couldn't bear the shame). Microsoft, unusually, is at the leading edge of this thinking. And so it's experimenting with a paid-for version of MSN that comes with a music subscription, phone services, spam filtering and advanced scheduling of downloads. Stuff like that. Which is all very well... except that unless I miss my guess, I can get all those for free without going near MSN. In fact, I do get all those for free. And I don't go anywhere near MSN. I tried, once upon a time, when MSN was a charged-for service, but could never get it to work. I wonder if they've fixed that yet? So the problem is -- unless everyone does it, the ones who stay free will garner huge numbers of hits, probably enough to survive on the old models. Interesting problem, eh?