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Weather Conditions

As for the little blizzard we had in New York this weekend, Kathleen and I stayed indoors. When I went out this morning, I found that most of the sidewalks up here are clear, and that the corners are no worse than they would be after a less bountiful snowfall. Corners are a problem because building owners are required to clear the sidewalks only to the kerb. (You can tell that a building's vacant, or at any rate that it doesn't have a retail tenant on the ground floor, by the presence of compacted snow in front of it; and Yorkvillians are advised to avoid the southeast corner of 86th and Third for the time being, because a group of buildings stretching away from the corner in both directions has been bought up for demolition and development, and the walking there is a little rough right now.) Many owners shovel through the pileup of snow in the parking lane, but even when they do, two-way pedestrian traffic is impossible. The lakes of slush that collect at the base of these canyons present additional hurdles. But as I say it wasn't remarkably bad. The sun felt very warm on my back as I lugged a ton of stuff back from Eli's.

Thanks to a tip from Ms NOLA, I picked up the current issue of New York, a magazine that I normally do not permit in the house. This week's cover story is "The Blog Establishment: The Emerging Hierarchy of the New New Media." It promises to be slick, superficial, and, ultimately, pretty stupid, but in fact it's full of familiar stuff, including a nice power-law curve. New York being New York, Clive Thompson, the writer, is very interested in advertising rates.

How much would you pay to read the Daily Blague? Let's say that you had only to click a button (not that it's much harder than that as it is). Would you pay a quarter a year? A dollar? I'm not asking what you think it's worth, but how much you would pay. Because in fact you have never paid anything. This is not a guilt trip. I'm simply asking you to think about it for a moment. Here's a second question: would you rather I supported the site with ads? Is that how you think things ought to work? Just curious.


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Would I pay now having seen what I've seen for several years is a different question from would I pay having seen a few introductory free months recently and that makes my answer, I'm afraid, tainted. Yes, I would pay, probably the equivalent of any national magazine of merit, somewhere in the neighborhood of a half dollar to a dollar each week. Would I tolerate ads? Perhaps, but that would depend on the format. I tolerate them in many national magazines and given the nature of DB I'm sure the format would be tolerable. Here I'm reminded of the cartoon in last week's The New Yorker, the issue dated 6 Februrary, page 43, of the stone cutter on his scaffold saying, "This wasn't commissioned by the Emperor. This is just my random thoughts on stuff." Donors and tin cups are different from subscribers and subscription bills. That is the real beauty of DB and the bulk of the blogosphere the uncommissioned nature of the work.

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