Paying for BusinessWeek…one year later

December 5, 2010
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This quote by Tim O’Reilly is making the rounds on Twitter this morning:

…quot;If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product….quot;

It makes sense to me, and it adds some logic to at least one aspect of the current debate over online privacy: If you get something for free, you’re most likely paying with your data.

This quote by Tim O’Reilly is making the rounds on Twitter this morning:

…quot;If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product….quot;

It makes sense to me, and it adds some logic to at least one aspect of the current debate over online privacy: If you get something for free, you’re most likely paying with your data.

That said, I had this idea as I got up this morning that I’d do something I hadn’t done much since I left BusinessWeek a year ago: I’d read the magazine. I’ve ready individual stories over the months, and once I picked up the entire magazine at the dentist’s office. But for the most part, I’m moved on (as have most of my old colleagues).

So with Tim O’Reilly’s words fresh on my mind, I tried to pay $4.99 and download the digital version on Zinio. I clicked the Paypal option and then was faced with a whole menu of personal data to fill in. My address, email address, etc. If I was willing to pay, why should I give them this information? (For me, frankly, it wasn’t a question of parting with the data, but more the headache of pecking it in on my iPad.) So I went to Amazon Kindle store, pushed a button to download the current issue for $1.69–and am still waiting for it to show up…. (Amazon, by the way, already knows me inside out, while giving me nothing for free. Maybe I should care, but I don’t.)