Three months ago I commented upon the fact that The Times would start charging for its output. I was concerned about the effect of this on the blogosphere and on Internet arguments. I noted that when some people wish to settle arguments, the way many do it is simply via the use of Google. I specifically stated that for these people, “if something does not appear for free on the Internet, it might as well not exist.”
I lamented the fact that Oliver Kamm’s blog was going to disappear behind a pay wall. It was a blog that I enjoyed reading. Kamm agreed with the decision: “This blog is part of the newspaper’s output, and I’m fortunate to be paid to write it, along with the rest of my journalistic output.” I concluded my own view by suggesting that for those that settle arguments using Google, “the day that The Times starts charging for content will be the day that Oliver Kamm ceases to exist.”
That was three months ago. There was a possibility that I had not considered. There could be arguments in the comments boxes of blog posts and newspaper articles that are freely available on the Internet and not behind a pay wall where Oliver Kamm would be a participant.
An article has been published today on the Guardian‘s Comment is Free website about Howard Zinn’s book, The Bomb. Looking below the line, I notice that Oliver Kamm has been quite active in the discussion. I do not know what Rupert Murdoch would make of this, but it certainly pleased me. Reports that Oliver Kamm might have ceased to exist were greatly exaggerated. I apologise.