However, the paywall’s convoluted pricing cries out for taking the form of Kickstarter project backer levels. I haven’t done justice to the NYT plan and have done injustice to well-crafted Kickstarter project backer levels I recently admired. Apologies to all.
Addendum 2011-03-22: Thanks to Kickstarter for appreciating and blogging about this post. I didn’t mean to suggest “the whole thing would work best as a Kickstarter project: funding goal + tiered reward options + the assurance that you will only be charged if they do indeed survive the death of print/revolt of the internet” but that’s certainly correct! For some of the reasons why, extrapolate from Timothy B. Lee’s two recent posts on the paywall, Shoe-Leather Reporting at the New York Times and Misguided Moralism in the Paywall Debate. For a future with good journalism, Kickstarter is of far more relevance than any paywall.