Clay Shirky:

The economics of content creation are in fact fairly simple. The two critical questions are “Does the support come from the reader, or from an advertiser, patron, or the creator?” and “Is the support mandatory or voluntary?”

This article was written in 2003, but it is still just as relevant today as it was then. Because 8 years later there is still no single answer. There is no clear way forward for the independent writer, designer, developer, podcaster, et al. to generate income from their work.

It’s an entrepreneurial conundrum.

Technology has created a platform for people who may have never been creative professionals to now become so. The Internet has allowed would-be writers or designers to grow into actual writers and designers. But to sustain their work, many of these curative professionals are now forced to also become entrepreneurs as they seek out ways to keep the content flowing and the lights on all at the same time.

Fame vs. Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content