Tatyana Deryugina (Twitter: @TDeryugina)

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Can paid content compete with the internet?

Posted 19 Jun 11 by Tatyana

I’ve been a subscriber of Scientific American (paper, not online) for several years. For various reasons, I decided to stop subscribing to it and look for another source of detailed science news (one that went into more technical detail than the Economist’s Science and Technology, SciAm or Discover). After finding various potential candidates, I decided to square them against each other in an RSS Feed War. The best one gets a print subscription from me. After subscribing to the feeds, I realized that a paid subscription may prove redundant. The only way I see myself getting one is if there’s too much information coming through the feeds. Although I only subscribed today, I now have about 300 unread entries (each new feed shows the latest 10 entries as unread). Ironically, the benefit of paper magazines might be that it’s much more costly to produce than online text and thus has to contain the most relevant material. Not that this is impossible to do with online content, but it doesn’t look good so far.

Here are my candidates, in no particular order (feel free to suggest others):

Some of the candidate magazines/websites have topic feeds, so there’s more than one feed per "candidate”.

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