Your arguments are "payed subscription or week latency for most articles" vs "payed subscription without ads or direct access with ads". Do I miss something?
My original argument was "Ever thought why they block access for 1 week? Because the information will loose its significance, means you either go premium or go elsewhere - you hear about it on other site anyway."
Which means author has gathered enough income from premium subscribers that he releases article in public domain or with copyleft license or with free to view license.
This means article has lost its significance - not the significance of application of methods, but social significance. It become already well known, already discussed in paying circles, information.
I have no problem if Michael removes all Ads on articles that are older than one week, as some sort of databank, and keeps Ads on newer ones.
But even then, each time someone browses databank, he will generate some revenue. Again, if you don't support this site this way, you have Adblock.
If correctly applied, ads do the job, they advertise. The correct application is to advertise something that may be of use for the person, without getting in the way. 99,95% Ads are misplaced or simply stupid - thats why there is Adblock. To ban stupid Ads.
If however a person clicks on the Ad, because it really interests him (out of the sudden, 0,05% case), means company advertising product, producing product and site owner get profit. This is a way to fund them.
I don't see better way to fund this site without direct investment (donation, support, subscription, payment etc).
- either the owner will find ways to punish you for your "stupid" behavior against his "correct" policy
- or the owner will go bankrupt with his "stupid" policy and shut down (which you call rethinking) giving up to your "correct" behavior.
The behavior of side which looses is always "stupid", the winner's policy is always "correct".
Any aggression towards any behavioral model always meets counteraggression, this is subconscious.**
The pressure in conflict will go high(which means you both will invest/loose your energy here) till either one of sides give up(for whichever reason) or the point of conflict is lost.
Which means, unless you find different supportive model for case of non-paying viewers, you either use it as it is; or go fight against Michael with either his(giving up the project) or your(giving up to increasing countermeasures) bankruptcy as result.
If you find different approach that is realistic and Michael agrees, his "behavior" will be modified and point of conflict will be lost.
If you find different approach that seems unrealistic to Michael the conflict will carry on.
If you find different approach that seems unrealistic to Michael, but other site implements it, you will switch to another site(because "pressure" there is lower) resulting in point(vector) of conflict being lost.
Ok, but now exactly the reason why you cannot "go search for different approach" when you apply YOUR method.
** Those who speak loud, can not hear.
This means redesign of the project. It won't be phoronix@"now".
Wikipedia is community driven, resulting in a lot of wrong information which is fought with by using reliable sources or conflicting AND reliable sources(controversy).
On the contrast, Michael does this by himself - searches for reliable sources and creates articles.
Because he is doing it professionally full time(I guess), the speed is higher compared to community approach(I don't exclude case when he chooses co-authors).
And then, there is no reason for doing everything with community approach. Community approach works best when both sides profit by their actions at same time.
Michael won't profit from your actions making another article here, because he wants to profit from action of Oktoberfest(by spending money there). Means, if you want to "keep" him as person in charge for the site, you have to donate, not articles(from you profit), but currency(what is accepted at Oktoberfest). Unless Michael reaches an agreement - one good Linux article for one good grog of beer at Oktoberfest (barter exchange), then it will be working too to some point.
Donations are similar form of subscription, both mean financial support. But what about those, who are unable to donate yet? Allow only direct access to wikipedia for those who pay, other get outdated information?
Wikipedia becomes a lot of donations, thanks to its sheer size and resulting impact. It gained size, because it the content was created by others for others - for free. Would you like to write thorough article for me, because you feel like sharing information? Would you like to undergo surgery, because surgeon feels like its good to do it for free? Sure you would. But surgeon will only operate people all day and be dependent on their give back to make living. He does not profit from it at all, unless barter exchange starts again.
Or what do you mean with "make the premium programme actually worth something"? Making non-paying approach even more restricted and this way elevating paying approach without actually improving it itself? Make your car look better by demolishing other cars so other people walk on foot and gaze upon your car?
I mean, I had nice offer to you. Assume you have no premium subscription - do not visit this site for a week, then visit it with adblocker.
Answer simple question please: will Michael gain ANYTHING monetary when you do that?
Except for slapping your psyche into obedience of joining premium, he will not get anything.
But once you join... "ah, relaxation. I did right thing, I'm not punished anymore."
Now, I challenged you to write exactly in what respect would benchmark articles lose their significance after a week, all you did was throw very general vague words into your post. The results themselves are still relevant after a week. The article is _not_ well known, because of the premium factor, so it's largely a novelty for many people even after a week, and it's still socially relevant -- there are a lot more people to join the discussion and contribute their sides of things. The fact it's later doesn't say it's less relevant. The results are global.
So basically, in my model, some users will have to exercise patience (namely those like you, who care for the benchmark articles but don't think they are worth $10 every three months, which is really a nearly ridiculous sum of money), but _everyone_ will enjoy a sterile site.
If you compare it with software, it would be either software which shows ads when you use it; or software that has trial period. Granted both variants are messy(ads may spionage, trial installs rootkit watch), watching ads and using near full functionality is better for me.
I think you are digging on wrong end, if its about how to "improve premium".