I don’t want to misquote Michelle Nicolosi and David Horsey, but it sounds like what they’re saying (essentially) is that if Lolcats sell, why not sell them and use the money to fund journalism? Yeah, yeah—people will pay whether they like it or not. But once we’re all in agreement that that’s not true, we’ll have to start coming up with some real ideas.
One of those ideas—and what I believe Nicolosi and Horsey were talking about—is what I like to call the stay-at-home-spouse model. Basically, we find something to make money and give some of that money to journalism even though it isn’t technically making any of its own (though it’s still playing an important part in all our lives)—just like a stay-at-home spouse. There are potential conflicts, but I actually think there are less than with the current supported-by-ads model (if the money’s just being funneled, the ad and editorial teams are almost permanently split).