A reader writes:
I think you're onto something in your discussion about writers in an era without staples. I just had to double check that my bookmark to Dave Weigel points to Slate now, but it does. I don't read Slate. Why would I? But Weigel and Dahlia Lithwick are bookmarked. Same with Kevin Drum; I almost never visit Mother Jones online, but I read Drum almost every day. The "institutions" they're part of are invisible to me and I'm not interested. But I like those writers, so I read those writers. God knows I've followed the Dish across a bunch of different platforms over the years.
The question now is how to find an economic model to allow those writers to wrest free from their various platforms, if they so desire, and yet be paid for their work. That's why a discerning ad network that pooled all the best writers and paid them a cut of the revenue is such a promising idea. It would allow one to read, say Ezra Klein, without having to endure the notion of helping the Washington Post.