In Shocking News, Nobody Wants to Pay the Herald to Read Free Stories Online

Riptide would like to announce an experiment that will be more fun than imaginable. You, the reader, now have two choices when clicking through this fabulous, blog-alicious news blog. You can either:

(1) Read the stories for free.

Or -- and here's the fun part...

(2) You can pay us money! On your credit card. At the end of each article.

Oh, wait. That's not Riptide; that's the Miami Herald. And that idea just failed worse than a pimply kid on prom night. (Sorry, pimply kids.) In December the paper began posting links for voluntary payment at the bottom of each story. Over the weekend, company executives discontinued the option. "After evaluating two months of response, we've decided to end the program," vice president Elissa Vanaver told a Herald reporter Saturday. She wouldn't comment on how much money had been raised.

In this everything-for-free news climate, nobody can figure out how to make much money from online content. The New York Times is considering charging, and some elite magazines already do. Alas, that does not seem to be an option for most daily papers or New Times, for that matter.

Until things get better, Riptide will be accepting envelopes of cash and stiff drinks at the rear entrance of the office.

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