While trying to view John Batelle’s “Building a Better Boom” article on the New York Times, I came up against their standard walled garden gate. Since it was free, I thought what the hell, I’ll register. No, I’m not giving you my real demographic information, no I don’t want your services, no I don’t want your ADDITIONAL services on the next page, yes, I would like to see my article.

What?

What do you mean I can’t see the whole article?

But…I’m a member.

Oh, this is a PAID article. So even though I’m a member, I’m a lower caste member with no rights to get to articles that might actually be interesting.

But you now have my membership. I traded you my mostly fake information in order to get that stupid article. And you tricked me.

You guys really don’t get it do you? That’s slimy and low-integrity. Period. You deserve your steep revenue decline and your mad panic as you figure out how to make up the 3/4 of your revenue that comes from your disappearing classifieds. It is the arrogance and blindness of a dying empire.

Am I being melodramatic? Perhaps. But I’m mired in web 2.0 articles today, so it seemed particularly appropriate to be declaring the end of an age, even if it’s just to keep the volume high enough to match both the utopian blather and the naysayers cries of doom.

Now what did I do with my “The End Is Near” signs that I used to use for the march?