State of the TechSideline Union 2018, Part 3: Trends

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(Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Click here for all parts in the series

Welcome to Part 3 of “The State of the TechSideline Union, 2018” which is titled … “Trends.”

That’s not a particularly brilliant title, and some of the stuff I’m about to discuss will not be ground-breaking stuff, especially to those of you who are better at seeing the big picture than I.

At its core, this is a collection of observations that are shaping our thinking, and which are starting to tell us the direction in which we need to go.

Subscription Models All Over the Place

When I started “Will’s Personal Hokie Sports Web Page” (boy is that a mouthful) in March of 1996, everything on the Internet was free, and it was a God-given right that everything on the Internet should remain free, forever.

“Free” drove the Internet for the first half-decade-plus of its existence. The idea was to build the audience, get the eyeballs, and figure out how to make money later.

When the Internet 1.0 bubble (the original “dot-com” craze) popped in early 2000, most web properties whose models were built on “free” went away. Their venture capital dried up, and since they weren’t generating real revenue to support their operations, they closed shop.

One such