Some blogger somewhere pointed at an interview with John Brady Kiesling, online at Salon. Sounded interesting - all I knew was that he was a US diplomat who had quit over the run-up to the war, and indeed it was interesting, I recommend reading it, but I hadn't been to Salon recently and was also interested in their “payment options”, which maybe point the way to the future of online publishing.

The Kiesling interview was “premium content” and there were three choices:

  • Subscribe right now to Salon.
  • Sign up for a free seven-day trial subscription.
  • Use the “sponsored version”, which requires clicking through three screens-full or so of advertising. I chose this and found the ad - check it out yourself - to have good production values and the intrusion was really unobjectionable.

Seems to me that's the kind of online ad that you really ought to be able to sell.

As for Kiesling's interview, well, I don't think it'll change anybody's mind, but it was a different and certainly well-informed perspective; you have to feel for a long-serving career diplomat getting laughed out of office by Greek officials who found the notion of Osama being in bed with Saddam silly, because it is silly.

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March 22, 2003
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