The reason a lot of stuff is/was for free is the large sites were scared to add a fee, as their competitor would get all the business.
Now what happpens is, they all get together and agree to charge = end of free stuff.
People and companies are sick and tired of shelling out big money and getting no returns when running a website. Alot of kids dont realise how much it actually costs to have a busy website. It runs into the thousands per month.
I ran a large website for a few years and i might have well given everyone who visited my site $2 as thats what the bandwith and hosting was costing me.
Like you said Ben, i wouldnt mind paying if it was worth the money.
I predict a VERY large change in the next 6 - 12 months with websites.
I don't mind paying, as long as I feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of it. Take for instance, audiogalaxy--I think paying 3 bucks a month to use a set of dedicated servers that setup my mp3 transfers faster (especially during peak usage periods) is completely worth it.
If you had to pay for every thing you did on the internet, the amount would just be too much!!
almost every website you go on now has Advertisements, and not just little messages some take up you full screen and just get in your way, you click one off and another pops up, things have even changed my home page Etc.... now what right does a web site have of that????
my experience of the internet is a free one. i pay my ISP for access, and i would not expect to pay for something that i can either get for free or download a crack for - no matter HOW useful the program is.
astalavista.box.sk is probably the most useful site i've ever come across in my surfing.
with the best of intentions, if ive come across something that i've had to pay for, i've always - with no exceptions to date - found an alternative that was cost free.