Gillmor Gang 3.19.11 (TCTV)

The Gillmor Gang — John Taschek, Danny Sullivan, Robert Scoble, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — or at lest 4/5ths of them were decked out with iPad 2s. That didn’t prevent the usual argument from breaking out about the New York Times’ pay wall. The Grey Lady announced a social plus subscription model, and @dannysullivan was having none of it. It’s 2011 but the battle lines continue to be drawn over publishing v. the Web. Many believe the subscription wall will destroy what’s left of the print business model without replacing it with an iPad alternative.

Others (me) think the Times has got it just about right, leaving a gaping hole through social media (Facebook and Twitter) to consume the newspaper as before while creating a pool of found money around the iPad version. As social @mentioners create an authoritative stream of Times citations that do not trigger a sub request, the resulting high-value audience will migrate to a reasonable iPad based environment where those social signals can be harnessed through realtime chat, video, and other engaged value adds and attendant revenue opportunities. Whether it will take 15 years or is already a formidable tipping point will be left to the viewer to decide.