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Maybe there's a third way.

On one end is their free and ad-supported access. The few ads that I see are very easy on the eyes, easy to ignore, and I don't feel compelled by the ads to buy a gold account. In return you get user generated content.

On the other end is the gold account, where you don't see ads, and you get the same user generated content.

In addition to any of that, they might decide to generate content themselves. Be the paid New York Times of the Internet (whatever that means, to them); the Site of Record. They've almost got the credibility, and certainly have the name recognition; their drama gets covered by the mainstream media.

Of course they'd have to hire another body or two.

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