Jeff Jarvis wrote the definitive judgement on the New York Times decision to drop its paywall. It’s a good read, but what struck me most was this passage:
TimesSelect’s brilliant cynicism was that, when forced to find something to put behind a pay wall, they came up with content that was, indeed, uniquely valuable — the columnists and archives. But this was also content for which there was no significant ad revenue at the time (advertisers buy ads in food and travel but not opinion sections; there is essentially no endemic advertising for blather).
This explains why I’ve never earned anything from putting Google Adsense on this blog!* The Google engine has always struggled to find appropriate ads to go alongside my bla.., er, deathless prose!
*Footnote: I’ve just checked, and so far I’ve earned $47.55 in over a year!