Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous wrote an interesting post about that on-again, off-again idea of micropayments (when the economy is bad and ad revenues are down, proponents of micropayments pop up like mushrooms after a rainy day).
Whether you agree with him or not, some of the things he proposed are intriguing:
And here's how it works...
1) When you click a link to a story -- from Google, from a blog, from NYTimes.com, from whatever -- the article appears as it normally does, except the Subscription Center lightbox appears over it, with the text opaquely visible in the background.
2) You are given a few options to quickly choose from: pay for the single article or buy a weekly/monthly pass.
3) If you already have an account (and if you're a NYTimes.com user, you do), clicking "Buy" will cause the lightbox to disappear. You can begin reading the story. Instantly.
4) You will not be charged for anything until you accumulate $5 of charges. At that point, you will be asked to enter your credit card or PayPal information, if you haven't already.