Well, this doesn't happen every day: Someone agrees with me! CNET's Rafe Needleman writes, "The Internet is a dollar store."
Main point: "You want your price point to be so low that people don't think about it. $5 a month is $60 a year, real money for most people. $1? Far fewer people experience the payment of a dollar as an actual transaction ... wouldn't you rather collect a little money from a lot of people, than a fair price from just a few?"
On the other hand, Joshua Benton at Nieman Lab has some sharp words for the Times' reported $5-a-month plan: "Charge me more."
"The Times is the premier brand in American journalism," Benton writes, "and it appeals to an elite audience. Charging anything for access to a newspaper web site is going to drive away a lot of readers. But if you’re going to charge and go through the massive dislocation of turning something free into something with a price tag -- charging just $5 makes it seem like a damaged item in the discount bin."
Benton argues that the Times wouldn't generate enough revenue by charging "only" five bucks a month, that the plan ignores what we know about micropayments -- they don't work -- and that it sets a low ceiling for what other papers can charge.
This blog would argue that, for most papers, whatever the Times does, the ceiling is sitting on the floor.