I predict a new word. I should probably try to trademark it or something and not just predict it, or get the 800 rights (1-800-CLICKLE), but here it is anyway:

Clickle.

Because isn’t that what everyone’s working to come up with on the Internet — some way to charge a dime or a nickel or perhaps even just a penny or two for access to a particular page? You’d come to a page, which would show a dialog “access costs a penny” and you could either click to proceed, to go back — or to proceed and “don’t slow me down with this message again unless you raise your price.”

What does it cost to see one of these pages? Just a clickle. Sort of a high-tech cross between trifle and nickel. The universal monetary unit of the Internet.

And although to any given user a clickle’d be just a few cents or a nickel, the accumulated clickle trickle could become a flood. For it would come not just from U.S. nickels, but from Russian rubles, Arabian rials, Israeli shekels and Polynesian pickles (or whatever the Balinese call their loose change).

I know an access charge will make people stickle. But you watch. When a simple click’ll get them where they want to go, they’ll soon be dropping clickles without a second thought. You mark my word.

(The implications are not all bad, incidentally. Say its five years from now, when TV and the Internet are all integrated somehow. There’s a show like Fox’s Profit you really enjoy, but that has to be dropped for insufficient ratings. Aha! What if they could keep it going by supplementing ad dollars with clickles? I, for one, would gladly have dropped a few clickles to see another episode.)

 

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