A while ago I read something about an internet content-charging paradigm that is summarized by the phrase "pay what you think it's worth". I go read a blog entry that I think is superb, so I donate the author $1.50 for her wisdom. Then I read some piece-of-crap article and close my browser tab without a second thought.
Seems like a pretty reasonable concept. I think I read somewhere on The Long Tail (though I'm lazy to find the exact post) that a similar model could be used for all sorts of 'independent content' (think indie bands, indie movies, etc).
Here's an article about someone who tried that for a restaurant. Clearly it caused lots of anxiety for both the restauranter as well as the diners. I wonder if it was only because of the human-interaction factor, or if there were other factors involved? i.e. is there a lesson here about online settings in which this strategy wouldn't work?
Incidentally, I think it's funny that some good old desi guys headed over there and ate for free. $5 says they were Guju ;)