Linked by Mufasa on Tue 13th Jul 2010 15:57 UTC
Editorial I read David's post worrying about the end of the free internet and I had to respond, as I strongly disagree that free and advertising-supported content is the future. If anything, it is advertising-supported content that is destined to be a niche strategy, because of new internet technology that enables entirely new models and empowers consumers to have exactly what they want. Advertising will not support much content creation, so I suggest what will.
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Op Ed
by braddock on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:19 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

Isn't editorializing and philosophizing what the comments sections are for?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Op Ed
by David on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:25 UTC in reply to "Op Ed"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Not always. We've always been willing to give a reader who wants to spend time on a full-length treatment of his or her ideas a forum to air them. When talking with Mufasa about this, I did insist that the rebuttal not just be a rambling opinion, but backed up with complete reasoning and some independent research, however.

Reply Score: 2

Condensed version of article
by fretinator on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:27 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

People don't want to pay $10/month to visit our flash-ridden site filled with yesterdays news and pompous opinions.

Bright idea: Instead, we'll charge them in tiny increments.

Do you happen to work for Rent-a-Center? I hear you can get a big-screen TV for only $5/day. Wow!

Reply Score: 6

The Problem with Micropayments
by shollomon on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:28 UTC
shollomon
Member since:
2008-07-06

Traditionally has been that the payment processors, people like banks, credit card companies, Amazon, paypal, etc. all want a cut. By the time they make money off of the process the payment is not so micro.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Problem with Micropayments
by Timmmm on Tue 13th Jul 2010 20:32 UTC in reply to "The Problem with Micropayments"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

I think this could grow out of a donation based system.

For example, what about the following generic donation system:

1. User goes to donate.org (or whatever), signs up, buys (with credit card) £20 worth of donations.
2. User adds bookmarklet from donate.org
3. User goes to website(s) of projects they wish to donate to, clicks bookmarklet, selects the amount of money and hits 'donate'.
4. The money is earmarked for that website, until they claim it. If they don't it eventually times out.

I think that would be a great way to 'micro-donate', and if it became popular you could extend it to micro-payments as well.

Reply Score: 1

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Or perhaps as some sites do, a point system. You purchase points with real $$$ and the more you purchase, the cheaper those points are.

Points could then be allotted to advertisers or providers or what-have-you. The value of the points would vary of course but could be guaranteed to fall within a specific range of real value.

Reply Score: 2

Newspaper statistics
by David on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:35 UTC
David
Member since:
1997-10-01

The statistics about the decline of the newspaper industry are striking, but I'd be interested to see the numbers broken down by subscriber. The chart shows aggregate revenues, and considering the fact that circulation has plunged since 1960, the fact that the revenues are equal now to where they were at the height of circulation numbers only really points to one thing: advertisers had been getting a progressively worse deal for their dollar, and still are. They are now paying the same amount of money to reach a much smaller number of people. That doesn't mean that advertising is doomed. It just means that newspapers still have more prestige for advertisers that other formats.

Reply Score: 2

no new information, answers or big insights.
by JrezIN on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:46 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

Sorry, But I don't see anything new from previous post... micro-payments as an partial answer is not anything new, the problem is, in the current "system", it is not happening yet. why? because banks, payment systems and other middlemen don't want to work for fractions of cents... Not only that, but there's something called laws, and every country (and sometimes states) has laws about taxes and regulatory stuff about "selling stuff", and they don't work very well with this micro-thing yet.. actually, they don't work well with the internet yet...

...and about micro-payments and $10 subscriptions, well, every country has different economic realities, and you should not expect that everyone accepting $10 as almost nothing (like, for e.g., people in the USA usually says)... The thing is, the internet is an international system, and it's really hard to sell something when everyone has different concepts of "value" for every kind of product/information.

The thing is, until a more equal international economy, with more defined rules and taxes for every size of payment, and more liberal "middlemen" willing to work, grand and secure payments for fractions of cents... well, until them, paid content will be only a niche. because ads are another kind of parallel concurrency that "just works", not because it is the ideal model, but because there so many problems with of other options.

...that or you could "sell your soul" to big monopolist content distributors like Murdoch/Apple Store... but that would only mean public disservice, less control over your content and big stakes of your hard work going to these middlemen (until they decide to do what you do for themselves and keep every penny)... not that different from today's media/content business...

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Sorry, But I don't see anything new from previous post... micro-payments as an partial answer is not anything new, the problem is, in the current "system", it is not happening yet. why? because banks, payment systems and other middlemen don't want to work for fractions of cents... Not only that, but there's something called laws, and every country (and sometimes states) has laws about taxes and regulatory stuff about "selling stuff", and they don't work very well with this micro-thing yet.. actually, they don't work well with the internet yet...

Bad point there. These people don't care about the micro tiny amount of money exchanged. If it's unwieldy, they'll apply the rates to the total amount. That's one of the reason why there are rates.

Having 1 million people paying 10cents is equivalent to 1000 people paying $100: it will still amount to $100,000 and the rates will still apply on it.

Reply Score: 1

peejay
Member since:
2005-06-29

If you pay $50/mo for cable and watch it continuously, you get X amount of content for $50/mo.

If you then sign up for $50/mo internet and divide your time between the two, you get X amount of content for $100/mo.

If you then join a gym for $50/mo and split your time between the three, you get X amount of content for $150/mo.

X never gets bigger.

Reply Score: 5

iaefai Member since:
2009-12-14

You are ignoring what you get out of it.

I get out a lot from a gym, less from the internet, and a lot less from the television.

Reply Score: 1

reconciliation Member since:
2009-07-02

but it does get more diverse, which is worth money to most people since doing one thing exclusively gets boring pretty quickly.
well you can watch most tv programs on the internet, even legally in some countries, so I don't see the point of owning a tv.
you can also work out for free but then you would have to pay for tools or not use any or you can build them yourself, which would cost you too but provide another way to entertain you that isn't available in a gym.

also X gets smaller with the amount of time you spend on working, hopefully making Y (the money you can spend) larger. so in those cases it might be worth to pay more money to make X more enjoyable.

some people can be entertained using a book only which is pretty cheap while others would spend tons of money for short moments of thrill or whatever.

the fact is that X is not just one-dimensional but also has a quality to it that depends on personal preference

Reply Score: 2

AOL works better
by whartung on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:56 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

Taking the example of OSNews, I wouldn't want to pay "just" for OSNews. I'd want to pay for OSNews, and "everything" it links to. Some sites have vast amounts of original content, but many more sites are aggregators of external content. OSNews is one of those sites.

So paying for OSNews doesn't buy me much. But being with a conglomerate of affiliated sites that all have "mostly" what I want, then I can "pay once, pay rarely" and not continue to slam in to paywalls of content that they link to.

Also the one problem you neglect with regards to micropayments is that unlike browsers cookies and pseudonomynous login handles, when it comes to cash money, the people being paid like to know who's paying them, and the people paying like to know where it's going.

Ubiquitous micro-payments (and their requirement) effectively eliminates what little anonymity is left on the internet, and many folks prize that quite highly.

While "single sign on" is not prevalent yet, "Common sign on" is. Many sites are supporting the like of OpenID and other federated authentication services. What gets annoying is when you log in with OpenID and it wants a user name, password, and demographics anyway (what was the point of my logging in via OpenID then?).

If payments sites are the way of the future, then conglomerates will grow grouping large arrays of content providers under an umbrella to handle all of the book keeping and other headaches that occur when people take money for service.

Consider the problem "Dear Webmaster, your site dinged me $0.15 for articles that came over badly/low quality/disconnected/etc. etc. Please consume $15 of your staff time to refund me my $0.15. Thanx!"

You may decry "It's just $0.15!" Yea, but it's my $0.15, and it adds up. Obviously it adds up or the website wouldn't be charging it in the first place.

That kind of customer support and bookeeping is best done in a more central organization for efficiency than having every mom and pop web site having to deal with that traffic. This is another reason micro-payments don't work.

Reply Score: 4

Maybe I'm just cheap
by Zifre on Tue 13th Jul 2010 17:15 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.

Arguments like "everybody pays hundreds of dollars per month for TV, movies, newpapers, etc." don't work. I don't, so it's not "everybody", and I'm sure there are plenty of people like me. I have no TV. I would sometimes like to watch TV, but there is no way that I would pay $50 per month to the cable company for it. I get a newspaper every once in a while. I subscribe to one magazine. And I have pretty cheap DSL. I buy books sometimes.

I might pay something like $5 per month for a few sites that I visit a lot, (mostly OSNews and Ars Technica), but don't ever expect me to pay even one cent to read a blog post. I certainly would never pay more than $25 per month for the content that I read on the internet.

Also, a lot of people use the internet to find information, not to have it passively fed to them like on a news site. If I look up something, and I see that one of the search results in Google wants me to pay to read it, I ignore it.

The problem is, there is great demand for cheap information. If information becomes more expensive, people will consume less information. It's that simple.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by elektrik on Tue 13th Jul 2010 17:59 UTC in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.

Arguments like "everybody pays hundreds of dollars per month for TV, movies, newpapers, etc." don't work. I don't, so it's not "everybody", and I'm sure there are plenty of people like me. I have no TV. I would sometimes like to watch TV, but there is no way that I would pay $50 per month to the cable company for it. I get a newspaper every once in a while. I subscribe to one magazine. And I have pretty cheap DSL. I buy books sometimes.

I might pay something like $5 per month for a few sites that I visit a lot, (mostly OSNews and Ars Technica), but don't ever expect me to pay even one cent to read a blog post. I certainly would never pay more than $25 per month for the content that I read on the internet.

Also, a lot of people use the internet to find information, not to have it passively fed to them like on a news site. If I look up something, and I see that one of the search results in Google wants me to pay to read it, I ignore it.

The problem is, there is great demand for cheap information. If information becomes more expensive, people will consume less information. It's that simple.


And that's where articles like this (and rebuttals) miss the mark. They never take into account the human factor. I share your opinion-I already 'pay too much' for my internet, what with my cell phone data access plan and AT & T U-verse account. If were to be charged to look at the internet on top of that, I'll be much more likely to go 'back in time' and play games offline, subscribe to newspapers, etc.

I know, I'm sure this sounds like a 'radical' opinion, but if I have to choose between paying hundreds of dollars (as opinioned) for TV, internet, etc. and feeding myself, taking vacations with that money saved, etc. it's going to be a no brainer IMHO

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Maybe I'm just cheap
by helf on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe I'm just cheap"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I've already been tempted to subscribe to a few good newspapers that I like and just use that. I refuse to do "micropayments".

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by shmerl on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:09 UTC in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I may sound cheap, but let me say: if every website starts charging small amounts for each page I visit, I will stop using the internet.


I agree. Users aren't eager to start paying for content or services which are free now. They are already paying some good money for unlimited connection etc.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe I'm just cheap
by earksiinni on Sat 17th Jul 2010 13:46 UTC in reply to "Maybe I'm just cheap"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Your point is valid, but it's not actually a problem. Rather, it's the tip of the spear in a war that would erupt if micropayments really did become widespread. Perhaps there really would be a huge upheaval with users leaving the Internet en masse.

I say, bring it on! Not only is the system out of balance with content providers getting the short end of the stick (verily, it's a nub rather than an end), but people don't think about their internet usage enough. I mean, no one pauses to think, "Why is there such an enormous demand for free content? What is the significance of this?" It's not like we're any happier or wiser than we were 20 years ago. Radically altering the economics of the 'net would force us to confront these issues.

Reply Score: 1

Civilized Please ...
by dindin on Tue 13th Jul 2010 17:27 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

I do not agree with all the points made int he article but I do not disagree either. I think there is room for various revenue/payment models to work depending on what type of product is being sold or information distributed.

But I would like to see rebuttal articles, especially by educated technical writers, be a bit more civilized. Demeaning with words such as "silliness" and "dumber" leave a bad taste. Can we disagree without belittling.

Thank you.

_D

Reply Score: 9

RE: Civilized Please ...
by jaklumen on Thu 15th Jul 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "Civilized Please ..."
jaklumen Member since:
2010-02-09

But I would like to see rebuttal articles, especially by educated technical writers, be a bit more civilized. Demeaning with words such as "silliness" and "dumber" leave a bad taste.


Agreed. We all know it's an opinion piece, but such choices of words smack strongly of immaturity and lack of professionalism. To put it bluntly, the business world has a well-established and even reasonably documented set of manners, and acting like a schmuck (read: arrogant jerk) isn't going to get you very far-- in fact, it's going to limit your career opportunities.

There's a reason why even the lowly A+ certification covers such things!

Reply Score: 1

disagree
by TechGeek on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:02 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I have to say I disagree with the author on this article. There are several points I have a problem with:

Current news media sites. You argue that they are suffering horribly. But are they suffering horribly because they are online? Or are the suffering horribly because they are still trying to produce a medium (paper) that most people don't want to deal with? Could the news giants be more profitable if they went electronic only? Maybe they just need to charge more per paper? The thought that our government should prop them up is ludicrous.

You act like all content creation will go away without some well defined pay system in place. People have been creating content for thousands of years with no sure way to monetize it. Sure the volume will go down. But we have more volume than quality anyway, so not a bad thing.

Also, you forget that much of what we read are FACTS. You can't control their spread unless we completely close up the internet. While there is a law about breaking news and sources, older news is completely free to disseminate.

Reply Score: 3

RE: disagree
by righard on Tue 13th Jul 2010 20:13 UTC in reply to "disagree"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

While there is a law about breaking news and sources...


Is there? Do you know of a source I can read up about this? (I believe you, I'm just interested)

EDIT: A source not requiring a payment please ;)

Edited 2010-07-13 20:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Micropayments shmayments
by Moochman on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:03 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

It is one thing to talk about micropayments for a site with a full staff of editors, video producers, etc, etc. It is however preposterous to think people will (micro)pay just to see a blog where some guy might or might not just be talking out of his ass, you won't know until you've paid up. Even well-known bloggers would probably generate bad publicity by "closing" their blogs.

Also, think about the fact that the gaming-proneness of the system would skyrocket to ridiculous levels, assuming these micropayments were to bring in significantly more money per hit than ad-based revenues, since the motivation for gaming the system would be that much greater.

I'm sorry, but just blurting the word "micropayments" as the solution to all of our problems is not bringing anything to the table.

If you ask me, flat-rate subscription services that cover a broad range of content providers are the next big thing. In fact, they are the only thing I can imagine actually working long-term in this brave new world.

It'll be a lot like the socialized funding for the arts, sciences, etc. that most countries already have in place. Just the structure, scope and accessibility will be a lot better.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Micropayments shmayments
by earksiinni on Sat 17th Jul 2010 13:56 UTC in reply to "Micropayments shmayments"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

It is one thing to talk about micropayments for a site with a full staff of editors, video producers, etc, etc. It is however preposterous to think people will (micro)pay just to see a blog where some guy might or might not just be talking out of his ass, you won't know until you've paid up.


There's the beauty of it. The value of money being social, micropayments might force Joe Sixpack to realize that no one is reading his stupid blog or watching his inane YouTube response to Ke$ha. If he and millions of other guys "just talking out of their asses" stay out of the micropayments system, then perhaps the creation of a two-tiered Internet will force users to see what garbage they've been feasting on all these years, and hopefully it inspire us to think a little before we impulsively click on just one more link.

As for Joe, faced with this realization, he either might either go offline to do something more worthwhile and fulfilling or, better yet, he he'll up his game and make people want to pay.

Reply Score: 1

license_2_blather
Member since:
2006-02-05

I still must feel I'm getting my money's worth for what I'm viewing/downloading/etc. If anything, with the Internet I'm going to be even more discriminating because such a high percentage of what I see is not of value to me.

It's the same problem I have with movies, music, etc. Do I want to pay $15 for a CD that has 3 songs I like? No. I rarely purchase movies, but the ones I do I've either seen in a theatre or rented already (and it is usually when the price has dropped to $9.99 or something).

Micropayments don't change this; in fact, the pay-in-advance model the author proposes makes it worse. As someone pointed out, who is going to spend the time processing 15-cent refunds for content you didn't like?

There will be another problem with this scheme as well: out-of-control micropayment debt. It will be worse than credit cards. I can see law firms popping up promising to reduce your micropayment debt, micropayment derivatives shenanigans causing another financial meltdown,...

Well, OK, it might not be that bad, but I can see some pretty big bills being run up in a hurry with this model.

If you want to beat free, provide something that a sufficient number of people believe is worth paying the price you are asking. How the payments are transacted is secondary.

Reply Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

I always see this term, "get my money's worth". Media is not a sack full of bacon or a bushel of barley. "Get my money's worth", "bang for the buck", etc. As if you could measure the worth of money and then objectively and quantifiably measure the worth of the media you're consuming and then compare the two to make sure that the first value matches the second.

What do these phrases tell us about ourselves?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ichi
by ichi on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:50 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

That won't fly.

Users don't want to pay even more for what they get from the internet, and other sites will capitalize on that through ads, absorbing the users that deflect from the now pay-per-view sites.

And what about sites with user submitted news and contributions? Are you going to share the micropayments with every contributor? Are we supposed to pay to read our own posts and comments?

Reply Score: 3

Advertising = low morale.
by ParadoxUncreated on Tue 13th Jul 2010 19:02 UTC
ParadoxUncreated
Member since:
2009-12-05

Advertising tends to take a trends toward the pathetic, with halfnude/sex images as the final result. We do not need this. Let us not cultivate and grow beasts, but men.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Advertising = low morale.
by earksiinni on Sat 17th Jul 2010 14:02 UTC in reply to "Advertising = low morale."
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Seconded!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 13th Jul 2010 20:42 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

The difference between the TV, newspapers and the Internet is that I can quite easily put what I want on the Internet. I can contribute in a way that I cannot on the other platforms. I can’t just decide to publish something on TV on a whim. You pay for a curated experience that promises good quality. The Internet is a giant pick-n-mix instead and you curate your own content via RSS and aggregating sites &c.

There is no way to pay for every individual producer you get content from. It would be 100x worse than TV packages, where you pay for a bunch of channels you don’t want just to get the one you do want.

The solution is that privacy has become the currency of free content. Privacy is easily exchanged for content, has no measurable value to the individual, but is collectively very valuable to producers.

We have to choose between a lack of privacy or price and most will opt to sell their privacy.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by dvzt
by dvzt on Tue 13th Jul 2010 21:18 UTC
dvzt
Member since:
2008-10-23

I expect that sites will in the future charge for content via deals with ISPs, possibly through a PalPal-style 3rd party. ISPs might include in their offering some amount of paid content, depending on which product customer buys, then each time he visits a pay site, some amount of money gets subtracted from his account. This way it would be very simple for customers and it would actually be quite similar to how people pay e.g. for phones.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by dvzt
by ichi on Tue 13th Jul 2010 22:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by dvzt"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

I expect that sites will in the future charge for content via deals with ISPs, possibly through a PalPal-style 3rd party. ISPs might include in their offering some amount of paid content, depending on which product customer buys, then each time he visits a pay site, some amount of money gets subtracted from his account. This way it would be very simple for customers and it would actually be quite similar to how people pay e.g. for phones.


But unlike phones, by browsing one single site you could be actually accessing several different pay sites at the same time through iframes or whatever.

And you can bet the very moment they can get your money on a per visit basis they will do exactly that kind of stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by dvzt
by dvzt on Wed 14th Jul 2010 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by dvzt"
dvzt Member since:
2008-10-23

But unlike phones, by browsing one single site you could be actually accessing several different pay sites at the same time through iframes or whatever.

And you can bet the very moment they can get your money on a per visit basis they will do exactly that kind of stuff.


Sure, those 3rd party middle men would have to enforce a strict usage policy, that would prohibit that kind of behaviour.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by dvzt
by judgen on Tue 13th Jul 2010 23:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by dvzt"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

That would be awesome, a good malicious hacker can clear those accounts on multiple ways every month.. More money for mal-ware and infiltration ware!
*end sarcasm*

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by dvzt
by dvzt on Wed 14th Jul 2010 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by dvzt"
dvzt Member since:
2008-10-23

That would be awesome, a good malicious hacker can clear those accounts on multiple ways every month.. More money for mal-ware and infiltration ware!
*end sarcasm*


Any technology can be abused, if implemented badly. Web is being used to transfer money in different ways *today*, I don't see how this would be less secure than others.

Reply Score: 2

Advertising == Micropayments
by Lennie on Tue 13th Jul 2010 22:34 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

I don't quiet agree.

Micropayments has been this thing people said would come, but never really got going. Closest thing we have to micropayments is something like Paypal.

And for people to want to pay for content, you need a good micropayment system.

Advertising already does that. You visit the site, the site gets payed, they create the new content, they get new visitors, they get payed (I know how hard it is to run a site and make money).

I have a feeling it is as good as it gets.

PS OpenID already works just fine for single sign-on, thank you very much.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Tue 13th Jul 2010 22:59 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I'd suggest reading Clay Shirky's "The Case Against Micropayments" at http://openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2000/12/19/micropayments.html

...which I believe to be just as relevant now as ten years ago when it was written... in response to the claim in 1998 that we'd have micropayments by 2000.

Yes, the landscape has changed but the central premise remains valid. There is no amount you can charge that is small enough to bring the psychological burden (of deciding whether something is worth the cost) close to zero.

Therefore, micropayments are inherently flawed on the premise that they're unavoidably inconvenient and readers will, if given an acceptably good alternative, always flock to the competitors who remained free.

As for subscription as an alternative, I'd like to draw attention to points made by other commenters on the varying income levels around the world, the difficulty of attracting readers (free or otherwise) in an information-saturated world, and the continuing march toward automated aggregation technologies and the prevalence of writers using alternative business models (eg. TechDirt) or writing for pleasure.

Reply Score: 1

Captation Model Still Missing
by dionicio on Wed 14th Jul 2010 01:03 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

All inclusive...

Information infra-structure must be in place for those who are willing go give media generated by them. Giving unilaterally (on exchange of nothing) make us civilization, make us feel at home, make us feel a family in some way.

Information infra-structure (not necesarily the same infra-structure) must be in place too for those who are in need of selling media generated by them. The Web is about economics too.

One should not cannibalize the other.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by reconciliation
by reconciliation on Wed 14th Jul 2010 04:11 UTC
reconciliation
Member since:
2009-07-02

"You get what you pay for."
may I remind you of the ancient saying
"You get what you take."

just a thought. money based economy may not last forever and hopefully it won't.

Reply Score: 2

Make donation easier
by The1stImmortal on Wed 14th Jul 2010 04:36 UTC
The1stImmortal
Member since:
2005-10-20

Micropayments may work for some organized networks of sites, say for all News Corp sites, or an MSN network of sites etc, because they have the clout to enforce it and the scope to make it apply across enough different sites to make it worthwhile implementing. For independent sites though it's not gonna work - no one will want to pay for what they get for free now, unless they absolutely have to.

Advertising has worked until now, and personally I feel that the current debate was precipitated by the advertising market beginning to meet its saturation point on the net. There will ALWAYS be a place for free advertising-funded content, just as there is in the offline world (free-to-air television and radio, for instance).

Currently, donation-based systems have worked for some people, but the mechanisms for performing donations are clunky and require large amounts. Perhaps we need to address the mechanisms used for donations? Think along the lines of the ubiquitous buttons on many sites now to Digg/Facebook/whatever an article. Imagine a "Tip author" button, or something. This would tie into a third-party site and automatically credit the author with a dollar or two (or the equivalent of a dollar or two in tokens). The default "tip" size could be set by the user, so if someone wants to make only a few but significant tips, they could set $10 tips, but someone else could set $0.05 and tip often. One mouse click that doesn't even change pages would indicate that you found the article/site deserving of a small contribution.

Regardless of how this debate goes - a wonderful thing about the Internet is that it represents the ultimate free market - we'll have all of the proposed systems implemented, and more besides, and the best and/or most popular system will rise to dominate. Or none will. ;)

Reply Score: 1

billion is a bigger number than you think
by Luminair on Wed 14th Jul 2010 08:02 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

with basically unlimited human beings attached to the internet there will always be skilled people willing to produce content for cheap.

talk is cheap and so is text. free will remain the norm.

Edited 2010-07-14 08:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Fergy
by Fergy on Wed 14th Jul 2010 09:50 UTC
Fergy
Member since:
2006-04-10

I agree mostly with the article except:

As for the claim that information wants to be free, I cannot imagine a dumber or more overused saying from the last couple decades. First, saying information wants to be free is as inane as saying oranges want to be free.

This argument is stupid because information is easily copied while oranges have to be grown and transported.
monthly amount.

How much would it cost to pay the websites directly instead of via advertising?

Reply Score: 1

i get what i pay for
by dizzey on Wed 14th Jul 2010 10:29 UTC
dizzey
Member since:
2005-10-15

Well i did not pay to read this rebutal.
does his mean that this rebutal was pure crap since i did not pay for it?

Reply Score: 1

Hmm
by Ultimatebadass on Wed 14th Jul 2010 12:34 UTC
Ultimatebadass
Member since:
2006-01-08

The day I have to pay to read an article like this one on the Web will be the day I stop using it. There's no payment that's "micro" enough. On the plus side, I imagine my own productivity would soar from all new-found free time ;)

Reply Score: 2

The truth is always in the middle
by Nycran on Wed 14th Jul 2010 14:19 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

What is it with sensationalist headlines these days? Free will not die - no way in hell.

There is however scope for micropayment systems for *some* forms on information where visitors perceive that information to be of significant value. Personally I can imagine using micropayments for "professional" content where there are skilled writers, editors and web designers working on creating compelling content. Some examples might be:

- News sites.
- Magazines.
- Top shelf blogs (these would be rare).

We have open source software, but that doesn't mean there's no place for commercial software either. It's the same thing. Some content *is* worth paying for.

Reply Score: 2

Why does this keep coming up?
by eighty4 on Wed 14th Jul 2010 21:05 UTC
eighty4
Member since:
2010-04-27

IF PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN MAKE MONEY FROM THEIR INFORMATION, ASK WHATEVER YOU WANT. They already have as a matter of fact! Information is within the realms of a free-market capitalism and supply/demand have set the price. If you think you can make money for your work, try it by all means. Some have made a business and gotten paid, others have a hobby and work for free, and some quit. I think the ones who can capitalize already are. I certainly do not see a world-wide collaboration among websites on one business model. Not to mention the logistics of controlling the flow of information to keep it protected from "pirates", imagine the RIAA's job times millions. Back to the original purpose of newsgroups! As long as the nature of the information market remains a free-market capitalism, I see NOTHING changing. Supply and demand have gotten us to exactly where we are now, and without government interference, will continue to set the future trend.

Reply Score: 1

Flattr
by nicolai on Thu 15th Jul 2010 17:30 UTC
nicolai
Member since:
2006-04-16

I'm amazed that Flattr hasn't come up in this discussion yet. Have a look at http://flattr.com/ (I'm not related to them, I just like their idea)

The idea is that you do micro-payments (out of a fixed monthly amount that you allocate for such payments), but paying after the fact for content that you liked instead of hitting a paywall and being forced to pay without seeing what you pay for.

Of course it remains to be seen whether that idea will ultimately take off, but it is the most promising approach to micro-payments I have seen yet, because it encourages a culture of appreciating creativity in a positive way.

Reply Score: 1