Linked by David Adams on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:07 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Online advertising has been a hot topic for the past week or so, with Ars Technica trying out an interesting, somewhat desperate experiment wherein they blocked access to their content for people using Adblock. Of course, if this were to become some kind of movement among publishers, it would probably just spark a technological cat-and-mouse game that would surely be reminiscent of DRM cracking or iPhone jailbreaking. But in their post-mortem, Ars states that it was a worthwhile awareness campaign, and I hope that's true. But I thought it would be a good idea to try to bring the collective OSNews brainpower together and crowdsource the idea of how to raise money for a web site in an age where advertising is increasingly un-viable.
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online advertising is dumb
by sprewell on Sat 20th Mar 2010 00:56 UTC
sprewell
Member since:
2009-03-25

If you have to rely on the charity of your users, you will never get very far as a business. This is why most businesses do not simply stick out a can and leave it up to you if you want to put in some cash for your groceries or a cup of coffee. The solution for payment online is micropayments, it drives me nuts that people keep sticking with these dumb advertising models. However, since nobody has built a good micropayments system yet, there is a simple solution for a site like OS news. Commission some articles that are representative of the kind of higher-quality content you would like to pay for. Put those in a separate section to demonstrate to users what they could be paying for. Offer yearly prepaid deposits of $10+ based on how many articles the user reads. If I read 25 articles with say an average price of 20 cents, $5 is taken out of my deposit. If I read a lot more, I'll have to put in a lot more.

Obviously most of these paid articles would not be publicly available for free, though some fraction should always be free for new readers to sample. You'd essentially be creating an in-house micropayments system. Those people who feel such paid content is worth it would pay for it, I know I've paid money for an OS news subscription before. If you're unable to drum up enough good content, people won't pay. This is a simple way to test your ability to run a viable content business, instead of using some convoluted and frankly half-baked advertising schemes.

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