02/11/2009

Understand micropayments. Maybe consider this model, too.

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Steveouting.com has a good idea. Well, he blogs about Kachingle, which seems like a good idea, so see his post for all the details. Basically it would be a micropayments solution to how to make some income off web writing which is free for everyone to view.

KISS — keep it simple, stupid. Online publishers, including newspaper Web sites, are more likely to convince people to pay a monthly “Internet content fee” if everyone is in it together and there’s one ubiquitous medallion on every content site that an individual visits (which always remembers you). The publishers who make the most money will be those that produce the best content, and thus get the most people to support them via the Kachingle system. That should be to the advantage of newspaper Web sites’ quality content, right?

via Forget Micropayments — Here’s a Far Better Idea for Monetizing Content.

I can’t reiterate often enough, that micropayments are not on the order of 5¢ a story or $2.95 a month for a newspaper online. Micropayments are MICRO like on the order of .0001¢ or .01¢ per view. The problem has been that organizations like credit card companies and paypal.com charge too high a processing fee to make micropayments work. The model I’ve seen proposed includes a digital wallet. You put $25 bucks in your wallet, for example, and set your wallet preferences to buy any story below some cost point you set. I might say, buy anything without alerting me at 1¢ per page. Above that, ask me. Thus you could browse and read, and be paying for content painlessly, warned if something is at a premium charge which you set for yourself. Presumably the wallet would alert when you got down to your last dollar, so you could refill it.

Kachingle.com is really this wallet, turned on its head. The author puts a donate button on a site. The reader/user/viewer that opts into Kachingle, decides whether to give to that site or not, and then an algorithm divvies up the amount of money the buyer has put into their Kachingle wallet.

The Kachingle model still is looking at content as tied to some specific website or “newspaper” or blog. I think the model that will work is more like the one I propose, which assumes you buy content by the item, not by the collection. In a paperless world, where lots of what we read comes via search or via an agent (alert) which you program, the unit of interest and operation is the story, not the production facility.

Again, be sure to read John Perry Barlow’s essay “Selling Wine without the Bottles on the Global Net” for the description of the “ET call home” feature one might embed in one’s content.

John Perry Barlow
Image via Wikipedia
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