1. Thursday, October 9, 2003

    the mighty rick bruner 

    left a lengthy comment on the post regarding my imminent sellout.

    as he is the welcomed guest, his comments will be normal, while mine will be in italics.

    Tony,

    One point you may have overlooked in my quote from that article is the following: “[I]t comes down to ‘versioning’ the content. A walled-garden approach to charging for all your content would be a disaster for all but a rare few kind of online publisher (e.g., porn sites or wsj.com). But many sites should be able to find some versions of their content people will be willing to pay for.”

    That is, I’m not suggesting you charge an entry fee for the main blog itself, but rather, charge people 50 cents to view your famous photo commentaries, or let them have unlimited access to them for a year for $5.

    i can understand this way of thought, but my site and my blog will always remain free. i’ll make my millions somewhere else.

    You could, of course, let them see the first five pictures in the series for free and have to pay for the whole thing, and maybe even let one in five of the photo spreads remain freely available. But why shouldn’t you charge for those? The main blog would still be free, so it’s not like you’re cheating readers out of everything.

    a few problems about charging for the photo essays, besides the hippie moral ones for me. biggest one is a lot of the best photo essays – the ones people would pay for – are created using photos that i didnt take. last thing i would want to do is profit from someone else’s art.

    if i did compile a few photo essays using original pictures, i wouldnt want to run into a problem with having to pay my models. and let me tell you, karisa has a hard ass agent.

    But aren’t your photo spreads — truly unique content in the blog world — worth 50 cents per viewing? For anyone who’s seen them in the past, absolutely they are. They obviously take you hours to prepare and are wonderfully creative, so why shouldn’t you be compensated for them?

    they do take a long time. usually an entire day or two. i would love to charge 50 cents per viewing. especially for the ones like the Anna Penthouse one where 4 million people showed up. only problem is i dont know of any way to charge 50 cents through paypal and not have them charge me a buck per transaction.

    As for your comment, “…there are companies and advertisers who are more than willing to align themselves to personalities, writers, and now bloggers,” I’d venture that you are not an expert in the online ad sector. I challenge you to name one advertiser lining up to sponsor bloggers.

    i am no expert in anything, really. but just because it hasnt happened yet, doesnt mean that it wont happen soon. there was a time when no one ever considered to pay nba players millions to wear their shoes, or sponsor devil worshipping rock bands to go on tour. i wouldnt consider it outrageous for computer companies, sugar water giants, and software manufacturers to find ways to influence big time bloggers into talking about their products and keeping them loyal.

    And the idea that Nike would pay you $2 million is especially absurd, particularly when you’re saying nasty things about them.

    fuck nike.

    and their sweatshops.

    my price now to sell out to them is $3 million.

    There are two key problems to going down the ad route for bloggers: 1) You actually have to work like hell to sell the ads (ask Rafat Ali, who spends all day doing so). Talk about distasteful work for most bloggers. Even then it’s hard as hell, as the number of page impressions most bloggers generate aren’t enough to make the average big advertiser look twice. 2) You have to either corrupt your morals and stop saying nasty things about your advertisers like Nike, or quickly lose their contracts in exchange for your freedom (again, ask Rafat, who’s lost three advertisers because of his independent-mindedness).

    fuck nike.

    As for hoping to get hired to write a blog for someone, I would think any publisher would be only too lucky to get you, but I would also venture that it would be a loss for BusBlog readers, as I suspect you’d find it very difficult to blog substantially in two places at once. Talk to Elizabeth Spiers about that one.

    i agree. they would be lucky. as for difficulty blogging for two different things, what you see here on the busblog is done during my two 15-minute breaks and a quickie little entry before i go to sleep. not only would the blog i write professionally be way better than this one, but the happiness that i would have with a job where i could be creative would make the busblog an even happier place.

    Frankly, I think charging espeically loyal readers for premium content would be the best way to assure both your independence and your ongoing commitment to this blog. The attitude among many bloggers that “information wants to be free” harkens back to the early days of the dot-com bubble, and we all know how that ended up.

    wanting things to be free goes back further than that. and further than the 60s. there were a lot of great things about the dot com beginnings and idealism was one of them. trying new things is another. neither of those was the cause for the crash. but i hear what youre saying. still, the busblog will be free, especially to my loyal readers.

    Finally, as for a micropayment system, it already exists.

    then hook me up and claim your percentage.

    bruner blog + inluminent + viral planet