Blogging pay model
May 1, 2001 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Blogging pay model hits the wires. Would you fork out $4 per month for Image Hosting, Spell Checking, and an xTools editor that lets you cut and paste, format fonts and colors? Think the Trellix eyes will be watching?
posted by netbros (15 comments total)
No, but I'm a cheap bastard.
posted by Chairman_MaoXian at 5:46 PM on May 1, 2001

Um...maybe, but I'm fiercely loyal to Blogger. Is this Xanga thingie legit? Is it a direct competitor to Blogger?
posted by davidmsc at 5:49 PM on May 1, 2001

Nope. Nor would I pay for blogger.

But I could imagine paying an annual internet "utility bill" that supported a wide variety of cool stuff like blogger, metafilter, etc...
posted by muppetboy at 5:53 PM on May 1, 2001

But I could imagine paying an annual internet "utility bill" that supported a wide variety of cool stuff like blogger, metafilter, etc...

CPB: The Corporation For Public Blogging?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:59 PM on May 1, 2001

Yeah, I would if I were running a commercial weblog-- for $4 a month it wouldn't make a dent in the budget.

For Blogger of course, not Xanga. Bleh.

As companies start discovering services like Blogger I'm sure they'll smile at a $4 a month charge. For now, I write intranet-weblog software for companies that have no clue they can do it for cheaper.

posted by perplexed at 6:06 PM on May 1, 2001

MuppetBoy brings up an interesting point. Almost every time a site moves to the subscription model, numerous people say that they'd happily chip in $4, 5, 10 dollars to support it. Unfortunately, if almost every site does that, nobody will want to pay. Tons of people subscribe to magazines, but almost nobody subscribes to 10/month; yet I'm sure that almost everyone has 10 sites they think they'd pay for. Web content needs a model other than magazine subscriptions to make a profit. If there were some sort of group of 10 sites I used or a central place that had thousands of sites you could select from, I'd happily pay per month, but I'm never going to pay $200/month to get access to every site I use daily.
posted by jed at 6:12 PM on May 1, 2001

jed: I've been thinking about a "blanket" subscription service - anyone interested?
posted by owillis at 6:37 PM on May 1, 2001

Porn sites have been doing the "blanket subscription" thing for a while... I think there's a little company called, uh, Adult Check doing it. Just like they were with multi-angle DVD, porn is still one step ahead of everyone.

Now if you'll pardon me, I've gotta go watch the bloopers on my copy of "Suck That Dick Up Til You Hickup".
posted by dincognito at 7:27 PM on May 1, 2001

As usual, the online Porn community leads the way. There are several services where you pay monthly for a membership which permits you to enter a large number of member sites. They impose rules on their members (mainly in requiring a certain number of pictures plus having a limit on the amount of advertising). You get a password which is validated through the service.

When you log into a member site, it uses the validation server to prove that you're a paying subscriber, and it also allocates a small amount of money (a fraction of a cent) to the site for your visit. There are several of these, but the largest one I've heard of is "Adult Check Gold", which costs about $20 per month.

This has been going on for a long time.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:27 PM on May 1, 2001

Yes, I'm aware of the porn model - I'd like to adapt it to "mainstream" sites...
posted by owillis at 7:39 PM on May 1, 2001

The best way to make it work is to do it through the ISP in the same way cable works. You can have the basic internet and then layer on top of that a selection of premium services.

The thing is the premium channels would need to offer something really premium, and the basic access charge would need to be lower as a loss leader to the pay portion.
posted by willnot at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2001

A sorta public trust thing would be pretty nifty. If, say, on a monthly basis people would donate $500 to the service, a machine could be installed in a ISP somewhere that could handle a few services with all the bandwidth they needed.

I'd run it. I already run two machines, might as well add another. But I can't foot the bill. No way no how!
posted by benbrown at 7:59 PM on May 1, 2001

It seems to me that not a lot of people are going to pay for what they have been getting free--no matter what the model. There will always be a free alternative on the Web (except for porn, I guess, and gambling).
posted by caraig at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2001

Caraig, the Blogger Server Fund is an example of many people donating money (usually about $10) to maintain a service they use for free. I've invested over a year's worth of posts into Blogger, so I didn't want to switch over to a different free service, like Grey Matter, because I couldn't change the template on the archives as easily.

However, if Blogger instituted a monthly fee (and Ev said they won't), I would have to think twice...

I think one of the reasons why Blogger's server fund was so successful was the approach they took in requesting funds. They were very polite about it, whereas I've seen personal site where the Paypal donations link is much more prominent, which turns me off. Also, Blogger provides a service, whereas many personal sites requesting donations don't really provide a service. They're more of a way for me to distract myself.
posted by ktheory at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2001

The "free now pay later" business model does not work unless you get the masses addicted to your product or service. They have to feel they can't live without it by the time you pull the rug out from under them. This works for porn and it works for drugs but it ain't gonna work for weblogs. Or the 'Net as a whole. If I have to pay for web access beyond what I already pay to get in the door, I want something tangible in response. The web's not tangible. Unless you like, print everything out or something which is silly.

I go to a local club. I pay a cover charge at the door. That's cool. I have to pay for every drink I consume. That's tolerable. Some clubs offer snacks for free like peanuts or pretzels or popcorn. Others have machines that charge for a candy bar. Still other bars have a grill in the back and serve 'real' food and charge for that. Depends on the quality of the food. On the Internet if you start charging people for reading or posting pages, you're basically doing the equivalent of putting machines at every table and position at the bar, and every time someone opens their mouth to talk to someone else in the room, including the bartender, they gotta put a quarter in the slot. They tried that with bathroom stalls and people just climbed under the door.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:04 PM on May 1, 2001

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