October 30, 2006

TechCrunch v. PayPerPost - The War of the Revenue Model Continues

I blogged a couple of days ago about my dismay over big bloggers' seemingly out-of-proportion disgust with PayPerPost. While many in-the-know bloggers were scoffing at PPP, some folks thought maybe I had a point, or at least a right to point fingers at the irony of chiding by rich guys who make money off of readers and advertisers colliding in not-so-dissimilar ways.

The fight between the PPP model and the journalist-paid-by-sponsor model won't end anytime soon. My opinion--that's a good thing. Think of it as a balance of power. Yeah, like that.

Teresa Valdez Klein said Jason Calcanis told her at dinner, "that if a blogger has to have a conversation with herself about the ethics of taking a product for free and then writing about it, or going on a blogger junket and writing about it, she has already lost the battle in terms of her credibility." She disagrees and so do I. How fucking stupid. The habit of approaching the bottom-up nature of the web with a broadcast mentality won't. go. away.

It's the nexus of the Rocketboom (broadcast) v. ze frank (bottom-up) debate.

It's the nexus of the PayPerPost debate.

You will find it anywhere and everywhere people are trying to payloads of broadcast-world-type money in a micro-market-based, micropayment-type online world.

The old-world mindset says: I am a journalist or respected entertainer or influencer, and so you owe me your attention, your trust, your eyeballs. The truth is, we come to this space as nothing, and we owe one another precisely nothing.

Hello, but: My default is, I don't trust you--I don't even know if you're you without doing a lot of extra work. (Happy ending is on the way; don't get nervous...)

What is special is that we build relationships over time that create trust, that puts bias into perspective and make it meaningful and valuable. What we do over time is suspend our disbelief, become entertained, play, fight, love. Emotion and interest bridge us from node to node. And what happens over even more time is that I get to know you. For Real.

And even then, I don't trust what you say about everything. I probably agree with you about technology but think your a shmuck about women. I probably would take your advice on cameras but know you well enough to steer clear of your political advice. Whatever. You get the picture.

That's only one reason why payperpost is no big threat to the Great. White. Purity. Of. The. Internets.

The more models of compensation the better. The smart ones will win out. The less effective ones will be buried.

A few years ago, we supported one another financially much in the same way as sponsors are today. Bloggers would toss other bloggers money in the form of donations and gifts, sometimes every month. I bought my last laptop from blogger donations. I had all my kids' fifth birthday presents paid for and delivered by bloggers. When a blogger was in a jam, other bloggers bailed him or her out--Sometimes Literally.

Over the years, my donations have dropped 98 percent. In place of those, advertisers now pay to put some ads here, and clients have come here who value my opinion and work. It's all good.

There is room for good writing to be compensated on the net. We don't need Transparency Police. The self-correcting nature of the Internet will take care of things. And in the mean time, a few more folks get some gas in the tank and keep their utilities paid on time.

That's what I call a win-win.

See Also: A graphic Representation of two ad-based revenue models


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