The site owner (Publisher) establishes a base price or value, say $4.99 per month, for unrestricted use of the site or service.

The user arrives at the website and views the homepage. At that point, or at a later point designated by the Publisher, the user is asked to log in or register to proceed.

To register with the site, the user must provide a username, password and email address. An email is then sent to the user’s email address to confirm the signup.

When the user returns to the site and logs in, he is presented with a box or page that asks him to choose how he will pay for or support the site content and/or services.

The choices presented include (but are not limited to):

a.) Straight subscription (in this example, $4.99 per month)
b.) Pay-per-view of articles, video or other content (with a maximum of $4.99 per month)
c.) Voluntary donation (with a minimum of $4.99 per month)
d.) Ad viewing (where the ad revenue yields a minimum of $4.99 per month)
e.) Affiliate or commission sales, through the use of embedded modules, coupon codes or other methods (totaling a minimum of $4.99 per month)
f.) Contribution of content or services (valued at $4.99 per month)
g.) Any combination of the above, with the mix or proportion adjusted by the user, to achieve the minimum payment of $4.99 per month.

Once the user has selected his preferred payment/support method, the system keeps track of his usage and serves the content in the appropriate way. Each time the user visits the site and logs in, the site recognizes him and displays the progress of payment, and prompts the user if necessary (e.g., “please donate $2 more by such-and-such a date”).

The payment system can be revised by the user at any time so long as it meets the price or value requirement (i.e., the user must ultimately generate $4.99 per month). For those methods that require direct payment, a secure credit-card or PayPal transaction will be executed.

If the user does not meet the minimum payment agreed to within the specified time, he will no longer have access to the site until the balance is paid.

a user-centric revenue model

ShmearThis favicon
by Greg Lippert / StudioNorthCreative


PayCheckr: Keeping what’s red in the black


new apps

So for my next campaign, I’m going to see how effective this is for promoting stuff from buddies. Beginning with this book about using LinkedIn.

social media

“Half of Social Media Campaigns Will Flop” from CNET, includes this salient passage:

“(Businesses) will rush to the community and try to connect, but essentially they won’t have a mutual purpose, and they’ll fail,” Sarner said. By a “mutual purpose,” he means a way to serve both the company putting out the campaign and the audience interacting with it: finding that balance is not easy

To which I reply: “It needs to be a brilliant, delightful collaboration among all parties.”

Broader? No, Deeper

This week, CNN launches “The Forum,” or rather “connects The Forum to Facebook.”

“It allows us to reach our audience in the places where they’re aggregating their friends together and sharing their thoughts,” KC Estenson, the general manager of, said.

The item in the NY Times, entitled “Seeking Broader Reach for Social Web Sites,” continues:

“Although nobody has figured out the secret sauce,” said Tom Newman, the president of Interactive One, a new digital subsidiary of Radio One, “enabling members to interact with each other and interact with professionally generated content is the future.”

[The new] networks are making profiles portable, meaning that users can carry their social network identity to third-party sites, said Adam Ostrow, the editor of the social networking blog Mashable.

The sites are “allowing users to bring their friends from the social networks they already use” he said.

Ultimately, the meta-social network is the Web. But when I can connect to anyone, anywhere… what will I do? After “Broader,” we’ll need to focus on “Deeper.”

two more launches

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the handsome new portal site for our newly integrated Woodworking community under the Popular Woodworking brand. We came a long way from those early diagrams revised again and again as new groups joined Steve Shanesy and his team at the table. As usual, there are too many helpers to thank by name (because I always hear back from those I forgot!), but personally I’d like to credit Sangeeta Roy for her professionalism and calm.

The second launch (and it’s a soft launch for the next week or so) is the updated PRINT RDA online database, which features over 18,000 images from 12 years of Regional Design Award issues. This year, we are emphasizing the online subscription (with a free 11th Year DVD as a bonus while inventory supplies last). Thanks here go to the Development team (with a shoutout to Ben Thompson) and, as always, to PRINT Editorial for the high-quality content.

more from “click” book

I finished the Tancer book earlier in the week and found two more passages that resonated with this semester’s theme. More importantly, though, I think I found the organizing principle for my paper: a personal history of net/web technology. I’m thinking that my own experiments in online communications over the past dozen years will help anchor and color what I say about the evolution of bulletin boards and newsgroups to 2.0 social networking. More soon.

Meanwhile, here are the Tancer passages:

For all the talk about how the Internet has enabled superior communication between us, it appears in some circumstances to actually reveal our insecurity, and in other cases, with its anonymity and its inability to judge, to provide us a way to avoid posing the most difficult questions or admitting our shortcomings face-to-face with our friends and relatives. And that leads to my question: Isn’t this technology, which has so much potential to bring us together as a society by improving our communication, in some cases actually isolating us? If we continue on the path of relying more on technology to help us answer the basic questions about why we fear things, how to get things done, and how to relate to other individuals, we will continue to drift further apart. But one thing is certain: As we turn to search engines to answer our deepes questions, we’ll continue to learn more about ourselves. (“What Are You Afraid Of? And Other Telling Questions)

And finally, looking ahead…

While Web 2.0 is still considered a buzzword, surprisingly the industry is already discussing Web 3.0. Web 2.0 has made incredible strides in just the last two years, taking us from a static medium to one that encourages all of us to participate, but the movement has also created unique challenges, primarily how to deal with the massive amount of content that is available. If I could place my vote for Web 3.0, the need I see created by the consumer-generated content coming from Web 2.0 is a method to filter all of that information for similarity of viewpoint, reputation, and accuracy. Until that occurs, all of this content faces the prospect of becoming a collection of noise that we may not bother to rely on in the future. (“Web Who.0”)


failure of open systems

False Steve Jobs Heart Attack Report on CNN’s iReport Is a Failure of Open Systems

as a proponent of open systems, i felt it was only fair to post this opposing view

washpost’s political browser

The Publishing 2.0 blog caught on to the new Political Browser from the Washington Post. As the commenters on the blog point out, this is very much in line with what Scott Karp has long been calling for: a news filter to challenge Drudge (Karp is big on linking as an added value). The WashPost model is interesting but in my view it doesn’t move far enough toward audience participation.

When I queried Karp on that point, he replied: “Each of the sections of Political Browser have comments. And there is a section for “Reader Picks,” and a way for readers to suggest links.”

We’ll have to see whether that’s enough to maintain interest.

a few items this week

I was traveling on business this past week and need to figure out how to easily post when I am mostly using mobile devices. Meanwhile, here’s a catch-up on some interesting items related to my main topic here:

Click: What Millions of People do Online and Why it Matters by Bill Tancer – saw some press mentions of this new book by the chief researcher at Hitwise and picked it up for airport/plane/hotel reading. It has lots if interesting stories about how our real, trackable behavior (anonymized of course) reveals what really preoccupies Americans – and how marketers can leverage that info. The much-touted chapter on “Searches for Prom Dresses spike in January” was fun, but I think there was a flaw in it. After months of research, Tancer finally meets face-to-face with an editor who solves the mystery by telling him that teen magazines start featuring prom dress fashions around New Year’s. The retailers Tancer called by phone in the first instance should have told him that. 

Get Off the Internet, and Chew Some Gum – this article in the NYT was about a new campaign for Dentyne gum aimed at the Facebook generation. The campaign, called Make Face Time, features print ads with big photos showing intimate moments of “connection”: a couple hugs (friend request accepted); canoodles (the original voicemail); kisses (the original instant message). NYT caption says “The campaign is trying to question whether new technologies are bringing people closer together.” 


A related Web site,, was unveiled on Monday. It opens with a warning announcing that it will shut down after three minutes. “When people are surfing the Web, they’re missing the best part of life — being together,” it reads.

The site includes a Face Time Finder, powered by Google Maps, to locate places to meet offline. The Smiley Chamber of Doom takes aim at the “annoying” emoticons that people use to express humor or sadness in e-mail or instant messages, showing them being killed by fires and sumo wrestlers. An essay contest asks users to write about how social networking has led them to be “disconnected to the people that matter most.”

Quoted in the article,  Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who studies the way young people use technology to socialize, points out that this is a “false dichotomy.”

 People use online tools as a way to be more social, she said, updating their acquaintances on what they are doing and making plans to meet in person. Her research has shown that people who use these tools have just as many offline friends and spend just as much time with them as people who do not socialize online.

But I think it does point up the need to deepen the interaction online, which is one of my  main themes.



TimesPeople – This past week, I noticed for the first time a little horizontal bar across the top of the New York Times site. It appears to be a social networking “layer”

The “What’s This? says:

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