Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Yes, it's fun-day Friday and time to lighten up your mood a little with a
journey into the funnier, crazier and stranger sides of the web.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Barbie Blood Bath!!!
Can it be? Has Mattel turned Barbie into a bloodthirsty killer of
poor defenseless animals? This animal rights group seems to think so.
How to Cook an Alien
Here are a few recipes you won't find in Jamie Oliver's latest book. If
it's a Roswell roast you're hankering after then this is the site for you!
Need Cutting-Edge Copy?|
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for
extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy
to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or
Net-based publications. If you're
interested, drop me a line
Interview With The Search Engine
Sometimes search engines (or at least this search engine) are just
too dumb for words.
A Money-Making Idea For Bigger ISPs?
When you buy a CD, piece of software or other item over the Net it's quite
normal to pay using your credit card.
Unfortunately for the vendor, the costs associated with accepting credit
card payments can be quite high -- particularly if the transaction value
is quite small.
Because of the impracticality of processing large numbers of very small-value
transactions, it remains very difficult to sell access to websites on a page-by-page
or story-by-story basis.
Let's face it -- there are an awful lot of online publications that *sometimes*
have good articles on them -- but they're simply not worth an annual subscription
that can range from $20 to $200 or more.
The answer, of course, would be the elusive micropayment. Unfortunately
no suitable technology for cost-effectively handling micropayments has
yet been produced.
But maybe this would work...
What if larger ISPs such as XTRA, Telstra/Clear, IHUG, etc were to offer the
internet equivalent of an 0900 service?
As a content provider, you sign up with the ISP who agrees to bill its
customers when they choose to access pay-per-story sections of your website.
Once they have collected the money from the customer (and deducted their
processing fee and profit margin) they would then pass it on to you as the
By charging a fixed monthly fee on top of its commission, the ISP could
ensure that the service only appealed to those sites which were really
capable of generating actual revenue. Without this simple preventative
I could imagine every man and his dog trying to eke money out of their
low-value "10 visitors a month" websites.
This is a win/win/win situation.
The ISP gets to make extra money simply by performing some basic accounting
operations . It also gets to ease its own cashflow and even make
some interest on the money by paying out up to a month after they collect it
from the customer.
The publisher gets the chance to sell some if its higher-value content,
thus reducing its reliance on advertising revenues or full subscriptions.
The Net surfer gets the chance to access material that a publisher might
otherwise reserve for print or broadcast due to the fact that publishing
on the Web seldom recovers costs.
Imagine how much money a site such as the NZ Herald could make if it charged
just $0.05 per story. Now I don't know how many page-views the Herald
gets a day but I'd be very surprised if it was less than 100,000. Do the
math and you'll see that even if they lost half that traffic due to the five-cent
fee, they'd still be generating a gross monthly revenue of $75,0000.
Now, I suspect that few people would bitch about paying a measly five cents
to read an interesting news story or feature article and even Wilson and
Horton can't afford to overlook the importance that an additional $900,000
could make to its annual bottom line.
And, once people got used to paying for online content through such a system,
chances are that the subscription model would finally become viable.
Regular visitors to a pay-per-story site would soon work out that they'd
save money by subscribing directly on an annual basis.
What do Aardvark readers think? Would YOU pay $0.05 per story to access
sites such as the NZ Herald, Stuff, NZoom or (gasp) this site?
Or should I stop putting ideas into the heads of the beancounters?
Have Your Say
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