Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 22 February 2002
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Christopher Cookson For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Micro payments Great idea. I've thought about something similar myself. Being both a content consumer and creator, I understand the need to make money, but I also understand not having vast quantities of it to spend on a subscription to something that may be of dubious quality. Of course the other benefit to ISPs is that they could cache or mirror content, particularly of offshore material, thereby reducing their international bandwidth demands, and still collect on the content. Personally, I'd far rather pay a few cents per article than have to put up with intrusive ads. I'd probably want some warning in advance that entering the site would incur a charge, and what that charge would be. I think this could actually be a lot bigger than just text content. Just think for a moment about the likes of Microsoft, and their ongoing battle against piracy which doesn't stop the pirates, but alienates legitimate users through schemes like product activation. Of course there's also there battle against 'free' Linux. If Microsoft started giving Windows away, but charging for access to their extensive knowledge base it would mean they wouldn't have to chase piracy, and in fact every copy of Microsoft software that was copied could potentially mean more revenue for them when a user needs support. It also means all those old knowledge base articles for things like Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 suddenly become a potential revenue stream if people want to use those old products still. Microsoft could let itself off the hook somewhat for it's appalling security track record too. If you're not paying for something it's a lot harder to jump up and down and complain about it being broken. On the other hand it would be in the interests of Microsoft to find and post fixes for as many bugs as possible in it's knowledge base as each one would be potential revenue. Hey, this might sound a bit far fetched, but if you think about it, how do Linux companies make money? From: Joe Pango For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: The alternative pay per story system No, I don't think I would pay to read online news articles. In saying that, it's great to see that someone is racking their brain to come up with an alternative for the current system, rather than just criticising it. Your proposed idea certainly offers improvements, however, the main reason I frequent news sites is because they're a free service, they're convenient, and because I can tolerate the (sometimes annoying) advertising. The day that I am forced to pay for the service, is the day that I can wait untill the six o'clock news on TV, or find an alternative source. I love the internet and what it offers, but most of all I love that its mostly free. But then again, maybe I'm cheap? From: Paul For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Paying for web content I would be prepared to pay a very small sum for a daily view of unlimited stories, not 5 cents per story, but with the proviso that the downloads would have to be fast with NO ADVERTISING !! I would expect to pay no more than about a third of the cover price of the hard copy. I would not want this to replace the existing model of free access with all the garbage advertising, so at least there is a choice. From: Les Ferguson For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Micro payments for news You have to be kidding, pay for the nonsense dribbled outta the NZ Herald ? I mean, yesterdays article about Telecom upgrading some exchanges quoted the Telecom representative: "There is low demand for fast Internet access in rural areas and this a barrier to investment" I could almost hear the jaws hitting the floors around the country as rural NZ'ers, farmers especially, stared at this article in stunned disbelief. Presented verbatim from the Telecom PR machine, this article shows no cross-examination, not the slightest hint that the journalist responsible for getting this onto the printed page could have supposed it is a load of nonsense, yet this is supposed to be current IT news ? As a footnote, rural farming type people have been struggling to keep up with the data flows that their businesses are coming to depend on, and various groups have been frantically trying to get Telecom services upgraded for several years now. The reason people don't invest in broadband access is that Telecom simply tells all enquirers that either the exchanges or the phone lines (or both) are not able to carry more than a 33.6 modem signal, so live with it. I might browse the NZ Herald's online content now and then, but it is hardly what I would call quality journalism and usually presents very short-sighted and/or one-sided views. Hmmm, maybe it is worth a couple of cents per article for the humour value... From: Brian Cahill For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Pay Per View >Would YOU pay $0.05 per story to access sites such as >the NZ Herald, Stuff, NZoom or (gasp) this site? Absolutely! It's good to see at least one content provider who sees the light. A widely-accepted online equivalent of a small-value coin you could drop in the meter to view one or more pages of news (etc.) would make the Internet much more valuable both for consumers and for providers of worthwhile content. It has long seemed to me that credit cards are the worst possible payment method you could devise for e-commerce, especially for small transactions. If we'd had the Internet before we had credit cards, everyone would have laughed at the idea of using such a clumsy, expensive and insecure payment method online. The problem with online currencies, virtual coins, etc. isn't lack of suitable technology, but gaining acceptance where credit cards currently dominate. In the past couple of years I've investigated some of the more successful online payment methods. One of the best of these is E-Gold (www.e-gold.com). The main problem seems to be that even after about seven (I think) years of steady growth, still only a tiny fraction of online merchants accept it. The technology for virtual coins already exists, and there are current providers, though they tend to come and go, and, again, lack of wide acceptance is an obstacle - no one uses a new online currency because no one else is. www.ecoin.net is a good example of a current provider, though personally I think even their solution is unnecessarily complex for small-value transactions - I'm sure I could code a simple, practical, secure solution in a matter of days, but making it sufficiently popular to become trusted and be successful would be a massive undertaking which many have attempted and failed. Anyway, it will all happen - soon I hope. Meanwhile, start accepting E-Gold on Aardvark and I promise to pay up. Brian. PS. My only relationship with E-Gold is as a customer. From: Christine For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: extra payment for seeing sites I would NOT be prepared to pay for seeing something like the Herald on line. At the moment I am able to access more than one Newspaper, yours included without payment beyond the service provider. If I had to pay, I'd go back to buying one paper in paper form aqnd end up where the paper magnates would like me. the way this is set up now I can access both local, national, international AND specialist news at the flick of a button. Would you at Ardvark like to pay to see your specialist information from overseas to which at present now have comments on? Do we at present PAY to watch the overseas news on top of the regular price of Sky, TvOne, two and Three etc. I think not.Hit Reload For Latest Comments
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