What you're worth
13.24.00 - Mark
There are a few bloggers/new mediaists out there trying to make a paid attempt at what they've been doing as amateurs (in this context, a unpaid individual doing professional level work) Kottke.org is a famous one. Less famously is Jonathan Coulton. Yesterday, John Gruber wrote about this direct support to a content producer from the fanbase/readership because he isn't getting his expected membership renewal. I'm not a member of daring fireball, and I don't really plan to be. I enjoy the occasional post, and I've been subscribed for a while (I'm not sure but it could be up to a year) but I don't get enough value from it to kick a few dollars his way. Of the three people listed, I've only paid for some Coulton songs off iTunes (DRM'ed files under Creative Commons, there's a contradiction for another post) and of the 300+ feeds I have, I've only trickled money down to a few, fewer still though a direct method (which is somewhat stupid on my part). Keep in mind I suffer from poor college student syndrome, but even if I did have some more cash, I would still be selective in where I donate cash to.
I don't have a fixed scheme, but as a rough guess, I have to like an overwhelming majority of you content, and there has to be a fair amount of it, once a week in the case of audio, or at least a couple well written posts each week. At least for the amateur things, like Dave Slusher, Escape Pod and DrunkenBatman @ DrunkenBlog would meet those requirements (I'll admit that my college student syndrome has prevented donations to the later two, but soon, soon). In the case of Warren Ellis and John Rogers I'm not so likely to donate to the amateur blogging efforts, but am more than willing to go out and buy professional works (Global Frequency rocks) and if I can (and remember to) circumvent the mass media middle man, and can give them a little more than just a royalty, I will.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but it seems like there is a strong old media marketing view point of eye balls = ad dollars. I don't think thats true. In new media the equation isn't that simple. Maybe value/eye balls * quantity = money is the equation we're working with in new media.
Maybe its 1:30 and I'm not thinking entirely straight.
Tangental side note, after a year of Adwords, while I haven't earned enough to cover hosting costs for all my sites, I have managed to cover the cost of all my domain names. I suppose that's fairly good. Certainly better than some.