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Responses to Clay Shirky on Micropayments

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  • Lethargy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Scoria (264473) * <slashmail@i[ ]ialized.org ['nit' in gap]> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:58AM (#6955965) Homepage
    Registration, however trivial, is ultimately inconvenient to the casual browser. These individuals are likely dedicating a minimal amount of effort to your website.
  • Fame vs. Fortune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:12AM (#6955993) Journal
    The article is spot-on, for specific kinds of content, but I think its conclusions are wrong.

    Clearly no-one will pay even a dime for content that they can get elsewhere for free. It's true that the size of the payment is less important than its simple presence.

    But there are other things we happily pay for, and micropayments are a basic necessity if we want to get those things digitised and available on-line.

    In Belgium, where I am, people are using premium SMS messages for micropayments. It's incredibly inefficient: a Euro1.00 message returns at most 60% to the website owner. Yet this is becoming a more and more popular way of charging for access to dating sites and other web sites people are happy, eager even, to pay for.

    Micropayments to reserve parking spaces, to place small ads, to search for appartments, to post a CV to a job site, to chat with remote friends, to get news on what's happening downtown, to vote for pop starts, to play games, to access porn,... the horizons are vast and limited today only by the complexity of linking the consumer's wallet and the vendor's account.

    What's missing in the micropayment world are two things, AFAICS. One is government support to mandate norms and standards backed up with legislation and consumer/supplier protection. Two is support from the banking industry in the form of accessible implementations available to small vendors.
  • by LinuxMan (3590) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:15AM (#6955996)
    I don't think I have ever subscribed to online content where I had to pay money. Another thing I don't do, which Clay mentioned in his article, is sign up to the people who force you to fill out their questioneers [nytimes.com] to read their content. I have definitely found that I can find the information through Google [google.com] via Usenet which, despite people claiming is dead or whatever, is a very good resource for many types of info, including world events in which the posters themselves might be taking part in. So being an average consumer myself, his words ring very true to me.

    Zen [amazon.com]
  • A missing point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanneM (7445) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:29AM (#6956021) Homepage
    A point in the MIT piece shows that they do not really understand what they are talking about. They say:

    "A micropayment system like BitPass would allow consumers to experiment with new content but also to place their support behind specific artists whose work they find consistently rewarding and interesting. Ultimately, they are paying for only the content they consume--and not shelling out a fixed sum every month."

    In other words, they see pay-as-you-go as a benefit to the consumer. Problem is, the consumer does not view it as a benefit; rather the opposite.

    A number of studies have shown that people greatly prefer a fixed-cost structure over use-based payment - even when they demonstrably would save significant amounts of money by switching over. People find the need to constantly decide whether a given use is worth the money; and to feel they constantly have to monitor and aveluate their usage spending to be a burden that is disproportionate to the amount of money they would save, even when the amount is quite significant.

    I know that the most liberating aspect for me of going for a fixed line, rather than using a modem, was not the speed, but rather the liberation of being online at all times, using it whenever I wanted without worrying about telephone charges (local calls are metered in most of Europe).

    So, no, I do not really believe in "micropayments" in the sense they are talking about it here.
  • by Liselle (684663) <slashdotNO@SPAMliselle.net> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:57AM (#6956078) Journal
    From the article: [I]Analog publishing generates per-unit costs -- each book or magazine requires a certain amount of paper and ink, and creates storage and transportation costs. Digital publishing doesn't. Once you have a computer and internet access, you can post one weblog entry or one hundred, for ten readers or ten thousand, without paying anything per post or per reader. In fact, dividing up front costs by the number of readers means that content gets cheaper as it gets more popular, the opposite of analog regimes. [/I] Does this person think that web hosting and bandwidth are free? The reality is completely the opposite if you look at things like webcomics, where popularity will literally bankrupt the artist, as they gain too much traffic to live in free webspace.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:58AM (#6956195)
    devise. it would reek of corepirate nazi censorship to US, if it worked at all.

    coming soon to/already on, yOUR desktop/network?:

    Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily (permanently, if we could figure out how to do it) been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, we don't care.

    alert: you've been lax in yOUR payper liesense 'upgrades', you're out.

    alert: there's a rumour that you've been badmouthing/lowrating the corepirate nazis, & the naykid furor of the felonious kingdumb, you're out.

    alert: looks like yOUR kids have been listening to music again, you're out.

    alert: although you appear to be browsing regularly, you've failed to make a purchase recently, you're out.

    consider this a chance to stare at your monitor screen, & plan how you can become .compliant. if you think that you are already compliant, & it's somebody else, consider this a chance to rat them out, to gain re-admission to the onLIEn wwwhirled again, (c SourceForgerIE(tm) all rights reserved, you have none).

    etc... lookout bullow. these foulcurrs haven't a clue yet, as to what J. Public can do, once he's peaced off. they live in a tiny wwworld, consisting of only their owned greed/fear based goals. they should get ready to see the light.

    we're building a vessel that floats on almost any suBStance.

    as to the newclear power/planet/population rescue initiative:

    it's all free (as in survival), & available immediately to you/all of US.

    as you can maybe already see, yOUR survival/success is not the least bit dependent on the gadgets/combinations of the greed/fear based corepirate nazis, & their phonIE ?pr? ?firm? buyassed /.puppets.

    consult with/trust in yOUR creator. more breathing. vote with yOUR wallet (somtimes that means not buying anything, a notion previously unmentioned buy the greed/fear/war mongers). seek others of non-aggressive/positive behaviours/intentions. stop wasting anything/being frivolous. that's the spirit.

    investigate the newclear power plan. J. Public et AL has yet to become involved in open/honest 'net communications/commerce in a meaningful way. that's mostly due to the MiSinformation suppLIEd buy phonIE ?pr? ?firm?/stock markup FraUD execrable, etc...

    truth is, there's no better/more affordable/effective way that we know of, for J. to reach other J.'s &/or their respective markets.

    the overbullowned greed/fear based phonIE marketeers are self eliminating by their owned greed/fear/ego based evile MiSintentions. they must deny the existence of the power that is dissolving their ability to continue their self-centered evile behaviours.

    as the lights continue to come up, you'll see what we mean. meanwhile, there are plenty of challenges, not the least of which is the planet/population rescue (from the corepirate nazi/walking dead contingent) initiative.

    EVERYTHING is going to change, despite the lameNT of the evile wons. you can bet your .asp on that. when the lights come up, there'll be no going back, & no where to hide.

    we weren't planted here to facilitate/perpetuate the excesses of a handful of Godless felons. you already know that? yOUR ONLY purpose here is to help one another. any other pretense is totally false.

    pay attention (to yOUR environment, for example). that's quite affordable, & leads to insights on preserving life as it should/could/will be again. everything's ALL about yOUR motives.

    that old tune title (hope we don't get 'busted' for using it) "make the world go away", takes on new/varied meaning in these times.

    the prevalent notion that 'everything will be taken care of' without yOUR knowledge/participation is insidiously misleading.

    in our estimation, the biggest 'threat' against US (asid

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