Google is looking at adding a micropayments system to its Checkout payment system. This emerged in a document sent to the Newspaper Association of America which sent requests to various companies to ask for suggestions as to how publishers could make more money from their online content. Google said it would have micropayments …
If a micro-payment system can be developed that is both simple to operate and cheap to use (for publishers) could this mean the start of a "paid" internet.
For example, on one of my sites I offer relevant and useful information for free. If I could charge a fraction of a penny/cent for each page view, why wouldn't I?
Another example. If I am coding something (I am only an amateur) and I run into a wall what do I do? Google. Would I pay a fraction of a penny to see a solution that might save me hours? Course I would.
Don't want their business anyway
If content has to be paid for before viewing, users will go elsewhere. Snippets won't help.
When looking for answers to tech problems, I stay away from sites that want me to subscribe or pay before viewing their answers. They might show the question (a snippet), but the answer is only available to the few who pay. I don't feel like paying to find out their answers won't work. If the answers were worthwhile, I might pay after, but not ahead of time.
Re: Dorset Rambler
Problem here is that there would surely be a lot of free sources of this information as well. Or someone would create them in response. And if given choice of excellent and cheap vs good enough and free, what will you choose?
If they think I'm going to pay to read their site *and* have to put up with ads they've got another thing coming. Hell I won't even read websites that want me to register for their *free* content ('cause F*ck 'em, that's why).
To be honest, I can think of a few good examples where large upfront payments are wrong, and ads are annoying, so that micropayment for pay-as-you-need services (not, I fancy, information - screw you, ExpertsExchange, for not having the balls to proudly announce to the world how you'll charge money before bothering the reader with the question and answer snippets) would be extremely benefitial. Things like gateways between networks of various kinds, or one-click hosting of files.
It's about time someone came up with a decent micro-payments system. I remember a few years back the idea was touted as the next big thing, but it never quite appeared. If anyone has the clout to make it work, it's Google.
I'd be glad to pay a penny or two to view each of my favourite web comics, for instance, such that the authors can support themselves via their hard work. It's always a bummer when your only choices are donating a big wad of cash via Paypal, or just freeloading.
Something like this is sorely needed, yet talk of open standards and federation is notable by its absence here. Federation of the service, not only of the publishers.
Remember when Microsoft got booed for thinking of a vig on every internet transaction? Well I doubt even MS were brazen enough to think of 30%.
It would be better for consumers and publishers if the eventual dominant service model, which is itself a natural monopoly, allows for both competition and inter-operation between payment / collection service providers. But with micro-payments being a direct challenge to their core advertising business, this is more likely Google's spoiler for any alternatives that may be in the pipeline and/or an attempt to capture a nascent natural monopoly.
Alternative offerings could do worse than to study Wave's federation model. Build from open standards and out-Google G's own offering. If Google actually implements an open design themselves then I'd be pleased to eat the crow in my hat.
payments are doomed to failure, for 2 reasons - 1) the information will always be available elsewere for free for those who can be bothered to search. Or those who no someone who can copy and paste.. Unless you somehow manage 'free speech' and sue everyone... monitor everyones emails, instant messenger accounts...
2) Read about Nick Szabo - who concluded that all these (micro-payment) schemes are likely to fail, because although they minimise the economic costs of choices they still have all the cognitive costs. - so charging a price any price creates a mental barrier that most people want bother crossing. although this probably needs more research as to what percentage of people are put off by a price vs thos who read/try something for free because why not?
People should start working out how to monetise free in conjunction with paid, rather than it being one or the other.... since combining the two spans the full pyschology of consumerism.
Anon, obviously, as anyone who supports free is a communist enemy....
Google gets exclusive rights to books.
Google starts looking into micropayments.
Google... well, I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.