Feeds, revenue, and paying attention.

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

David and Shawn at adpulp got stuck in to my comment about RSS Feeds. (RSS is a way of sharing the content of a blog or other webspace without folks having to visit the site – see Elise’s summary here for more.) Shawn makes some interesting points in this comment, which looks at the issues of satisfying readers whilst generating some kind of payback.

I don’t have any magic answers to the questions… please treat this as a rambling semi-response.

I know I far prefer a full feed if I can get one. Figuring out how to generate revenue from advertising is not easy and I’m not thinking about it for my own site.

I wonder if this is the trend we’re dealing with: It’s getting harder to persuade people to pay for good content either with their money or with their time for going through the clicks/subscriptions etc. Not impossible, but harder.

The way I use the web, I’m fairly focussed on a kind of dialogue with other bloggers where we’re all sharing on a like-for-like basis. I engage with their content because I’m interested and we pay each other not money but attention. Sometimes that attention is not made manifest in comments or clickthroughs, but it’s there. We’re getting/giving a lot of attention and no money is changing hands. We each bear the (for me anyway) relatively small cost of our own bandwidth as the admission price to this talkfest.

For David and Shawn, maybe a different set of criteria apply because AdPulp sounds like more than a blogger, though not on the scale of a major business (not yet, anyway!).

I’ll add that for me, my blog has actually “monetised” but in a quite unexpected way. In the form of a well-paid international research project, courtesy of a fellow blogger, Jennifer Rice. I’d never have known Jennifer but for our casual swapping of ideas and comments in blogs.

Advertising seems like a very transactional way to monetise a form that can be so powerful for creating relationship: and relationships have value beyond money – but in my case they’ve included it too.

UPDATE: Some good comments below (Note to self: Offer a comments feed soon) and consider this by Tony Pierce (via Doc Searls)

and i thought thank god my readers dont give a shit about ads on the busblog – and they probably would prefer them to me asking them for their hard earned cash.

let the corporations pay, they’d probably say.

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