Jonathan Glick's post on Venture Capital | Latest updates on Sulia
My responses to the most common responses to the Andrew Sullivan pay-thing experiment
Here are the most critical-ish comments I have heard on the new Daily Dish business model and my thoughts on them.
1) Andrew does a lot of aggregation and people will only pay for original content.
Me: People actually *don't* pay for original content on the Web, so it's a weird premise. That said, I suspect the longer pieces that trigger the pay-us reminder will need to be original just because writers being aggregated will get pissed if they use long quotes from their stuff to drive subscription sales.
2) Andrew has a uniquely passionate audience as a result of his emotional honesty (or weirdness or... etc) and other bloggers/reporters don't.
Me: I think that's true. Reporters and bloggers might need to emulate his style (or at least reinterpret in their own way) if they want to pursue this kind of model. My hunch is that thousands of small teams -- maybe tens of thousands globally -- in their own ways and for their own domains will be able to.
3) Andrew will need advertising revenue eventually.
Me: I think he could add it -- example: sponsors could comp your subscription for a day -- but I doubt he'll need it. Other pay experiments might and/or may be in domains that are generally more conducive to advertising than anti-circumcision activism. :) But basically I think this is mostly a question of what motivates Andrew and his team.
4) People won't want to have subscriptions to lots of different sites, so this won't work more broadly.
Me: Yeah, someone will have to build a network. Obviously that's what Andrew's vendor, TinyPass, dreams of doing. If lots of people are paying a lots of different sites, somebody will finally figure out an viable EZ-Pass.
Anyway, you'll notice that these critiques are just camouflage for 'Andrew's model won't work for my newspaper or magazine.'
True -- but that's not his problem anymore. That's the whole point.