Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The virtuous trackback: A proposal for paying for content

Posted by Tom Foremski - April 7, 2006

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

SVW reader Todd Defren has proposed a micropayments system for content, but I don't think such a thing would work because people don't like being nickel-and-dimed for content.
[Please see SVW: We need a Google AdSense on Steroids to pay for content.]
Also, payment for content implies that if you don't pay you don't get to read the content. I wouldn't want to lock up my content behind a subscription firewall I'd like it to be free to roam the internet.

However, what about a type of commercial trackback? What if linking to a blog post you agreed to run a small text link advert at the bottom of the post as part of the blog link policy?

For example, if someone were to write a blog post and link to this post. The blog software would ping this post and then send back a text advert link. So at the bottom of the post linking to this one would be something like this:

[Links in this post are from: Silicon Valley Watcher, Scripting.com, WikiPedia.

These links are sponsored by: Dreamhost--for all your web hosting needs.; "The Power to Predict : How Real Time Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs. ]

The blog software would assemble this bottom panel automatically. It would be a type of Google AdSense advertising network that is "stuck" to the content and follows the content wherever it is reffered to or quoted from. And, it could be done in such a way that everybody could share in the revenues.

For example, if one of my readers writes a blog post and refrences my post which might be sponsored by Amazon and thus an Amazon text link appears on any reffering blog post. If that link on the other blog post generates a sale for Amazon, I get a piece of the sale but so does the other blog site, and so on down and up the line.

In this way, a popular blog post would be able to have broad distribution of its content and its associated text advertising link. Those blogs reffering to the original post would bring attention to the original post and thus are creating value. They get to share in the monetisation of that value through any clicks/sales on the text ad link.

The virtuous trackback

Could you scam/spam something like this? I don't know. There would be nothing gained from just blogging other posts hoping to get affiliate clicks/sales unless those original posts carried some intrinsic value. And bloggers agreeing to such a setup would know that they are helping support the creation of the original content, thus creating a virtuous cycle in which good/great content is rewarded and monetised and reinvested in producing yet more content. It's the virtuous trackback :-)

Another aspect is that because of permalink, one popular blog post would essentially create an advertising network across many pages on the internet and it would be permanently there. Thus, the original sponsor of the original blog post could be changed, and that would be reflected in all the other, connected blog posts.

What do you think? Maybe we can get Dave Winer to comment on this since he is the inventor of RSS and trackbacks. What do you say Dave? Can you give us a commercial virtuous trackback so that we can pay for content without going to micropayments?


Links in this post are from: Silicon Valley Watcher, Scripting.com, WikiPedia.

These links are sponsored by: Dreamhost--for all your web hosting needs.; "The Power to Predict : How Real Time Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs.


Story link | Subscribe free | Categories: About SVW, New Rules, New Rules Communications




ForemskiInnovator.jpg

The Holmes Report names Tom Foremski one of the top 25 Innovators of 2013.




-->