CwF + RtB = Techdirt

from the a-little-experiment dept

Techdirt's CwF + RtB

Time for a little experimenting from Techdirt... For years, we've been talking about various new business models in the digital era, and how they can work. More recently, we've seen a rapid increase in musicians who have figured this out (though, we're seeing it in a few other industries as well). Back in January, for a presentation that I did at the music industry event MidemNet about Trent Reznor's various experiments, I tried to simplify what he had done into a simple equation, and came up with

Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model

That simple formula has resonated incredibly well, to the point that I'm receiving emails daily about it specifically -- and not just in the music industry, but many other industries, asking how they can apply it themselves. Some complained that such a model only worked for "big" name acts like Reznor, so I later expanded the original presentation to include many other acts of varying levels of fame and success to show how it could work at many different levels. Most recently, I used those examples to show where I believed the overall music industry was heading.

But, it actually goes beyond just the music industry. In fact, I'd argue that these models apply to many different industries, including the media business. After doing all those presentations, some of us here at Floor64/Techdirt got to talking about ways that they could be applied to other industries -- and one thing led to another where we began to wonder why we didn't test them out ourselves. So, we looked at the various models and thought about what could we do along those lines. I certainly love the "tiered" models, where there are numerous options of increasing value that people can buy into, and we figured, why not test that out ourselves? It would be a fun experiment and a great learning experience. So... here we are introducing:

Techdirt's CwF + RtB

We had a lot of fun putting this together. There's quite a range of things on the list. Of course, everything you are used to here on Techdirt remains as free and open as ever. Then there are all sorts of relatively inexpensive extras you can buy, granting you some extra abilities, like the chance to see some Techdirt posts before everyone else, followed up by some fun products -- such as t-shirts and a package that includes both a t-shirt and a book written by me. Like hoodies? We've got those too.

Beyond that, however, is where we really started to explore the possibilities. We realized we also wanted to use it to help promote others who understood this vision (it's not just about us, of course). So we put together two great offerings that I'm incredibly excited about. The first is our Techdirt Music Club offering, that doesn't just promote four musicians (Jill Sobule, Amanda Palmer, Moto Boy and Joe Pug) -- all of whom we've discussed at times for the cool things they do with new business models -- but also offers you something unique that you can't get anywhere else. All four (and their management) have been a tremendous joy to work with through this process. It's great brainstorming with creative, positive people.

Next is the Techdirt Book Club, which is a fantastic collection of must read books from a bunch of authors whose thinking on this is far beyond what else you might find out there. Even better? All of the authors involved -- William Patry, James Boyle, David Levine, Michele Boldrin and Michael Heller -- are so enthusiastic about this experiment that they've agreed to provide signed copies of the books in question. It's the ultimate signed book collection -- and, as a bonus we throw in additional features for Techdirt and the book that we put together from my writings -- which I'll sign as well.

From there we've also got a chance to hang out -- and spend the day with us and some friends. See the magic that is writing a Techdirt post and (much more exciting) have some entertaining discussions myself and with much more interesting folks like Mark Fletcher, Andy Kessler, Rich Skrenta and Eric Goldman. We'll have some meals, we'll hang out at the office, and we'll go out and have some fun as well. Should be a blast.

Above that level, we have a whole series of options that are more for the corporate level -- though, if you're feeling flush, individuals are more than welcome to take part, utilizing the business side of what we do here at Floor64/Techdirt. You've got a variety of different options that include some opportunities to use the Insight Community to get some smart analysis on your business model. Or you can help pick a theme for a week on Techdirt, complete with an Insight Community case and additional posts. There are also offerings where I'll speak at your company or event... all the way up to a full on Techdirt Greenhouse production for your company, both of which include cases with the Insight Community. And, if you really want to dig in, and get every single thing that we have offered... that's available as well.

And, of course, these offerings are targeted at the folks who like what we do, enjoy it and would like to interact with us some more... but we like to offer up things for everyone, including those who aren't huge fans, and would rather we shut up and go away. We've even got a package for you! Though, I warn you, it's a bit pricey. We may be offering something for you, but we never said we'd make it easy for you.

Anyway, we hope you have some fun checking these out -- and find something worthwhile to you. We enjoyed getting the whole thing together, and we're curious to see what we learn from this experiment. Special thanks to the team at Floor64 for putting in some crazy hours before this launch, and to everyone else (authors and their publishers, musicians and their managers, entrepreneurs, etc.) who agreed to take part in this experiment.


Techdirt's CwF + RtB


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    T-Shirts !!!!!

    I said T-SHIRTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, punks

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    $100MM....

    Do I get sharks with lasers on their heads, too?

     

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  3.  
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    BullJustin (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Nice

    Keep up the good work

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Cool experiment

    It's good to see someone actually experiment with new business models instead of complaining how the (free) internet is destroying everything. As the post said, this is not a new crazy novel way to make money off fans... this model has already worked well for some smart music artists out there, so there is a good chance that fans of a different product can be motivated in the same way with multiple 'reasons to buy'. In any case, it would be cool to see how well this model would work here.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:48am

    Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Yeah!! I still want to buy an "I trolled with Angry Dude" t-shirt.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Silence Techdirt - Be Careful with this one, Mike. There's enough money and probably enough anger between the RIAA, MPAA, and various patent trolls to pool their funds for this one.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Big Change

    Of course, everything you are used to here on Techdirt remains as free and open as ever.

    Good, because I like the way that everyone, even anonymous users, get access to and can comment on Techdirt posts at the same time. For free.

    Then there are all sorts of relatively inexpensive extras you can buy, granting you some extra abilities, like the chance to see some Techdirt posts before everyone else...

    Err, now wait a minute. That's not what you just got through saying. What you're describing is actually taking away something (equal access) that used to be free and changing to charging for it. Spin it as you will, but that's what really going on.

    This might be a blessing in disguise for me, though. I probably spend too much time here anyway providing my own "insights and analysis" (for free!) and this change will certainly discourage that.

     

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  8.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    This is a great idea in many ways, and I'm definitely going to buy into it, but I have a question for you Mike:

    If you believe the content itself isn't at the center of what makes money, shouldn't you be offering the songs on the Music Club playlist for free download, not "protected" by a Flash player? For that matter, shouldn't you make all the music and all the books freely downloadable? That *is* the model you've been touting.

     

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  9.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Re: Nice

    Thanks!

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    I said T-SHIRTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, punks

    You're gonna buy one, right, AD? We made it especially for you. :)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    There's enough money and probably enough anger between the RIAA, MPAA, and various patent trolls to pool their funds for this one.

    And I imagine their army of shills will all buy "Techdirt Insider" memberships to ensure they get priority access. Great, just great.

     

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  12.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Doesn't he get a rev share? You must have licensed that IP from him.

     

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  13.  
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    PopeHilarius (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:03am

    Sure this might work for an established copyright blog like Techdirt, but it'd never work for up and coming copyright blogs.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    This will never work...Techdirt are too small and what is this Floor64 - the big brother to Level 42? Didn't they break up already. I'm so confused...all I know is that this will never work.

     

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  15.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    "If you believe the content itself isn't at the center of what makes money"

    Wrong. The content IS at the center of it all. That has been the whole point, all along, always. The content IS where most VALUE is, but as an infinite good, the price should tend towards zero, thus, businesses must find other scarce goods (around the content) to sell.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    This will never work as an experiment...Techdirt are way too well well-known and Floor64 - I mean come on the re-forming of an already established band Level 42 is the best you can come up with for an "experiment." This just a gimmick...just like that Trent Reznor...what a joke.

     

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  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:12am

    Hmmm... I wonder what kind of international regulations stop you from sending T-shirts overseas? Standard retailers don't seem to have any problems...

    Oh well, I'll probably drop a donation over at the end of the month, just a shame I can't get the shirt :(

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Polo Shirts!!!!!

    Preferably a nice neutral color!!

    And a tasteful embroidered logo!

    In a men's medium.

     

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  19.  
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    Shawn (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Big Change

    your unpaid access is the same as it is today- as we sit here reading this there are stories in the 'future queue' just as there was yesterday and the day before, what has changed is that for a buy-in you can see and comment on the stories that have not had the 'publish now' button clicked. Not really taking anything away- adding something for a price.

     

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  20.  
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    JimNightshade, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Sweet, Nice, but...

    For those of us without a credit card (there are quite a few of us, though admittedly (I think) non US based), are there any other ways to support this? A lot of us (I think) wouldn't mind to support this, in fact popping off 15 bucks seems like a good idea - but how...
    Come on Mike - micro payments and all that ...

    (And yes, we could use the company card, for various reasons we may not want to do that)

     

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  21.  
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    Norm (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    The difference is that these are physically SIGNED copies of said book/albums.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    If no one does it, maybe it's actually MIKE that got it WRONG (again) ?

     

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  23.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Or collarless with a breast pocket, available in sizes up to XXL...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    What if you just want a T-Shirt and just a T-Shirt that has the little techdirt logo on the back without the 'loooots of shirts' thing on the front?

    Also, the shirts are quality jobs? Not some cafepress crap, right?

     

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  25.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    A real question

    Mine is a genuine question from a big fan of this blog, not an attempt at trolling. Why isn't the content being offered for free to attract attention, and then having people buy the special packages?

    The question stems from my own reaction to the packages. I probably won't buy the Music Club because the collection doesn't seem like my style. If I could listen to it all easily though, I might change my mind. Similarly, the Book Club interested me, but I don't know that I want to donate $150 based on book descriptions alone.

    Having watched multiple presentations you've made via YouTube, this seems incongruent with everything you've touted Trent Reznor (and others) doing. I'm genuinely curious why you didn't follow the model that you've spoken so much about.

    Is it just you've done "CwF + RtB" without giving anything away, so therefore you don't have to give anything away? Was it a question of server load for distributing more than some HTML? Were all the artists and authors involved not willing to buy into your "free" model? I don't need names or anything. I just want to understand the business decisions better.

     

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  26.  
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    sondatch (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    The CwF + RtB model certainly applies to this loyal reader. Techdirt was the blog to get me into blogs.

    After reading so many free posts I recently started searching out more material from you guys, but found nothing on Amazon. (Ok, it wasn't exactly an exhaustive search.)

    Were I not in the far off, remote country of Canada I'd take the $150 option in a heartbeat... Alas. All the best to you in this experiment. (I've taken the Crystal Ball option, the only available to this land.)

     

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  27.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    Hmmm... I wonder what kind of international regulations stop you from sending T-shirts overseas? Standard retailers don't seem to have any problems...

    Yeah, tragically, we discovered that it's not as simple as you might think. We *are* looking into options on that, and *hope* to be able to do something eventually. But working out all the details was holding back being able to launch this. If there's really a lot of demand for it, we'll try to figure something out...

     

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  28.  
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    Kevin Stapp (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    What's wrong with that? Techdirt is an open forum so I don't see the harm with interested but contrary parties having the same access as those who favor Techdirt's opinions.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    This is a great idea in many ways, and I'm definitely going to buy into it, but I have a question for you Mike:

    Thanks! Appreciate the kind words.

    shouldn't you be offering the songs on the Music Club playlist for free download, not "protected" by a Flash player? For that matter, shouldn't you make all the music and all the books freely downloadable?

    In many cases, those works are very much available for download at the artists/authors' own sites, but the idea was that it's up to them on how they want to handle that. But the key here was the specialness of the offer at hand, including the signed books, or the signatures and extras from the musicians. The idea behind the music player was just to let you hear these artists.

     

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  30.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    A Hawaiian style shirt would be nice, too.

     

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  31.  
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    kyra (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    I love you guys, I just had to go with the books. I'm interested in seeing what your t-shirt design is though.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    yogi, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Hmmmm

    I fail to see the connection between the music club offering and techdirt. The price also seems incredibly high.

    The book club offering seems to me right on target as well as the rest of the offerings.

    Too bad you don't ship internationally.

    Anyway, good work.

     

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  33.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Question regarding crystal ball option:

    Will this be a feature we can turn off?

    I found the crystal ball feature to be quite annoying, truthfully, and sure wouldn't want this turned on without the option of removing it.

    For I see no option of a "gratitude, t-shirt, and logo" to purchase.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Yeah, I'm sure Mike is scared rigid of being paid $1m to do nothing for a year. I wish I was so loathed that people threw money at me...

     

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  35.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    Sure this might work for an established copyright blog like Techdirt, but it'd never work for up and coming copyright blogs.

    Ha! Knew that was coming...

     

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  36.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for the response (and apologies for the second iteration). I guessed it might be something like that. Might I suggest adding links to sites where people can find the content? The easier it is for people to find the material, I suspect the more likely I think they'll be to buy.

    I'm off to roam the internet. I'll be back with my PayPal account once I've (not) found what I need.

     

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  37.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for the response (and apologies for the second iteration). I guessed it might be something like that. Might I suggest adding links to sites where people can find the content? The easier it is for people to find the material, I suspect the more likely I think they'll be to buy.

    Yeah, good point. I'll see what we can do!

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Techdirt is an open forum so I don't see the harm with interested but contrary parties having the same access as those who favor Techdirt's opinions.

    Actually, if you had bothered to read the description, you should have noticed that Insider members will get priority, not "the same", access as others. Considering that you, yourself, appear to be such a member, I'm surprised that you didn't know that. Or did you?

     

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  39.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    What if you just want a T-Shirt and just a T-Shirt that has the little techdirt logo on the back without the 'loooots of shirts' thing on the front?

    Right now, this is the t-shirt we're offering. We may do other shirts in the future...

    Also, the shirts are quality jobs? Not some cafepress crap, right?

    Yes, it's high quality, American Apparel. We wanted to make sure you got value for your money.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Big Change

    your unpaid access is the same as it is today

    Until now, it has been equal access. I fail to see how it is still equal. Perhaps you can explain how it is?

     

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  41.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re:

    You're right. My language didn't make that distinction. My point was that the content of the albums/books could be distributed for free, but weren't being offered (here) that way.

    Mike's selling the scarce goods, which I get. It's not giving away digital versions that I felt was out of line with what he praised elsewhere.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    Until now, it has been equal access. I fail to see how it is still equal. Perhaps you can explain how it is?
    All are still equal. Some are just more equal than others.

     

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  43.  
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    Very Bad Panda (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re: Big Change

    Err, now wait a minute. That's not what you just got through saying. What you're describing is actually taking away something (equal access) that used to be free and changing to charging for it. Spin it as you will, but that's what really going on.
    No, he is not taking away equal access. You will still get the content- it's just that somethings you will get later than those that pay to be first.

     

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  44.  
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    DJ (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re:

    If $1m buys one year, will Techdirt haters pool enough to silence Mike for more than just one year? Mike you must be absolutely horrified....

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Dan, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    I want a Hoodie

    I would like just a Hoodie.
    No book.
    No crystal ball.
    No badge.
    Just a nice plan black hoodie with a nice logo.
    But I'm not willing to pay $65 for it.

    When you get everything all organized and figured out, please set up the store where i can buy the t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, mouse pads, thumb drives, stuffed animals, bumper stickers, underwear, mice, pens, shot glasses, etc... à la carte style and not bundled.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Where can I download a free e-book of Approaching Infinity?

     

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  47.  
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    DJ (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    Do you honestly (HONESTLY now) think that, in ANY business on the planet, someone who DOES NOT pay should have the same privelages as someone who does?

    I'm not going to be a paying member (sorry Mike), but that doesn't mean that I won't still have access to all the same stuff as before; it just means that I won't have access to stuff that WASN'T ACCESSIBLE BEFORE.

    Again with thinking before you spew...

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I mistyped -- it's $100 Million. So, yeah, horrified.

     

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  49.  
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    Steve Steidle (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    I just signed up for Techdirt after reading this. Had to do a little research to understand the "looooooooooooots of tshirts" reference. Sounds like a kick-ass plan and a great way to reach out to everyone. Plan on ordering my book club when I get back from work...

     

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  50.  
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    Matt (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Great Experiment

    This is a great experiment and I am looking forward to hearing about the results.

    You might need to be careful with the no techdirt for a year option. You may have just given a reason for the collection societies to spend the money they have been holding for all these years ;)

     

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  51.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would gladly take a bribe of $100 million to 'not run my website' for a year. I'm sure many people would, why should Mike be any different?

    With $100 million he could retire in indifference, or retire and make a difference.

     

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  52.  
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    Dez (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    I can see into the future

    Thanks for the opportunity. I've enjoyed reading for the past 6 months or so, and I definitely don't have a problem learning what's coming out a bit ahead of time and making my profile look a little more "important".

    One thing that would REALLY be cool is a crystal ball RSS feed (if there is one, I'm oblivious).

     

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  53.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    How often will we get updates about sales?

    Amanda Palmer has been good about letting people know how much she makes for her shows and sales.

    Will Techdirt provide an on-going tally of its sales from this project? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? It will be really helpful to see how financially successful it is.

     

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  54.  
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    DJ (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Would it be a different kind of difference?

     

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  55.  
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    Matt (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re: I can see into the future

    Yes, a crystal ball rss feed would be great

     

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  56.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Just like PBS

    The book and music packages remind me of the fundraising telethons that local PBS stations have been running for years.

    Could we get a real-time online tally of sales as they come in to add to the atmosphere? And maybe some phones ringing in the background, some local celebrities, and a catering service?

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    I would buy the hoodie (and a T-Shirt with the logo only), but I am not from the US :-((

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    C w f + already famous = reason to buy.

    Attempting to rewrite the rules might not work as you wish.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Dennis Yang (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Question regarding crystal ball option:

    aha.. great suggestion.. I'll see if I can do this.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Norm (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: How often will we get updates about sales?

    I second this. What better way to show that CwF + RtB can be successful? (Also, I'm just curious)

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Nasch, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    Yeah, you're right. Until now, we all had equal access to the t-shirts too (none). Now people who pay have greater access to them. Damn you, Masnick.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Nasch, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    C w f + already famous = reason to buy.

    Attempting to rewrite the rules might not work as you wish.


    Woo hoo! An apparently serious Masnick's Law supporter! I didn't think it was possible since the law is actually mentioned (though not by name) IN THIS BLOG POST, but I probably should not have been surprised.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    Chucklebutte (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    post 61... im so slow!

    i want a shirt though u really gonna sell them soon? ima nag u on twitter everyday till they are for sale! lol

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Just out of curiosity, would you take any action if someone, say, bought the early access to stories and then resyndicated them for free? Or if someone copied your t-shirt designs and sold them for less than you are?

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    Some are just more equal than others.

    Otherwise known as Reason to Buy (RtB)?

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    Do you honestly (HONESTLY now) think that, in ANY business on the planet, someone who DOES NOT pay should have the same privelages as someone who does?

    Nobody said that, why are you making up a straw man like that?

    Again with thinking before you spew...

    Indeed. Perhaps you should actually read the comment you are "spewing" in reply to before doing so.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Is there a way to get your name on one of these tshirts? Or better yet, a TechDirt JERSEY!!!!

    "Introduce #6 in your programs, but number 1 in your hearts: Dark Helmet!!!" (and picture me doing that thing where you cup your hands over your mouth and breathe really hard to make the crowd sound, then I take a victory lap around my office, admired by all my confused coworkers)

     

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  68.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Good luck, Mike.

    I'm sure it's not as simple as it sounds, though I wish it were. As I've mentioned in previous posts, international regulations are the bane of my life, and often stop me spending actual cash on good I want.

    Either way, keep up the good work.

     

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  69.  
    icon
    Dave W (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    UK T Shirts

    Right - dammit if i can get a Lifehacker T Shirt, then i want a Techdirt one too.

    Anyway, i would like a T shirt (plus T Insider ticket etc etc), anyone suggest how i go about it? Anyone willing handle the transaction will get a 10% mark up on their costs (proof req'd).

    By the way, is Carlo not UK based? All his stuff seems to come from UK-related stories.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: How often will we get updates about sales?

    Will Techdirt provide an on-going tally of its sales from this project? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? It will be really helpful to see how financially successful it is.

    Yup, we'll provide data... we just hadn't figured that part out yet. Will get around to it soon, though... Definitely want to share what we learn with folks.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Big Change

    No, he is not taking away equal access.

    No? Explain please.

    You will still get the content- it's just that somethings you will get later than those that pay to be first.

    Which is not equal. Now Mike is free to do if he so wishes, it's his blog after all. And it may (or may not) be a great business decision. I really don't know. It's certainly a model that's been discussed by some newspapers whereby subscribers get first access to stories and everybody else gets "free" access some time later. But it isn't equal. And that's OK because Mike doesn't have any kind of obligation to provide access, equal or otherwise, at all!

    So what do you see that's so wrong with unequal access that that you feel compelled to deny it? It's really not "wrong" at all. It's just business. Embrace it.

     

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  72.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    Make one.

    www.cafepress.com

    Or one of the other dozens of screen printing shops.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    you should have noticed that Insider members will get priority, not "the same", access as others.

    Everyone gets the same opportunity. There is no change. Stories still get published at the same time they would have otherwise. If you want, you can pay to get access a little earlier, but that's not discriminatory -- everyone has the same access to that.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My husband says if I get a free grand, I can so go down there... Until then, a t-shirt shall suffice. :)

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Icon Logo Crack?

    First person to figure out how to do an insider icon crack wins a cookie (just kidding dammit)...

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Cheese McBeese, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Patent?

    Mike, did you file a business method patent for this? He he he.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Cheese McBeese, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Patent?

    Mike, did you file a business method patent for this? He he he.

     

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  78.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Hey...

    ...if someone comes up with a million dollar offer to shut y'all down, will you promise to give us time to counter offer?

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    bob, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Thsi is what I want

    My Tech Dirt T Shirt

    I am Anonymous Coward
    On Tech Dirt




    I give this idea to Tech Dirt and the Tech Dirt Community.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    bob, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    Thsi is what I want

    My Tech Dirt T Shirt

    I am Anonymous Coward
    On Tech Dirt




    I give this idea to Tech Dirt and the Tech Dirt Community.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    Re: UK T Shirts

    Yeah, we really would like to figure out a way to ship internationally. We're looking into options... but it was such a pain, we launched without international support. It's really quite frustrating.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    Travis (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    I ordered the books. I only wish they would arrive sooner :)

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    Just out of curiosity, would you take any action if someone, say, bought the early access to stories and then resyndicated them for free?

    I was just wondering the same thing. Now that Techdirt is going to be essentially placing some of its content behind a paywall, I wonder if their stance is going to change on that?

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My husband says if I get a free grand, I can so go down there...

    Umm, must...resist...cheap...shot...

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't see how selling shirts, a countdown timer, a user badge, or consulting services make a paywall...

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Everyone gets the same opportunity. There is no change. Stories still get published at the same time they would have otherwise. If you want, you can pay to get access a little earlier, but that's not discriminatory -- everyone has the same access to that.

    Maybe I misunderstood something then. I was under the impression that some stories would be published to paid subscribers before they were published to the general public. I'm trying to see how I was wrong about that. I keep re-reading the description but that's still the way it looks to me. Help me out on understanding how that isn't the way it is because I seem to be confused if that isn't the case.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    International shipping

    Post again once you get the international shipping side of things sorted out and I might finally sign up for an account to get myself a T-shirt :)

    P.S. On the CwF+RtB front, have you ever spoken with Howard Tayler over at Schlock Mercenary (www.schlockmercenary.com)? Obviously, quite a few web comic artists have been doing the whole "give the content away and then sell books to people that liked it" gig, but Tayler does a great job of connecting with people through Blogunder Schlock and the production standards on his books are quite amazing.

     

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  88.  
    icon
    kirillian (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Hey...

    I have a good idea...maybe Mike can just retire with part of that and then "donate" to us to start up another site that continues his work absentia...then we can have him come in as an expert guest in about a year after his silence starts.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    Timothy Lee (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Woo!

    Great work, Mike.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm sure no one would care. It will be free anyway, so what if it's free a little earlier? Most people who pay for the premium are TechDirt fans or frequent commentators...and those people would still pay.

     

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  91.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    Just out of curiosity, would you take any action if someone, say, bought the early access to stories and then resyndicated them for free? Or if someone copied your t-shirt designs and sold them for less than you are?

    No, why would we do something like that?!?

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What you're missing is that these stories are already posted before they're published. They're simply put on hold until someone posts them to the public.

    You're paying premium to see the content that's put on hold.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Guillermo Llosa, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Breakdown

    I see that we can get you to take a vacation for a cool 100 million. However, I wonder if there's no 'tiered' approach to that sort of thing. For example, you talk about the recording industry a lot, maybe (picking random #) 20% of the time.

    Can we pay you to 'ban' a certain topic? Maybe 20 million to not mention recording industries?



    Just kidding, I think the whole thing's hilariously witty.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Levels

    Hey Mike,

    Have you considered offering different subscription levels? Like maybe, $15 gets you the basic level with the "Insider" moniker beside your name and x hours early access. Then, $50 gets you a silver star beside your name and twice the early access. Then $100 gets you a gold star and 4x early access, or something like that.

    Another thing you could do is auction off default placement in the comments section. Of course, you would need to have buttons to let readers resort the comments in actual chronological or thread order if they want to. I'm just talking about the initial, default sort order shown before they select a different order. I bet there are plenty of people who would pay to have their comments initially shown first. Call them "sponsored comments", kind of like how Google does "sponsored links". It might work! Capitalism, I love it!

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What you're missing is that these stories are already posted before they're published.

    No, I don't think I'm missing that at all. They're just being published twice: First to paid subscribers. Then, later, to everyone else. Or so I thought.

    You're paying premium to see the content that's put on hold.

    Yes, that's what I thought too.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Levels

    And you could give "silver" and "gold" members silver and gold backgrounds behind their messages (like your blue one) too.

     

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  97.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Where's the CwDH?

    "Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model"

    Fine, I've reviewed my options and you've given me a reason to buy, but where the hell is my Connect with Dark Helmet? Hundreds of comments including direct questions and you, Lord Masnick have only responded once! Where's my damn connection?

    Now granted, I'm a complete ass, we all know that. And usually I'm either commenting with something I think is funny or to refute what I deem to be faulty logic -- But STILL! I'm a fan dammit, and I want my connection.

    Incidentally, I've actually had more connections with Odd Hairball and some Angry Dude, which I wear as a badge of honor.

    Okay, I'm done whining. Off to find more faulty logic...

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    All Ic an say is this: If you are dumb enough to ship money off to Techdirt for this thing, then you are suckers for everything Mike says.

    Sorry, but this is a pathetic attempt to bootstrap an idea by asking koolaid drinkers to support it. Slurp slurp, spend spend. Just remember after the brain wash to enjoy the spin cycle!

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: Levels

    And then if the the silver and gold levels prove sufficiently popular, you could add on even higher levels, like "platinum" and "diamond". A level for every budget!

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    It is not equal! Preposterous! I demand that people who don't buy t-shirts, mugs, and autographed songs receive them regardless? See? Equal! Also, Mike is getting money for this, why am I not? I demand an equal share to Mike from the money made from these sales! Equal!

     

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  101.  
    icon
    Norm (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Thsi is what I want

    My Tech Dirt T Shirt

    I am angry dude
    On Tech Dirt


    There ... fixed that for you!

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Barta, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    hrm?

    Can I grow marijuana in my greenhouse if I want? Puhleeeease!!!!

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    CrushU, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Equality

    Before: Stories were placed on a queue and then revealed after 15 minutes.

    Now: Stories are placed on a queue and then revealed after 15 minutes.

    It's the same, please stop whining.

    The only difference is that if you pay a little $$, you can see the queue. If you don't want to pay, you get the same things you always have. Hence, not taking away anything.

     

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  104.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He was right about the early access, but wrong about what you are missing. HERE'S what you're missing:

    You, or any anti-Techdirt commenter, has equal ability to pay the annual donation required to get that early access. It's not just reserved for "dittoheads" or people on board with Techdirt editorial.

     

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  105.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Have you noticed how the articles aren't published all at once, but rather come out periodically over the course of the day? That's still how it's going to work. If doesn't work that way because Mike and the other authors are spending all the intervening time writing the next article. They're preloaded, but designed to post throughout the day so discussion can happen in between. The "crystal ball" just lets you see that queue. The articles will still post when they otherwise would've, so you aren't losing anything if you stay anonymous.

     

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  106.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I thought that might be the case...which is why I deleted some additional choice words before I clicked submit!

     

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  107.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    Re: A real question

    Scarr,

    You're missing the point, a little. Mike IS giving away "the content". In the case of Techdirt, "the content" is this blog, NOT the giveaways including books, shirts, music, etc. Those are rewards and "Thanks" for people who contribute.

    Think of PBS television during a funding drive. They give prizes for contributors. But you don't think PBS' "content" is a handy re-usable shopping bag, do you?

    "I probably won't BUY the Music Club ...Similarly, the Book Club interested me, but I don't know that I want to donate $150 based on book descriptions alone." You see, here you're looking at the music as a product package you would BUY from Techdirt for $150. But Techdirt is not a retailer of these goods. The right perspective is that you are supporting Techdirt with a $150 contribution, and Techdirt is thanking you with a package of gifts from some sponsors.

    Techdirt's product is NOT these books and music. It is the free content on this site. The books and music are just a "reason to buy"...something tangible to offer you in return for your contribution to the content.

    The above is one complete explanation, but please allow me to put in another:

    The plan is 100% congruent with Reznor's models, and the models Mike has touted in his presentations. You'll note that he is not specifically offering digital, infinitely reproducible goods as the rewards when he includes music or books. He is offering goods that cannot be reproduced (scarce goods): The music, and books are signed by the authors. You can't get autographed copies on Bittorrent.

    And what's more, signed works are a personal touch that helps Techdirt CwF, and fans CwTechdirt.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Big Change

    It is not equal!

    True enough.

    Preposterous!

    Umm, what's preposterous about it?

    I demand that people who don't buy t-shirts, mugs, and autographed songs receive them regardless?

    Well, I guess you can make all the idiotic demands you want. That doesn't mean they'll be met though.

    Mike is getting money for this, why am I not?

    Maybe because you don't own or run Techdirt?

    I demand an equal share to Mike from the money made from these sales!

    There you go with your idiotic demands again.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re:

    No, why would we do something like that?!?

    Cool.

     

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  110.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re:

    um...by pointing your eReader to the hyperlinks Mike posted in the prize detail pages, to read each one of them as they are posted on the free blog.

    For a print version, do the above, paste into your word processor, print, and add your own staple. Voila!

     

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  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see how selling shirts, a countdown timer, a user badge, or consulting services make a paywall...

    I don't either and no one said they did, so where did you get that idea? Strawman much?

     

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  112.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    for those of you who don't know, many detractors of Mike's business model of offering digital goods for free and selling scarce goods for revenue like to make fun of one particular idea:

    The idea that musicians can make some money from selling t-shirts when their music is free.

    The detractors like to build a strawman argument that "Mike says piracy is OK, and musicians just need to sell t-shirts? They're going to need to sell loooooooootssss of t-shirts."

    But that argument is asinine, since nobody anywhere has ever said that musicians will all survive by sellign t-shirts. Our side does say that t-shirt sales are an example of a way musicians can sell scarce goods when infinintely reproducible goods return no revenue. But it is just one idea. Many other scarce goods can be bundled with the music, such as access, live performances, autographs, art, etc. Focusing just on t-shirts is either:
    - a disingenuous strawman, or
    - shows a tragic lack of imagination.

    And despite the repeated cases of musicians finding other ways of generating revenue besides the historic CD sales, goofballs have been showing up here for years saying "Making up for CD sales with other revenue? They'd better sell looooootssss of t-shirts".

    On the upside, that argument angle has been pretty much torn to pieces by now...even though some dinosaurs don't seem to realize it.

     

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  113.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: How often will we get updates about sales?

    Mike,

    Very open of you to do so, but as an academic discussion:

    Is that really a necessary part of the equation? I don't think so. That data is your business' operational data, is useful, valuable, and the private information of a private company.

    Now, I see that sharing it takes Techdirt even farther into CwF, but I don't think the readers or contributors have a 'right' to that info. Perhaps Techdirt should share the data, because it is very on topic for the issues discussed here, but:

    Do you think some other blog that put forth a similar business model has any obligation to share revenue data under the plan?

    Derek.

     

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  114.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Hey...

    Check again. Price is $100M.

     

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  115.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Re:

    Right. And spending $15 for a shiny disk with 600MB of 1s and 0s that can be copied, shipped, and stored for ~free is what makes sense. (sarc)

    Does it bother you that people will voluntarily give revenue to Techdirt, while refusing to pay some industries? This despite that other industry's attempts to "bootstrap an idea" with false education campaigns and massive lobbying?

    Does it bother you that CwF might be a good idea after all?

    You drink YOUR Kool Aid, I'll try to think for myself.

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You, or any anti-Techdirt commenter, has equal ability to pay the annual donation required to get that early access.

    Again, who said otherwise? Enough with the strawmen already.

    And if you think I'm "anti-Techdirt", then that's just something else you're totally wrong about.

    By the way, I like the way you term the payment a "donation". I heard that Walmart will give you a bag full of $100 worth of stuff for a $100 donation at the checkout register. Amazing, this "donation" stuff, isn't it?

     

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  117.  
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    jezsik (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    100 million for one year?

    C'mon guys. What was that you said about how people overestimate their own value?

     

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  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Levels

    Hey Mike,

    Have you considered offering different subscription levels? Like maybe, $15 gets you the basic level with the "Insider" moniker beside your name and x hours early access. Then, $50 gets you a silver star beside your name and twice the early access. Then $100 gets you a gold star and 4x early access, or something like that.

    Another thing you could do is auction off default placement in the comments section. Of course, you would need to have buttons to let readers resort the comments in actual chronological or thread order if they want to. I'm just talking about the initial, default sort order shown before they select a different order. I bet there are plenty of people who would pay to have their comments initially shown first. Call them "sponsored comments", kind of like how Google does "sponsored links". It might work! Capitalism, I love it!

     

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  119.  
    identicon
    Apothe0sis, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:07pm

    I hate you Mike Masnik!

    I want one of those snazzy hoodies, but you can't send it to me in Australia. This is Hulu all over again!

     

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  120.  
    icon
    Michael Ho (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    Re: I want a Hoodie

    Patience, please. We'll have some kind of store eventually where you can buy individual items.

    I dunno about Techdirt underwear, tho... :P shot glasses? maybe. :)

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    A Rose

    A rose by any other name is still a rose. And a paywall by any other name is still a paywall.

    Paywalls come in different flavors. Some in the newspaper industry have talked about paywalls where certain content is reserved for "subscribers only" for an initial time. The time mentioned is often "the first 24 hours" or so, after which it becomes available for free to non-subscribers as well. The idea is that some people will buy subscriptions to be able to read stories earlier. Then, sometimes, after some time of free availability the content may be moved back behind the paywall into some kind of archive.

    But to most people this is still a paywall. Just because the content is restricted to "subscribers only" for an hour or a day or a week or whatever, does not really change that. And that's OK if that's what they want to do. I'm not saying whether they should or shouldn't use paywalls or anything like that. I'm just calling a paywall a paywall (whether the deniers like it or not). The irony here though is that Techdirt, having preached against such paywalls, goes and sets one up itself! Ha! And "but it's not a paywall if *Techdirt* does it" just doesn't fly in my estimation.

     

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  122.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: I can see into the future

    The way RSS works... hmmm.

     

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  123.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Re: A Rose

    A rose by any other name is still a rose. And a paywall by any other name is still a paywall.

    It's not a paywall. A paywall means you cannot access the content at all unless you pay.

    Paywalls come in different flavors. Some in the newspaper industry have talked about paywalls where certain content is reserved for "subscribers only" for an initial time.

    I've not heard of any such thing.

    But, either way, that's quite different. We have not locked up our content for any time. Our content is being revealed at the same time it would be normally. All this does is let some people see the content EARLY. It's not a paywall, no matter what sort of logic you use to try to convince yourself that it is one.

    If you don't pay, *nothing* changes for you. With a paywall, that's not the case.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:00pm

    I think it should be called "The Angry Dude's Angry Store"

     

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  125.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: A real question

    Derek,

    You make excellent points, and your perspective is definitely a unified one. Phrased that way, it makes complete sense.

    The problem (? That's not really the right word.) lies in most people not seeing it like that. The "gifts" are supposed to incentivize someone to contribute more (either here or on PBS). If you negate their value, then there isn't any point in having them in the first place. Just make a blank box for people to fill in whatever amount they want to give.

    You're right that I was assigning the content of the gifts' to Techdirt, which it truly isn't. However, I doubt many people would (could?) separate the tote bag from PBS, even though the TV is the core product. That's a tough distinction for most people to make, and thus it becomes fair question for this model/example. Most people just want to know "what am I getting for my money?"

    It will be interesting to see if enough of this type of business model is practiced, how (if?) common mentality will switch along with it. It will have to for this to be sustainable on a wide scale.

     

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  126.  
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    Adam Singer, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:14pm

    You were right, Mike

    This is brilliant, love it !

     

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  127.  
    identicon
    Rob Friedman, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    If I had $100k I'd buy it all. :) HAHA

     

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  128.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: How often will we get updates about sales?


    Is that really a necessary part of the equation? I don't think so. That data is your business' operational data, is useful, valuable, and the private information of a private company.


    I agree. I don't think it's at all necessary, but I think being transparent in some ways is a good thing. But certainly not necessary, and with the experiments we've seen there's definitely been a varying level of transparency.

    Do you think some other blog that put forth a similar business model has any obligation to share revenue data under the plan?

    Nope. Don't think anyone has any obligation to share the info (us included). But, since this is very much an exercise that we want to learn from, we're hoping to help others learn from it as well.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: A Rose

    Call it a "delaywall" then. All you are doing is artificially creating a need that wasn't there, and working to charge suckers for the right to be a few minutes ahead of others on information that doesn't really get stale very fast.

    Congrats, you have managed to mangle a concept so completely, and you are using your own fans to prove the point. It isn't CwF + RtB, it's more the old "a sucker is born every moment", proving perhaps at a certain volume, a website attracts enough sheep that you can always shear them.

     

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  130.  
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    Jordan S. (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Well, despite what the naysayers say, this is a great business model. Having avidly read Techdirt for over a year now, I felt no need to get an account until you became T-Shirt salesmen. I will wear my Techdirt hoodie proudly, and maybe comment more often now too!

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: A Rose

    It's not a paywall.

    I wish I could have seen your face as you typed that. Surely it couldn't have been straight.

    Still, I understand your embarrassment.

    I've not heard of any such thing.

    Well then, you learned something today. The idea is sometimes called a "hot-news" paywall.

     

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  132.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:53pm

    Re:

    Thanks Jordan!

     

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  133.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    "All you are doing is artificially creating a need that wasn't there"
    Wrong: there is no need. You'll point this out in a few more words yourself, but the point is that nothing changes for most people. The stories are already delayed so that people have time to respond & discuss before the next story pops up. Look at virtually any blog and you'll find this is the case. It's how you foster a community.

    "the right to be a few minutes ahead of others on information that doesn't really get stale very fast."
    And here you go pointing out that it has no value, therefore you aren't missing out on anything. Congratulations on eating your own tail.

    I'd be very curious to know how many people contribute money because of the Crystal Ball. I'll guess very few.

     

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  134.  
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    rjk (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    good work Mike!

     

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  135.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 7:53pm

    Re:

    rjk, thanks! Love the "free rider" profile pic. Hilarious.

     

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  136.  
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    scarr (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    How would a "hot-news" paywall help a news site? The whole "thing" with the news is to be first. It's the news. A delay sounds like an excellent way to constantly appear to be last, and thus drive people to other sites.

     

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  137.  
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    Dez (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: I can see into the future

    Agreed... I thought of that as soon as I pressed send. But I mainly visit any information based site because of rss feeds. However, for the time being, I've thrown a bookmark in my bar so that I actually use it.

     

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  138.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    Sorry, hard to follow your logic, you seem to be agreeing with me. How is that eating my tail?

    "artificially creating a need that wasn't there" is the key to this. It's just cheap marketing (not even first year, more like first project first year), and nothing more. It's the creation of a need in order to sell a product. Most of the people here didn't feel the need to be 15 minutes ahead of everyone else on Techdirt's spew, but now a level has been created that some people will aspire to for no sane reason other than to be somehow better or more important. It's cheapo marketing, and funny enough, won't do much to prove Mike's point. It's more of the George Carlin "If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it from you".

    When the entire world is down to selling t-shirts, we have reached the bottom of marketing barrel, not reached a summit.

    "here you go pointing out that it has no value"

    It has no value to me. The point is that artifical value is created, and the crew that want to suck up to Mike and somehow be his bestest buddy will be there buying hoodies and "connecting" with Mike. In the end, it's horsecrap, more Pavlog's Dog than truly intelligence discourse or scientific method.

     

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  139.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    How would a "hot-news" paywall help a news site? The whole "thing" with the news is to be first. It's the news. A delay sounds like an excellent way to constantly appear to be last, and thus drive people to other sites.

    I agree, but there are some (many?) in the newspaper industry that don't. They think people will pay today for the local hot-news that they could read tomorrow for free. Of course there's even less of a chance of that working with national news where there are so many sources available.

     

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  140.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    Heh. Someone's apparently jealous that he didn't think of this idea first.

     

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  141.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    No Mike, that isn't jealousy,it's the sounds of laughter, just harder to express it right online.

    Perhaps you can call Amanda RudeWord Palmer for help on shlogging your shirts on a Friday night. She is apparently really good at selling crap to the faithful.

     

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  142.  
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    A. Turney, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 10:39pm

    Good on Techdirt!

    I would imagine a lot of people, especially attorneys, are glad to see Techdirt implementing a subscription system. While safe harbor protections may shield Techdirt itself from liability for libelous statements made by readers in the comments section, the same cannot be said of the comment writers themselves. Thus, such an actor can be personally sued. But many times there is a problem identifying such people in order to sue them. Even if an attorney subpoenas information from Techdirt concerning a message, it is quite possible that all the identifying information they will have will be an IP address and time which will then have to be further traced and even then will not conclusively identify a particular person. Even worse, it may be found that the offending message was posted through some kind of untraceable anonymous proxy or network.

    However, with paying subscribers it will be much easier to identify who to file suit against since Techdirt will have billing and other information on file that can be subpoenaed that will be very useful. Techdirt is going to make it even easier on attorneys by actually placing a little "insider" label by the names of such commenters to indicate that they are easily traceable.

    This is a good move indeed on the part of Techdirt in becoming a more responsible internet citizen and making it easier to bring defamation cases to court where they can be settled properly. While anonymous comments haven't been eliminated here yet, this is at least a good first step in that direction. That is what I would like to eventually see and I encourage everyone here to become good, responsible subscribers.

    And remember, if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear.

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:09pm

    I have to say too that there is something just wild about Techdirt adopting a subscription model, the same sort of thing that gets dumped on here all the time.

    Mike, have you perhaps realizes that aggregated eyeballs in a sucky economy mean poor financial return? If 15 minutes works, will you extend it to an hour, a day, a week? A paywall is a paywall, even for 15 minutes.

    It's impressive. Do as I say, not do as I do.

     

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  144.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:15pm

    Thanks to everyone so far!

    Thanks everyone so far for the *massive* response and good will. It's been really great and exciting. This has really been a lot of fun. This is just the beginning... we've got lots more planned...

     

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  145.  
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    Nick, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:02am

    Seeing the working drafts != a paywall

    This is probably a futile effort at getting through to the folks jumping up and down yelling "Techdirt put up a paywall, Techdirt put up a paywall!!", but what the hell, I'll give it a go.

    The status quo:

    Techdirt have an internal queue of stories in various stages of being ready to go. While stories are in this queue they can still be edited with additional details that come to hand prior to publication. Currently, only Techdirt employees are able to participate in this process of review prior to publication.

    The Crystal Ball:

    Those with a "shovel stuff out to the consumer" mindset see the crystal ball aspect of the new Techdirt subscriptions as merely a paywall that allows readers to "see" the Techdirt stories a short time before publication.

    Those that see the internet as a communications and collaboration medium, however, see this as an invitation from Mike and the other folks at Techdirt saying "Hey, if you give us money to support what we do, then we will also give you the opportunity to help more directly by being part of the process that *creates* the Techdirt articles in the first place."

    For most people, the crystal ball isn't going to matter - they'll be paying up because they like what Mike and the others do and want them to be able to keep doing it (well, except for the $100m "go away for a year" option). But for others, that extra sense of belonging to the community that comes from providing pre-publication commentary on the articles posted will be something they see as being worth paying for.

    Since this is something that can greatly increase some supporters' feelings of connection with Techdirt that doesn't really cost the TD crowd much of anything to offer, it makes sense to bundle it in as a bonus with most of the contribution options.

    It's really important to grasp the significance of the "Connect" part of "Connect with Fans". A connected fan cares about you being able to continue to do what you do (in Techdirt's case, produce this blog, but in an artist's case, continue producing music or comics or books or whatever). Genuinely connected fans with some discretionary funds to spend are happy to pay a premium because they like what the recipient of those funds is doing. It's a completely different model to the "consume this because that's what the cool kids are doing" approach preferred by the mainstream media groups.

    There's a reason I brought up the example of Howard Tayler & Schlock Mercenary in a previous post - once you factor in shipping costs and the USD->AUD conversion Tayler's books are actually incredibly expensive for me to buy. I do it anyway because he clearly puts tremendous effort into providing a quality product and because I know exactly where the money is going (i.e. allowing Tayler to continue writing his webcomic as a full time job).

     

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  146.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:41am

    Connect to US fans only apparently :(

    It sucks that you don't ship internationally. I understand the reasons, but still it sucks.
    Otherwise I would have gotted the $35 package. But I'm not going to pay for products I won't get, so it'll be the $15 option.

    Do you perhaps have an amazon.com affiliate link for the book? :) At least I could get the book that way. Shame about the t-shirt, though. :)

     

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  147.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:43am

    Re: Seeing the working drafts != a paywall

    Nick -- great explanation. Thanks for that...

    This is probably a futile effort at getting through to the folks jumping up and down yelling "Techdirt put up a paywall, Techdirt put up a paywall!!", but what the hell, I'll give it a go.

    Just to be clear -- it's *1* person, posting repeatedly, trying to make something out of nothing.

     

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  148.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:55am

    Re: Connect to US fans only apparently :(

    It sucks that you don't ship internationally. I understand the reasons, but still it sucks.

    Yeah... we're really working on this, as the international demand has certainly been very high. Hoping we can at least start adding *some* countries in very short order, though there may be added expenses. Hope to have some more news on this by the end of the week if possible.

     

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  149.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 1:12am

    Re: Re: Connect to US fans only apparently :(

    well you got my support already :)

    This is really putting [y]our money where your mouth is. ;)

     

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  150.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 1:24am

    Re:

    Don't you see? This is great. Techdirt puts up a paywall, and up and coming copyright blogs can now fly under its wings, by stealing that paywall content! And then sue Techdirt later on, when they post the same article verbatim.
    [/joke] (just in case it wasn't obvious enough)

    Because 1) this is not a paywall, subscribers merely get access to the stuff that hasn't been posted yet, which I'm sure will also be content that's still a bit in flux.
    and 2) pah, stealing and suing, el oh el!

     

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  151.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 1:28am

    Re: Sweet, Nice, but...

    Paypal has in many countries also ways to connect it to your bankaccount. (or fill it up like a pre-paid system) You could look into that. You don't HAVE to use a credit card to use Paypal.

     

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  152.  
    identicon
    Kandystand, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 1:52am

    Star in the next Kandystand music video

    Star In The Next Kandystand Music Video - A VIP Experience!

    Email: productions@kandystand.com
    Url: http://www.kandystand.com/

    Kandystand, the hottest dance music act have just launched their new VIP Experiences store on their website at http://www.kandystand.com

    The VIP store will offer fans the opportunity to get involved in the bands activities, the first of which will be starring in their next video shoot for the single 'Open Your Heart', which is being shot in Paris.

    Lead singer Katy D says that the events will give a great fun way for fans to be part of the Kandystand world, "Being in a band is a fun experience, we wanted to let our fans share in the fun too, which is why we are offering these once in a lifetime VIP experiences, it'll be a real adventure".

    By booking a place on the video shoot, you'll be flown to Paris, get a stay in a top hotel, enjoy some great food and a fabulous party with the band.

    Kandystand producer DJ Alodis said today "This is a great opportunity for people to get on screen, how many people get to say they've been featured on a music video? Whether it's aspiring actors, independent artists who want to get some exposure, or just a fan who wants to have a real fun holiday, this really is a unique experience".

    Check out the promo video for the video shoot at http://www.youtube.com/kandystandeurope and book your place at the Kandystand VIP Experience Store over at http://www.kandystand.com

     

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  153.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:04am

    Re: Star in the next Kandystand music video

    Heh. You know, this might have been an interesting and unique business model experiment to write up, if you'd contacted us through the regular channels... but spamming the comments in a way that's unrelated to the story at hand...?

     

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  154.  
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    Robert Pryde (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:15am

    Hoodies

    Your hoodies must be very special, why don't you get the option for a hoodie between the tiers "Looooooots of Hoodies" and "I Want It All".
    Seems a bit harsh saying that $20,000 for the "Mike Masnick Works For You Package" doesn't at least give you the option of a t-shirt or a hoodie let alone having both

     

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  155.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:23am

    Re: Hoodies

    Seems a bit harsh saying that $20,000 for the "Mike Masnick Works For You Package" doesn't at least give you the option of a t-shirt or a hoodie let alone having both

    If it's a difference maker for you, if you buy the "Mike Masnick Works For You Package," we can throw in an extra hoodie as well. :)

     

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  156.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Question regarding crystal ball option:

    nice that it can be disabled, but can it also be enabled. Mine is disabled by default, but I can't find the option to enable it. :)

     

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  157.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re: Nice

    I've been wondering what you've been working on. Gonna do some more stories now that Mike's got you out of the dungeon?

    I seriously need your address, so I can send you a limited edition coffee mug...

     

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  158.  
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    zenith (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 3:32am

    I'm just glad my Dad still has a place in the states, where I can get one of those hoodies sent to!

     

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  159.  
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    Ultimoron, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 3:46am

    lol shenanigans

    Nice one Mike! IT's about time you put your money where your mouth is!

    I'd love to get a t-shirt saying, 'I got sued for trademark infringement' on the front, then '100 Million to shut me up for a year.' on the back. :D

     

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  160.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Re:

    For some subset of the population you're probably right, but I don't think "already famous" == RtB in all cases. there are many "superstars" who have fallen out of favor with me and my circle because they stopped producing anything we cared to purchace. They're still producing, and they're still famous, but we aren't paying them any more.

     

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  161.  
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    not angry dude, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Thsi is what I want

    I'd so buy that shirt. Seriously.

    Should capitalize the "am," though:
    I Am angry dude On TechDirt.

     

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  162.  
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    packrat, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 5:03am

    RTFM

    up to my pits in tech already thanks...
    and you were right about the pricey bit

    ah.. in casr you were wondering... there are a LOT of us out here who want to be PAID for contribs..

    like "worlds largest land-grab" bill c-61
    or americian version.

    pat

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Yeah, good point. Because of fear and uncertainty, we shouldn't give Mike money.

     

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  164.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Re: Thanks to everyone so far!

    This is just the beginning... we've got lots more planned...
    Then your Crystal Ball is broken, as it shows me nothing of these plans.
    ;)

     

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  165.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Yeah, good point. Because of fear and uncertainty, we shouldn't give Mike money.

    What have you got to fear?

     

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  166.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Seeing the working drafts != a paywall

    Just to be clear -- it's *1* person, posting repeatedly, trying to make something out of nothing.

    Hah, for it to be nothing, you and the fan boys sure are trying hard to deny it.

     

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  167.  
    icon
    ryanve (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Right on.

    This formula sums it up nicely, and I think the revenue streams are changing, based on this, to licensing live interaction and fan experience. The musicians that adapt the quickest to these models will thrive.

     

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  168.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: A Rose

    It's not a paywall. A paywall means you cannot access the content at all unless you pay.

    You can't while it's behind the paywall. Only after it comes out.

    Now if you're saying that if you can access it sometime later then it was never behind a paywall to begin with, then I suppose one could then argue that it has yet to be proven that there is even any such thing as a paywall, anywhere. This is because it is possible (many say likely) that everything will be available eventually. Someday. Ergo, no paywall.

    So OK, it's not a paywall if you accept that there's no such thing as a paywall.

     

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  169.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Seeing the working drafts != a paywall

    Just to be clear -- it's *1* person, posting repeatedly, trying to make something out of nothing.

    Now now, Mike. I *have* commented repeatedly, but I have also seen other paywall comments that weren't mine.

     

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  170.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Rose

    Hey, AC.

    You or Mike.

    Since you're both laughing, which one of you is laughing all the way to the bank?

    I'd say that would be the last laugh.

     

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  171.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Does it feel good to actively try to be a stifler of free speech?

    I've seen plenty of douchebags in the comments over the years, but this post might take the cake as the most un-American of all.

    You, sir, are trying to influence the community with fear, in such a manner as to try to stifly people's desire to post their opinions. Perhaps you would fit better in some authoritarian regime, please seek one out.

    Insert Godwin's Law here.

     

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  172.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Does it feel good to actively try to be a stifler of free speech?

    Free speech does not include freedom to defame. In fact, your calling me a "stifler of free speech" seems defamatory, so I'd watch my step, legal wise, if I were you.

    I've seen plenty of douchebags in the comments over the years, but this post might take the cake as the most un-American of all.

    More name calling. Yep, I think I'm starting to see a pattern of intentional defamation here. Thank goodness you're using a registered account.

     

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  173.  
    identicon
    Brandon, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ha! I always wondered why I would see articles posted by Mike at 3AM, 7AM, Noon, 5PM, 9PM... Doesn't this guy ever sleep?? Makes sense now! lol Thanks!

     

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  174.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You have poor reading comprehension.

    When someone writes:

    "You, or any anti-Techdirt commenter..."

    Do you think means I have said that you are anti-Techdirt? Could it not also mean you are pro-Techdirt. Actually it could mean either. How would I know whether you're anti-Techdirt or not? You're posting as AC.

    Dude, Walmart is a retailer of goods. Techdirt is a blog of ideas, where the main product is free. If you now equate Techdirt to Walmart because Techdirt offers a grab bag with your contribution, you're not making the best analogies.

     

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  175.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Seeing the working drafts != a paywall

    We answer because it's an interesting question - assessing the value of early access to information is a case where the intent of the publisher and the nature of the early access actually makes a difference.

    You can call it a paywall if you really want to, but I believe doing so glosses over important distinctions between what most people would think of as a paywall and what Techdirt is doing (i.e. most 'early access' paywalls don't include the invitation to be part of a community since they don't include an "early feedback" option, they really are just about getting access to information early. However, other community sites like Groklaw and Slashdot let you sign up free for "early access" to stories before they appear on the main page of the respective sites).

    On a slightly different note, stock market price tickers actually come to mind as an example of a simple "hot news" paywall that works - notice that all the free feeds are delayed by 15-20 minutes. For investors that buy stocks and hold them for months or years that delay doesn't matter, but for day traders holding positions for minutes or hours such a delay is unacceptable so they pay up for the early access. The delay is short enough (and presumably the fees are low enough) that there is no real incentive for someone to try to disrupt the existing paid feeds with a free real-time feed.

    So I don't think it's a matter of "hot news" paywalls not being a valid source of income - I think it's a matter of recognising the existence of an appropriate delay between "insider publication" and "general publication" (in TD's case, the existing gap between "publication to employees" and "publication on the site") and then seeing if there is a segment of the population that would be interested in paying for the early access.

    That said, I suspect cases where this could be a valid *business* model in its entirety are rare in the extreme. Even in TD's case, the crystal ball is probably something they threw in because it costs them next to nothing and hey, some people might like it.

     

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  176.  
    icon
    Jiminy Cricket (profile), Jul 21st, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: T-Shirts !!!!!

    I'll take a "I argued with Weird Harold over the course of 200 articles and all I got was this lousy t-shirt (which Mike made me buy" t-shirt, myself.

     

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  177.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You have poor reading comprehension.
    blah blah blah


    OK, if you want to get pedantic, then talk about poor reading comprehension: Do you not have any idea what the word "if" means, as in the statement "if you think I'm "anti-Techdirt"? Here's a link for you since it seems you were unable to look it by yourself. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/if

    Dude, Walmart is a retailer of goods. Techdirt is a blog of ideas, where the main product is free.

    Is that a direct quote from Captain Obvious?

    If you now equate Techdirt to Walmart...

    Except I didn't. Oops, looks like another of your strawmen fell.

    ...you're not making the best analogies.

    From someone for whom the word "if" is apparently too difficult to comprehend, I'm not surprised that the point went right over your head.

     

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  178.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2009 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Huh?

    I gather from your commentary that you're against Freedom of Speech? This is a collection of thoughts, and as you've indirectly admitted by posting as "A. Turney" anyone has the ability to debunk anything.

    If it's wrong, then you, as a citizen of the united states, could also excercize 1st amendment privilege.

    But, to advocate a position which doesn't excercise first amendment rights seems to direct down a path that would enrich yourself or your professional colleagues. It would be nice to know your name, as I would be happy to discuss this thought experiment in person, at a Bar Association Meeting, perhaps.

     

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  179.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 1:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Question regarding crystal ball option:

    Never mind, hadn't realized that my account hadn't been upgraded, mea culpa maxima :)

     

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  180.  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 4:39am

    "Those that see the internet as a communications and collaboration medium, however, see this as an invitation from Mike and the other folks at Techdirt saying 'Hey, if you give us money to support what we do, then we will also give you the opportunity to help more directly by being part of the process that *creates* the Techdirt articles in the first place.'"

    LOL...not only are we leveraging and monetizing the techdirt community for our own gain (Insight Community), but now you can contribute your work, and pay us for the priviledge! How very web 2.0.! Or should I say how very Tom Sawyer (anyone got a fence need whitewashing?)...

    Incidentally, please don't interpret this as a criticism...if people are willing to pay for the priviledge, then more power to you...

     

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  181.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 10:45am

    Re:


    LOL...not only are we leveraging and monetizing the techdirt community for our own gain (Insight Community), but now you can contribute your work, and pay us for the priviledge! How very web 2.0.! Or should I say how very Tom Sawyer (anyone got a fence need whitewashing?)...


    Heh. Logic 101: We PAY people to be a part of the Insight Community. Last year, our top earner made over $20,000. What other media property pays people to contribute their insights?

    And you accuse *us* of exploiting people? Yikes, are you out of it.

    Look, I recognize that you're really jealous of our success, but maybe you ought to try criticizing us on things that are actually accurate?

    Incidentally, please don't interpret this as a criticism...if people are willing to pay for the priviledge, then more power to you...

    Uh, no one's "paying us for the privilege." We pay them for writing smart stuff (you probably wouldn't do so well). The cwf + rtb model isn't them paying for a privilege, it's them paying for something of value.

    Transactions where everyone's better off? That's a good thing. You might want to learn about how capitalism works.

     

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  182.  
    icon
    Matt (profile), Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: I can see into the future

    Yes, I understand the way rss works. Maybe create a private feed based on user profile?

     

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  183.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Is that a direct quote from Captain Obvious?"

    Yep, from Cpt. Obvious, to Cpt. Oblivious with best wishes.

    Sometimes, you chaps on the short bus need a little help understanding. I can see that in this case, my efforts have fallen short. Good luck on the GED.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  184.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 22nd, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Good on Techdirt!

    Dear Fear Monger,

    Well, at least now you're being funny.

    Send me the lawsuit at your leisure. I hear the supreme court is very eager to consider cases of "name calling" within blog comments, rare as they are.

    PS: like Techdirt, you'll find shut-up money more effective with me, and I'll accept less than $100M.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  185.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 12:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Good on Techdirt!

    I hear the supreme court is very eager to consider cases of "name calling"...

    Hmm, maybe you heard that from the same source as some of your other misguided ideas, because it's wrong. Defamation is a fairly settled area of law. Of course, there are plenty of losers who have fantasies of "appealing it all the way to the Supreme Court." Then they learn that SCOTUS doesn't have time for them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  186.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Jul 23rd, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Took the plunge.

    At least the chlorine level is decent.

    Now, I must age while my book and shirt arrive.

     

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  187.  
    identicon
    Adam Singer, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 4:47pm

    Just got my T-shirt

    Thanks Mike - I loved this concept and am glad to be a part of the Techdirt community.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  188.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    Would like a T- Shirt...

    but, not crazy about the front, I would prefer a profile shot of Mike in the nude.

    No, but really I will wait for a plain front or maybe other choices. I don't feel like having to explain "Loooots of T-shirts" to everyone I talk to while wearing it.

     

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  189.  
    identicon
    A, Aug 26th, 2009 @ 3:55am

    if someone silences techdirt, how can the other things happen? Do those people get a refund?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  190.  
    icon
    linuxjoe (profile), Sep 16th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Thanks

    Glad i could be part of the project...

    shirt arrived today.... wooohooo..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  191.  
    identicon
    Sam Moshe, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    ha!

    Mike, I fucking love it. The whorishness of the whole thing is beautiful. Why so much for 100k, but so little for 1m?

    Just curious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  192.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Re: $100MM....

    yes. yes you do

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  193.  
    identicon
    Griff, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:32am

    How about a bit of connecting with fans ?

    I often see Mike criticising people who create artificial scarcity rather than giving customers what they actually want. Like delayed movie rental or silly eBook prices.

    In that vein, why are all the T shirts sold out with no apparent attempt to get more or take back orders ?

    (Seems like bad business sense above all).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  194.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    ouch, the Angry Man is angry

    The Angry Man is angry with TechDirt;
    http://angryman314.squarespace.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  195.  
    icon
    Craig (profile), May 6th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    So is this experiment still in process?

    Apparently you talk the talk, but are not walking the walk. I decided to check out CwF+RtB, and like Griff's comment above, I notice that you have connected with me, and given me a reason to buy, but I can't, because you don't have what I want because everything is sold out.

    (CwF+RtB)/Sold Out = SFA (sweet fcuk all).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  196.  
    identicon
    MontBlanc Watch, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Cool experiment

    Thanks for sharing this guys! Business industry will go a long way with this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  197.  
    icon
    fodder99 (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Its gone over my head Im afraid :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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