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

Filed Under: cwf, rtb
Companies: floor64, techdirt


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 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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