Tipit for Google?

February 6, 2006

Google should probably just get it over with and start to offer micropayments. They’re playing footsie with it and the time has come for a general acceptance that the web needs micropayments.

Why do we need them given the availablity of such a wide array of quality free content?

There’s not a single good answer to that as far as I can tell. I’ve looked. The truth is no one seems to have an answer because there’s no way to know.

The best I can come up with goes under the heading of ‘why not?’ What harm can it do? It could and no doubt will produce the emergence of new types or more accurately categories of content that can only flurish or be born in an enviroment where micropaymens are a generally accepted reality.

ManagingPayPal PreparesFor a ChallengeFrom GoogleBy MYLENE MANGALINDANStaff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNALFebruary 6, 2006; Page B1When Jeff Jordan learned last May that Web-search leader Google Inc. was building its own Internet-payment service, he reacted swiftly.Mr. Jordan, who is president of eBay Inc.’s PayPal online-payments unit, immediately asked employees to unearth information about the Google service. Soon, PayPal employees were monitoring blogs, news reports and other data for information about Google’s progress in payments. PayPal staffers even gleaned details about Google’s plans during regular calls to customers who were eager to dish about how Google had reached out to them.

WSJ.com – PayPal Prepares For a Challenge From Google

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February 5, 2006

I’ve been and remain somewhat skeptical whether people will offer tips for content that’s free in sufficient numbers as a way of showing their appreciation to the content distributor / producer / creator.

We’ve been developing Tipit with the intent to extend the functionality into a sort of attention commerce transaction payment system where advertisers will be able to pay bloggers when readers volunteer to view an advertisement. It will work in two modes.

  • Readers will have to read the ad before having access to content
  • Reader will be allowed to tip the content owner/blogger by mousing over tipit and reading / viewing the ad for which the blogger will be paid.

The idea is that people would give small payments to show their appreciation. But is this sort of likee letting people come to a movie or sporting event and pay only if they feel like it?
Yes, no and not analogous.

Yes voluntary payments are like that — letting them pay if the feel like it.

No its not like a sporting event or a movie in that sports teams and film distributors have a very narrowly targeted audience at that time (seating capacity) and have to know there is a reasonable chance they will receive payment sufficient to cover the costs of creation. And judging from the empty seats at Tennessee Titans games towards the end of this season had they not gotten their cash upfront … well you get the picture.

And finally blogging has more in common with waiting tables than professional sports or filmed entertainment. Bloggers often have a near direct connection with their readers which is gained over time. I now think there is more to the notion of tips than when we started. Time will tell however.

I made my first Tipit tonight. It was this piece by Marcus Whitney on Nashvillesnews. Marcus simply points out that Flex — the very interesting development platform from Adobe/Macromedia — is free now. I didn’t know that and need to. That’s worth a buck. It took me less than 15 seconds to Tipit Marcus.

NEXT: Tipit and campaign finance. I’m not kidding. Howard Dean got far with his grass roots web based Deanspace and we’re going to take that a step further by allowing users to donate to their candidate on the spot. More next week.

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Initial Press Release

February 5, 2006
Binserver [www.binserver.com is in the business of mining unbundled media – a trend toward the elimination of middlemen – such as websites, networks, publishers or record labels. The company believes voluntary micro-payments are an incremental step in the creation of sustainable systems for free and unbundled content on the web and elsewhere.(PRWEB) January 25, 2006 — Binserver [www.binserver.com is in the business of mining unbundled media – a trend toward the elimination of middlemen – such as but not limited to websites, networks, publishers and record labels. The company believes voluntary micro-payments are an incremental step in the creation of sustainable systems for free and unbundled content on the web and elsewhere.

While the web is leading a charge toward unbundled media it’s catching on in other mediums such as TV where content has been inextricably shackled to networks. According to the CEO, John Bransford, the future is in distribution that unties digital content while still retaining all the allowable rights of ownership including compensation. They believe all forms of digital content will be unbundled – including video.

“I sat on a blue ribbon committee at HBO that was charged with predicting when video on demand would be reality and how to capitalize rather than impeding adoption. HBO has largely implemented our recommendations and, to me, a perfect example of how these companies should prepare for an unbundled media world.”

“Grasping the details of unbundled content is important to fully understanding our plans,” says Bransford. Terry Heaton, a respected media analyst, as a body of research and work in the area. His is to date the best analysis of unbundled media some of which can be found here http://donatacom.com/papers/pomo48.htm.

They started with www.Nashvilesnews.net intending to offer citizen’s generated content. Bransford says, “we worked for nearly a year trying to create an RSS based CMS for automatically formatting and publishing user generated material. That project had some success however things did not gel until we found Marcin Konicki a crack RSS developer who had been working on a similar system.”

“Marcin is the best hands on RSS guy going” says Bransford. “One time I was having a devil of a time trying to subscribe to the CNN headline news podcast. Marcin diagnosed the problem and CNN made the changes. Now it works.”

The second part of our approach to unbundled media is manifest in TipIt. We think content has to be compensated and it’s in everyone’s interest to create multiple pathways to that end. Tipit is a simple concept that’s yet to be properly engaged. To get a fast idea go to a demo here http://TipIt.ws or here http://nashvillesnews.net/node/54594 then mouse over the TipIt icon.

It’s different from the standard Pay Pal tip jar. TipIt is not bound to a website and allows an unlimited number of content owners to be aggregated on a site but paid directly. The usual tip jar forces all payment to the website which is not feasible in a world where the publisher doesn’t know and doesn’t want to deal with tracking every site that might subscribe to his feed. The TipIt, when enabled by the content producers, can stay with the content wherever it is fed using RSS 2.0. Content publishers can find more information on the company’s information site www.TipIt.ws and blog tipit.wordpress.com .

The next iteration will be what they call the ‘Info TipIt’. An appreciative reader can pay the writer without spending money by using the TipIt to view an ad. Again they mouse over to read an ad and the action is recorded – i.e. that they did it — and the content is reimbursed. “From an advertisers perspective it promotes a ‘cost per desired action achieved’ for which they are willing to pay a premium. The content gets compensated and the website receives promotion from our main site if they want.”



What is Tipit?

January 17, 2006

TipIt is a PHP module ( available soon — 1-21-06) which allows users of a site to ‘tip’ the creator or author of a piece of content.

See the demo and don’t worry about reading more if you don’t have allot of time. Even if you do have allot of time the demo should explain it fairly well.

TipIt.ws shows statistics of Tipit use.*

*(See notes regarding Tipit installation for website administrators.)

Tipit Logo

December 23, 2005

What site?

December 23, 2005

The real change between the old web and the newly chritened web 2.0 is in user perception. Internet users now see a large portion of the net as one ‘thing’ rather than allot of small sites with links to one another.

Specifically they see two large areas of the web — 1.,those individual sites that are engaged in ecommerce or selling stuff and 2.,what has become known as the blogosphere. Some users of course are aware of the technologies powering blogs and blogging software. While they understand that these things are powered by discrete servers and databases they behave as if it is one big single web applications. This behviour is translated into a general impatience with anything that has to do with re identifying themselves to individual sites.
This behavior is of course the grand design behind the blogosphere a testament to its success. People are frustrated by having to login to each site and inputting their credit card information to make a small purchase.

Note too that RSS is the enabling technology here. We who work in the boiler room are focusing on the cogs and gears when in point of fact they have outlived their usefulness.
I noticed that most of the users do not enter or leave from the front page. I’ve no way of knowing if they ever see the front page but assume so. I know for a fact however that some do not ever see the front page and actually make comments on the blog item nodes that are long and bloglike but they don’t much care or actually know they’re commenting on a blog item that is a feed from another blog physically hosted somewhere else. The reason this is important is that it is not isolated random but a trend toward the aware AND unbundled web.

It’s something that many astute bloggers have been noticing as well. The users — who are often bloggers too — do not see websites anymore. Or more aptly put they are beginning not to see websites any more.
Where many of the Slashdot users have left in favor of Digg this is a transition to no site at all. One blogger was noting how Digg is almost just a search site that shows how many users liked the items .ect. you get the idea.. Digg is not as much a website as Slashdot which is content picked by editors and conscious decisions are made.
So optimizing and categorizing are not just features in a way it is the UI or the guts of the new web itself.

— pontiff

Tipit Demonstration

December 22, 2005

This is a demo of Tipit .

This is a demo of Tipit. If this were a real post you could be so inspired by the writing you decide to use tipit and send the author some appreciation. But its not a real post so don’t send anything. Just test it up to the point of sending. Okay. Thanks.
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