I’ve often thought that micropayments to bloggers would be a very helpful, and perhaps even lucrative, method to keep blogs afloat. I’m fascinated by a new payment system called IndieKarma that I learned about through Jason.
In a nutshell, IndieKarma allows website visitors to donate tiny amounts of money (well, one American cent) to a blog that accepts IndieKarma funds every time that visitor visits. It’s kind of a nice, simple, and elegant system in theory; you pay for content that you like, read and want to continue reading. Jason does the math:
Financially, if a reader visits a site 60 times a month (which is not that unusual for weblogs), that’s $0.60/mo. or $7.20/yr…the price of a couple lattes at Starbucks. If you’ve got 1000 people who read your site that are signed up through IndieKarma, that’s $7200 per year, a sizable chunk of change.
I’m tempted to try it or at least learn more about it. But there’s something about it that reminds me of the old, wild,
West Web and the e-money that many companies tried to sell us poor suckers. Remember Whoopie Goldberg and Flooz? (In February of 2000, $27 million was invested in the company in second-round funding. How about Flooz’s competitor, the lovely Beenz? Boy, did they screw up.
I don’t mean, in any way, to put bad Karma on IndieKarma. The idea is sound, if not quite brilliant, and, if IndieKarma can gain enough subscribers and bloggers, many folks will benefit.