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Scott's micropayment ideas a reality
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vtm
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2002 8:57 pm    Post subject: Scott's micropayment ideas a reality Reply with quote

Scott McCloud's proposal nearly a year ago about selling comics for micropayments has been a reality for quite some time. http://www.vtechmedia.com/home/webcomics.asp is just such a marketplace for comics that works almost exactly as he describes it. In here, artists can upload, list and sell their artwork at no upfront charge to them at prices as low as a dime or a quarter. The system keeps track of all the accounting, billing, credit card authorization, etc. and pays out royalties. Only when a reader buys something does the cost for hosting, bandwidth, etc. get covered. Thus, the technical expenses get spread out across the entire system so no single individual has to foot the bill for the whole website. It's a system that makes a lot of sense. As the Internet changes from free-to-fee, systems such as these will keep springing up.
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lylebclarke
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Joined: 15 Apr 2001
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Location: New Zealand and Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2002 6:36 am    Post subject: This is not micropayments, and is not a solution Reply with quote

Suggesting that this system is similar to what Scott envisioned is stretching the truth.

Vtech offers a database where you can upload your comics. Vtech then charge customers for downloading your comics and give you some of the money. Everything happens at their website. The interface is not designed for reading, viewing or promoting comics. There is no way to post a series, there is no way to smoothly go from one comic to the next, there is no way to integrate their payment system into your current site.

Lyle
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John2two
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2002 8:55 am    Post subject: Show us how it compares Reply with quote

VTM, to help the rest of us see how well this implementation stacks up against the dream of micropayments for comics, would you please provide data for the Micropayment Comparison Table? (URL below, since something seems to be cutting off my post immediately after the link.)

Just email me concise descriptions of how VTechMedia's system compares on the points that are columns in the table. I'll then add a line to the table for your system. Then we can all see the advantages of your offering with an apples-to-apples comparison.

Send it to me at john_scott@cmug.com.

John
Micropayment Comparison Table
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vtm
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2002 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: This is not micropayments, and is not a solution Reply with quote

lylebclarke wrote:
Suggesting that this system is similar to what Scott envisioned is stretching the truth.

Vtech offers a database where you can upload your comics. Vtech then charge customers for downloading your comics and give you some of the money. Everything happens at their website. The interface is not designed for reading, viewing or promoting comics. There is no way to post a series, there is no way to smoothly go from one comic to the next, there is no way to integrate their payment system into your current site.

Lyle


Admittedly, I'll agree with you that it isn't entirely Scott's vision, but to give it some credit, many of the high-level concepts are the same: being able to sell content for sub-dollar amounts as low as a dime (by most people's definition counts as "micropayments"), authors never give up any rights of authorship (it's just a service), like Napster (as you point out and as Scott mentions as a possible application of micropayments), it is a centalized system, but instead of all things being traded free, it is possible to sell content using this system, and most important, vtechmedia's system is free to use because it pays for itself. Almost all other micropayment solutions require that you pay them something like $30/month just to integrate the payment system into your web site. On vtechmedia, it's free to submit and list content to the common pool, but if you don't like that, you can apply to start your own pool separate from everyone else's.

I don't disagree with you when you say the system isn't designed specifically for comics because it's the truth. It was designed to be a general purpose solution applicable to many different content markets. But to imply that it is "not micropayments and not a solution" is a bit of an unbalanced review I feel.
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John2two
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Joined: 15 Apr 2001
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Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2002 2:00 pm    Post subject: vtechmedia added to comparison table Reply with quote

VTM has provided data on vtechmedia's offering, which I have added to the Micropayment Comparison Table (link at the tail again).

I would describe them as a market host and aggregator. If you want buy micro priced files on your credit card, they will hold the charges until they aggregate to US$5. If you want to buy micro priced files against a predeposit, they will hold your money and ding your account with them until your deposit is depleted. If you want to sell, they will aggregate your proceeds and pay out to you every three months. Vendor gets 50% of the price he names, house gets 40% for hosting the market, and the last 10% goes to community organisers who attract buyers and sellers to the community marketplace. Sellers can be their own organizers (thus upping their take to 60% of price).

It's not everyone's dream of a perfect micropay marketplace, but it sounds like a good try at one first-generation approximation. In many ways it reminds me of ZDen.

John
Micropayment Comparison Table
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vtm
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2002 3:32 am    Post subject: New comic posted Reply with quote

A new comic by D. Colvin has been posted to http://www.vtechmedia.com/home/webcomics.asp
B&W pages with detailed artwork some for a dime per download, others free.
The experiment in micropayments continues!
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websafe
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Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 4:41 pm    Post subject: Micropayment for Web content Reply with quote

About a year since the start of this thread, but all the links still work! Greg, thanks for posting about Scott McCloud's new comic with the BitPass micropayment feature. I put myself on their e-mail list as a potential future "earner."

I was impressed by John2two's table of the various micropayment options. I didn't know there were so many. Would love to hear reviews from people who've used any of these successfully.

My site:
http://websafestudio.tripod.com
My blog:
http://www.wiblog.com/websafe
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xerexes
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread - I wanted to point out Kelly J wrote an article on micropayments over at Comixpedia which was posted today.
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