FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister
NEW ICST!!! Goto page Previous  1, 2
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> Webcomics: COMMERCE
Previous: PostThe water is too deep... Next: PostMicropayments  
Author Message
NatGertler
Regular Poster


Joined: 15 Jun 2001
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2001 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Oh, and substantially more info on the AMC monthly movie pass situation can be found here. Apparently, it's already being done in Europe. And the content providers ain't too happy about it.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
John2two
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 100
Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

But now what? Do we, as a group pursue a micropayment system? Or do we wait until someone figures it out then adopt it?


You cut to the heart of it: what should we DO?

I don't know about you, but here's what I'm doing.

  • I'm keeping my nose in the air, staying alert for some sign that one of the many companies working on this problem is getting close. (One place where names are getting listed is the main micropayments thread on this forum.)
  • I'm committing myself to start using any options that come up as an early adopter. (I've posted elsewhere my commitment to buy at least $20 worth of anything anyone tells me they've posted at http://www.zden.com . I'm also making an effort to hit those Amazon beggarboxes for sites that put 'em up.)
  • I'm trying to promote and defend the idea in public (such as this forum) to raise the consciousness level of the community so that when an infrastructure arises, it can be more readily adopted.


I know that this component of the dream is too big for me to get personally involved in creating it (as contrasted with the Infinite Canvas component). This one will take big buck backers to create a global infrastructure. The best thing I can do to help the right creative minds get hooked up with the right deep pockets is to push my money through the pitiful approximations available today. That can reinforce a measurable indicator pointing to the idea that there is money to be made by the people who finally get it right. Signs are that many teams are working on it. I'm seeing many buds in my garden and anticipating blooms to enjoy in the near future.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
damonk13
Frequent Poster


Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 70
Location: l'acadie

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2001 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Keenspot Premium plan is an interesting and well-thought-out experiment, since it does not restrict access to any of the comics there if you are not a subscriber -- it is purely an optional service.

keenspot deos not lose any readers with this, since you can choose to pay, or continue getting it all for free.

The perk, of course, is that you do not have to see the ads when viewing the comic (which can be a great download time saver, especially when adex is notorious for lagging down pageloads). Moreover, they plan on offering "perks" and "bonuses" -- a system that sounds similar to soeone getting basic cable, or paying extra for specialty channels...

Personally, I think it is a smart test move -- to see how many would be willing to pay that extra bit, without the fear of actually losing any readers in the process...

I am planning to subscribe myself, not only to support them, but also to get rid of the lagging ads. When one reads 200 comics a day, one cannot afford to wait two minutes to see each comic...

It may not be a perfect solution, but, since it is just an experiment for a good cause, I don't mind being a lab rat...


_________________
frank "damonk" cormier
FRAMED!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Scott McCloud
The one and only


Joined: 23 May 2001
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an idea, once again requiring someone else to do the heavy lifting, but shouldn't be too bad:

Compile a list of key questions for any given micropayment hopeful then get each one to answer and compile the results in a central location.

Example:

What's your start-up fee?

MicrocreditCard: $99
Javien: Free
Q-Pass: $26,000

You get the idea (examples above are NOT real, obviously)

I would suggest including the following:

Set-Up Fee?
Monthly/Yearly Charge?
How low can charges go?
How High?
What Fees assessed?
User steps required to open account?
...to make subsequent purchases?
Publicly held? Privately?
Partners, Parents?
Currency accepted from users? (Dollars? Kopeks? Paypal?)
Frequency of disbursement to Vendors?
Platforms supported? (for user AND vendors)

What am I missing here? Anyone?

I'm strapped for time, but one of our more tenacious and methodical brethren wants to take a crack at this, I think it could be useful far beyond our little community.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
John2two
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 100
Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since one of our requirements for system that will work is peer-to-peer support, add to that list of questions:

Steps required to enrole as a vendor?
Vending at specific sponsored sites, or from anywhere you can put a page up?

(This is one key drawback of the Zden marketplace I've mentioned.)

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rcar
Consistant Poster


Joined: 31 May 2001
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect idea Scott. I can't think kof any other questions. But what is important is how the consumer uses it. The easier it is for them to use the better it will be accepted.

Also if we do adopt a system, we should do a little pr work so the public knows why we are doing it, and how it will work. The more they know the more comfortable they will be to use it.

Randy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Guest






PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The winners of the 'first to be second' race always seems to have been pornography. I am surprised that (as far as I know) there has been no false starts by Penthouse or Playboy or whoever to create a system of micropayments. Although I imagine sites that offer pornography to subscribers do quite well, I would think that the ever-ambitious new generation cyber-Flynts out there would think to come up with a way to overcome the resistance to or stigma of subscribing to a pornographic site by providing an internet version of stopping into the sexy magazine store, paying with cash, not looking at the security cameras, and getting the hell out of there with your nudie magazines. Some sort of way of paying with cash as a one-time purchase would reward higher-quality sites and allow lower-quality sites to fade away (I guess that's incentive not to come up with the system right there) and allay users' fears that their credit card information is in the hands of possibly unscrupulous internet porn types (um, that may be a second incentive there also). Oh well.
Back to top
Max Leibman
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 130
Location: Springfield, Nebraska (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think the fact that so far, porno sites have proven to be the one content-provider that can get away with credit-card sized transactions ($10 and up) for access, I don't think they've had too much impetus to explore new, risky technologies (and lets face it, whatever benefits will be gained, micropayments are a risky venture. What if they don't take with the public before your operating capital runs out? What if you invest millions, and micropayments succeed, but a competitor's version becomes the industry standard?)

Moreover, there are already "anonymous" cash-like options for paying. There are discrete systems that charge on the phone bill as a number for something else, for instance. And the fact that you leave a paper trail doesn't seem to bother many, since they have the perceived anonymity of being online, rather than visibly walking into a store and being seen by the shopkeeper and other patrons.

-Max Leibman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
lylebclarke
Frequent Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 59
Location: New Zealand and Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If any kind of payment system is to be introduced in the future, it will be VERY important to have an upsell. That means: "something EXTRA that the punters don't get for free that they can get for paying". In Scott's essay he asked for ideas of potential upsells, and some have been given.

I would like to suggest that everyone THINK ABOUT THE UPSELL NOW, even if your work is years from being of saleable quality. Don't stretch yourself to the limit AND give away all the work you produce for free.

Leave some extra room in your routine and your life for creating "something extra".

Build your fanbase up on what you can produce in only half the time that you have to spend on your hobby. That way, you will always have the other half of your time left over for creating upsell work (e.g. pay-per-view) as well as the administration/marketing and other inevitable chores involved with running a content business, and still be able to keep producing the regular content with which you attract and grow your readership.

[ This Message was edited by: lylebclarke on 2001-06-22 00:16 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
NatGertler
Regular Poster


Joined: 15 Jun 2001
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because there are so many porn sites, any one of them has a lot of impetus to take actions that will catch any potential customers that are walking away from the entire current system. I suspect there are many such customers, particularly given the various news stories of porn sites purposefully overcharging customers, and porn sites having unspeakably high charge-back rates on the credit cards. Anything that could prevent the porn site having access to any of your accounts (a description that precludes micropayments) would have some attractiveness. However, success would also require the porn site making enough money that they could afford to promote the service; with the relatively high value of porn customers, sites spend a lot of money on advertising. With limited places that will accept online porn advertising, the price is high.

--Nat (uncredited co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Sex On The Net, believe it or not!)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Max Leibman
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 130
Location: Springfield, Nebraska (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Nat, both for and against a porn site going after micropayments. I hadn't thought of some of that.

Anyhow, I don't think I'm going to discuss this particular side of things too much more -- we're displaying entirely too much knowledge of the inner workings of porn sites!

-Max, again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
NatGertler
Regular Poster


Joined: 15 Jun 2001
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I've got an excuse. I was hired by a major publisher to help finish off a late-running book, so I had to do research. I was forced to do an online interview with a professionally naked lady and deduct it from my taxes, and other such indignities.

Anyone else who knows anything about the topic is a mere smuthound. :>
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
John2two
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 100
Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2001 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the original topics on this thread, as sparked by the ICST, was "what different ways of pricing online comics could be possible if a micropayment infrastructure existed?"

There was an interesting idea in one of the posts over at Penny Arcade. I'm copying it here because it seems on-topic.
Quote:

Each comic would have a 'rating' button (a radio button, you know, the group of selectable items that each have their own little 'dot' selectable). You could rate the content on a scale of say, 1 to 5. 1 being not worth anything (no pay) or 5 being worth funny as hell (worth $0.50). This would involve some interaction from the user, but ideally it wouldn't (entirely).. The default item selected would be a rating of 3 (in the middle, not overly funny, not boring), and each button in the PA navigation bar would record the users choice (or, in the lack thereof, the fact that 3 was still selected) before moving them to the next/prev comic, or whatever they choose to navigate to. Information about payments would be stored so that a user wouldn't be prompted to rate the same comic twice, replaced with a button to change the users rating (and adjust the payment accordingly) within the first 24-48 hours after they viewed it.

Thank you, "Will" (whoever that is).

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
lylebclarke
Frequent Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 59
Location: New Zealand and Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2001 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A variation on the one 'Will' suggested in PA's forum, would be that the micropayment price get's adjusted according to the rating that people have already given it, before you get there. E.g. if it has a rating of four, if costs twice what it would cost with a rating of two. After viewing the strip you can rate it yourself, leaving it at the current rating, or marking it up or down. Perhaps if you mark it down, half the micropayment is refunded and if you mark it up, no cost is incurred.

Another idea, also a dynamic pricing idea, is to the price continually dropping, until someone pays, whereupon the price goes up slightly, before starting to drop again. If a comic is popular, the price would be pushed up and up, until eventually it is too high, whereupon people would stop buying it and it would sink again until it reaches the level that people are prepared to pay again.

A working example of this can be seen here
https://secure.sitesell.com/build/dynamic-order-nj.html
and a much better description of the idea than I have given, is here:
https://secure.sitesell.com/build/body.html#TWO

I first found this website a few months ago, and the price in US dollars was $227. As you can see, it is now up around $300.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Max Leibman
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 130
Location: Springfield, Nebraska (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2001 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another idea, also a dynamic pricing idea, is to the price continually dropping, until someone pays, whereupon the price goes up slightly, before starting to drop again. If a comic is popular, the price would be pushed up and up, until eventually it is too high, whereupon people would stop buying it and it would sink again until it reaches the level that people are prepared to pay again.


I really like that idea -- the idea of dynamic content organization and listings as raised by Jakob Nielsen is one that's really caught my attention. He suggested, among other things, scripting 5 headlines for an online news story, and having each one show 20% of the time until enough people have clicked to get some hard data on which one earns the most clicks. From that point on, that most effective of headlines would be the only one that shows.

This dynamic pricing structure idea seems to raise similar possibilities -- a real-time measurement of the market, and a product that adjusts itself until it fits into the proper price-to-content level.

I do see some potential snags, though. Would it be possible to "beat" the system? Many people might work to artificially drop prices by waiting until nobody was clicking anymore. Or, could this lead to consumers feeling cheated (because somebody paid more or less than somebody else for the same content)? Consumer trust is a HUGE issue wherever Internet and commerce intersect, and I would guess that a fluid price would undermine consumer trust in a site.

Please note that I'm not criticising the idea here -- I think it opens up some real possibilities. However, these are some potential issues I see coming up as a result, and I'm wondering what others on this board think of them.

-Max Leibman

[ This Message was edited by: Max Leibman on 2001-06-25 09:16 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Max Leibman on 2001-06-25 09:17 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2001 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that dynamic pricing would upset and drive away customers. I've been looking for the link (but couldn't find it), but there was a significant online brouhaha a couple months ago when it was discovered that prices given by Amazon.com fluctuated depending on certain (seemingly) random factors. It was a big enough issue to call into question Amazon's integrity, so I think it'll be even worse for a smaller, lesser-known site.

edit: Here's an article with one viewpoint on variable pricing: http://www.office.com/global/0,2724,508-22191,FF.html

And another: http://www.ecfonet.com/articles/al_online_pricing.html
_________________
Greg


[ This Message was edited by: Greg Stephens on 2001-06-25 13:04 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
lylebclarke
Frequent Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 59
Location: New Zealand and Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with Amazon dynamic pricing was that it was "sneaky". People felt cheated. Amazon was doing it behind their back. When they compared prices with each other and found out that they were being charged differently they got upset. Amazon, whose stock had already been beaten to a pulp and had who had recently seen Yahoo switch from Amazon to Barnes & Noble, reacted quickly and decisively, ending their experiment into dynamic pricing.

I agree that trust has to be involved. Which is why I think if dyanamic pricing was to be used, it shuold be blatant, up front. On the table.

Here is "real" link to the dynamic pricing page by the way. (The other link was good too, the price was onthe left, in the blue column, it was the non-java link). This link requires java, but you can see the price ticking down constantly.
https://secure.sitesell.com/build/order.html

I'm very intrigued by this idea, and have been going back at different times in the day, I have seen the price fluctuate gradually up and down by as much as 10 dollars.

--
Name Your Own Price
The above dynamic pricing example also lets you name your own price. You simply enter what you are willing to pay into the system, and then when the price drops down to what you are willing to pay, an e-mail is sent to you and the transaction is completed, at the price you named.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Max Leibman
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 130
Location: Springfield, Nebraska (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Name Your Own Price
The above dynamic pricing example also lets you name your own price. You simply enter what you are willing to pay into the system, and then when the price drops down to what you are willing to pay, an e-mail is sent to you and the transaction is completed, at the price you named.


Suddenly, I hear William Shatner saying, "Priceline.com -- Name your own price for hotel rooms, airline tickets, mortgage refinancing, and even . . . comics?!"

-Max Leibman
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
John2two
Consistant Poster


Joined: 15 Apr 2001
Posts: 100
Location: Monroe, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2001 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A difference between comics and DVDs, etc., that would need to be addressed in any kind of dynamic pricing scheme in our market is the commodity factor.

When you name your own price, or watch a round-the-clock price curve on an item, there's some presumption that you know what you're shopping for. You know what you're going to get when the price gets to your level.

While there are some things comics artists might choose to sell that are a known commodity to their fans (dead-tree copies of backissues, for example), each day's (or week's/month's) new issue starts as an unknown item, even to the fans. A whole 'nother twist comes in when you factor in the mix in the market between established fans and new people that you are trying to lure in the door.

I know that part of the attraction of some variable pricing schemes is that they allow prices to drop to ranges where some folks will be more inclined to gamble on an unknown item. I'll be surprised, though, if these methods end up playing more than a niche role in the online comics micropayment market.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Victor Lombardi
Forum Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2001
Posts: 1
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi all, i'm new here, please be gentle.



I wrote an essay on micropayments from the point of view of someone who designs web sites for a living (me). Scott suggested I post it here:

Thoughts on Micropayments


I have yet to read all the posts here; hope to do that asap. Cheers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> Webcomics: COMMERCE All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group