Warning: This is one of those "everybody should be just like me" entriesâ€¦
Seems like everyone is saying the end of the free web is coming, thanks to low click
through rates and increasing costs.
I like the idea that the web is for sharing and part of how I choose to pay for reading sites is by clicking on an ad. Slashdot and fark get several a day from me, while I've sent matt a couple bucks to keep mefi going. I try and support the sites I really like and use all the time.
But there's other ways to pay or get paid back. The search engines web dude
is a good example of that. Whatever his motivations are in submitting so
many stories, I pay him back by having a link back to his site on his
submissions. Each link, especially the ones that I change to "search engine
submissions" is my payment to him for sending in a story. It doesn't really cost anyone anything, but we both get something we need.
At LISNews, I like to think people pay us back by suggesting stories and clicking on
the google ads, but the former is true much more than the latter. The ads
have a click-through rate of well under 1% and if we're lucky we'll get
maybe 5 good submissions a day, most days it's more like one or two. But that's still pretty good, anything is better than nothing in the submissions area.
There's other ways to pay it back on the web, paypal and amazon both have
tip jar apps written, and bitpass and others are trying to make a go of the
second generation micropaymets system. It'll be interesting to see how those grow, or die.