Radically Inept
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
  The 'nickel transaction' and the 'penny transmission'

Okay, first a warning: This may well sink to the level of stream of consciousness. You are forewarned.

I've decided that I want to attempt to propagate some ideas - some business ideas. These are ideas I have, that I don't have the contacts or where-with-all to make happen. I'm going to place them here, and I'm going to try to establish the goal of the 'nickel transaction' as a meme.

There, that was fairly transparent. I should add, that I would love to see 'a nickel on a $1,000, gross' [some version of this will become the theme], for any idea. I doubt I'll have much legal standing after a public post on the internet, but let's consider this a test case of intellectual property rights...I don't see my standing right now, but maybe under some interpretation of 'copyright', or maybe 'trademark' laws...I'm not sure. But, I do approach this w/ the premise that if:
1) you can't afford a ' nickel on a $1,000, gross', you suck as a business person or
2) If I can't make enough money on 'a nickel on a $1,000, gross', than the idea ain't worth that much, or
3) If you'd begrudge the 'idea man''a nickel on a $1,000, gross', you are a greedy bastard, and maybe I can take you in a jury situation.
4) I like the ideas enough, that I'd have more fun seeing them implemented, than just keeping them in my head.
And, I will try to explain the fascination of the nickel. The 'nickel' has that 'five' thing going for it. It's a prime. It's the prime that is easy to convert to the decimal system as well as fractions. Never mind, that line of thought bores me too.

So, here's how I see the concept. We need to make the 'nickel transaction' the golden standard. I need to be able to decide that I want to send this entity a 'nickel'.

A for instance: I really like Eschaton or Instapundit.com, and I'm willing to 'donate' a nickel to the cause. You know, kind of like buying a newspaper from a street stand back in the days before printing and paper costs got so high.

You know, for once I've even done some of the math. If a paid a nickel a day, every day for a year, it would come out to $18.25/yr. Hell, that's about the same for many magazine subscriptions. Now in reality, I probably only visit these sites, say, three times a week, which works out to $7.80/yr. Now these are rates anyone can afford, especially, if rather than having to pay the whole amount in advance, you could just opt to send a nickel each day (not each time) that you browse the site.

Ah, a nickel is too small amount to be concerned with. Well maybe in America, but I've noticed a great deal of hits from other parts of the world, where a nickel still carries some weight. And, I mean, you want an international readership don't you?

Additionally, do the math. Let's look at Eschaton for example. According to The Truth Laid Bear: The Blogosphere Ecosystem, which uses Site Meter for the numbers, Eschaton currently averages 84240 daily hits. Now, a lot of that is probably repeat views of his page, so let's low ball, and say it represents somewhere in the area of 10,000 unique hits a day. It doesn't matter whether these hits are made by first time users (well, maybe this group), three time per week viewers, or daily viewers, it would still represent 10,000 'subscriptions' at $18.25/year, which would generate $182,500.00 annually. I don't know what his bandwidth costs are, but I sure Atrios would not sneer at those dollars. Of course, even if only 5,000 viewers per day were to pay, that's still represent a revenue stream of $91,250.00/yr.

See, if you're following along here, you'll have noticed that I did not suggest requiring the payment to get access, just the ability to make that nickel-a-day contribution to causes and sites I support.

There's another reason (actually there are several, which should become obvious later) I want the 'nickel transaction' standard. I'm tired of linking to a newspaper that requires a subscription. Now, many don't charge 'money' to subscribe, instead they charge time and information. They want me to fill out a stupid form, and provide them w/ all kinds of personal information. I know, I could lie (yeah, I admit it), but it still takes time to fill out the stupid form. Or the worse time stealer is the stupid videos you have to watch at some of these sights for a 'daily subscription'. I'd rather just pay a nickel, and move on. Some may prefer to spend the time filling out the forms, providing their personal information (or taking the time to lie) or watching a commercial, and I wouldn't advocate doing away w/ those choices, but I'd like to have the option to just pay the nickel. And, I'm sure once it is explained properly, the newspaper/magazine would probably be just as happy, if not more so, to get my nickel as opposed to my watching a commercial that they are getting less than a nickle a day per viewer.

Just a couple of final points to add before moving on to another idea (somewhat dependent on this one). I think accomplishing the 'nickel transaction' standard should not be difficult technologically or operationally. Come on, techies, get on it.

Someone pointed out that once I've read a page, I can copy and forward it to as many people as I want at no additional cost. But why would I want to? That's another reason for the nickel standard. It's really too cheap to steal. Why would I waste my time, copying and sending info, if I can just tell you where the info is, and you just pay the nickel and see the same thing?

I'm not sure, but I may add more here. I mean, I'm still in the concept stage. The actual amount, whether it wound up being a nickel, 6 or 7 cents, or even a dime, isn't really all that important...But I do think a dime or less would generate more revenue.

Regardless. So, June 15, 2004 is The Official Nickel Transaction Standard for the Internet Campaign Kick-off Day.

See, now if you liked this idea, and the system were in place, you could if you so chose, send me a nickel. As it is, it would cost you 6-7 times that just to send me a nickel? That's what I want fixed.

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