The price of my content

August 26th, 2009

Budaeli used to have ads. There was a Google Adwords strip and a selection of products from Amazon.com along the side of every page. Then I read a rant by someone (who I doubt even knows I exist, let along been to this site) about personal blogs having ads. His argument was along the lines of “if you’re maintaining the site for your own enjoyment, and not for some business, don’t insult your visitors by showing them ads.” I don’t agree with the argument entirely: sometimes you need ads to help pay for maintaining the site (never mind that there are plenty of free hosting services available now that offer advanced features). But that was when I decided to pull ads off my site, without thinking about it much. I wasn’t making anywhere near enough from the ads to even warrant a payment from either Google or Amazon.com, so the loss in revenue wasn’t equal to the increase in aesthetics gained by their absence.

This means I’m giving away my content. For free. On top of that, I’m not too concerned about being compensated for what I’ve published. The copyright to my words is still mine, but I won’t be too alarmed if someone copies my work (with attribution, of course) or creates any derivative works (say they take my Culture Engines idea and make it into something else). Part of it is because I don’t want to spend the time enforcing a restrictive copyright, and part of it is because my thoughts are mostly derivative.

The reason I’m publishing my work online for free is because it would cost me too much to make readers pay.

What I mean by that is my audience would shrink to a statistical zero if I made people pay to read this site. Unless I reblog the content elsewhere, the cost to read is only visiting this site or reading the RSS feed.

I would love to be able to charge more for my content, because it would give me a greater incentive to write. As it stands now, I only write when I feel like it, and just accept that the value of my work is nothing more than the pieces of my thoughts that end up stuck in my reader’s thoughts. It’s an inefficiency that I hope someone solves soon. The current methods of incentives for writers have been made outdated by the web’s method of publishing, and there’s no guarantee that they will survive long enough for a replacement.

So, thanks for reading, whoever you may be.

(Inspired by “Please Excuse Our Inefficiently High-Quality Blogging”)



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