Over on ADN a couple of days ago there was a long and convoluted discussion 1 around the general topic of how to reward serious, or high-quality, news-gathering. Many elements are at play, from the nature of "high-quality" to the nature of "reward," and all of them got a good go-around. One of the elements that didn't surface for quite a while, though, was that good news has never been paid for solely by those who consume it. Advertising, government grants, and a few deep pockets have all helped to pay journalists to do their thing. And today?
Many, many shallow pockets seems to be the way to go. Much of the discussion talked about micro-payments and ways to make it easy to pay a little to the creators of content you appreciate. Such systems would indeed be a wonderful start. The big problem, for me, is to put my work in front of a large enough group of people, and I said as much in a response to a question from one of the ace developers who hangs about on ADN. 2 I publish my podcasts, and link to them when an opportunity arises, but I confess I am not much of a one for relentless self-promotion. Same goes for stuff I write. Frankly, I don't care to market myself as much as perhaps I ought. So, what I need from any platform that is going to make it easy for people to pay me is not the payments as much as the recommendations.
I need a word-of-mouth amplifier.
Would that work?