Re: [rumori] the oldest issue in the world: money (long)

From: Lloyd Dunn (
Date: Thu Dec 05 2002 - 07:48:09 PST

really great feedback, thanks! very nice to hear from someone with
relevant evident experience with our 'plight'.

agree totally that the web could be the delivery mechanism of the
future, but, sorry to say it, it's becoming obvious that it has to
have some way to pay for itself. i suppose it's dependent on good
universal bandwidth, and micropayments that are transparent to the
end user.

until then, though ... we'll keep plugging away.

>Here's my 2 cents from an admin perspective....
>Offering free services becomes more difficult over time. When SRN
>first got its phat pipe (three years ago), we gave space to any
>Snuggles list member who asked. It was so easy to do at a time when
>most people didn't have a need for a site. Any content that was
>posted consisted mostly of text, with a few mp3 files. Under these
>circumstances, SRN could afford to host individual sites and group
>projects. (The connection is supported by Experience Productions,
>our commercial services wing). Things started to change after the
>first 9 or so months. Web content patterns started to change.
>Individual users were now posting full albums worth of mp3 and they
>were also getting greater notoriety i.e. downloaders. This,
>combined with the delayed fascination with Droplift, brought the
>server nearly to its knees. The bandwidth was completely soaked up.
>Downloads slowed to a literal crawl. The machine itself was
>stressed. After dealing with this for a few months, it was decided
>that there needed to be a change. SRN stopped offering new personal
>sites and began asking site holders to contribute every month. The
>idea was that they were not only contributing toward their personal
>project sites, they were also helping support the group project
>This is our current formula. It's analogous to Steev's situation in
>some ways. He's hosting other folks (Tape-Beatles, etc.) as well as
>group projects and other list related material. That's a lot of
>thoughts on the options....
>On Monday, December 2, 2002, at 01:57 PM, Lloyd Dunn wrote:
>>1) Limit bandwidth. Keep everything free, but possibly inconvenient
>>or even temporarily unavailable. (Which is how it is right now.)
>This option is troublesome for users and admin. Users get frustrated
>and leave.
>>2) Don't limit bandwidth, but charge per download. Sell entire album
>>or video downloads for a modest fee ($5?), but they would always be
>>available at the best speed possible.
>Somewhere there is a balance between the desire for the content and
>the desire not to spend time/money. Some projects on SRN would be
>palatable even for a fee. Others might not get many takers, for
>whatever reason, if charged a fee. This model works best if the
>profit from a few projects helps fund other freely available ones.
>>3) Don't limit bandwidth, but don't make all the work freely
>>available. Have a few tracks up from each record or video program,
>>and then steer visitors towards buying the physical release (CD or
>>Video) instead.
>This is a tried and true model. It's what the "mainstream" media does.
>Since I'm big on high-tech, this option leaves much to be desired.
>If it weren't for the bandwidth issues, the net could be the total
>distribution model for the future. High quality graphics, video and
>sound could be transfered via the network, thereby saving
>time/resources. Regrettably, the world has to catch up with such
>ideology. Though the technology is out there (INTERNET II, IPV6), it
>won't be implemented for a while. Rest assured, the communications
>companies (all three of them) will continue to inflate the prices to
>The option above is reasonable under current circumstances. Though
>there may be bandwidth utopia in the future, it aint here now.
>>4) Subscription model of some kind. User gives small donation ($10?)
>>in exchange for a password that would allow them unlimited access to
>>a certain set of files.
>This works if your fan base is motivated and have trust in the
>artist. It helps to have a subscription incentive (something extra
>nice). A hitch on the user end is that they may not want to
>subscribe just to get one particular item. You're less likely to
>get new users with this model than the others. On the artists end,
>it can become difficult to constantly release stuff every month to
>keep the subscribers happy.
>All considered, a combination of #2 and #3 seems like a workable
>scenario. In all honesty, Steev should get some help with what he
>does. Behind the scenes of a network is a lot of busy work helping
>people with email accounts, login problems, scripts, etc. If people
>think what Steev does is valuable, they might consider supporting
>him for it. (Same goes for Tape-Beatles themselves).


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