Re: Creating Wealth -- a modest correction

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 21:07:20 MDT


On Sat, 27 Oct 2001, Damien Broderick wrote:

> I just mistyped:
> >Or is it very, very boring and/or already the basis of MPEGs anyway/etc?
> You knew I meant MP3s.
> But I should add that one obvious tweak is to send 10 cents or 50 cents
> back to the recommender as well. I would discourage this downstream
> mini-profit idea because the whole notion depends on genuine
> recommendations based on enjoyment. Each reader-vector is making a personal
> assessment of what she/he has read; this is the essence of agoric
> judgement, I'd guess.
> Nowadays, you tell a pal you liked a book or record or movie, and word of
> mouth helps sell further copies (or sends your pals to Napster to
> freeload), or you can loan out your copy or give another one as a gift;
> this suggested method makes the very act of recommendation a way to acquire
> the item *for its own sake*, not because the recommender stands to gain
> from the suggestion/url.
> Oh, and how do I stop some fiend downstream changing the payment link so
> all tips onward down their own chain go to them rather than to me, the
> creative originator?

Quite a bit of brainpower is being channeled into just that. A short
answer to the questions you're raising is "Make each individual
payment so cheap and so easy, it will actually take less effort to
compensate you than to circumvent you". The devil is in the details,
of course. Perhaps there are individuals more closely involved in
working out those details on this list who would be better qualified
to fill you in on them.

As a practical matter, I'd advise caution for writers. The system is
crumbling, but the book market will take longer than software and
music (for booklovers it seems that the medium really is part of the
message). Not that you shouldn't try it, just take it slow and
easy. When you find a business model that works, you'll cash in on
being one of the few left standing as well as on all the hype
surrounding open-this and free-that these days. But, study the
experiences of other writers and artists to find out what has and
hasn't worked. Look into what is actually available in the way of
micropayments. Read what Eric Raymond has to say, and heck, write to
him and ask ( We've been so busy blasting away at the
desperate powergrab issuing from the recording and sofware industries,
we haven't been devoting enough time to the constructive side of the
question: "So, what business models WILL work in a world of nonrival,
nonexcludable information?"

Mr. Crocker, other fellow info-libertarians, ideas?

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
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