Meade wrote:In light of the Brenda Konkel kerfuffle over real names vs. pseudonyms and how the forons are a bunch of sociopaths swimming in a cesspool of personal attacks and other bad behavior, I have a proposal for improving the Forum and lifting it out of its downward spiral:
$1 per comment.
I have Meade and a few others on my ignore list, but I happened to be reading the forum without being logged in, and in this instance I agree with Meade, and have suggested the exact same thing before. A $1 (or even $0.50) a comment is a reasonable plan. It's cheap enough that its not a serious deterrent for someone who has something they really want to say, but a high enough bar that vapid comments/metacomments about the messenger really aren't worth posting.
The Daily Page is a valuable distribution channel. It gets more traffic than any random Wordpress blog that most of us could start. If I want my stuff to be read, posting it here is a good way to accomplish that.
The main draw of the site is the work created by the the fulltime staff and contributors to the Isthmus. A dollar a comment, on either articles or in the Forum, will certainly cut down on number of forum posts or comments, but I doubt it will have much of an impact on the number of page views the dailypage.com gets overall, and shouldn't make much of a blip for their advertising revenue.
This isn't likely to be a serious revenue stream for the dailypage, either. Most of the online transaction processing fees are in the $.30+2.5% range. You can amortize that by selling comments "in bulk" and buying credits ahead of time, but I have a hard time imagining myself buying more than a few bucks worth of credits ahead of time.
It may be too high a bar for some of the boards. I don't post or even read the "Arts and Entertainment" or "Eats" boards, so I have no idea what this idea would do to those boards and that community.
As an alternative to charging, perhaps some sort of earned credit. One post for every 10 articles viewed or advertisements interacted with or something along those lines - a reverse paywall of sorts. It opens a whole new can of worms when thinking about how you explain it to your advertisers and "dealing" with fraud and abuse, but for people who are hung up on the idea of handing over cash it might be more palatable.
I post 0.02 posts a day, so I'm not a big poster (actually I think that's just forum posts, and doesn't include article comments, but even so my real number is maybe only 0.03). The dollar a comment fee wouldn't cut that number down, and if it improved the discussion, might actually increase it a bit.