Friday, May 01, 2009

Why we need PBV

My research on equality in mathematics and consistency, and on logic may have paid dividends with the surprisingly obvious in retrospect latest non-math research into money itself.

The simple principle I'm emphasizing is value for value: we give value in exchange for value in return, which is how our world's money systems work.

A value gap has emerged on the web because the upfront pay model doesn't work for a lot of sources, including very important ones like news providers, but there is no pay after value system in place which is probably just an oversight, as the television model of advertising seemed viable at first, but doesn't work on the active system of the web in contrast to the passive system of television.

But the advertising model is also beginning to collapse on television as a result of people using DVR's to fast forward through commercials.

Television was never free. People paid with attention--to commercials. Now increasingly they're not paying attention, collapsing business models.

Without value for value, content must suffer, and as content on newspapers and television suffer then fewer people still will be there to provide value, causing a steeper drop in value, causing a steeper drop in revenue...a vicious cycle ending in the end of the businesses.

So these industries have no choice but to find a way to get value for value or they end.

I think for most people the reality that the television industry itself may end seems impossible, and I think that the industry will start looking hard for solutions long before that occurs, but then again it might not. We have the American auto industry's travails as a model for how that can occur.

So I think it important to consider the value for value concept that I call Pay Back Value with that in mind. The passive world of television presented this idea that paying attention, as commercials got buyers for goods, and the makers of the goods were the people who then paid directly for the television shows, was enough, but that hasn't worked in the same way on the web.

It may be up to information consumers to ask for the ability to pay for valued content after they've seen its value, for instance, after reading a news article, if they are to prevent valued industries from imploding on themselves, and I have an example to show how natural the concept is, as think of restaurants.

Fast food restaurants in the U.S. ask you to pay upfront. That is like what was tried on the Internet, and it mostly failed. People don't want to pay first for information that might be crap!

But beyond fast food restaurants, at higher end restaurants people can get their food, eat it, chat with company for a while, and ask for their bill and then pay.

We take that for granted so consider a story I have from years ago when I was living in metro Atlanta, when I went to a restaurant, and while eating my meal noticed a couple just get up and leave when the only server around--it was a slow period--went to the back of the restaurant.

I was in shock. I couldn't believe those people just got up and left! The server was upset but also more sanguine than I telling me that unfortunately that did happen at times.

But most of us don't take value in the form of a meal and just leave, even if the server isn't around, and restaurants do just fine though some people do steal meals.

Our web should offer the ability to pay like a high end restaurant versus the upfront pay model of the fast food restaurant, or the no pay model which isn't supporting value because ads are not enough.

Free is not a business model that works for the web, because advertising cannot support it for most. Some may do fine, but when even large newspapers with international appeal are going down, it's time to re-think the value issue.

We need to pay back value as information consumers. It's the only way for major industries we rely on for that information, to survive.

James Harris