Sunday, April 26, 2009

Understanding Pay Back Value concept

Last Tuesday I introduced an idea that is meant to be a solution to a surprising problem that has emerged with the Internet, which is the extreme difficulty some people, like me, have had finding remuneration, or compensation for efforts that seem to generate value based on interest.

In order to come to my solution I went all the way back to the very definition of money itself and worked outwards from there using The New York Times as an example company for how the Pay Back Value concept works.

Now with several days to think about it, I'm more impressed with how natural a solution it is, and with how it brings back what you might call traditional values to Internet interactions, so I'd like to talk about how that occurs.

For instance I noted that with Pay Back Value or PBV for short, a reader gets to PBV after reading, say, a column by Gail Collins, and doing so would eventually charge, say 25 cents to their PBV account.

The reader gets to pay back value for an article where they recognized value after reading, or simply go on their way, giving nothing, but the Times would record when they DO pay back value and after a year, you might get a report and be surprised to find what your interests are based on what you paid for, showing what you truly valued!

Columns could have their own box office in a sense, which is the total PBV given to them, providing a real-time measure of a columnist's appeal. Newspapers could get important feedback on topics that readers are actually interested in, and the approach in a way is simply a la carte buying of the newspaper, which is the way things must work on the Internet as people have already shown they will not just blanket buy contents of an entire paper on the Web, which is why newspapers are giving away valuable information for free now.

But that is against the concept of money--giving away value for free--and it's breaking the newspapers, endangering the very value that people seek, so innovation here is driven by necessity. Advertising is not enough. That old system worked with the more captive audiences of television and radio, but the Internet is an active audience.

People routinely go past ads barely noticing them. (I know I do.)

But another value emerges with this system--people would have to sign up for the PBV, and don't have to pay if they do not see value, and they get the information for free still.

So what if they don't pay?

Not ever giving PBV says you don't see value.

If you never see value, then why are you reading day after day?

If in 6 months time a person never sees value but is clicking on article after article, and reading daily then they are stealing value.

You can now, suddenly and wonderfully, identify theft, like you can in the real world.

The action of reading does not show value in what is read, but coming back again and again to gain content, is a clear indication of seeing value!!!

Rarely or never paying is a contradiction, showing--theft.

I have little doubt that the PBV concept will eventually take over because of the value it gives companies and creative producers like myself, and the reality that it restores proper balance by giving value back to creative producers for value they have given, while giving information consumers, freedom of choice to pick value as they see it.

If that is true then PBV may be as big for the Internet as the invention of money itself was with past technologies, like shoemaking.

Of course the test of any innovation is whether it gets picked up in the real world, so now with the idea pushed forward, the question is, will it grab hold?

James Harris
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