A few months back, Jim Kukral (whom I know to be an avid Blog Herald reader) wrote to us about a new ad/tipping system he has developed, ScratchBack, which basically allowed people to send small amounts of money to a publisher in exchange for a text link or image. I thought of it as a mix between text links and tagboards. But the more important question I had was whether micro-tipping systems like these were viable.
So here we are trying it out. As announced by our Marketing guru, David Peralty, on XFEP and as shared by Jim Kukral himself on the ScratchBack blog, we are implementing ScratchBack widgets on several Splashpress Media blogs. We’re initially starting out with a few sites, such as Blogging Pro, Forever Geek, 901am, Blog Search Engine and Gadzooki–actually those sites where it’s easy enough to add the 200px-wide widgets. The Blog Herald is included. You might notice the widget on the middle sidebar of the site, labeled Patrons, right below the News column.
So if you’d like to tip us, please feel free to do so. For $5 you get a Google-friendly (as they say) link from us, and you get that warm fuzzy feeling that you’ve helped us Splashpress Media folks spread the good news about new media.
It’s a bit like advertising with us, but at less expense. Do consider, of course, that direct advertising has its benefits. For one, our current ScratchBack setup is an auto-scroll one. This means that older links are pushed down as new ones come. So you’re not assured of how long your link stays there. Also, we’ve set it up such that there are only five slots, so link space is limited.
This brings me to the question whether to go for fixed duration vs. auto-scroll. And there’s also the issue of whether to stick to five spots or increase to accommodate more tippers. Then there’s also the question of whether $5 is a good price point to start with, or to vary it depending on the popularity of each site. And then there’s the placement of the widget itself. Too high up on the site and it can be too obtrusive. Too low and it would be practically invisible.
The big consideration is to find a balance such that the tipping system doesn’t dilute the value of the direct advertisements (so we don’t piss off our advertisers) but still be valuabe enough for micropatrons to send in tips. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome.
So again, micropatrons are welcome!