Paid Content, an Author at


Paid Content, an Author at a Time: Steve Outing writes about voluntary paid-content…in other words, donations to your favorite authors. The Macintosh e-newsletter TidBITS has devised a program called “PayBITS,” which allows readers who like a specific article to voluntarily make a payment to the author. At the end of each story are a couple lines of text and a link to the author’s payment page. According to Outing, “It’s an incentive to authors to turn out great articles, because their normal article fees might be supplemented handsomely by reader contributions.”

On the TidBITS site, the publisher Adam Engst writes about the rationale for the decision: “I’m all for different business models, but none of the traditional approaches let readers place their own value on content. Instead, value is assigned arbitrarily based on a variety of attributes entirely separate from the information itself. Despite the famous admonishment, we are valuing books by their covers. It’s time we looked past external factors and put a value on the content inside.”

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