Dave Long <rex!navisoft.com!dave> writes:
> > what happens to your public service when someone
> > opens up a competing list that includes advertising? Do you just shut down
> > your list and go your merry way?
> This assumes that advertising revenue will support better "content" for
> a list. Most copy only makes compelling content when one is actually
> in the market. As someone has pointed out, how many people do you know
> who subscribe to Computer Shopper?
Computer Shopper may not be a good analogy, given its ad/content ratio. What
if there was significantly more content than ads?
> As an example: firstname.lastname@example.org would probably have a much more
> positive response to these ideas than this list, but the quality of the
> discussion might suffer due to lack of debate.
Again, this goes back to the Computer Shopper analogy. Would this list suffer
much if there were 1-5 ad messages a day? Dunno. That's the test--how much
advertising would a list membership be willing to tolerate. If you can run a
list with a few ads and nobody complains, you could make a few bucks.
> The basic disconnect here may be that it is quality of discussion which
> keeps a list attractive, and ad copy is not intended to provoke discussion,
> it is intended to produce one response: "yes"
True, but ad revenue can be used to purchase copy that has content. Let's say
you had a list that dealt with product support of a particular product. Maybe
there are a couple of developers/consultants/whoever out there who are
considered experts by the majority of the list subscribers. You can't get any
of those experts to join the list because they don't have time. Allow them to
plug their next book, or their consulting service, or their employer's
product(s), and perhaps they'll join your list. Does that add enough value to
the list to justify the ad? Dunno. Depends on the list. If I could get a
local New Orleans writer to do one piece a month for the list, people on my
list would probably love to read it. Catch is, I can't pay the writer. Now,
if I follow up that piece with a second message that's an ad for the periodical
that the person regularly writes for, maybe the periodical will pay the writer
for the piece. Would this be accepted by the readers of the list? In my case,
I think what's happening here is that someone says "advertising" and people
immediately see their lists turning into the electronic equivalent of Computer
Shopper. It doesn't have to be that way.
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