Salon's New Model: Bloggers Paying Each OtherSalon's New Model: Bloggers Paying Each Other
The left-leaning online magazine <a href="http://www.salon.com/">Salon.com</a> has had a lot of interesting ideas over the years, but its latest -- a plan to create a blogging community called <a href="http://open.salon.com/">Open Salon</a> that allows readers to pay their favorite posters by "tipping" them -- has the potential to become a huge hit or fall completely flat.
August 11, 2008
The left-leaning online magazine Salon.com has had a lot of interesting ideas over the years, but its latest -- a plan to create a blogging community called Open Salon that allows readers to pay their favorite posters by "tipping" them -- has the potential to become a huge hit or fall completely flat.Salon.com's experiments with user-generated content have historically been a bit hit or miss. They acquired and host The WELL, a popular forum/discussion site, but Salon's previous foray into offering blogs to its user community never really seemed to catch on and it stopped offering new accounts in 2006.
Its latest approach is a bit different -- anyone can sign up for a free account and create a blog, and the new Open.salon.com landing page will be a combination of posts selected by the site editors as well as other popular and highly rated pieces. What I think will hold the most appeal (and get the most headlines) is Salon's payment system and its partnership with Revolution MoneyExchange. This partnership will be the engine for the Tippem, the system that allows members to tip each other for posts. If you sign up for Revolution MoneyExchange through Salon, you'll get $10 in the account to start tipping. Anything beyond that comes out of your own pocket. Open.salon.com has been in public beta for about three weeks, and went fully live on Aug. 11. The blogging tools are simple enough to use, although I don't think WordPress or Movable Type have much to worry about, functionality wise. The new site strikes me as a mashup of the Huffington Post and Digg.com, and should be interesting to watch. But will anyone pay each other for posts once that free $10 runs out? Time will tell.
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