Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tipjoy is the new online tip jar

Seth Godin recently told us all to click ads on sites we like.

Of course, it's our opinion at Tipjoy that instead of clicking ads, it would make much more sense to leave the content creator some money directly. Cut out the middle man, and do it without leaving the page, and certainly without being taken to an annoying ad page.

But now, let me talk a bit about why I think Seth wrote this, and what it means about the web today.

The sentiment of this article is spot-on: if you're not paying for all the free stuff you love online, you're "starving great content".

This post is yet another great example of how the world is starting to change their mindset around digital content. At first, content creators tried to make people pay to get everything. That didn't work; we all turned away. So content creators gave their content away for free, and we all came flocking. Now we are starting to feel a bit guilty about getting all of this great content without having to pay for it: great independent music, thoughtful articles, comics which make us laugh, videos which make us laugh until we cry.

And we're not just feeling guilty because we're 'starving' them. We're feeling guilty because increasingly, we're not just content consumers. We're content producers ourselves. In this world of mashups, remixes and samples, the lines between producer and consumer are blurred.

As I read Seth's article, I scanned the page for ads to click on, and what I found were links to his books. So perhaps Seth's motives are not entirely altruistic. And that's absolutely fine.

Let's all continue to distribute the great stuff we make for free. And let's make money from it.

Read the thread at hacker news for some interesting discussions around tipping vs. ad clicking.