23 November 2011

My bright idea: micro-commerce on the internet

I am surprised someone hasn't invented (or implemented) a micro-commerce system for the internet, whereby a publication, for example, could sell a one-time view-only, no-download access to a backlist article or story for 5 cts. or something like that. You'd enroll an account, or put money in one, and by entering a password or PIN (or setting up your computer as 1-click, a la Amazon), you'd authorize the micro-charge. Surely this technology exists. Downloadable could cost more, say 50 cts. Free internet is wonderful, but small-cost access to the vast world of privately held backlogged information would be preferable to what we often have nowadays, which is no access. I suspect the reason something like this doesn't already exist is greed: people want to make unreasonable amounts of money from transactions. If the actual cost per transaction is, say 0.02 cts. (which I think is probably about what it would be), the commerce service provider could take a cut of 2 cts. out of 5 cts., giving the backlogged info owner 3 cts., and everybody gets something, at a low, sustainable cost to the consumer. Since this would be commerce that, for economic reasons, currently does not exist, it would be positive for everyone. I just have to believe that with 50 million+ transactions a day (not hard to imagine), there wouldn't be enough money in such a system to make it commercially viable. Something like this could conceivably save newspapers, too... you'd have to pay just a few cents to read an article, but you could set up your computer so that incurring the tiny charges involved would be relatively seamless and take only a fraction of a second.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.