I finally had time to set up Disqus comments here, so you can comment on things without needing an account on my site. I'm hoping the spam moderation provided by Disqus will be sufficient to avoid problems. For content that had comments using the older (built-in) system, those comments are still visible but no more can be added in the old comment threads.
Other site updates are still in progress (e.g., the new theme).
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Last week I talked about patronage as a viable alternative to the per-unit model of paying writers and other artists for their works. While writing that post I was mostly focused on recurring payments through a mechanism like Patreon, but that's not the only way to approach patronage. It's not uncommon in life to pay a one-time arbitrary amount in gratitude for something, i.e., to tip someone.
Just like restaurant wait staff and other service providers, creative people can be tipped for their creative efforts too. If you've ever dropped a coin in the hat (or violin case?) of a talented street musician, you've tipped an artist. In the past it has not been very convenient to tip small amounts online, but one of my readers pointed me toward ChangeTip, which makes one-time online tips very easy. Read on for more details about how you can use ChangeTip, whichever side of the tip transaction you're on, and why their approach is more workable (and fun) than other methods.
As is still very common, they all focused on a pay-per-unit model of paying for creative work and the publishing business built around that model. I've commented before (elsewhere) about the possibility of that model becoming obsolete, or at least no longer dominant, and those three pieces seemed to underscore how we are heading down that road. Patreon is just one example of an alternative model, and in this blog post I will delve into what I see happening in the not-so-distant future.
Imagine if you had the opportunity to play a lottery where the odds of winning were very low (as usual), but instead of paying for each ticket, you were paid for each ticket. Would you play? Would you be crazy to not play?
While it's not a lottery, I have an opportunity that is a little similar to that paid-per-ticket lottery scenario. The odds are very low, and the payoff — while not in the millions — is nothing to sneeze at. A key difference between this opportunity and a lottery is that luck, by itself, is not the deciding factor. Of course, as with anything in life, randomness can play a significant role.
This particular opportunity is more like a popularity contest. The more effort I put into it, and the more others help me, the greater my odds are of "winning." Read on to see how this relates to my books and how you might help.