Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blog post requests (blog post kickstarter? This probably already exists right?)

I've bought a couple of short e-books for $2. In the case of Tyler Cowen's The Great Stagnation it was because I actually wanted to read the book, but other times it was because it was cheap and it was being talked about on Twitter.

It's pretty great that new books can be so cheap, but sometimes (probably often) I'd rather read a blog post by someone I really like on a specific topic. I would feel funny emailing Tyler Cowen offering to pay $5 for him to write a blog post on why Roger Federer is better than Nadal, but why couldn't there be some sort of Kickstarter like webpage where I make the request and Tyler can see the request and set a dollar value that it would take for him to write a post on the topic? I could fund the whole thing myself or other people could pledge their 50c or whatever to get the post funded. And if the target isn't met they're not even out this trivial sum.

I can imagine objections to this, but I haven't thought of one that makes it seem like a bad idea. I mean, Tyler (or whoever) gets a thousand emails a day anyway, so people could email him their requests and then he could only post the ones he would consider writing about on the site and at whatever price he considers appropriate. This would prevent the page being swamped by requests for posts on abortion, gun control, the gold standard or whatever. If he is worried about appearing to blog just for the money, he could make it clear that the money is going the charity of his choice.

What am I missing?


Trevor Black said...

Maybe the difficulty of collecting the debts? Or are you suggesting the site has people with accounts and the money can be automatically deducted when someone claims to have posted the specific blog post? Perhaps what you are missing is the business model? Or perhaps it is like the $10 note that the economist doesn't pick up because markets are efficient. Someone has to do it to see if it works.

Stuart said...

I've never contributed to a kickstarter, but that problem has been pretty much been solved. Amazon payments gets used and the money is deducted once the target is met, not once the project is completed. No guarantees are given that it ever will be completed.

I took a look and found one kickstarter with a target of $150.