Which is impressive (or just an accident), as we don’t really do anything on this website, other than to describe our purpose.
The publishing industry has been in decline for more than a decade, as most publishers adopted an unsustainable business model after the dawn of the web that relied heavily on revenue from third party ad platforms, and placed unjustifiable faith in parasitic social networks that consumed most of whatever new revenue they generated. Apparently many people believe a viable news industry is necessary for democracy to survive, so in response, several new monetization systems have been created for publishers. One of these utilizes Transact, a debit card for digital media.
Transact lets publishers charge small amounts for access to any kind of digital media, so that if a reader does not want to subscribe to a publication, and the publisher doesn’t want to give access for free, the reader can still access an article by paying for it. Traditional payment networks are not appropriate for this model, as their costs are too high and transactions take too long. Transact was designed to address these two major obstacles, and has succeeded by providing a low-friction, low-cost system for publishers.
In spite of this life line being extended to publishers, they have largely remained dependent on the business model that will guarantee their painful (look at all the layoffs) and slow (but accelerating) demise. So we took it upon ourselves to build new sites and platforms that embrace the ad-free, almost-free model that should enable any all-digital publisher to thrive, if they were only willing to try (many publishers will claim “micro-payments have been tried, and it didn’t work”, but when did you ever come across a web page that offered to let you read an article for 3 cents?).
We started by creating a prototype local news site, Reporter-Citizen, that demonstrated what a news site would look like without ads or free content. This WordPress theme is available to anyone who wants to use it with Transact, and we would be happy to help any teams of journalists who want to start their own publication.
The company that operates Transact also created Postd, a public media network where anyone can post digital content (video, audio, or text) for a la carte access. As part of our mission to evangelize the new model, we commissioned videos for publication on Postd, where you can pay a nickel or so to watch videos without ads. We plan to publish more videos there next year, and encourage news publishers to post videos and podcasts on Postd, instead of generating hardly any ad revenue from videos on their own website.
At the same time that Postd was being developed, we started News of the Day, Inc. to create Notd (it is now an independent company operating as a California Benefit corporation). Notd introduces new concepts like streams of notes and micro-subscriptions, and is ideal for reading news, opinions, and commentary, and better for photos than other photo-sharing sites. Notd also allows people to form groups (called “community streams”), where members can post comments and photos that are shared with other members. Instead of operating our own website, we publish several streams on Notd:
There are many other streams on Notd, and you can create your own for free.
We’re looking to hire college journalism and communications students
for part-time positions writing streams on Notd. All work is remote, as we don’t expect you to move to Santa Barbara (where we are based). Send your resume and links to your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any questions, contact us at email@example.com