Offer a Story: What Would You Do to Keep Reading?
Damien Spleeters, currently a student at Columbia’s J-School, is experimenting with new ways of sharing stories online. Here we have: The Offer a Story Project.
How It Works: Read a lede, decide if you like it, pay for the rest of the story with 1 tweet or 1 dollar, in bitcoins.
The micro paywall is quite flexible. Launched by BitMonet, it’s embeddable with a simple html code, and its features are customizable. You can offer one article, one hour of access, or a one-day pass. People pay with bitcoins, or just with a tweet. The more you share, the more you have access to. A bit like the reversed paywall introduced by Jeff Jarvis.
The story itself is hosted on marquee. A platform showcased during the Tow Center conference on the future of digital long form journalism a few days ago.
Immediate Thoughts: 1) If you care about what you tweet, do you really want to share a story before reading it? Scaled, how much noise does that add to the Twitterverse? 2) A dollar in bitcoins is nerdly cool, but how frictionless is the payment process for the non-bitcoin majority of the world? 3) This could encourage headline skimmers (and not your typical longform reader) to get enticed into a story through the lede, without yet knowing how long the story is and that they don’t want to read it right now. And by then you’ve “paid” so you might as well stay. Potential.
Try it out here. Give him feedback here.
Image: Screenshot from the first story on the site.