March 2, 2012

Breitbart — working on designing HuffPo in '05 — "wanted every commenter to have to pay $1 to comment..."

"... and the dollar would go to charity but the user’s true identity would be authenticated through a credit card."

Also: "He was terrified of the idea that Huffington Post was a competitor to Drudge. He thought that Huffington Post could be bipartisan and that Drudge would love the idea of these big boldface names blogging because he understands the value of that...."

42 comments:

Scott M said...

This is all just fluff until what I assume will be an underwhelming video of Barry in college comes out.

William said...

I would like to have $1 for every comment that Carol Herman makes.

John Althouse Cohen said...

$1 for each comment or for an account?

edutcher said...
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Scott M said...

That's what the Lefties are certainly hoping, but Breitbart rarely dealt in underwhelming.

I've got one foot firmly planted in the "too good to be true" square.

edutcher said...

Ascertaining the ID of all commenters would certainly keep some of the slimier trolls in line, I guess.

Scott M said...

This is all just fluff until what I assume will be an underwhelming video of Barry in college comes out.

That's what the Lefties are certainly hoping, but Breitbart rarely dealt in underwhelming.

William said...

I would like to have $1 for every comment that Carol Herman makes.

More like a dollar a line, especially if whitespace is included.

PS Love the use of "divisive". He was probably a lot more open-minded than the crowd at Buzzfeed, Slate, Puffington, and Daily Beast put together.

Baronger said...

I wonder if this might be the future of blogs, and getting rid of trolls.

More popular sites would charge more, and less popular sites would charge less.

Or maybe a floating price, the longer the comments get the higher the price point.

But still a dollar is pretty high should be more micropayments. How about 25 cents a post.

What would Althouses price point be?

pm317 said...
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Jaske said...

Some sites, like Metafilter, have done this for years.

pm317 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Schmoe said...

He really was loyal to Drudge. Making commenters on Huffpo pay $1 a comment would've put that site out of business in a hurry.

chickenlittle said...

"Wanting every commenter to pay $1 to comment" seems like just one way to help curb intential disingenuity. Trapping and outing are others.

Ann Althouse said...

@John I assumed it was per comment, maybe because I'd love to get that, but it could be just for authentication, done once.

Lyssa said...

This is all just fluff until what I assume will be an underwhelming video of Barry in college comes out.

Granted, I'm not usually really good at this stuff, but I've been trying to figure out what he could be saying in this video that would really be all that impressive. America didn't reject him after "God damm America." They didn't reject him after "felt at home with marxist professors," after "spread the wealth around", after "energy prices would necessarily skyrocket." Unless it's "In the first decade of the 20th century I intend to become president and destroy the country in exactly this way (which mirror's what he's been doing)", I really can't see what could have any effect.

t-man said...

If you were going to murder someone with a history of heart problems, wouldn't you make it look like a heart attack?

chickenlittle said...

I like to see the alleged Obama + Ayers/Dorhn video. I think some on the left have always downplayed any influence those two had and continue to have on him.

Maybe it's time to put a fork in it.

Dustin said...

A fee per comment makes a lot of sense.

I really like that. $1 might be a little steep, but I really like that.

I actually think a dime per comment would make sense, with the option for that dime to go to the blogger, and another option to go to charity. An easy way to support bloggers without favoring comments from supporters.

Breitbart was a visionary.

Scott M said...

If you were going to murder someone with a history of heart problems, wouldn't you make it look like a heart attack?

Maybe, but you would go for the complete discredit to boot. Didn't you know that Bob Crane supposedly had sleazy video on Obama as well? You remember how that worked out for Bob, don't you?

Scott M said...

I actually think a dime per comment would make sense, with the option for that dime to go to the blogger, and another option to go to charity. An easy way to support bloggers without favoring comments from supporters.

Just my 10 cents, but the money should go into a pot like an ante. If you win the argument, finally we would have an end to the old "arguing on the internet" meme. Sure, we'd all still look like retards, but one some of us would win.

rhhardin said...

Two cents is the traditional price point.

X said...

rhhardin wins the pot.

traditionalguy said...

Mickey Kaus of all people pushed back against David Frum's faint praise narrative that said Breitbart was always ideology driven and the truth be damned.

Frum is an idiot. He got it exactly wrong. Not that he cares.

Which reminds me that having 20 years long friends who really know you is Defense #1 when the Slander-o-rama Pros start spinning tales about you.

John Stodder said...

What if a blog charged, say, $5 that would buy you, say, 50 comments? A dime apiece, paid in advance. And if you could buy smaller increments at a higher per-comment rate, like say $1 for three comments, $2 for ten comments...

You'd probably end up with a lot fewer comments, for one thing. But maybe there would be less of the kind of crap nobody likes to see on a thread.

phx said...

Is Althouse floating an idea here?

I ♥ Willard said...

I'd like to apply for comment stamps!

t-man said...

So much for "free" speech.

Love said...

Scott - "If you win the argument, finally we would have an end to the old "arguing on the internet" meme."

Something you'd never win.

chickenlittle said...

I ♥ Willard said...
I'd like to apply for comment stamps!

I object to supporting your recreational speech.

Dustin said...

rhhardin, I love the two cents idea.

Perfect.

And it would hopefully be just enough to get folks to hold off from just blurting out communication that wasn't worth others reading. Hopefully.

Maybe two cents per 250 characters.

Even though I'm a prolific commenter myself, I think the fee should be on a quantity of comment basis rather than a mere registration.

bagoh20 said...

"Unless it's "In the first decade of the 20th century I intend to become president and destroy the country in exactly this way" (which mirror's what he's been doing)"

Even if then he sprouted horns and laughed manically, I would still expect him to get at least 45% of the vote. A lot of people think he is holding out until the second term to share his Obama stash.

bagoh20 said...

Any charge needs to be per word.

chickenlittle said...

Just my 10 cents, but the money should go into a pot like an ante. If you win the argument, finally we would have an end to the old "arguing on the internet" meme. Sure, we'd all still look like retards, but one some of us would win.

But how to determine a winner? Not a fraudulent "open" voting scheme. Perhaps only paying commenters could vote? But then others would scream disenfranchisement.

Also, after a while, certain "stellar" commenters would dominate the winning and people might tire of competing.

Maybe there could be a learned senate which could vote for "best comment"--sort of like an academy.

I ♥ Willard said...

I object to supporting your recreational speech.

Your objection is noted. $1 please.

I ♥ Willard said...

Any charge needs to be per word.

AnyChargeNeedsToBePerWord.

chickenlittle said...

Charge per character. Twitter folks will have an advantage.

Chip S. said...

I'm sorry, but it's immoral to charge for commenting.

We all pay our ISPs for a wide range of online activities. Failing to offer unlimited free commenting as part of this package would prevent access to free expression of ideas.

In fact, free commenting would pay for itself in diminished use of higher-bandwidth activities.

chickenlittle said...

Disagree Chip. User fees would be on a blog-by-blog basis--not an automatic additional tax on top of user fees. Non-subscribers would always be free to exercise 1st amendment rights on a different blog.

Chip S. said...

I don't think so, chicklit.

Every package deal offered by any provider of anything must include everything anyone could possibly want.

That's what I've learned from the health-insurance debate, anyway.

chickenlittle said...

Now you're starting to sound like a shilho, Chip.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Money talks, bullshit walks!

Scott M said...

Bullshit pays 10 cents a post too.

shiloh said...

"maybe because I'd love to get that"

Indeed, as Althouse is all about $$$, shocking!

But hey, if it would make certain lemmings post less, not a bad idea :-P, plus you would totally eliminate liberal input = a conservative circle jerk ie Althouse Nirvana!