My effort to start this blog has been greatly impacted by Andrew Sullivan. His groundbreaking Daily Dish blog has been terrific reading for years and I was happy to pony up $20 for a subscription in January.
Business Insider has published its intriguing interview with Andrew which covers taking his blog independent and the pay meter model he has implemented. One particular answer caught my eye because it relates to my earlier post on the future of newspapers:
BI: How do you wrap your head around the meter concept?
AS: Back in the day I would go to Harvard Square bookstore. When I was there in 1984, having left England, there was no way for me to know what was going on back home except in the British papers. I would go there and flip through the newspapers. At some point the dude had every right to say “Either buy the magazine or put it down.” That’s basically what the meter is. At some point, the owner store says to you “Thanks for coming in, but either buy something, or leave.”
Another answer grabbed me because as I begin to blog more often I’m experiencing the same thing:
BI: And how do you go about figuring out how to do that – creating an experience worth paying for and worth renewing?
AS: What happens in this process, since the first post I put up, this medium kind of tells you where to go. You just need to listen to it. Stats help, so do reader letters…. You try things, if they work great, if not, you let it go.
Three years ago, when it wasn’t in our interest, we installed the “Read On” button and our pageviews were halved. We made a decision that the reader experience was more important than the monetization. That wasn’t such good news for Barry Diller [laughs]. But it was a wise decision to treat those people right and give them what they want.
The surprise is being there first and establishing that consistency and building that audience that’s sticky, it works online. The thing is you have to deliver every day. If you do not give them their drugs, they’re going to fucking kill you. It’s addictive.
The horrible thing is – it’s as addictive for me to produce as it is for them to consume… My social life has collapsed. It’s my blog, my husband, and Breaking Bad at this point. And that’s not good for me.