Pay the Reader


Online publishers have been struggling to modify for the online media the product-based,  reader-paid business models. This recompense model needs to be flipped on its head, so that humans are paid to think out loud, in the secure, trusted, selected, and recorded environment  of their choosing, either anonymously or for attribution (different pay scales for each). Publishers will license “cogniright” instead of copyright, in this instance, and cognactivity would include such online actions as:

  • generating original prose or commentary
  • footnoting: linking to related sites or publications to buttress one’s original thoughts
  • opinionating: endorsing or damning other publications
  • living out loud: publishing one’s online thought pat

This reader-paid model might best be first implemented in medical publishing, as the life and death impetus has a way of sharpening the business need. And truth and timeliness in publication is critical. Also, in STM or Tech publishing, we frequently see heuristic cycles  of defined content domains where authors who are also readers who are also authors. What’s missing is the business model that compensates readers (and editors) specifically for their online editorial and publishing duties. And when I say compensate I don’t mean only a one-time hourly or retainer fee, but an ongoing residual for contributing to and assuming responsibility for the validity of online content.