This is not directly related to investor relations, but rather a comment on a subject proposed during the For Immediate Release podcast produced by corporate communications mavens Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. I guess that I can take the opportunity and recommend to the few IR people that care to read this (and the fewer that would consider a recommendation made by me): this is a awesome show and a must for any and everyone interested on business communications, on technology and on the use of tech on biz communications.
Anyway, during episode 534 Neville introduced this service called Fraxion Payments and, as the shows normally goes, discussed it with Shel. Nobody was particular sanguine about it but they apparently saw some worth in it (“nice but not for me” seemed to be the reaction.) They even joked a bit about charging people to listen to FIR past a certain point (just a joke, the show is free.) Well, my personal reaction is that, for the vast majority of the cases, a bad and the most myopic idea I’ve heard on a very long time. And the reason is quite simple: blogging is a social media and social media is, as we’ve been told over and over and over, about the conversation. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready, not just yet, to pay to have conversations.
Just to make my case, consider Shel and Neville’s joke about a paid podcast. Imagine they would have charged for each listener of each 500+ episode they have posted. As a matter of fact, they should go ahead and have charged for each listener comment they’ve aired, just because they are allowing us to have a voice. And they should’ve charged Eric Schwartzman and Dan York for the honor to contributing to the show. And they should also have charged each and every person interviewed by them over the past five years. Of course they should. And they would have collect a few nickels, I supose. But then they would probably not be selling as many books, or getting as many consulting gigs, or giving as many talks on conferences and stuff. They would not be seen as the voices of authority they are. Just because they were not giving anything away for free (and, by the way, this is based on a very funny rant by web celebrity Merlin Mann.)
Yeah, I know, guess you could have a WordPress site that is not really a blog and not really about conversation and where charging would make sense. But then how would this be any different from any other walled garden solutions that are abundant today? It is not.