Gaby has posted his idea about a magazine
where selected blog postings are used to compose a magazine. He wonders if people would like to pay to have their postings published in such a magazine.
This opens up a whole lot of questions about publishing and how it could be conducted in the age of blogging and increased generation of real content in the "blogosphere".
My first reaction is no. I don't want to pay to have my posts published in a magazine. If you think my posts are good enough, then you should pay me. In fact this is just like buying advertising, I also don't go to newspapers or magazines and pay to put an ad in the newspaper to promote anything, whether it's an idea or a product.
In fact the model is flawed as an attempt to promote the free exchange of ideas to fight the powerful media/advertising interests. Using this model, inevitably the people with the most money will be the ones that will have their postings published more often and more prominently. This is exactly what we're trying to avoid.
Instead I propose a model where ideas (weblog posts) are evaluated on their merits, and the authors are asked whether they wouldn't mind if their posts are printed in a magazine which is then sold on newsstands. If it's successful, then eventually the authors could be paid small amounts for each post. Authors should also be given the opportunity to submit a "cleaned up" version of their posts in cooperation with the editing staff. This is basically old fashioned magazine publishing.
Actually I'd prefer an even more flexible model of targeting a magazine buyer's intest. The editing functionality should be automated by the web itself, using a kind of page ranking mechanism, except in a way that ranks pages based on an individual's interests. The system will use the person's history of viewing web pages or blogs, and their history of postings etc. to determine not only the user's direct interests, but also it would have the ability to triangulate new interests based on combinations of areas of interest (that's what Amazon does). This is then combined with a kind of ranking according to overall popularity (like google page ranking, but maybe not based on link-to information, but number of times viewed, and by whom).
This way a web magazine could be sold from kiosks where users logon and print their personalized customized magazine based on the system's prior knowledge of the user's history of web browsing.
This kind of magazine would have only the cost of setting up the kiosks associated with it, and so it could be quite inexpensive, and it could be supported by very targeted advertising which would be very valuable for advertisers (same as google search result advertising).