Making Money On The Web? An esoteric mystery, a genuine five-star bamboozler.
When I get my A into G and start my wee Gonzo rating service, I promise your site as good a review as it warrants. ;-)
Seriously, did you look at www.blackmarket.co.nz ? 250K in the first year, looking at 1 Mill in the second. No marketing other than word of mouth and voluntary signup to their list. (No Chris, they don't spam you with the first invitation. They let your friends do that for them . . . . .)
Would that do it for you Jack?
And recall Chris' own RageBoy example, one of the reasons we're all here is that somehow or another GM: WTWP clued us in to EGR or EGR clued us in to GM: WTWP. And GM:WTWP went way up the Amazon sales lists before it was printed purely on the strength of the perverse relationship RageBoy has with his readership.
Yes, your milage may well vary. I too doubt that there is the same market for stringed instruments as there is for cheap wines (more's the pity!) but I assume that there is sufficient market to keep an honest and competent craftsman in reasonable comfort if not splendour.
I imagine that Chris started EGR with so few readers it looked like no-one would ever listen to him. Right now I cannot for the life of me recall how I got onto his list, but I recall vividly the first one I read, and I am inutterably glad that somehow I did.
Are these the only possibilities? West Wing or What? (Why is West Wing assumed to be such a good thing anyway? I hate it. Am I a micromarket?) Anyway, I wouldn't trust the high priests of the proven business model to be thinking about radical new heresies in producer to market communications. Don't expect them to think outside the box when they're still denying there's anything outside the box at all.
JENEANE & ANDREW:
Underwriting is not intended, as I understand it, as some disjoint or isolate altruism. It is a marketing tool, and as such would be financed from a marketing budget. But it is a tool that is markedly different from the traditional broadcast media tools and therefore requires different handling to prevent significant harm to the user. Whether any big corpses* ever use it, or keep using it after experimenting with it, will depend to some degree (as you noted) on the return on their investment.
* What else do you call a body with no mind, no soul, & no heart?
But it seems to me that the issue is not one of efficacy, since Chris has already proven to some degree that "Gonzo Works", but of comprehension and maturity. We all have adolescent fantasies - hell, I'm 35 and I still have them!
But maturing is supposedly about dealing with reality as it is, and part of that for the corporate marketing department in the age of Internet-enabled vocality is the realisation that their target markets never existed anywhere but in their heads. The view they had/have about their markets is an artifact of the tools they use to explore their world, not of the reality of that world as it really is.
The internet, with its emails, blogs, icq's and aim's, flash, shockwave, java and xml, etc etc, is a new toolbox for exploring the world.
It is no more the world than was TV, but while it is not the world, it certainly makes visible new vistas that were previously obscured to those inhabiting the corner offices in BlaBla Land.
They also need to realise that no consumer ever bought anything they didn't want just because of spamming techniques. The spammers convinced themselves of that to justify their existence. So that talking in a human manner to real people you know actually want what you have is not confining your marketing to some "micro" organism that is beneath the consideration of someone with a SuperBowl ad campaign budget.
Did anyone actually at or watching the SuperBowl really go and buy something just because of some slick multimillion dollar ad? Really? I'd concede the choice of make/model could be affected but I'd resist the notion that the ad could create a desire that wasn't already there . . . .
Rave on Tropic of Cancer. Say what you wanna say, do what you wanna do. Don't let the bastards grind you down. Don't let them tell you how to play the game, nor which game to play.
Personally, I refuse to do a job I don't enjoy, but that's because I'm arrogant enough to believe I don't have to. Maybe at some later date I'll get scared of uncertainty and settle for wage-slavery without enjoyment, but not today.
I think that (partly for reasons discussed above) some corpses will never get it. Many of the people I've encountered in high positions in business life have the emotional maturity of a buck rabbit. Hell, I may well be one of them. Fear and Greed are the cages in which they have voluntarily imprisoned themselves so that they can shut out the rest of humanity, or even the recognition of their own.
Your Output Is My Input. I leave you alone for a couple of days and you go ballistic. WeeeeeeLaa! I'll have to shut up more often. Now there's a Gonzo thought . . . .
I have something to say: It is better to burn out, than to fade away.
The Kirgan, from Highlander, plagiarising Neil Young.