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Scott McCloud Tries Webcomic Micropayment 283

jaime g. wong writes "Scott McCloud's latest comic, 'The Right Number', is finally available online... for just 25 cents! McCloud has discussed the concept of micropayment for online comics before; let's all hope this idea, using BitPass technology, will succeed." There's more info via a a Comic Book Resources article, and Tycho over at Penny Arcade also has opinions on the micropayment route: "..if you have enough readers who care about your work to go through all that rigmarole, you could succeed with any business model... I see it as a model for compensation, lined up with the other models for compensation, like at the police station."
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Scott McCloud Tries Webcomic Micropayment

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  • by sbszine ( 633428 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:45PM (#6354858) Homepage Journal
    There's an old PA comic where they mock Scott's love of micropayments here [].

    In today's PA [] Tycho clarifies this somewhat by making an interesting point about micropayments: they can only keep you afloat if you get lots of them. And if you're a comic producer getting that much attention, you can probably survive by selling ad space, merchandising, subscriptions etc. So the numbers needed to make micropayments viable are probably similar to the numbers needed to make web comics viable (in a business sense) full stop.
  • Re:Micropayments (Score:4, Informative)

    by mandalayx ( 674042 ) * on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:52PM (#6354892) Journal
    if you read the link, you'll see that it's not merely a 3-panel sunday comic.

    "The complete chapter runs for 57 frames. There will be 3 chapters altogether."
  • Worth It! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Michael.Forman ( 169981 ) * on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:15PM (#6355022) Homepage Journal

    I gave it a try. BitPass was painless to setup. I clicked on the $3 button, entered my email address as a username, a password, credit card info, and was reading the comic within 60 seconds.

    How was the story? Excellent! It is an enjoyable story with moments of tension and humor tied together by an underlying theme of mathematics. Great adult geek fare. I highly recommend it, although I'm still trying to decide if it was long enough for 25 cents. (Afterall I pay nothing for my operating system!)

    Michael. []
  • Re:Why not Paypal? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:21PM (#6355050)
    There is a transaction fee. If someone were to give you 25 cents, guess how much PayPal gets. Yep, 25 cents.
  • Re:Ironic, ain't it? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:26PM (#6355079) Journal
    Visa's done that. Not quite in the shopping lane of walmart, but my little brother used to have a visa credit card that was actually a prepaid card. It was his responsibility to make sure he kept track of how much cash was left on it, and to spend it carefully so he didn't embarass himself in front of his friends by having it rejected. I thought it was pretty cool, but I haven't heard much about it since then. (of course, if I have kids I'll probably hear ALL about the things I can pay for to give them...)
  • by wherley ( 42799 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:33PM (#6355107)
    any of the gold based systems. for example [] (800,000+ account holders, averaging ~1-2 million USD plus in transactions per day, fee for a 25 cent transaction is .25 cents worth of gold).

    see a comparison of 8 of these type of systems here [].

    how hard is it to accept 25 cents worth of gold?
    click [] to pay .25 worth of gold.
  • by jimmcq ( 88033 ) * on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:45PM (#6355166) Journal
    I'm not too familiar with Bitpass [], but it seems to me that they should have Bitpass pre-paid cards that you can buy for cash in stores (ala Calling Cards)... then you just 'activate' the card by typing in the serial number and adding the money into your online account.
  • Re:Ironic, ain't it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by showler ( 619356 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:48PM (#6355175)
    WTF doesn't he just setup a paypal/amazon payment link?

    Because those services have a minimum service fee charge that is greater than/equal to the micropayment itself. All the money would go to Amazon or Paypal.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle