If advertisers are only willing to really pay as their ads are viewed, should publishers only pay if the content is read?
Blogger Tim Anderson is the latest to weigh in on a fledgling debate on the way in which writers should be compensated in the digital sphere. His piece is based on an interesting technical method from Chris Green on quantifying an author's appeal online. Anderson and others have noted the problems in this approach. There are many dynamics in the publisher-writer relationship that transcend click-per-view models.
Forget the click fraud issue; technology can likely address that. Bigger issues are the value attached to a reader (income, education, etc. that an advertiser might cherish), how a particular piece of writing contributes to the value of the publication (its placement and prominence), and how important a publisher wants to retain a writer for competitive purposes --- among many other things. Pay-per-click doesn't encompass those issues in the least.
In recent weeks Gawker has pruned its pay-per-click compensation for its writers.
Anderson notes that a changing model of journalism is going to need rethinking on compensation. Newsrooms essentially pay the same rates for their staff's work. But how that might change is anyone's guess, and a minefield after the guess.