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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Patron of the... blogs?

Let’s say I wanted to make a living as a blogger, or a musician, or some other media creator in a Web 2.0 world. How to do that, given that selling media products at a profit is getting to be difficult?

Well, if I had fans, I could be supported by a group of them who paid me a small amount every month (perhaps by automatic credit-card deduction). I could call them patrons of the arts, just as in days of old when a composer such as Mozart would have a patron such as Baroness von Waldstätten, except that I'd have multiple patrons. I’d publicize them on my website.

If I wanted to earn $100,000 a year, and my patrons were to pay me $10 a month (i.e. $120 a year), I'd need 833 patrons.

That seems like a lot of patrons to find. I can get away with fewer if some of them give more than $120 a year. So let me encourage the richer ones to give more, by giving them special recognition on my website and maybe other perqs.

Notice how this is getting to be just like, say, The Canadian Opera Company. The “Friends of the COC” has the following membership levels: Friend $100-199, Supporting $200-$499, Contributing $500-$799, Associate $800-1249, and Sustaining $1250-$1749. Beyond that there are the President’s Council (up to $9999) and the Golden Circle (gold level is $50,000 or more). Each step up gets you more goodies like invitations to working rehearsals, special events, use of the President’s Council Lounge at performances, etc.

Also, the COC’s new opera house is named the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, because the Four Seasons hotel chain gave $20 million for the naming rights. Perhaps my website could have the Larry Ellison Tribute Corner at the top (he co-founded Oracle Corporation and is a billionaire, plus he has a large ego).

In these new days of individuals’ doing the same things as organizations used to, why not?

The trick of course is to get people to part with their money.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think it is only a matter of time, when we will introduce to our friends a "friendship fee" ? :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at 6:34:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger Rohan Jayasekera said...


Perhaps. But there is no need to wait. You can be my friend for only $500. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 at 1:43:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

You know, on reading your very useful article, the name of new opera house Four Seasons reminded me of my last visit on Cyprus!!! The fact is that I stayed there in Limassol Four Seasons and had a great time!!! The names are the same and I hope that the impressions also!!! The island is really very beautiful!!! I cannot advice you how to make money, but I know for sure where to spend it!!! :) I'm glad if I was of any help to you!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 at 9:44:00 a.m. EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rohan, that is an interesting proposition, worth considering:) as long as it holds true as a symmetric relation, i.e. ∀x,y [x~y → y~x);
Is the suggested fee of $500 negotiable?

Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 1:46:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger Rohan Jayasekera said...

Ziemek, let me begin by thanking you for putting a ∀ symbol into my blog!

Before we examined symmetry or negotiability we would first have to establish a definition of “friendship”. On MySpace, some people have thousands of “friends”. Furthermore, friends can be purchased: eBay currently lists “MYSPACE ACCOUNT FOR SALE!!!! ALMOST 1000 friends!!!!!!”.

There is also the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. There is no fee to be a Friend, but there is certainly an expectation of shared beliefs, which could be considered to be a non-monetary “price”! (I would like to assure any Friends who read this, via a standing Google search for “Quaker”, that this comment is not meant to be taken seriously.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 2:44:00 p.m. EDT  

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