I may have mentioned it a few times but in case you follow me on @rdio and was wondering why all I listen to is old music it’s because I decided this year only to listen to music released in 1987. Yup.

For a little history: in 2010 I only listened to music released in that year. It was incredibly fun and I actually discovered some amazing bands I never would have heard. I took a break in 2011 but then did it again in 2012. I loved it all over again.

For 2013 I thought I would do something a little different and ran a poll on my old weblog that @mat encouraged his followers to enter “1987”. I don’t know why he chose 1987 but everyone loves Mat and so 1987 it was.

So far: it sucks. I hate it. There is rarely anything surprising. After the first couple of months the novelty wore off. There are a few safe albums I can jump to in my day—currently listening to The Lemonheads’ “Hate Your Friends” on repeat. I might listen to some Dinosaur Jr. later. (Did you know J Mascis played on GG Allin’s “Hated In The Nation”? It’s true!)

Prince’s “Sign O’ The Times” is probably the most surprisingly good thing I discovered. I remember hearing it when it was released, but back then I was a skater punk and had no time for what I considered pop music.

The C86 bands that released something that year are interesting but forgettable. The birth of Industrial was worth a couple of weeks. But now we are into the second half of the year and I am finding it harder to keep going.

Anyway, that’s why I am listening to so much old music and messing up your heavy rotation page.

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@mijustin asked me via Twitter what the incentive (beyond just being a patron of stuff you like) would be for people to sign up inthe first place to my idea I posted about a week ago.

It’s a good question and I do have another idea that would fit well within Readerkit so I am going to tell it to you now.

On MLKSHK, the site my wife and I created a few years back, there is a little banner that shows up between posts where you last started reading:

It is created when you first view your incoming stream and displays the timesince it was created:

You can use it to “jump” back to where you previously started and work yourway forward.

It is an automatically generated bookmark that is inserted in between posts so you can determine where you last left off reading so you can be sure to catch up with every post.

I could see the initial sell to readers would be: “sign-up and get this handy bookmark generated for you”.

Readerkit could also send out a monthly “Here are posts you might not haveseen” along with the bill described in my last post.

The only requirement would be the site’s publisher would have to insert a special DIV and JavaScript into their template so Readerkit could render thebanners and links.

So there are two ideas for you.

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I have had this idea bouncing around in my head for a few years. It really came into focus after Readabilty introduced the first iteration of theirproduct which was met with a lot of unhappiness from publishers. I thought itwas a good idea that needed to be tweaked a bit to be something I would wantto use.

I think the idea of collecting money as a function of usage is a good one butI don’t think anyone has gotten it right. The Flattr model is uninteresting to me. I will not remember to press a button.

So here is my idea. I have wanted to do it for a while. I have domain names andhave made half-hearted attempts at building it. It is exactly how I want to payfor reading my favorite weblogs:

Rather than a pay wall this is more like a pay meter. A porous sort of wall that really just identifies you as a reader after you become a site’s subscriber. If you are already signed into the application then you can subscribe directly on a publisher’s site with one click via a widget. You don’t have to subscribe to access the site. You can keep reading any participating site as you normally do. The only difference is this application (let’s call it readerkit.com because that was a domain I bought for it) tracks every time a subscriber views a page on the site and develops an inventory of content you have read.

At the end of the month you are sent a bill that you do not have to pay.

For example, let us say John at Daringfireball has signed up and determines he would like 25¢ for all pages viewed in a session. A session being some amountof time where a reader checks the index page and reads some posts.

Let’s say the reader does this twenty times a month. At the end of the montha bill is sent, detailing the use, and displaying a total for Daringfireball(20 x 25¢ = $5) as well as any other site the reader is a subscriber of in that time period.

The email has two buttons: pay now and modify bill.

Clicking “pay now” will take the reader to a page to verify they want to pay the whole bill. Payment is made to Readerkit and then immediately dispersed to the publishers.

Clicking “modify bill” will take the reader to page where they can edit the bill. They can remove some sessions. They can directly edit the total amount going to the publisher—that is increase or decrease what they are paying. It is completely up to the reader, this is just a way to prepare a bill for themand establish their opinion of the value for the content during the month.

Here is the cool part: readers who consistently pay their bills will contributetoward a confidence number that publishers can look at and get a sense of howmuch money will be coming in at the end of the month. In addition, a publisher’s biggest supporters can be identified and viewed along with their support history.

There are lots of things you could do with a supporter list: better tech support, a view into your most loyal readership, but what this isreally about is putting an engine in place to calculate a value on the content that the market agrees with.

I wish I could build it but since I can’t I hope someone out there can becauseI want to use it.

Ever since I helped start Federated Media (8 years ago??) I think a lot about how to support independent publishers looking to diversify their income fromjust advertising. While FM lost the plot at some point, I still believe in theoriginal mission John laid out. That’s why I joined Tugboat. I still believe in independent publishing and I think there are still a lot of opportunities to build support structures to keep them going.

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