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Author Topic: Ransoming Business Model  (Read 3219 times)
kiba
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August 03, 2012, 06:05:12 AM
 #1

Hi, I been working on a business model idea for ransoming content, using kibabase.com as a prototype site.

How it works:

1. You hold new content and update for bitcoin organized as a "Ransom Bag". Then you count up the ransomed and determine the ransom price.

2. You wait until the donation amount reached the ransom price...OR new content/updates is added

3. If there's enough donation, the "Ransom Bag" is opened and now everybody get to enjoy it.

Also, my server do not use a bitcoind and hold any bitcoin. Instead, my web app use blockchain.info's JSON API to get an answer. This way, even if a hacker broke into my server, they can't steal any bitcoin as there is nothing to steal.

The only thing I need to worry about is somebody tampering with the bitcoin address. This is something I have not developed any countermeasure for.

RIght now, I don't have anything to ransom yet and the site is just a proof of concept.

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Coinabul
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August 03, 2012, 06:24:43 AM
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The only thing I need to worry about is somebody tampering with the bitcoin address. This is something I have not developed any countermeasure for.

Require a PGP signature?

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Kluge
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August 03, 2012, 06:25:33 AM
 #3

If nothing else, a very interesting experiment.

Why would this model be superior to Kickstarter, or the BTC Kickstarter - or the similar sites? Instead of ransoming already-made content, they ransom yet-to-be-made content. Armory dev, for example, did a fundraiser seeking funds to do more dev-work, not have previous dev-work paid for. I'd be interested in seeing how consumers react to that.

I suppose, though, you get the immediate content, and nothing's left up in the air. Once the ransom reaches a certain point, the content's released. It would be exceptionally interesting to see some great artist hold his content ransom to see if he could get 2x what his label or related other distributor would give him over the next five years. Once the content's released, I'd assume it's public domain?

OTOH, it's kind of a pain in the ass for consumers, but maybe fun for people with too much time. Instead of just going to the store and buying the latest Batman-franchised item, you are faced with the world needing to raise $800m for the film to be released. Instead of paying distributors for marketing, etc, etc, the studio keeps the entirety (with a small share to the website), and instead of corporate publishing, the community seeking the film to be released ends up acting as your employees, going around trying to find investors to pay for the film. This also allows the rich to pay dramatically more than the poor, allowing prices to be based a bit more on relative wealth of the purchaser. If implemented for all IP, this could result in normalization of the standard of living, assuming the poor wouldn't just pirate what they can't afford.

There could be milestones, where bonus content is released, increasing hype - or tracks could be released one-by-one until an entire album is released, maybe releasing 5 tracks once the whole ransom has been paid to encourage people to see fundraising through to the end...
kiba
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August 03, 2012, 06:46:28 AM
 #4

If nothing else, a very interesting experiment.

Why would this model be superior to Kickstarter, or the BTC Kickstarter - or the similar sites? Instead of ransoming already-made content, they ransom yet-to-be-made content. Armory dev, for example, did a fundraiser seeking funds to do more dev-work, not have previous dev-work paid for. I'd be interested in seeing how consumers react to that.

I suppose, though, you get the immediate content, and nothing's left up in the air. Once the ransom reaches a certain point, the content's released. It would be exceptionally interesting to see some great artist hold his content ransom to see if he could get 2x what his label or related other distributor would give him over the next five years. Once the content's released, I'd assume it's public domain?

The problem with all these business models is that they are oriented toward one-off projects, like a film project or a music album. Mine is oriented toward regular release of new content along with a smaller ransom goal.

This is ideal for someone who's a webcomic artist that add new comic strips on a regular basis. They don't try to build massive hype, but their archive do the hooking for them. This is also how bitcoinweekly works but I got tired of the whole process so I decided to build a prototype on kibabase.com that largely automates the operation.

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August 03, 2012, 10:55:07 AM
 #5

That's the, err, chaturbate business model. They seem to be doing well with it! Moving to bitcoin does seem an obvious step. Perhaps you should approach them about it?

On a technical note - I know you say your server doesn't hold any BTC but you might want to structure it so that the server operator can take a small % to cover costs etc.
Raoul Duke
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August 03, 2012, 11:00:06 AM
 #6

Didn't you try something like this with bitcoin weekly?

kiba
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August 03, 2012, 12:09:38 PM
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That's the, err, chaturbate business model. They seem to be doing well with it! Moving to bitcoin does seem an obvious step. Perhaps you should approach them about it?

Not interested.
Quote
On a technical note - I know you say your server doesn't hold any BTC but you might want to structure it so that the server operator can take a small % to cover costs etc.

Server operator and content provider are assumed  to be the same person. Also the web app can't deal with anything more complicated than listing donation address in advance and checking the balance against blockchain.info.

kiba
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August 03, 2012, 12:14:31 PM
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Didn't you try something like this with bitcoin weekly?

Yes, and it was successful. However, it was a huge hassle to do it manually. That's why I develop a prototype at kibabase.com. Eventually, the code will come back to bitcoinweekly after it's all polished and the kinks are worked out.

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August 03, 2012, 09:29:52 PM
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Search the forum, it has been done already.
kiba
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August 03, 2012, 09:43:00 PM
 #10

Search the forum, it has been done already.
 

 Roll Eyes

I never claim it was never done before. You should seriously read the thread before you comment.

Meatpile
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August 08, 2012, 05:43:10 PM
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Your post is hinting at asking if the "business model" will work, and obviously not or else we would keep seeing the advertisements for it that he used to keep putting up on this forum.
kiba
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August 08, 2012, 10:23:55 PM
 #12

Your post is hinting at asking if the "business model" will work, and obviously not or else we would keep seeing the advertisements for it that he used to keep putting up on this forum.
That's wrong. Bitcoin Weekly's business model absolutely works. The problem is with me and the site technical operation.

With the development of kibabase.com, more of my energy will be spent on writing and coding, rather than managing ransoms like it was in the past. A refined system will eventually make it to Bitcoin Weekly and we may start producing articles on a regular basis, again.

I will probably put up the ransom for "Notes and Thoughts" at a very small price as it is mostly my unorganized thought. So if you guys are going to donate, just think of it as helping me test the system rather than actually expecting to get anything interesting.

kiba
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August 20, 2012, 06:51:36 AM
 #13

I worked out some of the bugs and finally have some content ready to ransom as a test. Also, I added the ability to customize pricing.

Here are some of the articles ransomed:

Notes and Thoughts is basically a collection of random thought and notes that may or may not be interesting. I documented my experience with the American medical system and wrote a short one paragraph summary of books I read recently. It's priced at 0.05 BTC.

Why I Unlicense is my essay on why I chose the public domain. It's priced at 0.01 BTC because the changes is really minor.

Why should you donate some bitcoin? Think of it as a donation to test out an interesting idea. Please note the balance do not yet update automatically.

stochastic
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August 20, 2012, 06:57:26 AM
 #14

I worked out some of the bugs and finally have some content ready to ransom as a test. Also, I added the ability to customize pricing.

Here are some of the articles ransomed:

Notes and Thoughts is basically a collection of random thought and notes that may or may not be interesting. I documented my experience with the American medical system and wrote a short one paragraph summary of books I read recently. It's priced at 0.05 BTC.

Why I Unlicense is my essay on why I chose the public domain. It's priced at 0.01 BTC because the changes is really minor.

Why should you donate some bitcoin? Think of it as a donation to test out an interesting idea. Please note the balance do not yet update automatically.

How about ransoming off the code

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
kiba
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August 20, 2012, 07:08:03 AM
 #15


How about ransoming off the code

I don't have any interesting/useful code to ransom at the moment.

FreeMoney
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August 20, 2012, 07:36:15 AM
 #16

Someone write a decent story and make one word appear for each .001 that hits an address. I'm thinking any payment makes more visible for everyone.

Build the framework I guess, would be very cool. Let author upload text, bitcoin address, price per word (character?) and mark how much we get for free (need a teaser).

Show browsers however much of each story is paid for and tell them how much per word and to completion.

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kiba
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August 20, 2012, 07:38:31 AM
 #17

Someone write a decent story and make one word appear for each .001 that hits an address. I'm thinking any payment makes more visible for everyone.

Build the framework I guess, would be very cool. Let author upload text, bitcoin address, price per word (character?) and mark how much we get for free (need a teaser).

Show browsers however much of each story is paid for and tell them how much per word and to completion.

Let me know if you find the story. I would like to include it in my Notes and Thoughts somewhere.

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August 20, 2012, 08:41:37 AM
 #18

Someone write a decent story and make one word appear for each .001 that hits an address. I'm thinking any payment makes more visible for everyone.

Build the framework I guess, would be very cool. Let author upload text, bitcoin address, price per word (character?) and mark how much we get for free (need a teaser).

Show browsers however much of each story is paid for and tell them how much per word and to completion.

Let me know if you find the story. I would like to include it in my Notes and Thoughts somewhere.

Sorry, it was more like a command "Hey someone! Write a story!"

Unless you mean "find it in myself and let it pour out" in which case... don't hold your breath.

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kiba
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August 20, 2012, 07:30:43 PM
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Sorry, it was more like a command "Hey someone! Write a story!"

Unless you mean "find it in myself and let it pour out" in which case... don't hold your breath.

I noticed an article not too long ago about how to make a living from your writing and it details something like that.

Anyway, I encourage people to visit http://kibabase.com and donate some bitcents and help test out the system. The price total is only 0.06 BTC!

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August 20, 2012, 07:49:03 PM
 #20

It's not very clear, since we already have access to both. Also there is one address for the two things, how to choose? What happens if .05 are sent?

Seems like it should be an address per item.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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