I have, what I feel, a legitimate reason why I don't send micropayments to PA. Their strip really isn't that good. I might pay 25 cents a month if it weren't just an egomaniacal wankfest where they whine about the fact that installing the latest Tribes 2 patch broke their installation. PA used to be pretty funny, and they occasionally have a few gems, but for the most part, it's pretty boring.
I donate to other site as I see fit. I bought some of the Sluggy Freelance books, I sent $10 to truemeaningoflife.com when Seeker announced that he was having trouble paying the server bills (unfortunately, last I checked TMOL is still down, though I'm starting to get keen on Forum 3000), and I even sent $10 to Something Awful back when Rich was getting screwed over by his inability to read his contract with Gamefan. In reality, those sites were only exceptional in that they were ones I really cared about; paying 25 cents a month ($3/year) for the other sites I read regularly seems much more feasible. Unfortunately, sending a 25-cent "tip" to these authors is not only inconvenient but rather insulting if done only a month at a time.
I think that if there were an annual subscription model a'la PBS/NPR where once a year they remind you to send in your $x payment, things would work a lot better. (FWIW, I donate $30/year to the local NPR station, since I feel it's worth it to have a local station which plays jazz and classical music and Prarie Home Companion.) I rather like the model Jon Rosenberg uses on Goats, which is somewhat similar - he has a monthly donation goal thing, where if there's enough donations in any given month he'll treat the readers to more strips, bonus color strips, etc.
I think a decent model would be to have a quarterly donation period (monthly is too short, yearly is too long, but every 3 months seems about right) where the current amount remaining on the goal is in red, blinking text or on an interstitial page which comes up before you can get to the site itself (and you could only get to the site itself through an empty POST query or by putting in that day's randomly-generated username and password or the like, making it not worth peoples' time to try to get around it). The interstitial page would include a simple budgetary plan justifying the requested amount (for example, "I spend x hours on each strip which translates to $y at $z wage, and I have an average of q visits per strip").
Maybe I'll try something like that (which is roughly a better-planned Street Performer Protocol) for my next album... before releasing a song, say how much it cost me to put the previous song together and how many people downloaded it, and then also say that people who have donated a total of, say, $10 or more will get a free copy of the album itself when it's finished. Hrm.
There (hopefully) wouldn't be any expectation of me putting out new songs because of prior donations, since the donations would be requested for the purpose of putting up a song which is actually done. Maybe I'd include a low-bitrate sample or something, too.
I wonder if that kind of thing would also work to guilt-trip people into sending me money due to the fact that, even though hundreds of people have downloaded the 32/128kbps version of pointed little quill, and people are always telling me how much they liked it, I've only sold four copies on CDBaby (and only three on mp3.com), while I've had plenty of out-of-pocket expenses (not counting the time taken to do the music!) just to get the stuff up on CDBaby et al; I'm far from even breaking even on it.
I dunno, though.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!
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