I’m starting to get the feeling that the venture capitalists and philanthropists backing this Technology and Learning MOOB (massively open online blog) are running out of patience.
They want a sustainable revenue model. They want some ROI. They want it sooner than later.
I’ve been trying to point out that we’ve been focused on building a large user base, and that monetization opportunities will arise when enough people are participating in this MOOB.
I’ve been saying that these are early days of the MOOB movement, and that we simply can’t know what financial opportunities will reveal themselves once MOOBs are established.
I fear that the patience of my VC’s and philanthropists may be running short.
So here are some MOOB revenue models that I hope may work:
Revenue Idea 1 - MOOB Employment Matching (since abandoned):
This was my first idea, and truth be told it has not worked out that well. The idea was to match those people who write the best comments on this MOOB with employers. The top 1 percent of all commenters. Turns out that running a blog and running an employee recruitment business are two very different propositions. Lesson learned. In this MOOB we are not afraid to fail fast, and pivot quickly.
Revenue Idea 2 - MOOB Verified Reader Certificate:
Any of you that wish to receive an official certificate that you have read this entire blog post can now receive that credential. Your identity will be verified using your webcam and with new eyeball scanning technology developed for this MOOB (to make sure that you indeed viewed the entire blog entry). Once we have received your payment and your identity and eyeball scan have been verified we will send you (well, e-mail an attachment) of Blog Reading Certificate of Completion. (Note: This certificate is not in any shape or form connected or associated with my home institution, and does not imply any connection or endorsement by said institution).
Revenue Idea 3 - MOOB Corporate Training:
Our business development division will work with your company to develop blog content specifically relevant to your industry. Your employees will be able to stay up-to-date with trends and ideas in your industry by reading these specially prepared blogs. Think of the savings in conference, flight, and hotel fees.
Revenue Idea 4 - MOOB Licensed Content:
Here at the Technology and Learning MOOB we like to think that only the highest quality of content is being produced. This content is available for licensing for other blog writers who can then incorporate pieces (we call them chunks) of content into their own blogs. Why have thousands and thousands of people writing about the same topics in Technology and Learning when it is now possible to license best-in-breed blog content?
Revenue Idea 5 - MOOB NPR Model:
We think that the same people who read this MOOB are also NPR listeners. Our research department sees a correlation between the most active of MOOB participants (those that read the entire blog and all the comments) and those that contribute to annual NPR fund drives. Active MOOB commenters are the largest NPR contributors! Therefore, we think that the MOOB audience may respond well to underwriting and pledge drives. We would never let the MOOB content be influenced by underwriters, but we think that appropriate and tasteful mentions of MOOB sponsors may be valuable to sponsoring companies and acceptable by the MOOB community. If underwriting is not adequate, we may interrupt normal MOOB writing on Technology and Learning to use the space to solicit funding from our contributing readers.
Will 2014 be the year when MOOBs such as this one finally find a sustainable business model?
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Anthropology Open Rank (Assistant, Associate, or Professor) of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts