SpeakToMe is offering a new service aiming to change that. "The biggest problem for successful online publishers is getting paid for their work," says Ted Murphy, President of SpeakToMe. "The three legged stool of print journalism, publisher-reader-advertiser, is simply not available online. The only categories that get paid online are keyword search and classifieds. 3% of the internet page views make over 75% of the money. Search and classifieds generate a $40 CPM while everybody else makes less than $1 CPM."
The answer, Mr. Murphy figures, is to offer a service that allows readers to pay the publisher directly. The SpeakToMe Expert Service product sets up a private session between publisher and reader, including a phone call. Readers pay by the minute to speak directly to the experts who write the articles.
Webmasters can toss the SpeakToMe widget on their website and accept payment from their audience within the comfortable confines of their own website. All of the video, chat room, phone call and ecommerce elements are included in the widget. There are no up-front costs to the webmaster, and the set up procedure takes minutes.Its yet to be seen whether this new approach will catch on with a broader audience. If it does, there'll be a new and powerful business model leading social networking to a profitable future.