Supporting Writers

Ads are whack. I hate their intrinsic obtrusive nature but I understand exactly why they are needed. Producing content takes work (in the Elaine Scarry sense of the term). People who produce content do so, typically, because they love sharing their experiences, and/or to explore their own insights, and/or to learn and contribute to the creative community. This content costs time, further making this content accessible costs even more time, effort, and capital. This is why ads are relevant.

I want to support content producers but at the same time I block most ads (with the exception of some tastefully done advertisement groups, like Fusion and The Deck. How then does a person support all of those creatives that I am so dutifully indebted? The answer is a combination of Instapaper and Readability.

I read as much as I possibly can on a daily basis, almost all of this reading is done through Instapaper (a service that truly deserves to be fostered and supported, the latter is something which I also began doing recently). When I started exploring the service a little fuller I noticed that it could be linked to Readability, another service which I could only recall making the content on websites more accessible through a javascript bookmarklet. Being a little out of the loop, I decided to investigate why such an incredible service like Instapaper would link arms with a bookmarklet.

To my surprise, a lot has changed. The service now offers a scheme to pay content producers simply through reading! I instantly pledged money and set up my site for the service. I revelled in the fact that what now happens when I read your delightful work is that I recognize that YOU deserve money for the work you do and that YOU are supported because of it. All in a completely subtle and fluid process. Significant to the process is the fact I am investing in your well being because you are insightful, impressive, and worthwhile. Being a romantic and an idealist I like to believe that when I registered my own content that I didn't register myself in hopes of merely cashing in, instead I similarly assume that if YOU find my work deserving that I may be so lucky to have your support.

It's a warm and fuzzy feeling to contribute, to help one another, even if it only amounts to a few pennies here and there. We exist only in what we do, and what I am doing is supporting others (A play on a quote from Federico Fellini).

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