Cyberview 13-09-02

Creating a system that bills for content and making a profit out of it can be difficult for websites. But BT has created a new service that will make it easier for websites to charge for content. BT Click&buy (www.btclickandbuy.com) has so far teamed up with 20 websites, which will now be able to make and collect small charges, probably of between 50p and £5. Among the sites using the system to charge for access to value-added features are sports site sportinglife.com, personal finance service fool.co.uk, and handbag.com, for its horoscopes. BT handles the billing for the sites, for which it receives a percentage of the revenue generated, and the remainder goes to the website. Ian Price, chief executive of BT Click&buy, said: "The service will enable websites to grow by allowing them to sell quality content for small amounts of money. They can then continue to offer free content while investing in the development of new, higher quality content." BT hopes to sign up 100 sites by the end of the year.

 

Last month I wrote about how poor some corporate websites were at delivering useful information to journalists.

I recently received an e-mail from Peter Brooker, director of public relations at credit reference agency Experian, who pointed me in the direction of his office’s website. A lot of thought has gone into how the site is used and Experian wants to be seen to be providing the right information rather than hampering people in their quest for it. "If you look at the Experian press office website (http://press.experian.com/press/

press_main.cfm), you’ll see every press release has full contact details and there is a section dedicated to media contacts, so it should always be possible for a journalist to find a contact in any country where we operate," said Brooker. "I suspect that contact details are not always given – at least e-mail addresses – because less-than-scrupulous marketers and list providers trawl websites for e-mail addresses and sell them on. A by-product of this is that I receive a huge number of spam e-mails, many of them extremely unpleasant."

 

The Newspaper Society’s (www.newspapersoc.org.uk) annual two-day New Media Conference and Awards will take place on 23 and 24 September. Some key themes will include online classifieds and directories, generating revenue from content and community marketing. Given the rise in the number of sites charging for content and trying to get people to pay up, the sessions on making money from content look useful and feature interesting cases, such as a talk by the founder of Friends Reunited.

Leslie Bunder

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