Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage
Posted: under Digital Migration, journalism, Newspaper Deathwatch, Uncategorized, Webconomics, Wrongheaded solutions.
Tags: bankruptcy, Fremont, GM, industry refusal, inertia, labor relations, Newspapers, NUMMI plant, obsolete, paid content debate, resistance to change, sabotage, This American Life
GM’s NUMMI plant in Fremont was the solution to their crisis. So why did they ignore its lessons?
I strongly urge you to listen to this great piece from This American Life about the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont.
They don't make 'em like this any more. Even so, the rear bumper had to be reattached.
It’s about how the U.S. auto industry could have saved itself by actually paying attention to the way its business was eroding, and listening to the people who came back from Japan and transformed the Fremont plant from a place that was “like a prison … with sex, drugs and alcohol freely indulged in during the working day … where the workers maliciously sabotaged cars, and the managers didn’t care, as long as they got their bonuses for churning out pure numbers…”
…into a place where the workers actually looked forward to coming to work each day, and where the quality of the cars they turned out was so high, that even now, 22 years later, many of those cars are still on the road. NUMMI stands for “New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.” and there is an excellent Wikipedia entry about it, if you want to get a little more background.
The situation bears a strong resemblance to the newspaper industry, and the reason papers are in the same place as the auto industry. Let’s take a look at the places where the news industry and the auto industry screwed the pooch:
1. Starting in the 80s and going through the 90s, sales declined, as customers were turned off by the shoddy quality of the product
In the auto industry: anyone who drove a U.S.-made car in the 80s knows what I’m talking about. Everything about the cars sucked. The seats were uncomfortable to sit in, the controls made no sense and were hard to deal with. I drove a lot of rental cars in that era, and I can’t tell you how many times the A/C control knob came off in my hand. Or the windshield wiper knob was installed upside-down. In one case, the bolt holding the steering column up on a Chevy Cavalier came loose and the steering wheel dropped into my lap. Which is minor, compared to the engines seizing and misfiring, the electrical system shorting out, the windows not rolling up (or down), the doors sagging on their hinges…
In the newspaper industry: the buyouts and mergers started by the relaxation of the cross-ownership rule, caused many papers to skeletonize their staffs, and run big colorful graphics in the papers. And lots more wire copy. I worked at the Arizona Republic during this era, and I saw what they were doing on “Zone Editions.” We had the same cruddy stories for Mesa, as we did Tempe, as we did Scottsdale. They were feature stories about things like a guy with a trained parrot that would whistle and dance. We’d run it one week in the Mesa zone, and then the next week, I’d see it in the queue again for Scottsdale. Mostly, the Zone Editions were there to snarf up the advertisers in those areas, and make sure that no competition sprang up to challenge the big paper. “It doesn’t pay NOT to advertise,” was the slogan, and it was true, because of the package deals the Republic was able to offer, sucking the oxygen out of the local markets. Most papers had a monopoly position in their markets, and could pretty much be assured of making a profit, no matter what they did. Meanwhile, the readers were starting to notice that their newspapers were lacking … how shall we say this … news.
2. The workers felt ignored and belittled, so they began to act out, and a “give a shit” attitude took over
In the auto industry: the line workers had no power to offer suggestions, and indeed, were punished for speaking up. All that mattered was churning out enough cars to meet the quotas, no matter how shitty the quality. Resentfulness led to workers intentionally sabotaging cars, which led to even greater expense down the line, when the shitty cars had to be fixed by workers who really didn’t understand what was wrong with them, and just used the “bigger hammer” method to make cross-threaded bolts hold, or quarterpanels stick onto the chassis.
In the news industry: a kind of rebellious fatalism took hold in newsrooms, both in print and TV. The reporters knew the bosses really didn’t give a shit about the news, they just wanted something that would get good ratings and not get them sued. Every TV producer I have ever met would, with little encouragement, go off about the corporate “suits” that were putting the vise on the newsrooms to “pop a number.” Reporters that dared to try to make suggestions about long-term changes (like less coverage of O.J. Simpson, and more of things like the erosion of middle-class opportunities) were ignored. Newsrooms have always been “simmering cesspools of cynicism,” but this morphed into outright nihilism and rage.
3. A temporary bubble allowed the industry to rack up easy profits and postpone change
In the auto industry: The Bush-Cheney “let’s consume as much oil as we can” faction pushed through a tax break in the early ’00s that meant that people who leased a “light truck over 6,000 pounds” could write off the cost of the car. Free SUVs for Everyone! What this did was support the Big Three, despite their declining market share, because they were making so damn much money off producing big fat gas-guzzling SUVs and selling them for massive mark-ups. The SUV was actually pretty cheap to make – but Detroit was able to charge about $10-$20,000 more for them. And, of course, when the tax break ran out — and gas prices skyrocketed — the end of the free cars on the taxpayer’s dime era left GM without a viable product to sell, as consumers looked for more efficient cars.
In the newspaper industry: the subprime mortgage/real-estate boom created a huge advertising windfall for newspapers. The Homes section of the LA Times was often larger than the rest of the newspaper combined. Thousands of pages of expensive classified ads, paid for by realtors who were so awash in free money that they didn’t care what the cost was. Of course, the rest of the classified business was absolutely cratering at this time. When the real-estate market imploded, and advertisers abandoned newspapers, looking for more efficient ways to sell their products, newspapers were also left without a viable product to sell.
4. The industry blamed the people who were honestly pointing out the flaws
In the auto industry: the Detroit execs blamed Consumer Reports for pointing out that the cars they were inflicting on the American people were utterly without redeeming community value. They claimed that the Dirty F’n Hippies at Consumer Reports were biased towards the Japanese, were anti-American traitors, and were unfairly criticizing patriotic Americans. The U.S. cars were better, if only people would realize that. The industry was in complete denial about how the auto-buying public had turned against it, after years of enduring an abusive and exploitative relationship, and how even Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers who fondly remembered their high school days when they got their first muscle cars, were fed up with cars that broke down or rolled over, killing their families.
In the newspaper industry: the newsrooms blamed the internet. They still blame the internet. They see the competition on the internet as being anti-American, that the public was deluded by web-based hucksters, and that imposing paywalls would make people realize how much they really needed to pay for news. No matter that the readers and advertisers have made their preferences clear – they must be MADE to come back and obey.
Posted: under This week in paid content.
Tags: Bing, google, Murdoch, new media, Newspapers, online monetization, paid content, paywalls, Times of London
In the spirit of the season, I hereby give thanks that there is such an open and vivid discussion about the core issue of monetizing online content. If we’d had this kind of focus on actually taking the utopian dreams of “all content, everywhere, all the time” and making it work back when I was in my Web 1.0/dot-bomb startup days, we might not have cratered so spectacularly.
So this week, we’ve got a rising level of chatter about Murdoch’s media properties banning Google links in favor of getting paid by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, the BBC throws a wrench into paid content in England (and perhaps everywhere else), the idea of sprinkling porn onto newspaper websites to see what happens is floated, and what orcs and dwarves can teach newspapers.
Murdoch’s bluffing about Google to try to extract money from Microsoft’s deep pockets
This somewhat NSFW (lots of cussing) take on Murdoch is by someone familiar with the way that Murdoch papers like The Sun always seem to pick the winner of an electoral campaign. Not because they’re so influential that the person they anoint goes on to win – but because Murdoch is canny at figuring out who the top dog in any fight is, and busies himself sucking up to them as soon as possible to maximize his profits. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/28/rupert-murdoch-google-nsfw/
By convincing Bing that there’s a chance he might drop Google – for the right price – Murdoch suddenly has a new partner falling over itself to give him prominence in their search results, on his terms. Sure enough, Microsoft has just agreed to help fund the next-generation search crawling protocol, ACAP, which gives content owners like News Corp more control over how their news is indexed.
(snip) And that’s where we see Murdoch’s real genius: he has managed to use his illusion of influence to get all of these benefits without having to commit himself to anything, or expose himself in any way. There is no way in hell that News Corp content will vanish from Google and yet with every headline asking whether Google should be worried or suggesting that other companies might follow Murdoch’s lead, his image as a kingmaker is strengthened.
McClatchy starts sending out notices, but still claims paywalls are not imminent
Talk about mixed signals. The terms of services for its websites are all being changed, but that change doesn’t actually mean anything is changing. Except, of course, if it does. If they eventually decided to charge for content, they will clearly notify the readers, but in the meantime, please make coming to the site a habit and would it kill ya to click on the ads now & again? http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004041770
A Perpetual Recession for Newspapers
Rick Edmonds, who writes The Biz Blog for Poynter, says that news organizations have lost $1.6 billion that was used to cover news, and that even when the economy recovers, newspapers won’t: http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/18/newspapers-advertising-rick-edmonds-poynter-business-media-edmonds.html So maybe we should all just learn from the porn industry – or maybe even start putting porn on our sites, to see if maybe that will get people to pay for our content.
The building of micropayment systems, like the one being developed by Steve Brill, is a hotly debated issue. Wouldn’t it be helpful for this kind of system to be established first with Web content that really drives users–say, pornography?
Sure, but that’s not an option for newspapers. There have been experiments with these kinds of systems in Denmark, where several companies tried it at the same time. The problem was that they couldn’t answer peoples’ security concerns. The experiments turned out to be a dud.
“Knock yourselves out,” Google yawns.
The head of newspaper industry bête noir Google News says in an interview that publishers are free to do whatever they want with their content. Google is apparently willing to work with publishers to do whatever the publishers demand with their content – list it, ignore it, work with it to implement a paywall, whatever. http://searchengineland.com/josh-cohen-of-google-news-on-paywalls-partnerships-working-with-publishers-29881 The easy confidence that is displayed here is the result of Google’s near-monopoly position in the market
Removing News Would Have Negligible Effect on Google
This study by German research company TRG shows that even if all news was taken off Google, that would still leave about 95% of Google traffic intact for them to monetize. http://paidcontent.co.uk/article/419-research-removing-news-would-have-negligible-effect-on-google/
Financially, then, Google doesn’t depend on the publishers’ content. “In comparison, if you detracted Wikipedia from the results, 13 percent of the number-one results would be gone,” said Christoph Burseg, the CEO of TRG, the research company that ran the survey.
BBC: We won’t charge for online news
Now this has got to be raising Mr. Murdoch’s blood pressure a bit. Online news paywalls only work when the competition plays along too (see the case study I did on the disastrous experiment of El Tiempo in Spain, & how they lost their market share to a formerly laughable upstart).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/24/bbc-wont-charge-online-news A more interesting discussion is brewing, about what to do about content that is not just re-purposed BBC news, but that is specifically produced for the online editions. Viz:
However, Lyons also questioned the future of content created for online that is not directly related to specific BBC programmes, asking, “where should the boundary be drawn” between this and “the online expression or extension of BBC programming”?
Wall St. Journal’s price to go Bing-only: $15 million
There’s been an increasing amout of space devoted to what Murdoch is going to do to start moving all his content behind paywalls, and away from the hated Google “parasites.” Business Insider backwards-engineers the numbers that de-listing from Google would cost the WSJ, and comes up with $10-15 mill. http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-should-pay-up-for-exclusive-access-to-the-journal-2009-11
If Microsoft really wanted to induce Murdoch to ditch Google, it would therefore only cost $10 – $15 million. Maybe more if Murdoch wanted a premium. Considering Steve Ballmer said he’d spend $5.5 billion to $11 billion over the next five years on Bing, this is nothing.
More on the Murdoch-Google fight – seems the Denver Post and Dallas Morning News may follow in his footsteps
Interesting that Dean Singleton has come out and said that readers in Pennsylvania and California will get hit with paywalls starting next year, and the DMN is upgrading itself to a “definitely maybe” status. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aRVlZEzbmNu0 A further article from the Independent about what publishers in the UK are thinking on this issue http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/british-press-split-in-two-by-wappingrsquos-great-gamble-1825806.html and http://paidcontent.co.uk/article/419-has-the-times-got-it-right-with-its-online-charging-plan/
And finally, a meditation on whether Murdoch’s plan for paywalls will run afoul of anti-trust laws http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/05/murdoch-pay-wall-anti-trust
“Not a cat’s chance in hell” of successfully charging for online content
The CEO of the Future Publishing Group said that there is no hope for paywalls for general news because of the ubiquity of free models, particularly in the UK market. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/26/charging-mainstream-news-future-chief However, Future are experimenting with specialized and niche content to see what the market will bear.
The group has taken a bullish approach to pricing its print magazine titles, with an average cover price of £5, up from £4.70 this time last year.
She cited a promotion of the new album from former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, which is being exclusively attached to a special edition of Classic Rock magazine for £14.99.
Americans less willing to pay for online news
The New York Times finds that less than half the people in the U.S. are willing to pay for online news, and even at that, they will only shell out $3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/business/media/16paywall.html?_r=2&ref=media Apparently, there’s some kind of fundamental disconnect going on at the NY Times, between top management hell-bent on charging for content, and the weary soldiers in the trenches, protesting that this will not work, has not worked, will never work, and producing article after article that seemingly is not read by their own bosses.
“Consumer willingness and intent to pay is related to the availability of a rich amount of free content,” said John Rose, a senior partner and head of the group’s global media practice. “There is more, better, richer free in the United States than anywhere else.”
If readers are willing to pay – they prefer micropayments and only pennies
The analysts at Continental Research found that 63% will not pay for news, leaving only 37% who will – and at that, only willing to pay about 10 cents per article. http://www.continentalresearch.com/media_centre/press_releases/?ID=149 More about this at http://paidcontent.co.uk/article/419-research-readers-favour-news-micropayments-but-theyll-only-pay-pennies/
James Myring, Head of Media at Continental Research says “The amounts may sound small, but it is better to get a lot of people making small one off payments, than virtually no-one paying a higher subscription. For a comparison, think of the mobile industry, profiting from lots of small payments for text messages.
London Times Editor says online paywalls are “fight of our lives”
There’s the by-now predictable bashing of Google and the other supposed “parasites,” but the one actual realization is buried at the end of the article. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=44649&c=1
Harding said the Times wanted to improve its relationship with its loyal customers through home delivery and through its recently launched Times+ membership programme.
He said: “Historically, newspapers have treated their best customers worst and their worst customers best.
“We give the paper away to people who could not care less and we pay little or no attention to people who love it and read it every day.”
What newspapers can learn from orcs and dwarves
This is actually something that I’ve felt for the last year or so – if we’re going to try to get young people to try & buy, then we’re going to have to emulate the things that they are already comfortable doing so with. http://paidcontent.co.uk/article/419-the-wow-paywall-what-newspapers-can-learn-from-orcs-and-dwarves/#comment_63034 Basically, the World of Warcraft guys are minting about a billion a year from online content – and there are a bunch of key points to their service that newspapers should study, if they actually want to make money, as opposed to just slamming down paywalls and pretending that the rest of the world will care (or even notice).
News as gaming: Could newspapers similarly harness the human need for interaction and stimulation and sell not just boring text news but access to a shared experience? Sure, there’s MySun, MyTelegraph and “tell us what you think in the comments below”, but that’s a marketing ploy to drive page impressions and encourage more content consumption. The lesson from gaming is that people won’t pay for content they can’t help shape themselves—or project their own personal narrative onto.
Posted: under Art, Denial of Reality, Digital Migration, infographic, Newspaper Deathwatch, Newspapers, Platform obsession, Wrongheaded solutions.
Tags: color photos, Design, Digital Migration, Newspapers, NY Daily News, print edition, printing presses, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Chroinicle
Print die-hards claimed that all that was needed to reverse the audience migration to the internet was to make newspapers more “lively” in appearance. Early verdict: looks pretty, but the advertising still isn’t there, and that sound you heard was Mort Zuckerman puking and weeping over in the corner.
I’ve been in the Bay Area for a convention of “[fill in blank] for Dummies” authors and various business meetings, and I’ve taken the opportunity to scope out what the San Francisco Chronicle has been doing with its much-ballyhooed investment in glossy magazine-style paper for the front pages of its sections, and the use of high-quality color images.
This is a strategy that is also being pursued in New York by NY Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, who has invested more than he would like to admit to (millions? hundreds of millions?) into high-tech printing presses, capable of churning out massive print runs with razor-sharp color. The 15-tower, triple-width ultra-compact Commander CT press looks a lot like the last-generation Nikon F6 film camera. It was the apex of film technology, what many analysts recognized at the time as “the perfect camera” – but that alas, was rolled out just as every working professional made the move to use digital.
Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: Almaty, DDoS Attacks, future of media, monetizing web, Newspapers, television, TV, video on the web
I’m done with my training sessions for journalists in Kazakhstan, and this trip really stretched the boundaries of my knowledge. These are the issues that I was asked to address:
1. DDoS attacks that rival anything else in the world, taking down any journalist who dares to challenge the government
2. How to use the web to help in investigative reporting
3. How to monetize web content
4. How to grow web audiences in a country where the internet penetration rate is below 20%, and the ad marketing is in its infancy
5. How to use social media to help publicize your web page – or to get the news out when your page is taken down (see #1 above)
6. How to start migrating video content from broadcast to the web
7. What kinds of changes will the future hold for traditional media
8. What skills do journalism students need to build to make themselves employable down the road
…and many more.
Hour after hour, what adventure authors writing for the 30s-era pulps I loved to read as a kind, described this kind of landscape as being the lair of lurid mustachio'd villains...
I was impressed by the enthusiasm and hope of the students that I met in my last stop – the ancient city of Almaty, nestled in a valley, surrounded by the foothills of the Himalayas. And I was also humbled by the courage being shown by the few remaining opposition journalists.
This was only a juvenile golden eagle, but he still weighed about 20something pounds. He seemed well-cared for; the guy who had him was petting him and feeding him, so I figured his life couldn't be too bad. Of course, I did want to just toss him in the air and see if he would fly away....
These people have been hounded from their jobs at newspapers and TV stations. The papers are being shut down – in fact, this morning, a famous journalist is being kept in jail – allegedly for murdering a man in a car accident. But everyone in the country pretty much knows the score.
It’s just that the government no longer really cares what anyone thinks about what they’re doing. They aren’t even making the effort to disguise the fact that they’re eliminating anyone who stands in the way of the runaway kleptocracy.
And that’s a really bad sign.
I will be writing much more about this issue in the weeks to come. I shot some amazing, shocking, heartbreaking videos of journalists begging for help. Our help. Any help.
Coming from the feeling of brotherhood that permeated the Online News Association conference a couple weeks ago, it was hard not to feel personally affronted by what is happening to our digital kin in Kazakhstan.
Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: business model, classified advertising, Dave LaFontaine, Joel Kramer, monetization, Newspapers, podcast, Real-Time Ads, web site
This is the bookend interview I did for the story on Real-Time Ads.
Joel Kramer explains how MinnPost.com is using Real-Time Ads to build up business with local advertisers by giving them a product that they can’t find anywhere else.
However, he goes on to explain that the media business has irrevocably changed, and that the “gravy train of advertising” will never again support newspapers. His solution to the revenue crisis facing news organizations can be heard starting at about 7:10 into the interview.
Download Interview with Joel Kramer editor of MinnPost about Real-Time Ads
Posted: under Digital Migration, Newspaper Deathwatch, Newspapers, Web Tech, Webconomics.
Tags: "tainted meat" theory, charging for online content, Chile, Jeff Jarvis, Las Ultimas Noticias, LUN, Newspapers, paywalls
Over at The Digitalists, the question of “What would micropayments mean for journalists?” was raised.
Well, there are two schools of thought to this. The first is the one that was espoused there:
What exactly do these people think that newspaper execs will do with
data showing exactly how profitable every single article is? Just sit
on that information? Or will they use it to make business decisions
about which departments, types of articles and individual journalists
are delivering the most ROI? “Sorry, Woodward, we know you won the
Pulitzer last year, but your articles only generated $97.85 in revenue,
so we’re going to have to let you go.” Of course, it wouldn’t just
influence the executives. Journalists themselves would start shading
their stories to what sells, and the most successful would be the ones
who were the best salespeople (or who knew the most tricks). Get ready
for a lot less zoning-board recaps and a lot more “Top 10 Sexual
You can see one example of this over at the Santiago, Chile daily Las Ultimas Noticias, where the publisher started to let the tail wag the dog — that is, the stories that garnered the most clicks on the website would be the ones given the biggest play in the paper edition the next day.
Also, the stories that got lots of attention would lead to follow-ups. The upshot of this was that the coverage did start to resemble a deranged issue of Maxim magazine.
Business news? “Picture of Women Executives Working Out & Getting Sweaty”
Political news? “Vote on Whether Japanese Women Have Cute Butts.”
Religious news? “Priest Develops the ‘Catholic Kama Sutra.”
…and so on.
But before everyone starts jumping on the already-crowded “I Told You So” train, LUN was always a bit of a downmarket paper. They were #8 out of 8 daily newspapers in Santiago, Chile. So their core, and the people they attracted with their marketing blitz, were readers that were not already dedicated to the bigger papers, such as El Mercurio and La Tercera.
And yes, LUN did vault from last to first, and a big part of this was the aggressive strategy.
But since then, LUN has been branching out in its coverage; they no longer have T&A on every page. They have the core audience of what the British call “Lager Louts” or “Yobbos,” but they are branching out to include more technical content that appeals to the same young webheads that come for the biscuit shots.
And for the editors and reporters who fear that switching over to a reader-driven basis for content is going to lead to endless pages of bikini shots and [fill in the anatomical blank] slips … well there are plenty of sites dedicated to that kind of content already.
The users have the power, you see, to go to wherever it is that we want to go to, to find the kind of pictures/video/stories that we want.
If all there were on the web was imitations of Maxim-meets-Ogrish, that would be unbelievably boring after a while.
And as we’ve seen with OhMyNews, even when users are allowed to pick their perfect, tailored mix of stories and information, after a while, we kinda want someone (read: an editor/blogger/”curator”) to surprise us.
We want to see things from outside the bubble. Well, most of us do. Some people will gleefully sustain themselves on a steady diet of mental Twinkies, and never get tired of them. Never mind them. They were never your readers anyway.
I think that the recent political campaign and the economic meltdown have hammered home to a generation of news consumers that it’s kind of a good idea to pull our heads away from whatever dingbat thing Paris & Britney did this week, to see what it is that our elected officials are doing with our money … and how they’re funneling it to the equally dingbat financiers and bankers that bribe them.
So yeah, maybe there will be a bit of a blip when the micropayment model is implemented. But it will shake itself out.
If you believe that all your audience wants is cheezcake … well, aren’t you saying then that your audience is a bunch of pervert dimwits?
To quote Frank Sinatra (as filtered through the late genius Phil Hartman): “Contempt for the audience! That’s what killed Dennis Day’s career!”
UPDATE: Over at The Editor’s Weblog, the debate over charging for online content has attracted comment from industry experts Jeff Jarvis and Rob Curley, as well as Agustin Edwards, the editor/managing director of LUN, speaking at the INMA World Congress:
In terms of charging for content, both Jarvis and Edwards are wholly in agreement. Jarvis is of the opinion that it is now more valuable to build audience – “I think the odds of success in charging now are slim to none”. Edwards echoes his sentiments, with his belief that “if we charged for content on the internet our traffic would go down significantly… It’s abandoning the trust in the advertising as a financial model.”
Well, that trust has been strained recently, and it is only going to get worse, unfortunately. The continued soft economy is going to put some severe downward pressure on ad revenues, at least for the next nine months. The best news that I’ve seen today came out of the LA Times – a small article about how the bottom-feeders are out snarfing up low-priced houses in the Phoenix area (which was pretty much the most overinflated area in the U.S. when it came to the housing bubble). If this holds up over the next couple of months, that would mean that a lot of the “frustrated money” that’s been sitting on the sidelines is going to start getting back into the game.
Again: I do think that there is a place for charging for content online. But that model necessitates a radical change in how the news business does/would operate, one that makes shutting off the presses and moving only to web distribution look positively timid by comparison. I’ve worked at magazines that were almost all circulation supported. The key to survival is that you have to have something that the consumers can get nowhere else.
Perhaps I’ll write more about my experiences in this vein in a post later this week. It might be helpful for those considering this kind of a move.
Technorati Tags: micropayments, Phil Hartman, LUNH, cheesecake photos