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Google Reinvents Micropayments — As Surveywall

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the press-1-to-continue dept.

Google 107

Hugh Pickens writes "Frédéric Filloux writes that eighteen months ago — under non disclosure — Google showed publishers a new transaction system for inexpensive products such as newspaper articles. It works like this: to gain access to a web site, the user is asked to participate to a short consumer research session: a single question or a set of images leading to a quick choice. It can be anything: pure market research for a packaging or product feature, surveying a specific behavior, evaluating a service, intention, expectation, you name it. Google's size puts it in a unique position to probe millions of people in a short period of time and the more Google gains in reliability, accuracy, and granularity (i.e. ability to probe a segment of blue collar-pet owners in Michigan or urbanite coffee-drinkers in London), the bigger it gets and the better it performs cutting market research costs 90% compared to traditional surveys. Companies will pay $150 for 1500 responses drawn from the general U.S. internet population. But what's in it for users? A young audience will be more inclined to accept such a surveywall because they always resist any form of payment for digital information, regardless of quality, usefulness, or relevance. Free is the norm. Or its illusion. This way users make micropayments, but with attention and data instead of cash. 'Young people have already demonstrated their willingness to give up their privacy in exchange for free services such as Facebook — they have yet to realize they paid the hard price,' writes Filloux. 'Economically, having one survey popping up from time to time — for instance when the user reconnects to a site — makes sense. Viewed from a spreadsheet, it could yield more money than the cheap ads currently in use.'"

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Old Idea, and Users Hate It (3, Insightful)

Mr. Kinky (2726685) | about 2 years ago | (#41286409)

This is an old idea. There already exist such services for webmasters (like ShareCash.org) and people universally hate having to fill surveys or fill forms before getting something. It's not even worthless stuff like news articles, some people put full movies (illegally, of course) behind such and people still hate it.

And besides, if Google starts offering such service (again, these already exist and pay up to $1-2 per user, so much more than Google's $150 for 1500 users), the problems still continue. Users hate it and rogue webmasters put pirated content or fake aimbots and similar behind it, and people hate it even more.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286439)

worthless stuff like news articles

I fear for our future.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (3, Funny)

Mr. Kinky (2726685) | about 2 years ago | (#41286459)

worthless stuff like news articles

I fear for our future.

Actually, I have fully stopped following news. I don't notice any difference. The only news I get are from slashdot. I still don't feel like I'm missing anything.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41286479)

Actually, I have fully stopped following news. I don't notice any difference. The only news I get are from slashdot. I still don't feel like I'm missing anything.

You are. Do you know how I know that?

I follow the news.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286527)

I think that instead of cutting math class from schools, we should cut the news from our lives.
The vast majority of people doesn't use the news in their day to day activities, so why do we insist that everyone watch the news?
Probably someone else could work this out, and make a much better story out of it.

Without news, you'd never find out about SOPA (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41287143)

The vast majority of people doesn't use the news in their day to day activities

That's the problem. Without some form of news, how would people become aware of legislative attacks on the public's freedom such as the PROTECTIP bill? Sure, this one in particular didn't hit the mainstream news media until the Wikipedia-led blackout because the movie studios co-owned by the mainstream news media would have benefited from it [pineight.com] , but how else are people supposed to learn of legislative developments that affect their lives?

Re:Without news, you'd never find out about SOPA (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287619)

If only there was some kind of website [whitehouse.gov] !

Re:Without news, you'd never find out about SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41287779)

Oh yes! A government run public facing website! That'll tell us everything we need to know!

Re:Without news, you'd never find out about SOPA (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287887)

What's the difference? You already watch Fox News.

Someone to distill THOMAS (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41288617)

Sure, citizens can read the bills as they're posted on THOMAS, but most people still need someone to read THOMAS and come up with an executive summary of the provisions of each bill. That's the sort of news I was talking about.

Re:Someone to distill THOMAS (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41288879)

That's funny, because that is the sort of news that I was talking about, [slashdot.org] too ;-)

Re:Someone to distill THOMAS (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | about 2 years ago | (#41289357)

I think you're aiming way too low if your standard of quality is a /. summary.

Re:Without news, you'd never find out about SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41288929)

...but how else are people supposed to learn of legislative developments that affect their lives?

They'll find out when their lives are affected. It's not as though anywhere in this thread you will find somebody laboring under the delusion they can do anything about such developments.

Because you failed at word of mouth (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41289077)

They'll find out when their lives are affected.

At which point, Slashdot users are likely to tell people who complain about how a bill has negatively affected their lives that they didn't do enough to stop it from becoming law: "You should have encouraged everyone else in your circle of friends to call their senators and express disapproval of this bill. This bill passed because you failed at word of mouth."

Re:Probably someone else could work this out (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41287979)

I got a spirit message from Pierre de Fermat. He says he worked it out, but it's too long to post as a reply to an AC who will never read it.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 2 years ago | (#41286583)

Besides science discoveries, what of any importance is reported by the news?

If a person is aware of scheduled events they can read up on those topics (eg political activities, sport events, etc). It's really only late breaking details that might be missed and rarely are those so important as to require immediate attention.

Just because you don't read news sites or watch the TV; doesn't mean you are uninformed.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (4, Insightful)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 2 years ago | (#41286771)

Besides science discoveries, what of any importance is reported by the news?

War. Pestilence. Famine. Death.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are already abroad in the world. And it matters that you know it. The electoral choices made by American people cast a long shadow - over the Middle East in particular, but over the world as a whole. And yet the US electorate is quite frighteningly ignorant of what happens beyond their borders. OK, I appreciate that part of the reason you don't read the news is that the principal news media available to you are on the whole dishonest, corrupt and trivial. But there are other news media (and news aggregators). The BBC, and many of the UK 'broadsheet' sites (e.g. [bbc.com] Guardian [guardian.co.uk] , Telegraph [telegraph.co.uk] ) are English language, well informed and honest (note: I did not say 'unbiased' - nothing human is unbiased). Al Jazeera [aljazeera.com] seems to be well informed and honest, too, and provides a usefully different perspective.

If we carry on as we're going, global warming and with provoking conflict, war, famine and pestilence will arrive in the United States in your lifetime. You have a duty to be informed - a duty to yourself, as much as to anyone else.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41290173)

To what end? You assume your goals are the same as mine. I think my only duty, period, is to survive and reproduce. The rest is all made up BS, to make you christians think you know how to live in the world.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#41295059)

Even if we all gave up all technology tomorrow, and lived in little huts made out of clay and ate bugs for every meal, global warming will still happen (and maybe even an ice age right after that - any scientist worth their weight in sea salt will tell you that the planet has been both much hotter and much cooler, and will continue to go through such cycles, including dramatic changes in atmospheric O2 content.)

Even if we all became hippies tomorrow, wars will always happen. If not over oil, then over he who smoked all of your weed.

Unless you're a creationist, you'd understand that pestilence is inevitable (the song "Yes, we have no bananas" comes to mind.)

Take either inevitable environmental changes, or inevitable evolution of flora or fauna, or both, and you end up with famine too.

Like how the hybrids say on BSG: "This has happened before, and it will happen again."

It's life dude, either live it or spend all of your time always worrying about it.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286807)

Yes it does. You are the type of person that is causing this country to be flushed down the toilet. You ignore the world news, and then vote for a politician based upon the letter behind their name. You and people like you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 2 years ago | (#41288713)

That's presupposing that the News is actually News instead of Entertainment as it is in the States. In other words, I don't consider it news when they interupt the damn weather forecast to show another idiot speeding the wrong fucking way on the damn freeway in L.A.. Hell it aint news to me when the interupt for the effen end of the world as I'm not a christian or someone who gives a damn about it. Just don't interupt my /. or god damn GW session

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (3, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287559)

Maybe you actually beleive that you follow the news. Maybe you don't What you are getting is misinformation. I have been to numerous accidents as a Towing & Recovery operator in my youth, and they never once got the details right. I am aware of several occasions when stories were done and ... wait for it ... they got the facts completely wrong. Did you know that the only solution to computer virus issues is to suck it up and use an Anti-virus tool. There is no other choice. There is no such thing as Linux. I see it all the time on the news!

Add to that that ethics has gone out the door quite some time ago, and you now get the newspeak version of every story that best supports their corporate/political agenda and I would be willing to bet my life that you are not getting the news. What you are getting is slanted misinformation which you wrongly take to be mostly factual, when in fact nothing could be further from the case.

In other words, you are actually more misinformed than someone who doesn't pay attention to the misinformation. OTOH, if you are like most US Citizens then you won't let that little fact get in your way, because by now you have no doubt settled in on sources that tell you the stories you want to hear and believe.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (1)

jxliv7 (512531) | about 2 years ago | (#41288559)

Having spend years reading newspaper(s) every morning for leads - like property purchases, planned construction, homes for sale ads in the classifieds, etc. - as a real estate broker I was pleasantly surprised when i got out of the business to find that reading the newspaper was an expensive, time-wasting, unnecessary, not-too productive habit. When news came online, nearly in real time, with enough details to satisfy any lingering curiosity, I stopped buying and reading them.

Having decided that watching TV - from the slanted, headline and brief sound-byte oriented talking-head news to the nearly unlimited and possibly entertaining shows that weren't scientifically truthful to hoards of stretched out, padded, unresolving, and questionable documentaries - was a waste of my time, was semi-addictive (you always want to channel surf to see what else is on during commercials or boring parts), was a distracting background noise that annoyed me, and was also forcing opinions and things I "should" be concerned about onto my already overloaded brain that was trying to think, I got rid of all my TVs. Besides, I've found most of the "news" is really only supposition and what-if and press releases and opinions or expert analyses anyway.

Having found that most magazines can be found online free and faster - and that usually the headlines were enough to get the gist of the story - i stopped reading things that were published months after the fact. Most magazines can be replaced, and even the glossy photography printed at home, by Google and web sites that focus on certain subjects.

The point is now that I don't have a lot of distractions clamoring for my visual and auditory attention I can concentrate on things that i want to do. Information overload is a real malady, getting worse all the time. I don't miss the old ways at all. And I have also discovered the key to filtering down all those inputs:

News that affects me will find me.

I have friends that tell me things, headlines alert me to news that might interest me, websites are constantly updated nearly real time enough to keep me on top of things, and if I happen to miss anything, somebody who thinks I owe them time or money or resources will contact me.

Re:Old Idea, and Users Hate It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286445)

I guess it depends on how it is. Usually if I see such a survey thing it's a huge form requiring all your personal information and so on. So I close it and leave the website. However, if all I need to do is pick one of two pictures, nothing else, I wouldn't mind...

Already seen these (5, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41286431)

Oh, man, do these suck. I got a "to continue to your content, please answer these survey questions!" box popup a couple of weeks ago. I just entered some fake responses as soon as I could and clicked 'submit'.

Coming up next: survey responses that follow you around the internet, slowly building up a full profile. Erase your cookies, and it starts from the beginning all over again. Alternatively, it starts "personalizing" web pages for you based on your previous answers. I can only imagine what a web page would look like for a Latvian lumberjack who makes $10,000 or less per year.

Re:Already seen these (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286587)

I can only imagine what a web page would look like for a Latvian lumberjack who makes $10,000 or less per year.

I can't; what would it look like?

Re:Already seen these (5, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 2 years ago | (#41286607)

I think the point of Google's system is its not 'answer these questions' (plural) its 'answer this single question' (singular). its meant to be fast and unobtrusive. 1 click and you are through. IF that is truly the case, then i can see there system working. Otherwise, its like you said, people just fake it, or leave, and find the information elsewhere.

CPALead (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41287195)

IF [this proposed method adds only one click], then i can see there system working. Otherwise, its like you said, people just fake it, or leave, and find the information elsewhere.

Yeah, that happened to me once. I was browsing the web on a laptop running Ubuntu, and a Google search led me to some forum that was using the survey wall system formerly known as CPALead. It gave three options for offers to complete in order to continue, all of which required installing a free trial of a video game. I tried each of them, and none of them would let me continue because only users of Windows-based browsers qualified to download a Windows-based game. I would have had to try to install a Windows-based browser in Wine, and instead, I just said the heck with that.

Re:Already seen these (4)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287667)

People will give the wrong answer quite a bit of the time anyway.

Re:Already seen these (1)

SB2020 (1814172) | about 2 years ago | (#41288701)

I've seen a similar approach used in on-demand TV (was on ITV.com IIRC). On attempting to skip an ad break a Quiz question came up - "Which of these services do (advertiser you are trying to skip) offer?" Get the right answer and you skipped the ad break and the advertiser gets confirmation that their ads are working. Get it wrong and you are forced to endure a further 3 mins of MIND CONTROL.

Re:Already seen these (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 2 years ago | (#41289215)

its meant to be fast and unobtrusive. 1 click and you are through.

If it is going to be 1 click then the fast and unobtrusive question will also have to be an efficient captcha, otherwise the system will be overrun by bots and faked accounts tasked to run up the bill.

Re:Already seen these (1)

rtaylor (70602) | about 2 years ago | (#41289673)

It only needs to be as good as Adsense is at blocking fake ad clicks and views.

Google already has everything necessary for this; or they're already in trouble.

Re:Already seen these (1)

psithurism (1642461) | about 2 years ago | (#41296243)

answer these questions' (plural) its 'answer this single question' (singular)

Well, I'm remembering how adds have been playing out: articles get spread out over several pages in order to show visitors more adds.

I'm picturing: "Before reading page 2 of 10 of this ten paragraph article, please answer the following question."

It makes good sense from the business side to implement this; users can't ignore it like they do with ads. Though, I'm sure after being annoyed with this system for a year, we'll click a radio button that appears before loading a webpage as automatically as we learned to scroll past the banners at the top of web pages. "Survey Blindness" they'll call it.

Re:Already seen these (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41287867)

I usually just close the window and go somewhere else. You have more tolerance for this stuff than I do.

I'd be good with this (1)

gtvr (1702650) | about 2 years ago | (#41286435)

If there's one thing internet users have plenty of, it's opinions. Plus, maybe it will improve the products I buy down the road.

Re:I'd be good with this (2)

commlinx (1068272) | about 2 years ago | (#41286543)

If there's one thing internet users have plenty of, it's opinions.

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks.

~~~~ Dirty Harry

Re:I'd be good with this (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41286595)

I prefer a more nihilist, "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's stinks, including yours and mine."

Re:I'd be good with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41292317)

I prefer a more nihilist, "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's stinks, including yours and mine."

Just like your opinion that there is no valid utility for NAT on IPv6.

Poison! (5, Funny)

fitteschleiker (742917) | about 2 years ago | (#41286437)

I love poisoning the data of market researchers! :D

Re:Poison! (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 2 years ago | (#41286451)

I love poisoning the data of market researchers! :D

You beat me to it!

I was just going to say that giving deliberately deceiving answers is the best way to kill off this trend.

Re:Poison! (1, Funny)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41286603)

How can we find out whether the answers were genuine? A survey, perhaps?

Re:Poison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286463)

Hopefully this catches on and they give up with their stupid surveys and just use thier own damn common sense.

Re:Poison! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286551)

I'd expect browser plugin to be available to automate the process within a short time.
The equivalent to adblock which will fill surveys with random data and then load the content.

Re:Poison! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41291629)

Too bad you can't write a program that will understand the survey and fill your answers with destructive content.

Re:Poison! (2)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 2 years ago | (#41286571)

I love poisoning the data of market researchers! :D

I know, damn those corporations asking you what you want. The bastards.

Re:Poison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286623)

I know. If we just regulated them less, it would just be so much easier for them to find this out, and give us what we want, right?

Re:Poison! (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287703)

You make a great point. Whenever a market researcher stands in my way on the street and refuses to let me pass until I answer their question I am always highly appreciative and make certain to give them a thoughtful, well considered, and accurate answer.

Re:Poison! (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 2 years ago | (#41288337)

You make a great point. Whenever a market researcher stands in my way on the street and refuses to let me pass until I answer their question I am always highly appreciative and make certain to give them a thoughtful, well considered, and accurate answer.

Momentarily running fist-first would be an appropriate response... ;)

Re:Poison! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41289159)

A better analogy would be if they owned the street and you were trying to pass.

What the hell is up with your entitlement? You're asking for stuff from them, and they're replying with their terms. Why do you then have to go and be a giant dick and fuck with the process? Especially in this case, where they're specifically looking for feedback on how to make products better.

Douchebag.

Re:Poison! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41289411)

Google doesn't own the street yet.

Re:Poison! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#41289603)

We would be a bit more friendly toward these if these data were not then used as an unbalanced weapon.

I will answer fairly (almost) any question, for free, if the results will be publicly published. I will ask to be paid or poison the data otherwise. Sounds fair, no?

Re:Poison! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41289695)

You're not answering it for free. You're answering it for access to the website. That's what you're being paid with. ... so yeah, it is perfectly fair.

Re:Poison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41290881)

Not when that content behind the survey is free elsewhere... so no, not fair.

Re:Poison! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#41297055)

Hey, I don't know if the content will be good, they don't know if their answers will be good. Quite fair.

Re:Poison! (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 2 years ago | (#41291191)

I love poisoning the data of market researchers! :D

I know, damn those corporations asking you what you want. The bastards.

I tried to submit some opinions to a company once; only to get told that they only determine their product line up not by listening to people actually buying their products, but through the "focus group" method of marketing research. The problem is, their focus groups do not match their customers.

Re:Poison! (1)

KreAture (105311) | about 2 years ago | (#41286637)

The problem is, if people poison the data by randomely answering the poisoning cancels itself out by shear statistics.
That's the whole point of using a large statistical basis in the research.

But, if each survey is tainted by selecting an outcome and guiding tainters to always be posetive, negative or some other deterministic viewpoint we can really taint the data.

Re:Poison! (4, Interesting)

dfm3 (830843) | about 2 years ago | (#41287011)

Not exactly. It's been a while since I took a statistics course (actually, several) but it's understood that people are VERY poor at faking truly random data. For example, in the case above most respondents would almost consistently choose the wrong answer or the CowboyNeal option instead of the correct answer, which they should occasionally do if they are trying to submit a genuinely random response. Thus any data poisoning by individuals would tend to favor the less popular responses.

Re:Poison! (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41287121)

Really? Because I truly and sincerely hate all marketing materials. So if they ask me about my thoughts on their flashy new product box or logo and I tell them that I hate it within 1 second, that is completely accurate.

Forced analogy (4, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | about 2 years ago | (#41286441)

I wouldn't call this system "micropayment". It's more "adwall that you have to interact with to pass". You've swapped out watching a video for filling a survey, whoopee.

Re:Forced analogy (1)

IcyHando'Death (239387) | about 2 years ago | (#41286675)

Exactly. What does the summary say? "The users make micropayments, but with attention and data instead of cash." This is no more a micropayment system than advertising is.

Re:Forced analogy (1)

fm2097ad (915698) | about 2 years ago | (#41287671)

You can use this service to have a non-intrusive micropayment system: imagine Wikipedia, add a simple donation page with a "surveywall" button, when a user presses it it goes to this survey system, once done there is no actual premium content only a "thanks!" page. Thus, no money required and you are donating to Wikipedia, although all of its content is still free.

Re:Forced analogy (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#41295111)

Our government likes to tax everything, including bartering. I wonder if they'll start taxing us for bartering our opinions away?

...brought to you by CARL'S JR.! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286483)

Step 1 has been accomplished.
Step 2 is now underway ...

But what's in it for users? (3, Funny)

mounthood (993037) | about 2 years ago | (#41286537)

Summary is both Funny and Insightful: But what's in it for users? ...uhmm they'll tolerate it, because they're young, broke and already trained.

Re:But what's in it for users? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286767)

or they might get off the Internet and go outside thereby making the world a better place. Hey, maybe google isn't evil after all.

Re:But what's in it for users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41287055)

How about still being able to use the website instead of having it go down? Web servers and bandwidth cost money, which evidently people don't want to pay, hence the need to try a different kind of "micropayment".

Re:But what's in it for users? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#41287743)

"How about still being able to use the website instead of having it go down? "

1) If it "goes down" without this then down is where it belongs.
2) How about if a once semi-successful website "goes down" because of the decreased traffic which is certain to be the result.

Re:But what's in it for users? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41294005)

But what's in it for users?

Content

This isn't micropayments and it isn't new (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about 2 years ago | (#41286541)

Trading survey answers for content is not micropayments. It's missing the micro part and the payment part. It's something that only the very young, very poor, or very bored will do, and as such, it's a) not going to get a representative segment of the market, and b) going to turn away a lot of your visitors. People tried this back in the 90s and nobody was interested.

Re:This isn't micropayments and it isn't new (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41287707)

Trading survey answers for content is not micropayments.

It would be more fair to call it 'microbarter'. 'Payments' involves money or currency of some type (fungible consumption value being the important characteristic).

Re:This isn't micropayments and it isn't new (1)

rtaylor (70602) | about 2 years ago | (#41289635)

It's micropayment but not by the user viewing the content.

The company performing the survey is making a small payment to the website so a random 3rd party (you) may view the content. The customer of the website is the company performing the surveys.

Re:This isn't micropayments and it isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41288329)

You forgot the "very old" people who don't know any better.

Re:This isn't micropayments and it isn't new (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41294085)

It's something that only the very young, very poor, or very bored will do, and as such, it's a) not going to get a representative segment of the market, and b) going to turn away a lot of your visitors. People tried this back in the 90s and nobody was interested.

Depends on your definition of "very young." Id argue that in this case "very young" is pretty much anyone who grew up with the internet, probably 25 or less. While this is not a representative segment of "the" market (which market?) It does represent one of the marketers wet dreams (12 - 24 year olds) and a good chunk of the discretionary income. Not to mention that this "very young" will grow older with time. That is, most of the people who will freely give this information today, will also freely give it 10 or 20 years from now.
In the past surveys and focus groups were done in the malls and people were actually paid to answer the questions. Personally I'd trust those answers a lot more. But if you get to the point where it is easy to answer the questions, and answering the question gets you something you are trying to get... Well I think the answers will be less accurate.

Extensions (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 2 years ago | (#41286579)

It will be a race to see who can write the quickest/wittiest browser extension/plugin to automagically fill in these surveys. Once it becomes transparent to the users, the marketing data will be total crap. Bonus points though for the developer that gains market share, then flips the evil bit and tailors the survey results based on the what the survey customer wants to see.

Extensions (1)

psithurism (1642461) | about 2 years ago | (#41296273)

Auto magical survey bypassing extension?

I've got one for you: and it is completely, 100% FREE!!! First answer these quick questions before you download to help us improve the quality of this service...

That's great ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286585)

Another survey tool I can pollute with false info, just to make sure that if it is tracking me all over (we are talking google here) then it gets no valid/contradictory information.

This fund wikipedia and open-source stuff! (1)

fm2097ad (915698) | about 2 years ago | (#41286589)

If these projects just add a special "surveywalled" donation page, this can actually be a good thing for wikipedia and open-source projects. If someone wants to help and doesn't want to spend money you just have to link them an otherwise useless locked page. Now shareware and freeware stuff could also have it. Anyone who wants to donate, just go there. Everyone can still enjoy the content for free.

My experience with Google Wallet (4, Informative)

Kartu (1490911) | about 2 years ago | (#41286631)

For what it's worth (and maybe a warning to others):

1) Buy "World of Goo" using my PC (!) for my shiny new tablet and set up a "google wallet",
2) 5 or 10 minutes later "congratulations, you've bought 5000 Happy Stars" for €8.99 (non-refundable), apparently my 5 year old kid clicked on something while playing "Sheeps & Clouds"
3) Attempt to fight this, what I consider to be a legalized scam, ended with nothing

In other words, if you set up google wallet 3rd party apps on Android OS can make payments without asking you for password or anything. It is amazing that it works that way since Apple had problem when remembering password for 15 mins. Google effectively "remembers" it forever, without even asking you once.

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41287221)

Try blaming google less and consider it a cheap reminder to not let the tablet babysit your children.

If you really don't want to spend the time watching them setup a PIN for inapp purchases.
http://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1626831 [google.com]

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (2)

Bronster (13157) | about 2 years ago | (#41288383)

Let me guess, you have children?

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41288909)

Oh wow, because I don't have children I should not be pointing out bad parenting?

Next you will say I should tolerate your screaming kids out in public. I was a kid, I know what my parents did and how that worked. I can then see when your parenting is not working.

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

Bronster (13157) | about 2 years ago | (#41296773)

I guess your plan is to tie your children (if you ever have them) up ever time you have to go to the toilet? You can't helicopter them 24 hours of every day - so you remove anything that's dangerous enough to kill them and let them explore their world.

A tablet PC isn't dangerous except that you can spend a lot of money on it in ways which are DESIGNED to be attractive to kids. There's nothing else just sitting there in the house that can do it - even with an old-style phone it's pretty hard for a kid to do a lot of damage.

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

Bronster (13157) | about 2 years ago | (#41296791)

You know what, I've seen your comments on other threads and sounding off about how other people live their lives without having walked in their shoes seems to be a theme. Oh well, carry on. Maybe one day you'll have kids and you'll realise that it's not quite the same as you imagined.

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41294125)

Try blaming google less and consider it a cheap reminder to not let the tablet babysit your children.

Wow... how is this letting the tablet "babsit" your children?
Perhaps I am sitting there watching my child play a game? The game pops up and says "Do you want to build the next floor for 10 bucks?" My child asks me, I look at the screen, and notice it is 10 pretend bucks. So I tell my child, yes. Then a few minutes later it says "Do you want to build the next floor for $100?" Again he asks, I say yes. It says "You don't have enough bucks, do you want to put $1000 for $10?" And he says yes... Is it my fault for not understanding the difference between pretend money and real money? Is it my fault for not watching every little button he pushes?
Letting a kid sit there and play with a tablet, is not letting the tablet babysit your child.
It is difficult enough for me to understand when I am using pretend money in the game, versus real money to buy stuff in the game. And you expect kids to know, or parents to watch their kids to know?
I'm glad I'm not your child.

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

Kartu (1490911) | about 2 years ago | (#41297067)

Wow, "insightfull", really?
So letting my child play a game DESIGNED FOR KIDS on a tablet, while sitting next to me, is "letting tablet babysit" eh? And that coming from a guy that apparently doesn't have kids...

No I should not discover that buying stuff USING DAMN PC auto-enchants 3rd party apps on my Android devices to charge me for whatever they decide to. Whoever came to that idea, knowing Apple's experience on this, is a damn idiot in my opinion and I can't trust company that is so frivolous with my credit card.

The parents' iTunes password was necessary to make purchases, so the common-sense argument was that the parents should simply not allow their kids to know that password. But at the time the lawsuit was filed, purchases could be made for 15 minutes after the password was put in to buy the app.

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/ingame/lawsuit-against-apple-bait-apps-gets-go-ahead-720699 [nbcnews.com]
"Oh, someone got sued and lost for remembering passwords for 15 mins, so let us make it forever"

Re:My experience with Google Wallet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41290591)

cheap lesson, turn off wireless before handing devices to kids unsupervised....

Firefox plugin (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#41286651)

So when will someone write a Firefox plugin to automatically answer these surveys? Of course, you shouldn't answer any survey with what you are, alway answer with what you want to be. That way it's apsirational.

Like DoubleRecall with a twist (1)

ModelX (182441) | about 2 years ago | (#41286721)

Microsoft's idea seems much like DoubleRecall, except there's a twist where they hope they can filter bad responses well enough to get useful statistics from survey responses. DoubleRecall just makes you retype advertiser's words.

Could get ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286753)

Think about how this could grow. Answering a single question to proceed is not that bad, but what if it's compounded by question after question. Twenty five questions in you get the "your almost there, don't quit now" just to answer 5 more before you can read the article, watch the video, whatever. If that becomes the norm it's going to really hamper what people view on the Internet. I know for myself I'd probably just give up and quit.

Re:Could get ugly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41288727)

Google is not stupid. They will not do that.

Sabotage Their Surveys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286955)

When I take an online survey, I lie vigorously in every question. I say the things that will make the surveyor most likely to accept my opinion, and then I tell them the exact opposite of what I really believe. Everybody should do this, because surveys are just more spam. Those people have no respect for us.

Looks reasonable (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#41286987)

This actually looks like a pretty reasonable way to handle micro payments.

Missed the boat (1)

mattr (78516) | about 2 years ago | (#41287061)

Not interested in taking surveys all the time. And, 1500 for $150 sounds like a lot but is just 10 cents per person.
What might work is to be a low-margin middleman, their customer being individual content creators.
Could be a writer, a lone musician, a film-making project, a kickstarter project, a reddit-savvy game creator, a Public Lab spectroscope project, etc. Someone who is putting content on the web, for sale, but with a large or 100% free component. A band could host their music video as a torrent thus incurring no storage fees. A company making a game (with free demo) for the OUYA. A team making a crowd-funded TV series. These creators can get a limited time free boost when the initial news story comes out on some major blog, but to get a long-running buzz they can pay a small amount to put up ads. Not just the kind of ads you want to ad-block, but the kind that deliver to you immediately the actual media you want. Payment could be handled on an honor system, full payment required each time, or some kind of token based system. Something like a wallet.. if only someone invented one of those.. Actually it could be more interesting to Google to just to make the platform, take a small cut and make a real instant global micropayment system. Could be the next VISA.

not going to work (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41287109)

If people want to get to something right now and you delay them, the answers will be rushed, random crap. That's just how the internet works. If people complain all the time about even having to type in "robo-scrambly letters" then I think think they're going to sit back and give insightful, carefully thought out answers when they want to read a news story instead.

Survey pages (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41287165)

Ah yes, like the warez sites use to infect your machine... Yeah, I'm all for it...

Why don't these people just have the government mandate hardware keyloggers and direct access to our bank accounts so they can take what they think is a fair price for their content?

More stupid Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41288015)

" the user is asked to participate TO a short consumer research session"

Huh?

I think the AMERICAN author (who is illiterate like half of Americans nowadays) meant "participate IN".

What is it with you Americans and prepositions? What about 'that', 'than' and 'then'? They're now interchangeable, apparently...

Re:More stupid Americans... (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#41288767)

Or it could be that the sentence was first entered with "answer" instead of "participate" and then someone edited the word, forgetting to replace the "to". Calm down.

I'm Fine With This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41290711)

I'm fine with this. I just click on whatever the first selection is without reading the question or the answer.

Passive Ads sales down? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41292043)

That's it, force people to click on your ads.... isn't this what we use to do even though it was against Google's own TOS. Now your taking the shrwed ideas and making them your own. I'm glad you get the big bucks.

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