TCLP 2014-12-13 Interview: Cory Doctorow, “Information Doesn’t Want to be Free”

Information Doesn't Want to be Free: Laws for the Internet Age book coverThis is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In this episode, I interview Cory Doctorow about his latest book, “Information Doesn’t Want to be Free: Laws for the Internet Age.” If you are interested in learning more about the topics we discuss and that book covers, you can also check out books by the scholars we mention: Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle and William Patry. I compared Cory’s book to “The Indie Band Survival Guide” the authors of which are friends of the show whom I have also interviewed.

The audiobook version of the book is already available. Check Cory’s site, the free download and electronic editions should be available soon.

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You can grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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Update on the Advertising Experiment

As promised, here is the skinny on my first full month as a publisher in the AdBard network.

In March, I earned $4.75. That covers my Skype subscription for the month and a fraction of any of my other operating expenses. The listener comment line is my SkypeIn number and has proven more reliable and higher quality than the free alternative I tried before. Since I use Skype for almost all of my interviews, getting a quality recording of a listener calls is as simple as my setup for recording interviews.

$4.75 It is a bit over a third of my media hosting and a bit over a fifth of my web site hosting. (I use a VPS so I have a full, virtualized Linux server at my disposal rather than using a cheaper web hosting provider that limits what I can do.)

I won’t get paid until I earn more than $50. At that point, a payout would cover a bit over 4 months of media hosting or a bit over 2 months of web hosting. It would cover two years of my Skype subscription, maybe more as they offer discounts if you pay for longer durations in advance. I pay quarterly.

Even though the earning is low so far and deferred until I earn enough, I am happy with the deal. It is $4.75 more than I would have made with out it. A $50 dollar pay out wouldn’t cover much for the time it would take to earn up to that point, but it would again be money I wouldn’t earn otherwise. I am also very happy with the advertisers AdBard has attracted. Preserving my principles makes up quite a bit for modest income.

There is a significant upside, though. The low rate is a function of AdBard only having sold about a fourth of their ad slots. All of their ads are currently discounted substantially to the advertiser to help build the network. When the rates go up to normal, I could expect to earn something like $16 a month based on the same number of ads, impressions and clicks. I think that is pretty impressive and hope AdBard retains advertisers through that rate increase. If AdBard sells all of their ad slots at the normal rate, I could expect to earn around $60 a month, which is nothing to sneeze at given my meager costs. I could easily cover my operations and put a bit aside into a travel fund.

It is early days and I feel lucky to have gotten in on the ground floor with AdBard. My site is right around the bottom of the top quartile of publishers, rated by impressions and clicks. I am happy to grow along with AdBard as they attract more advertisers. If you have looked over AdBard’s site and think they’ve put together an interesting offering, you can help by talking them up to any free software and open source companies and projects with which you are familiar that may be looking for help raising awareness.