All the News That's Fit to Stream

By Carl Weiss
Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A good newspaper is never nearly good enough, but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever.” At least that’s the way that Garrison Keillor saw it.  Through the years many notables have weighed  in on the veracity of newspaper reporting, their opinions formed mostly by the way in which they were portrayed by the media.

President Lyndon Johnson’s opinion of reportage was framed by this quote, “The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character.”

The late actress Bette Davis on the other hand quipped, “With the newspaper on strike, I wouldn’t consider dying.”

Love them or hate them, newspapers in the US have been a source of controversy since the first newspaper was printed in Boston in 1690.  (Coincidentally, only one edition of this newspaper was published before the paper was suppressed by the government.)  However, it wasn’t long before a longer lived successor made it into print in 1704, followed by other weeklies in New York and Philadelphia.  For the next two hundred years, newspapers ruled the roost in cities and towns as the place where everything from curiosities, calamity, births, deaths and ads were made available to the masses.

While the broadcast media of radio and television made a bit of a dent in the armor that newspaper publishers wore, so popular and powerful a medium was it that by 2007 there were 6,580 dailies in the world with a combined 395 million readers.  During its heyday newspapers turned a number of publishers into moguls and a number of writers into celebrities.

“Newspaper readership is declining like crazy.  In fact, there’s a good chance that nobody is reading my column.” – Dave Barry

Just two years after the newspaper business reached the above mentioned high water mark came its sudden implosion.  On Independence Day 2009, Business Insider reported,
Daily News
“As you may have noticed, newspapers have had a rough 2009.  But you may not quite appreciate the magnitude of the collapse. So far this year:
·         105 newspapers have been shuttered.
·         10,000 newspaper jobs have been lost.
·         Print ad sales fell 30% in Q1 '09.
·         23 of the top 25 newspapers reported circulation declines between 7% and 20%”.

While the Great Recession had something to do with the problems that many print venues faced in 2009 it was by no means the entire story.  Since the early years of the twenty-first century, the rise of the Internet had caused a major decline in circulation and advertising revenues at major dailies around the world.  No longer a monopoly for such things as classified advertisements, free classified ad sites such as Craigslist, began to undermine the very foundations upon which newspapers were built.

The decline in advertising revenues affected both the print and online media; print advertising was once lucrative but no longer is, and the prices and effectiveness of online advertising are often lower than those of their print precursors. Besides remodeling advertising, the internet has challenged the business models of the print-only era by democratizing and crowdsourcing both publishing in general (sharing information with others) and, more specifically, journalism (the work of finding, assembling, and reporting the news). In addition, the rise of news aggregators, which bundle linked articles from many online newspapers and other sources, influences the flow of web traffic.” – Wikipedia

Decade this far wealth vs internet growth
Decade this far wealth vs internet growth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The double whammy of economic decline combined with the rise of the Internet was like the perfect storm to the newspaper industry.  The years 2009-2013 saw not only the demise of a number of newspapers that had been printed for many years, but it also saw a number of prominent dailies changing hands, including most recently the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.  The Globe which had been owned for twenty years by the New York Times was sold on October 24, 2013 to John W. Henry (owner of the Boston Red Sox) for $70 million in cash. 

Other dailies were not so fortunate.  Overall, the industry has lost more than $40 billion in revenue in the past ten years alone.  And the trend is not predicted to end any time soon. 

The Pew Research Center’s annual State of the Media 2013 report, which came out this morning, suggests the industry’s fundamentals are still somber:
·         Print advertising fell again, and not by a little — down $1.5 billion in 2012 to dip below $20 billion for the first time since 1982.
·         Classifieds losses are no longer the culprit. National advertising, already weak in 2011, fell by roughly 10 percent. That suggests that the shift of budgets to a range of digital marketing options is accelerating. The exception is preprinted inserts, for now still an essential part of the marketing mix for major retailers.
·         Digital advertising, its rates ever lower, grew very slowly (3 percent) and came nowhere close to covering print losses (one dollar gained for every 16 lost in print). Audience for smart phone and tablet news reports continues to grow quickly, but accompanying advertising is largely a no-show.

Statistically speaking, even a sagging economy is not enough to account for the industry’s fate.  In fact, the revenues didn’t so much disappear as relocate.  If you look at the biggest online advertising winner during the same time frame (Google) you will notice that since 2009 their revenues have soared to $46 billion while the newspaper industry has seen its revenue decline to around $20 billion.  Coincidence? 

The numbers don’t lie and neither do publishers who are desperate to find a way to stem the slide 
Historical Society Volunteers Relocate Archive...toward dissolution.  A number of dailies have accomplished this by gutting their reporting staff, while others have taken the “If you can’t beat them, join them” stance by attempting to merge print and online venues.  Every daily under the sun has commissioned an online version where they stream some stories and offer ads.  While this has helped stem the tide somewhat, it is still unlikely to turn the financial slide around for most print venues.  What is needed is innovation. Here are a few ideas being touted within the industry.

1.      E-Readers - Hearst, which owns the Seattle Post Intelligencer, is experimenting with the idea of creating a Kindle-like electronic-reader device for its publications. People would receive the gadget when they subscribe, and it would regularly download issues. While there are still questions about how cheaply Hearst could create such a device, it shows that its executives are thinking outside the box, rather than just throwing in the towel.
2.      Erect a Pay Wall – A number of dailies including the New York Times and Newsday offer readers a limited number of articles for free.  Those who desire more access pay a subscription fee to gain access to the publication’s electronic version.
3.      Create Interactive Newspapers - The idea would be to bring interactivity to the newspapers and indulging the reader into it. A similar kind of thing has been once done in India by Volkswagen where they attached a recorded message, which played whenever a reader unfolded the last page [1]. Touch screens of suitable dimensions with some flash memory would be stitched into the newspapers, which would be pre-programmed. A user would just need to touch the screen to get the video played. Similar would be the audio player, which on selection would read out the particular news. To get an idea how it would look like, recall the scene in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone where one can see that characters in movie while reading newspapers whose layout and content is changing magically. Today newspapers would like to make it happen digitally.
4.      Create new reporting models - New online models will spring up as papers retreat. One non-profit group, NewAssignment.Net, plans to combine the work of amateurs and professionals, to produce investigative stories on the internet. Aptly, $10,000 of cash for the project has come from Craig Newmark, of Craigslist, a group of free classified-advertisement websites that has probably done more than anything to destroy newspapers' income.

While the problems in the newspaper industry are many and the solutions few, what is clear, is that if 
Herald Square clock
print venues hope to survive in the digital age they need to find a model that can cross the generation gap to deliver all the news that’s fit to stream.  To do this they are going to have to start innovating as well as interacting with and listening to their readers.

“While editors and newspaper owners currently fret over shrinking readership and lost profits, they do the one thing that insures cutting their own throats; they keep reducing space for the one feature that attracts new young readers in the first place; the comic strips.” Elayne Boosler

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly web radio show of the same name as well as the YouTube series.
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It's Time to Face the Music

By Carl Weiss

It was 50 years ago in this February that the Beatles changed the music industry forever when they first made their way to the US. So I thought it appropriate to start this week’s blog with a couple of stanzas from their hit single, “Taxman”:

I'm Happy Just to Dance with You
“Let me tell you how it will be. 
There’s one for you nineteen for me.
If five percent appears too small.
Be thankful I don’t take it all."

The lyrics lament the fact that British performers at the time were getting hit with incredibly high taxes on the royalties they earned. However, there was an even more insidious hand taking a huge cut of many recording artists’ pies at the same time, which had nothing to do with the tax man. And that was the cut that the record labels were taking from artists under contract.

While a number of stories about artists who were burned back in the early days of rock and roll are legendary, that doesn’t mean that the practice has stopped.  In fact, the past few years has seen a number of lawsuits against record labels by several notable songsmiths:

1.       In 2007, pop legend James Taylor initiated an audit and lawsuit against Warner Bros., which uncovered underpayment of royalties in the amount of $1,692,726 for the period spanning 2004-2007. (Warner subsequently paid only $97,857 of that balance.)
2.       In 2009 jazz great, Chet Baker, sued Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada and Universal Music Canada for releasing his music on Canadian CDs without compensating him.
3.       In 2011, Peter Frampton sued A&M Records for unpaid digital royalties. He hired music attorney, Richard Busch, who previously helped Eminem successfully sue Universal, the parent company of A&M.

What is even more noteworthy is the fact that many of these suits are seeking compensation for “digital distribution” of music. Translated, this boils down to “online distribution” of recordings.  And if the recent newsfeeds are any indication, not all of the ire being vented by recording artists is directed toward record labels.

“In 2012, a federal court reinstated a $222,000 damages award against a Minnesota woman accused of illegally downloading 24 songs, Reuters reported that the music industry victory in a case stretching past its sixth year. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota, rejected Jammie Thomas-Rasset's argument that the fine – $9,250 per song – was excessive and violated her due process rights under the Constitution. She has said her ex-boyfriend or two young sons were probably responsible for downloading the songs.”

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.
She was hardly alone, since some 18,000 people were sued between 2003 and 2008 by the Recording 
Industry Association of America (RIAA). It didn’t stop there, as talk show host Ellen DeGeneres found out a year later, when she was sued for copyright infringement when she broadcast more than 1,000 songs during the “Dance Over” portion of her popular show.
This does not encompass the most litigious online music case of all time: Napster. Launched in June 1999 by Shawn and John Fanning, Napster was the first large-scale, peer-to-peer music sharing site. Wildly popular with the public, the site quickly ran afoul of a number of popular bands (such as Metallica) that took issue with having its music given away royalty free.  On top of that, the band accused Napster of leaking at least one of their songs (“I Disappear”) before it was even officially released.  Shortly afterwards, a number of other labels piled onto the suit, trying to force Naptster to monitor its service and block access to copyrighted material. A year later, the Court of Appeals decided in the record labels favor and issued an injunction. In June 2001, Napster was forced to shut down its business in order to comply with the ruling.

Nobody was Napping

A side note on Napster: After filing for bankruptcy in June 2002, Napster announced plans to sell the 
Timeline of file sharing
Timeline of file sharing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
service, since it had hundreds of thousands of members at this point.  However, the judge blocked the sale and ordered Napster to liquidate. Less than a month later, Roxio, the digital music software purveyor, bought the Napster brand and logo for $5 million. Roxio then leveraged the popularity of the Napster name to revamp a failing music subscription service named Pressplay, later selling Napster once more (in August 2008), this time to Best Buy for $121 million. Best Buy then sold Napster’s customer base and other intellectual property in September, 2011 to Rhapsody for an undisclosed sum. (At the time of the sale, Napster reportedly had more than 700,000 customers.)

While the kind of services offered by Napster went against the grain of the music industry, the popularity of being able to download music online did not.  What it did was spur the imagination of a number of entrepreneurs to take action in order to capitalize on this efficient means of bringing music to the masses.

“With all the buzz around Spotify and the absolute dominance of iTunes since 2003, it's easy to forget that Napster was the first big name in digital music, and introduced computer users to the idea that they could listen to nearly any song in the universe, any time, on demand. The only problem: the people who made that music wanted to be paid for it, and it took about a dozen years to figure out how that would work to all parties' satisfaction.” Read more:

Steve Jobs Gets Ready to Jam

No sooner had the fur begun to fly in the courts over Napster when Steve Jobs at Apple Computer realized that if he could find a way to deliver music to the masses in a legal and profitable venue, then he would be sitting on the next killer app.  The only problem was the fact that he didn’t want to waste a year or more developing an app from scratch.  After looking at and rejecting another potential solution, Jobs approached Robin Casady and Michael Greene to discuss their SoundJam app.  Their powerful digital encoding program had a couple of things going for it, chief among it being the fact that the interface looked remarkably similar to Apple’s QuickTime player. After negotiating a price, Casady and Greene sold the rights for SoundJam to Apple and Jobs immediately got ready to jam by creating iTunes.

Excerpt from MacWorld: “About 10 months later, at Macworld San Francisco in 2001, Apple debuted iTunes alongside iDVD and the CD-RW-enabled Power Macs. While it wasn’t exactly a show-stopper (though 275,000 copies were downloaded in the first week), the "world’s best and easiest to use ‘jukebox’ software’ definitely raised the bar for music players on the Mac, which were relatively sparse and rather pricey (SoundJam cost $40). By offering iTunes as a free download and installing it on every new Mac, Apple essentially cut down the competition at the pass — or at least put a good scare into them. “Apple has done what Apple does best — make complex applications easy, and make them even more powerful in the process,’ said Steve Jobs at the time. ‘iTunes is miles ahead of every other jukebox application, and we hope its dramatically simpler user interface will bring even more people into the digital music revolution.’”

After racking up more than a million downloads in the first month alone, Apple knew they had a hit on their hands.  It also spurred Apple into creating hardware that could give their customers the opportunity to take their tunes with them. Thus iPod was born. More importantly for singers, songwriters and aspiring musicians, this gave them a whole new lease on life. No longer bound by record labels to record, produce and, more importantly distribute, their music, iTunes (and other services that soon sprang up alongside it), enabled musicians to deal direct and cut out the middleman.

Leave it to Bieber

Since then, a number of previously unknown artists have not only sprung onto the scene, a number of 
Love Me (Justin Bieber song)
them have done quite well for themselves. Take Corey Smith, a country folk musician, who went from high school teacher to high-paid recording artist, grossing more than $4 million in 2010.  More importantly, he did it DIY style, without signing up with a record label.  Mashable had a feature a couple of years back entitled, “15 Wannabes Who Found Fame on YouTube.” This included Julia Nunez, Chantelle Redman and Justin Bieber.

Some other industrious souls have found online fame by posting musical parodies. One such success story is the Gregory Brothers who turn press conferences into ersatz operas with the help of some clever voice altering computer software.
The Brothers insert themselves into news footage to sing along with political leaders. Early videos saw Hilary Clinton singing about Somalian pirates, while the US Congress debating climate change turned into gospel song. While the Gregory Brothers and other parody producers like them aren’t likely to win any Grammy® Awards, their large fan base on YouTube makes sure they earn a comfortable living by monetizing their channel via AdSense ads. And unlike a lot of starving artists, these talented performances have found a way to face the music and thrive online. That’s more than many musicians can say.

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the Blog Talk Radio show that airs live every Tuesday at 4 pm Eastern.
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Are You Headed Toward Technological Extinction?

By Carl Weiss

We’ve all heard the doom and gloom predictions that never came true.  Remember Y2K or the solar flares that were predicted to bring our technology based society to a standstill during the 2013 solar maximum cycle, neither of which ever came to pass?  Sure you do.  While most prognostications have a tendency to generate anxiety based upon how often they are touted by the media, with few exceptions these predictions are much ado about nothing.  And even if they were to come to pass, like the dinosaurs 65 million years ago that wondered what that bright streak across the sky was all about, there isn’t a heck of a lot you can do about impending global catastrophes.

That’s not to say that localized tech extinction events do not occur.  As fate would have it they are the rule rather than the exception.  Remember quadrophonic sound, the Lisa computer, Betamax videotapes or the LaserDisc?  These were all clear cut examples of next generation technology that never caught on and ultimately disappeared from the face of the Earth.  All of the above mentioned technologies were clearly a cut above the competition.  All of them fell flat on their faces even though they were touted by some of the most successful companies in the world.  Worse still was the fact that there were many people who purchased these products and wholeheartedly believed that they were part of the technological elite. 

Betamax (also called Beta, and referred to as such in the logo) is a consumer-level analog videocassette magnetic tape recording format developed by Sony, released in Japan on May 10, 1975.[1] The cassettes contain .50 in (12.7 mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional .75 in (19 mm) wide, U-matic format. The format is virtually obsolete, though an updated variant of the format, Betacam, is still used by the television industry

While many of these products became the progenitors to vastly more successful technologies, such as the DVD and the Macintosh Computer, that was small consolation to those people who ponied up thousands of dollars to buy into the now defunct model.  Of course this is the price that early adopters pay to be the kids on the block with the newest toys .  This trend, like evolution, is not going to stop any time soon.  If anything with the uptick in the sheer volume of devices, apps and software that is created nowadays, if anything the rush toward technological extinction is quicker than ever.

 Is the Nook a Dead Duck?

Back in 2009 Barnes and Noble introduced the Nook, which was touted a couple of years later as the “Best e-reader around” by Consumer reports.  Yet despite this high praise, the Nook has not managed to find wide enough acceptance to best the competition.  Like the Beta vs. VHS competition of the 1980’s, the Nook vs. Kindle market is going to the competition, if the news from TechVoid is any indication.

“Barnes & Noble recently laid off several of its Nook staff recently, furthering doubts about the company’s long term sustainability in the ebook space. While a company spokesperson remained optimistic and made it clear that they would not be exiting the device business, it is uncertain how much longer they can compete successfully with in this area.”

Many pundits reply that by aligning yourself with the right camp you can more or less prevent technological extinction from taking place.  They surmise that the popularity of leading brands makes purchasing next gen gear more or less bulletproof.  To that I point out the fact that the Lisa was a next gen computer that was not only years ahead of the competition, but it was designed and built by none other than Steve Jobs at Apple Computer.  Designed during the early 80’s as the logical evolution of the Apple II, the Lisa had a long list of features that were unheard of back in the early 80’s, including a sophisticated hard-disk based operating system, support for up to 2 MB of RAM, a graphical user interface (GUI), a numeric keypad, a screensaver and the first computer mouse.  Despite spending millions of dollars on TV ads featuring none other than Kevin Costner, Jobs threw in the towel after failing to sell more than 50,000 units. 

In fact it was due to the failure of Lisa that Steve Jobs briefly found himself without a job when he was pushed out of Apple for a time.  Of course as time would tell, not only did Steve Jobs return to head Apple, but during his hiatus he helped turn another technological stepchild named Pixar (a company that not even George Lucas could afford to keep running) into one of the most prolific and profitable animation companies on the planet.

But that was then and this is now.  So while companies like Google may be the big kid on the block when it comes to search engine prowess, that doesn’t mean that everything they devise is necessarily gold plated.  Take Google Glass, a techno trial balloon launched in limited quantities a little more than a year ago.  When it comes to wearable technology, it doesn’t get any more “in your face” than Glass.  (Or should I say on your face?)  While tens of thousands applied for the privilege of paying $1,500 apiece to don this wearable computer, the jury is still out on whether this device will become the next iPhone.  What is a certainty is that it has garnered a lot of media attention and not all of it good.

With such monikers as Glass Hole being used to denigrate Glass wearers and several lawsuits spawned by people wearing them who were ejected from a number of eateries and movie theaters, it’s anybody’s guess if this latest hi-tech offering will make the grade.  Like Lisa, Glass is quite a bit pricier than any comparable computer device.  While you can purchase a laptop or tablet computer that performs many of the same tasks as Glass for under $500, in a recent survey of eBay, prices for Glass were in the $1,700 range.  And it doesn’t help that any number of high profile comedians has made Glass wearers a staple of the stand-up circuit.

What Time Is It?

But at least you can now buy and sell Glass online, which is more than I can say for the vaunted iWatch.  After spawning the computer wristwatch craze about a year back, Apple Computer has still to launch its own version of this wearable technology.  It was the rumor of an Apple smart watch that led electronics giant Samsung and entrepreneurial start up Pebble to beat Apple to market with a concept they first coined.  Now after more than a year, not only has the iWatch failed to make it to store shelves, but some industry authorities such as are starting to wonder if it ever will.

“Rumors of an Apple smart watch have abounded since Pebble first hit the big time. The so-called iWatch has so far failed to materialize in 2013 but will we see Apple get in on the wrist-worn game in 2014?  We've rounded up all the rumors and speculation to keep things ticking (get it!). Which watch really seem likely and which ideas are complete Apple poppycock? Only time will tell.”

As other next wave technologies such as 3D printers, a plethora of wearables and the" Internet of Things" rear their techno heads, what you need to ask yourself is whether you are willing to plunk down a chunk of cash to be an early adopter, or whether you can afford to wait until the smoke has cleared and a winner has been declared by the public.  Either way, it beats being as dead as a dinosaur by a long shot.

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly web radio show of the same name as well as the YouTube series.

In Search of Digital Donations

By Carl Weiss

We all get them, snail mail requests for donations. Sometimes we respond, sometimes we don’t.  But one thing is for certain: charities sure cut down a lot of trees in their search for donations. Between these unsolicited requests for funds, combined with armies of telephone fund raisers, it’s no wonder that charities are big business in the US, having raised an estimated $316.23 billion in 2012 alone. As voracious as most charities are for donations, what's odd is that many are still using old school methods to drum up support.  Surprisingly, many of them seem to be reluctant when it comes to making the switch to using the Internet for fund raising.

One thing that’s certain since 2000, it’s become far easier to vet the accountability, transparency and financial health of nonprofits.  Portals such as Charity Navigator have been created to provide the public with information regarding thousands of charitable institutions from coast to coast.  By entering, you come to a site that lets you search listings from A to Z, Top-10 Lists, or even Hot Topics that relate to charities. This and other such portals make it as easy to check on a charity as it is to search for a pizzeria or dentist in your neighborhood.

More importantly, many of these sites not only report on the veracity of a charitable institution, they also let you know how much of every dollar donated actually makes it to the people/causes whom the charity supports.

Sites like Charity Navigator also allow you to follow the money line item by line item, revealing everything from a charity’s revenues to how much they spend on administrative, fund raising, and program expenses. Best of all, if you like what you see, there is a handy “Donate Now” button on the site that makes contributing to the charity of your choice as easy as point-and-click.

When you consider that 72% of charitable contributions comes from individuals and only 21% from foundations and corporations, then it would seem that the Internet would be a match made in heaven for nearly every charity.  Yet according to a post on, “Eighty-four percent of nonprofits, including many of the nation’s largest charities, haven’t made their donation websites easy to read on mobile devices, one of several flaws that can cost them significant contributions, according to experts who studied 150 charities and other organizations.”

According to the report, this included 100 charities big enough to be on the Philanthropy 400, which lists the groups that raise the most money from private sources.  The post went on to lament the fact that most charities aren’t doing enough to use email as a fundraising tool, and that those do, for the most part, aren’t making it clear to donors what action the recipients should take.

That’s not to say every charity isn’t finding a number of ways to leverage the Internet.  Take Goodwill Industries. Recently it added a couple of new sites designed to help people donate to its cause. The first is   which is kind of a hybrid of a Goodwill store with eBay. On the site, shoppers can bid on thousands of items which are then shipped to the highest bidder. 

Another site that is owned and operated by Goodwill is Job Junction. This site not only helps job seekers intersect with local employers, but it also includes a tab that shows every visitor to the site how and where to make a charitable contribution to Goodwill. (The site even provides donors with a handy form they can submit come tax time for every item donated to Goodwill.)  

While some charities are finally starting to take advantage of the Internet, there are still a number have yet to successfully join the digital age.  Among the other findings by
     ·         37% of the organizations send no emails within 30 days after site visitors signed up
     ·         56% of the organizations didn’t ask for donations within 90 days of signing up
     ·         79% didn’t personalize email appeals with either a first or last name
     ·         65% of the websites polled required visitors to click three or more times in order to donate

Fortunately, there are a number of providers such as Charity Navigator that are willing to trail blaze in
this realm.  On top of that, there are several new starters that are willing to cut out the middleman altogether when it comes to giving.  One is called, which provides a way to give money directly to recipients, thereby eliminating intermediaries and charities. It also allows you to contribute funds to individuals worldwide.

“GiveDirectly does not attach conditions to the donations, allowing recipients to spend the money in any way they want. The assumption is that poor people know better than anyone else what they need. A recent study published by MIT, co-written by one of GiveDirectly's former founders, argues that unconditional giving allowed poor households to save more than those in conditional giving programs, as well as increase food consumption by 20 percent.”
Another of these direct-to-recipient sites is called, a charitable service created by a group of college students whose avowed aim was to “turn your social media into charitable donations.” Their service allows you to “choose how much to donate for each post or ‘Like’ on Facebook, or for every tweet on Twitter, and then select your favorite charity among a list. Your credit card is charged every time you reach $7.99 in donations and your contact information is provided to the nonprofits you donate to so that they can keep you abreast of their latest efforts.”

While some charities still seem reluctant to fully embrace the Internet as a fundraising medium, Centscere co-founder Ian Dickerson summed it up perfectly when he said,
“The methods that worked on the baby boomers and older generations just won’t work with us. We grew up online; it’s part of our everyday behavior. We can’t afford to give as much as older generations, but we would happily give some change here and there. For charities it's also a way to build a relationship early on so that when we do have an income, and can make larger donations, we'll donate to them.”

Besides, any fundraising method that saves a tree or keeps my phone from ringing at supper time is alright by me.

Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency located in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can also interface with Carl live every Tuesday at 4 pm Eastern on Blog Talk Radio. This week’s guests include Adam Thayer and Tracy Collins from Goodwill Industries of North Florida.