Taxing Social Media, and Why Pay Toilets No Longer Exist (Part 2)

Posted on September 12, 2009


In Part 1 of this post titled “WHO IS TO PAY FOR BROADCASTING AND HOW? A Contest Opened by RADIO BROADCAST in which a prize of $500 is offered,” I had cited an article from 1924 requesting ideas on how the new medium of radio could be monetized.

The reason for digging through the virtual archives – which is much better than going through physical archives since you do not have as much dust, is that here we are 85 years later asking the same kind of question relative to social media.  Remember the old saying that no matter how much things change, they stay the same?

What was most interesting was the fact that as I read over the winning entrant’s submission on how to monetize the radio industry, which suggested that the Government levy a tax based on usage which was tied to the type of radio the consumer owned, I could not help but think back to the days of pay toilets.  By the way, it is usually at times like this that I am reminded of my advancing age as I am certain that the majority of my readers will not recall the ignominious days when one was required to put a dime in the dispensers that served as the sentinels to public washroom stalls.  Nor would you understand the almost comical scenario of  having to choose between the urgent need to violate the law and risk getting caught attempting to slide under the stall’s door when the required change was not readily at hand.  The alternative was of course another kind of embarrassment that for sensibilities sake I will leave to your individual imaginations.

The point here is that the concept of users having to pay to access the “facility” of social media as we discovered in my interview with Shel Israel on Thursday, is not a tenable solution.

While the Radio Broadcast’s winning contestant, H.D. Kellogg, Jr. received the handsome sum of $500 (which in 1924 was a great deal of money), for his submission, “this winning plan for establishing a national radio service “unencumbered by advertising or other irrelevant considerations” was never seriously considered as a viable method for financing United States broadcasting.” Go figure!

Needless to say, Wednesday’s PI Window on Business segment in which I welcome Blog Talk Radio’s Director of Programming Philip Recchia, should be another interesting, insightful and entertaining 60 minutes.

To tune into the live broadcast “Why Advertising is Failing on the Internet: The Future of Social Media Revenue Models” use the on-demand player below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.