I just got a note from the blog-hosting service Typepad, where this blog used to live. It sounds like they had a lot of technical difficulties last month. They not only sent out a letter apologizing and outlining what the glitches were, but today sent around another note offering to let customers choose how much free service they should get as compensation, depending on how much the disruption affected them (from 15 to 45 days).
I hope their faith in their customers to be fair about it bears out, and people like me (I'm not using my Typepad account much these days) will take the lowest they're offering, not grabbing for all the freebie service we can get, because I love that they're doing this.
Wouldn't it be an interesting experiment to offer a conference, and people paid afterward for the amount it was worth to them? It'll never happen, but I bet conference organizers would be surprised at just how people really value their events. I'd be curious to apply a similar model to our magazines, which are free to qualified subscribers. If people had the option to pay what they thought the magazines are worth, I wonder if they'd still be free, or if some would willingly pay a buck or two or three, depending on the value they got from each issue?
Being the starry-eyed optimist that I am, I'd like to think people are willing to be paid, or pay, based on the value lost or gained, but the cynic in me says there's no way that's going to happen. Think we're ready for something like that, or would it be a step toward the road to financial ruin?