On Advertising and Yahoo Groups

On Advertising and Yahoo Groups
In The Bottom of the Food Chain, the author talks about advertising specifically as it relates to Geocities and Yahoo Groups. Average rant type stuff. But at one point he says:

    [T]he content is created by a legion of volunteers, all more or less industriously working to make money for the corporate machine.

I’ve heard this line of thinking before. How could Yahoo put ads in our messages, after all, we’re creating the content for them. This is a really stupid argument. While your ‘content’ may indeed be adding value to Yahoo’s service, you are receiving value in your use of the service.
Anyways, getting back to the average rant, he doesn’t address any sort of pricing model for Yahoo Groups. He just says go look for a pay service. It would have been more interesting if he had proposed something. There are many ways to price Yahoo Groups, and I’m not sure there is a clear right way to charge for that service. Do you just charge the owner of the group? Or do you charge the subscribers? And do you charge by number of messages the group/user sends out, or is it a flat fee. How about archive storage, do you have a seperate charge for that? What if the group messages are exceptionally large, do you charge more for the extra bandwidth? How about customer support, do you have a seperate charge for that, or is it included? Do you provide a service with less features for less money? Do you charge money to remove ads from your group (ONElist/eGroups had this and significantly less than 1% of the groups took advantage of it).
Yahoo did a survey a month ago, where it asked many of these questions. Clearly some sort of fee-based service will be rolled out. It’s just a question of what and when.

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