Ze Frank’s Micro-Duckies
I’m hopelessly addicted to Ze Frank’s “The Show” — the cleverest example of daily video blogging around from a guy who’s also a social media genius. Those of you following that link above will be assaulted by one of the most butt-ugly interface disasters ever … a project he launched on Tuesday called “Gimme Some Candy” … that is now one of the most interesting 3-day-old experiments in generating revenue from fandom around. Because, you see, those are fans taken out by his rabid fans.
Ze Frank: think struggling brilliant independent. Now imagine that your daily video blog has taken your long-time site into the top 5,000 to 4,000 sites in traffic on the Internet. How do you make money at daily video blogging without feeling like a complete sell out?
Apparantly the answer might be micro-duckie sponsorships — little icons that appear now under each episode that, when you roll over them, display a 50-character message that isn’t even hyperlinked. To borrow a Ze Frankism: worst ad unit … EVER! But at $5, $10 or $50 for a whopping duckie, they are priced for fans and minor patrons. In the last couple of days, he’s sold thousands of dollars in micro-duckie sponsorships each day. I’ve found myself READING THEM because they are like fortune cookie hiakus or one-line classifieds.
My favorite $10 micro-duckie so far said simply, “Support what you love before it goes away.” There is something sophisticated going on here: these are crappy ads that will keep advertisers away and leave it in the realm of “tip jar with benefits.” You’re not really selling something to your fans, you’re accepting donations and providing a little something extra.
Smart stuff, Ze … I’ll be watching how your experiment unfolds. And I owe you a micro-duckie.