Turning Comments Into Cash

Jennifer Horowitz

A sophisticated online comments platform can make comment moderation affordable and even provide publishers with a new source of revenue. Promoting relevant comments can also improve the user experience.

Redefining targeted advertising

MP3.com founder Michael Robertson recently launched a startup, SolidOpinion, that enables publishers to generate revenue from comments by simply adding a few lines of code.

The unique platform clearly identifies promoted comments, along with associated points that enable readers to judge how strongly a viewpoint is held and even promote their own comments.

Let’s look further at how it works.

Promoted headlines and comments

A one-line text ad above the article is called a promoted headline. A multi-line text ad at the bottom of the article is called a promoted comment.

The company currently has active moderators who oversee a stream of posted comments and related stories. On the publisher’s end, comments can either be posted immediately and moderated later, or posted only after they are approved.

Pay-per-article advertising

Advertisers and readers can also bid to promote a text-based message, called PPA (pay-per-article), that is associated with an article. This message is displayed each time the article is viewed, with up to two PPAs available for each page. Bids are done using points, which users can buy or earn by being an active member. Purchased points earn publishers money.

The more engaged the readership, the more valuable the message

Content and promotions help publishers achieve their email campaign and print advertising goals. The SolidOpinion platform also not only encourages user engagement, but it also ensures the quality of user-generated content through reputation tracking.

SolidOpinion expects to launch across all Tronc properties (including the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and others) before the end of the year.

For more strategies that boost the bottom line, see Customer Communities Provide Essential Analytics For Your Business.


Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a management consultant and journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.