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Archive for March, 2011

Originating the idea of the “digital calling card” — a 1996 talk

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by wdensmore No Comments

It was in 1996 that the author of this post first used in a major public forum the phrase “digital calling card” — in a speech at Hershey, Penn.  Reading the text of that speech 14 years later, it’s amazing how much of it remains relevant today.  Here’s the part that referred to the “Digital Calling Card”(SM) technology:

Here’s a graphical depiction of how Clickshare works. Think of Publisher A as an Atlanta newspaper and Publisher B as a Boston newspaper. And imagine for a moment that both of these papers have web sites and that in each case they enroll users for $5 a month and allow their own users “all you can eat” access to basic news resources for that price. Now lets suppose a baseball fanatic in Atlanta wants to read a Red Sox pregame workup and finds a link to the Boston newspaper’s story at the Atlanta web site. Click . . . the reader goes to the Boston site. But here the Boston server, in the present world, says “Sorry, access prohibited please subscribe.” The user, faced with paying $5 for one article and starting a second ongoing $5 a month relationship just skips the article and the Boston paper loses a sale.

Now consider if both newspapers were running Clickshare Web Server Software and were Clickshare Publishing Members. Repeat the scenario. Now the Atlanta readers request goes out with a digital calling card. And that card, read by the Boston server, says, “This user is a Clickshare enabled user and has an account at the Atlanta Clickshare member.” The Globe sells the article for, say, 10 cents at wholesale. The reader gets his article with no additional password or challenge. At settlement time, Clickshare Corp. applies a 10 cent charge to the Atlanta newspaper’s clearing account and pays the Boston newspaper 8 cents, keeping 2 cents as a transaction fee. The Atlanta newspaper to charge its user whatever it wishes. It could pass along the 10 cents, apply a 20% retail markup to 12 cents, or bundle the Boston story as part of a premium subscription package. Clickshare does not set pricing at the user level because it doesn’t own the user the home base publisher does.

A similar reference to the “digital calling card” technology appears in a later piece: “TV in the ’50s, the ‘net in the ’90s: Three examples of real-world clicking, and why per-click will work in the Clickshare System.”

From 1998: About the “Digital Calling Card” technology

Posted on: March 14th, 2011 by wdensmore No Comments

Clickshare seeks partners for patent-pending
micropayments and user-managment technology

cross posted from:

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Oct. 13, 1998 — Clickshare Service Corp. is seeking strategic allies, equity investors and licensees to participate in the commercialization of its patent-pending Internet subscription, microbilling and distributed user- management system.

“We are aggressively seeking partnerships with one or more technology companies, publishers and audience owners such as banks and ISPs to me the Clickshare technology rapidly into the marketplace,” said said Bill Densmore, co-founder of Clickshare.

A six-month prototype demonstration of the Token Validation Service technology involved nearly 2,000 users. Marketed as the Clickshare Service, TVS was tested with three publishers: The American Reporter, Studio Briefing and The Christian Science Monitor.

Clickshare is now seeking a patent for TVS. “We believe the service constitutes a novel application of technology to the problem of how to make the Internet commercially viable,” said Densmore.

So far, consumer web publishers have tried to become profitable on advertising alone. Increasingly, they are viewing micropayments and personalized information delivery as essential to boosting revenues — but few sites have actually ramped up such services.

“We regard TVS as a vital service — because it offers an infrastructure for tagging and identifying Internet users for a variety of purposes — as required for Internet information commerce to become mainstream,” said Densmore. “There are many publishers and equity partners who have looked at what we have and may want to play a role in bringing it to market.”

About the Clickshare Service (TVS)
Clickshare is a client-server based, distributed user-management system for Internet commerce. It enables aggregation of content subscriptions, micropayments, audience measurement by identified user, personalization using a “reverse cookie” approach and Web-site access control. Clickshare employs “Digital Calling Card (SM)” technology which allows users to view and purchase information at multiple, independent web sites using a single ID and password. It enables sale of information “by the click” down to 10 cents per item. TVS requires no special end-user software. More information about TVS may be found at: “Clickshare” is a registered servicemark of Clickshare Service Corp.