News Site Trades Lead Information from Audience for Stories

This is probably a really bad idea for lots of reasons. Coerced leads are usually of low value for advertisers and story ideas that are funded by something as valueless as information, especially without any intention to buy, are likely to be below par. However, interesting idea. 


Community news site,
which has received attention for its model of letting anybody pitch a
story and then solicit donations to fund its writing, is now
supplementing that revenue stream with a fledgling advertising business.
Visitors who fill out short surveys from advertisers now get credits
they can apply to funding a story. calls it “community centered
advertising,” although “cost per lead” might be more appropriate.

In any case, the non-profit startup says that visitor support for
stories has quadrupled since the system was introduced a month ago,
which while not so surprising—considering people can now help out
without having to enter their credit card information—could nevertheless
accelerate the site’s growth.

Meanwhile, is plotting how to expand beyond its current
four cities. Founder David Cohn acknowledges in a blog post

that while is growing overall it hasn’t quite caught on in its
newest market, Seattle, and says that rather than continue to expand
region by region, he might start accepting pitches from anywhere.


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