IQ News: Tripod Builds Get-Richer Scheme For Members

Popularity does pay off, at least on the Internet. Beginning today, Williamstown, Mass.-based online community Tripod, a part of the Lycos Network of Web sites, will introduce an ad revenue sharing initiative that will pay cash to Tripod members for building popular homepages.
The Premier Builders Program will offer so-called “Builder Bucks” to Web masters who draw significant traffic to their sites and feature content that’s both appropriate and attractive to advertisers. The program will have a tiered payment structure, so depending upon traffic, personal homepage builders can earn between 50 cents to a dollar per thousand page views. In addition, a 20 percent annual bonus will be paid to members who sustain an average of more than 100 page views per day over a one-year period. Payments will be made quarterly, beginning later this year.
“It’s really geared toward helping our best homepage builders make money off of their Web sites,” said Don Zereski, general manager of Tripod. “This is a way for us to reward our stars and a way to attract new stars to Tripod.”
Zereski claimed that Tripod’s new ad revenue sharing plan is the “first of its kind for homepage hosting sites.” (Lycos recently introduced an initiative to drive traffic through its network of sites by offering payment to members for placing links and banners on their homepages.)
Tripod members can apply for entry into the program if their Web sites have garnered at least 100 daily page views over the past 30-day period on the Tripod network, and the site is deemed of high enough quality to place ads against. Zereski said that Premier Builders will not have a choice as to what ads are placed against their sites.
Other advantages to Premier Builders is that those who sign on can opt to eliminate the existing pop-up window ads in favor of more streamlined embedded ads directly into their Web pages. Additionally, Premier Builders will be given unlimited disk space, “so that they can build whatever great site they want to,” said Zereski.
“Our best builders could earn thousands of dollars, upwards of $40,000-$50,000 annually, if they choose to participate in this program,” said Zereski. “They could quit their day jobs and focus on their hobby of homepage building.”
Tripod offers all of its homepage builders personalized sub-domain URLs, as well as a script and custom CGI library.
“The idea is to help Tripod members become better builders,” added Zereski. “If they build more interesting things, they can become Premier Builders.”