I founded IPR in May because there needs to be a site that covers third-party news without pulling punches and allows people to discuss issues openly, without any political censorship or regulation. I wanted there to be such a site, but I didn’t necessarily want to be the one in charge of it!
My plan for IPR was always for the writers to share revenues in proportion to their contributions to the site’s success. That’s a good idea in theory, but after five months, we still haven’t been able to put it into practice.
None of us write at IPR “for the money” (which would be laughable considering the revenue it has generated in comparison to the effort that all of us have put forth), and no one (except me) has ever given the revenue-sharing plan any thought. But as the one who collects IPR’s relatively meager receipts, figuring out a fair way to dole them out has been stressing me since Day One.
And THAT is why, after much discussion by all involved, we have decided to engage in a pretty unique experiment: We are selling IPR on eBay.
What is the site worth? DNScoop says $5,400. SmartPageRanker says over $13,000. We’ve already had offline offers for up to $1,000, so I started the bidding at $1,099 (which would generate around $1,000 after fees). I think it will be interesting to see how things turn out.
I do not fear a new owner trying to use the site for political purposes — like the Barr campaign did with TPW — because there is so much time between now and the next election, AND anyone who would have an interest in doing that would see how completely ineffective it was for Barr.
The new owner(s) of IPR, whomever he/she/they may be, will have every incentive to leave the site as it is — or improve it. But under the extremely unlikely scenario that the new owner is a jerk, fear not: just as IPR replaced TPW, a new site could replace IPR. As with any business, it’s the consumers — you — who are really in charge. And the new owners will know that if they take the site in a direction that you don’t like, you won’t generate those page views and visits that they plan to monetize.