Getting Desperate

Friday, February 20, 2009


The newspaper industry is in a frenzy trying to figure out how to save itself. Kachingle, an online service that will launch next month, offers yet another possible solution: encourage online readers to voluntarily contribute to newspapers and other websites they like. Kachingle CEO and founder Cynthia Typaldos explains why she thinks people will pay for content they can get for free.

Comments [29]

AMalone from nccu

I agree with Ms. Cynthia as far as to why subsrcibers will feel the urge to support. The radio station that I intern at is facing some what of of a similar problem; we lack substanial funding. We have annual drives in which our listeners donate money because they enjoy our station, they know that public radio isn't as popular as commercial and the understand how significant we are. yes they get our materialfor free, but they also know that if we dont recive proper funding we will cease to exist and that fact urgers others to chip in.

Oct. 05 2009 08:17 AM
jacqueline smith from durham, nc

i think this is an interesting idea. it allows readers to only pay for the things they actually want to read, whereas with regular newspapers you pay for the entire thing and get stuff you want and stuff you don't want. hopefully kachingle can be really successful with this, i wish them well.

Oct. 05 2009 03:04 AM
Yasmin Eleady-Cole

I think Kachingle is a very good idea, especially when she said the donation would only be made if you click on the medallion, better yet, if you like the article enough to click on the medallon. I think thats good to give people the choice, instead of autoatically charging them; people dont want, yet another monthly fee. Kachingle's CEO has a very great business plan.

Oct. 04 2009 11:41 PM
Brittany Gresham from Durham, NC

This is a very good idea as far as trying to get people back into newpapers, but i dont feel its fair for the people to have to pay to grt information they could get else where.

Oct. 04 2009 09:04 PM
Tamara Edwards from Durham, NC

Kachingle seems like a very good idea, and Cynthia appears to be dedicated to it. She did provide a clear business plan, but I believe it would be extremely hard to convince people to buy something that is already free.

Oct. 04 2009 06:30 PM
Mil Thaxton from nccu

Great idea to try and save the newspaper industry but dont think people would really pay to find out information they could get for free. O, the joke made by John Stewart was very funny!!!

Oct. 04 2009 05:25 PM
Christinia Elkins from Durham, North Carolina

Although I think that Kachingle is a good idea and I thought Cynthia did bring good information to the table, however I don't believe that it would be as much sucessful as she wishes because who would want to pay for something that is already free? Good luck on the idea!

Oct. 03 2009 06:16 PM
Ashley Gadsden from North Carolina

I think this is a good way for readers to be informed of news, and at the same time they can voluntarily support a form of news that they prefer as a reader.

Oct. 02 2009 06:20 PM
Brian M. from Durham, NC

Kachingle sounds like a good concept, however it is assuming that people will want to voluntarily contribute. There are viable subscription based models for news aggregation, website like, however traditional newspapers with an online presence will find it difficult to get people to pay for content that they have been giving away.

Oct. 02 2009 12:40 PM
Jay Kindell from Durham

While Kachingle sounds like a good idea, I can't help but wonder how that's going to work out. I mean that in all the vastness of the internet, what are the chances of the websites I visit being affiliated with Kachingle? And remind me again why consumers would want to donate to private establishments and businesses who are making a choice to give away their content? I just don't think it's viable in practice.

Oct. 02 2009 12:18 PM
Isha Jackson from NCCU.

I believe this is a good idea, Kachingle could survive based on the contributions of its readers. Economically benifiting the consumers because it is not an outrageous price, and being informative as well. Best of luck.

Oct. 02 2009 09:46 AM
Cynthia Typaldos from Silicon Valley

Kachingle is located in Silicon Valley, CA.

-- Cynthia Typaldos (Founder and CEO, Kachingle)

Mar. 09 2009 01:40 AM
Ted Olsen

Looking at the locations from various folks here ... any chance Kachingle is based in Durham, N.C.?

Mar. 06 2009 01:28 PM
Bethany from Durham, North Carolina

Kachingle has a practical way of making money and keeping more media outlets open. Caring about what you read enough to subscribe to its content and secure its longevity is something we as consumers should all take seriously.

Mar. 01 2009 08:24 PM

Kachingle has a practical approach to making money, and keeping more media outlets open. I think it is a great idea for subscribers to volunteer their funds to content of their choice. Caring about the content you read enough to help sustain its longevity is something we all should take more seriously.

Mar. 01 2009 08:20 PM
Carlton K from Durham

Kachingle seems like a great idea considering the fact that the audience provides the marketing for the newspapers. They can tell the publishers what they are interested in and make sure that only content they feel is approrpriate and has some meaning makes it online. During times like these I wonder how viable it truly is, however. Paying pennies every time one wants to read something that could be read for free adds up. Isn't a reason why people read papers online is because they can get it for free? Maybe people are so in love with papers that they would feel a sense of pride by donating pennies to read an article or blog. And just think about those profit margins.

Mar. 01 2009 12:13 PM
Justin Campbell from Durham

To avid supporters of the "classic" newspaper, kachingle is genious. You might even be able to advertise kachingle by putting an economic spin on it. "Kachingle asks for donators to pitch in to save the "classic newspaper," for example. In saving the classic news paper you save jobs. And im sure every one is aware we do not need any more businesses filing for bankruptcy, much less an entire industry; just a thought.

Feb. 28 2009 06:39 PM
Jay Jones from Durham

I also like the idea of kachingle. In the past, either we watched tv or bought a newspaper to get our news. If the Internet is replacing the newspaper, then it's only fair to assume at some point we would have pay for it as if it were a newspaper. Especially, since you are paying for things you frequent the most, which makes it very fair to all parties involved.

Feb. 28 2009 05:48 PM
Kendra Mcnair from Durham

I really like the idea of kachingle, if in fact it ever catches on I think it could do wonders. This is my first time ever hearing of something like this as well. Maybe more people will pitch in now.

Feb. 27 2009 11:57 AM
Tenisha Moore from Durham,NC

I think that the Kachingle is a good idea and I feel as if alot of people will actually consider this new developing site. This site will probably change some individuals ideas about the newspaper and they will start actually contributing and paying.

Feb. 27 2009 11:43 AM
The Holy Grail from USA

There was just a conference on this subject last week at American University. The publishers had the usual refrain about there being no way to monetize the net. Well, as the inventor of net monetization, I can tell you it does exist but the code will stay in the vault. There is simply no reason for me to release it. Yes, I do feel sorry for all people losing their jobs but once released there will be no way to control it. It would spread like lightning. Since it's unlikely there will ever be a global patent, I don't foresee releasing it in my lifetime. Even if there was (a global patent), it would not be practice to enforce. It would like trying to enforce a patent on breathing. One advisor told me it would "fracture" the internet. I don't know about that but it would change the economics of the net pretty fast. Till then, Kachingle sound like a worthwhile idea. Best of luck to Ms. Typaldos and her team!

Feb. 23 2009 12:39 PM
charlie from chicago

I can't believe no one has commented on this segment's theme song.


Feb. 23 2009 11:42 AM
Scott Winters from Providence RI

I first heard of Kachingle via this NPR interview. Absolutely brilliant idea, made me want to slap my forehead and say 'of course'. The first sensible way I've heard of to monetize the online news industry. Kudos.

Feb. 23 2009 08:51 AM
Daniel Bennett from Washington, DC

Although most On the Media are well researched and this one was based on a good idea, it was too close to a product announcement. There have been several previous attempts at this idea including Amazon's honor system ( ). You pointed out one huge flaw in the business plan and that is using a percentage cut. This works well with Google ads where Google is supplying advertisers that individual could not get otherwise at any price. And direct payments without marketing is a poor method of getting donations (note that many public radio stations needed a week of donation pitches and marketing efforts). And, Kachingle does not offer editorial support either.

But the real issue should be that direct, voluntary payments for content is not sustainable for decent fraction of content.

Oh by the way, here is my take on paying for content:

Feb. 22 2009 10:57 AM
Christopher Hibbard from The Smoky Mountains

What a great idea!

Please in the future spell out your URL - if it were not for this site I would have been searching for hours.

Hoping that my Smoky Mountains News Blog makes the cut for you beta program.

Check your Email!


Feb. 21 2009 03:47 PM
chascates from Austin, Texas

I like the Kachingle idea and hope it catches on. Much easier than than remembering to donate via PayPal when I visit a site I like.

Some sites can try a little value-added every once and a while to inspire donations. The musical lead-in to this segment, "Present and future models..." is easily worth a dollar for the smile it brought.

Bob and Brooke, where is your tip jar?

Feb. 21 2009 03:19 PM
Dan Cozart from Orlando, FL

Nice job on the interview Cynthia!!

Is there a Kachingle Group on Facebook I could join? Can I become a Kachingler Fan on Facebook?


Feb. 21 2009 10:50 AM
Cynthia Typaldos from Silicon Valley

Kachingle is up and running in private preview mode with selected blogs/sites. We are continuing to bring additional blogs/sites into the preview -- anyone who is interested in being part of it or seeing a live demo please send a note to add-my-blog @ or contact me directly at cynthia.typaldos @ Our public launch is planned for early spring '09. -- Cynthia Typaldos, Founder & CEO, Kachingle

Feb. 21 2009 09:13 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

Is Kachingle up and running? I can't say I've ever seen a Kachingle icon or any other evidence of its existence. That might say it all.

In a well-formed society, people would realize that they are part of the whole and that they do have something to contribute. But our society isn't well-formed. We've had decades of Republicans and Democrats joining in the "government is bad" chorus, calling all public institutions 'socialism', etc.

Moreover, when I choose to donate (and I do) I choose the organizations that I take to be underdogs. The New York Times or WNYC strike me as well-connected and pretty well-healed. I might be wrong about that, but they are certainly better-funded than those whom I do fund. And, unlike those I do support, they clearly tailor their coverage (yes, WNYC, you do) to suit the demands for conformity of the powerful.

There are other more radical approaches. Ceilings to donations -- that would buy the cat among the pigeons. Bar massive donations from individuals or organizations. And provide a floor to support via the government.

Feb. 21 2009 07:39 AM

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