Evolution of advertising:
We buy ads. You must watch them.
We buy ads. You have a remote control. You skip them.
We buy ads. You are watching a cable channel.
We send junk mail to your house and spam to your inbox. You delete it.
uh oh.
We buy banner ads, you ignore them.
We buy AdWords ads. We pay by the click. Wow! It works.

And that’s where we were until today. The most effective online ad buy is AdSense ,where you bid for traffic and pay by the click. This is permission-based, because your ad shows up next to a Google search or on a relevant page. So the people who are seeing it are the right people. And the click demonstrates that they want to see your page.

The paradox (not necessarily a bad thing) is that the better your ad, the better your offer, the more you pay.

So we invented SquidOffers, which I hope will work for us, and which I fully expect will show up in other places soon. The idea is to combine the voting mechanism of Reddit or Digg or Plexo with the text ad mindset of a Google ad. But instead of an ad, it’s an offer.

Make an offer. Pick a category. Pay a small fee ($100 a month). Then, our users vote on the offers. Get a lot of votes and you rank more highly, which means more clicks. And you don’t pay for the clicks.

Now there’s an incentive to write better and better offers (but they need to be genuine or we boot you). Offer a free sample or a free issue or a consult or an ebook. Be generous. Get permission to follow up.

Over time, we intend to raise the rates as volume increases. For now, a few days into it, it appears to be working. Here’s the info.