Warren Ellis on his Bad Signal mailing list [my emphasis]:
“As of right now, there are 5400 people on the Bad Signal.
If all of you went to www.e-sheep.com and paid a lousy 25 cents to read a Patrick Farley comic, he would instantly become the best-paid serial creator in indie comics. If half of you went, he’s still be doing pretty well, probably constituting a pro rate for the work he’s doing. For twenty-five cents, microcasting work to an online audience of less than 3000 people would give him a shot at a living gig. Expand that out. Even 25 cents for an mp3 multiplied by half the readership of Bad Signal would mean that that musician is doing better than 90% of professional musicians — that is, earning more than US$600 a month. Seriously.
In fact, to support four artists you like, all you’d have to do is put aside an entire dollar a month to buy their art. And tell your friends.”
I guess this is the telling my friends part. Warren makes a good side-point about the use of tribe.net or other social-network services as markets for what he calls “microcasting” of creative work. There’s probably something to be learnt / crosspollinated from the creative networks around MMORPGs, but I’m not sure what. Anyway – go give Patrick Farley some money…