Prospect: Make a living wage participating in informal, generally available programs such as PayPal, eBay, Google AdWords, and the like.
* Provide original content or an interesting service and collect add money.
* Pros: Many examples of this exist.
* Cons: Hard to do adequately well without resorting to stealing clicks and generally passing off the content as something or more than it is.
* Thoughts: Get some of these little games up and running and let them each earn me $0.15 a day, which seems to be about what perldesignpatterns.com, newly converted, is doing -- unless I'm willing to spam. Still, good pornographic ads would make more money -- especially if I ran both the legit site and pr0n site. Hey!
* Collect incentives on sales.
* Pros: Many APIs are set up towards this, from the incentive marketing programs that spammers use/abuse, to refers on eBay, half.com, Amazon, Shopzilla, and others. The wealth of APIs makes room for a mashup.
* Cons: This means selling stuff, and the current game in selling stuff is letting people come to you, which is a hard one to win, especially in a hurry.
* Thoughts: Trying to make the next Amazon is retarded. That's akin to the people in MUD days who had the brilliant idea of making a game that comprehensively simualted reality -- no. Just, no. But taking a very narrow band might work -- an umbrella boutique to beat all umbrella boutiques, for example. Amazon famously just came out with their handbag portal...
* Offer a pay service/product.
* Pros: I keep hearing from people who paid a bunch of money for crappy Perl auction software that doesn't work and they want me to fix it, so someone must be buying this stuff. This fits in with the advertise-my-own-pr0n-site idea.
* Cons: Building a significant application would take time, and all of these have the con of requiring graphic design, which I'm just not set up for.
Okay, what am I forgetting?
I'm doing the Step 1. Make site Step 2. ??? Step 3. Collect AdWords money falicy here. As Graham says, build something people want and then try to figure out how to make money on it. I either don't have that thing or have very little confidence that I can make it in the time I have (basically none). I don't see anything going anywhere that's less interesting than the distributed music recommendation service that queries your Gnutella servent/looks for you on the various bittorrent nodes and fings you indie music to buy cheap idea.
Wealth is a funny thing... either you have none and despretely need some, or you have a bunch and you'd be willing to give a good chunk of it away... "my kingdom for a horse". Putting ads on perldesignpatterns.com is absurd. I suppose if it were drawing millions and millions of hits, that would be one thing. Then there are the big companies who routinely plunk down millions for useless garbage, or hire programmers for hundreds of thousands a year and make them work on the most petty chores. Feast or famine.
It's about a billion times more fun (negative billion times...?) to do social conciousness and community building stuff than try to make money.
While I'm at it, I'm also looking for ideas on how to cheat on graphic design. Things like FrontPage will let you edit pages but they don't help with the design. I suppose this is an impossibility, sort of like making a program that writes any given program for you without you needing any understanding of programming concepts is impossible. GeoCities is owned by Yahoo! now, which means that I have to create a new login to get in and then I can only get in once, so I have to finish building the page there in one go. There are probably better site building thingies anyway. It's not that building pages is hard, I just completely lack design esthetic. So I need a gimmick. I went through a phase where I rendered things on the Amiga for Web pages, but that was only ever really decoration, not a design. That's as close to a gimmick as I've ever had, though. A little shiney stuff makes a page look good! Glass and chrome, baby!