How a failed book led to the creation of a new blogging platform
Claudio Gandelman wanted to write a book. He had been asked to write something about online dating and romance ever since he became the chief executive of Match.com Latin America, and so he reached out to a friend in publishing who might be able to help him get this book published. The only problem was Gandelman's writing, which would have to be heavily revised by a ghost writer before a book would even become a real possibility. He decided to shelve the project and, like so many other writers whose writing wasn't quite fit to print, decided to turn to the Web.
"And then I start to realize, if people decide to write something online, how do they do that? And of course the obvious answer was that they create a blog," Gandelman says. He didn't want to do that, largely because the idea of maintaining and consistently updating a personal blog proved to be too daunting. So he founded Teckler, a publishing platform that allows its users to pseudonymously post text, video, music, and images to pre-defined categories already populated by content from other users. Now, a month after launch and 500,000 unique visitors later, Teckler is announcing that it has partnered with PayPal Latin America to make it easier to pay its users for the ads it sells against their content.
Through the partnership, Teckler's users will be paid 70 percent of the revenues drawn from ads sold against their content. The service sells and manages the ads itself, keeps a 30 percent cut -- "the Apple model," as Gandelman puts it, referring to Apple's cut of the revenues drawn from items sold in its marketplaces -- and will then use PayPal to send users their due. "This partnership has essentially turned PayPal into a micro-payments platform," Gandelman says. Teckler users will be able to sign up for PayPal directly through the service, and the payments processor will not take its usual cut from each transaction.
Gandelman's goal for Teckler is to create a new, "democratic" way of blogging that allows its users to post whatever they want as whoever they want while still getting paid for their efforts. They don't have to worry about what their blog looks like, which service they should use to host the site, or having to constantly post new content so their blog doesn't go stale. And, since Teckler is making its money by selling ads against all of the stuff they're posting, those users might as well be able to make a bit of money too, right?
Teckler is the product of Gandelman's desire to write a book and the subsequent turn to the Web when he and his friend realized that wouldn't happen without a ghost writer. It's also the product of his own frustration with Web publishing tools and the realization that if he had written the book he might have made a bit of money, which convinced him that he should allow Teckler's users to make a bit of cash as well. Maybe it's a good thing -- at least for Teckler's users, of whom Gandelman says 17,000 have already received some form of payment -- that book never made it to print.