Following the example of Radiohead with In Rainbows, we are introducing today, among other improvements, our Extended Version, which is worth as much as anyone freely chooses.
We are glad to see how *faircompanies consolidates its place within the innovative and important (especially as we start the new decade) fields of sustainability, eco-information, cleantech and related topics.
The 10s of the current century will see the growth of sustainability. Some fields will boost creativity and will become a new potential market for entrepreneurs: cleantech, eco-technology, “Cradle-to-Cradle” design models, open source hardware, DIY quality hardware and software, green fashion, and similar ideas will gain prominence.
Also, we see the growth of new approaches to powerful ideas such as “happiness”, “the pursuit of happiness”, “animal rights”, or “the American dream”, among others. The concept “fairness” itself will grow in importance, we think, as it’s not the same to produce and consume in a sustainable way as it is to do it according to the models proposed when the world seemed infinite and full of “resources”.
Letting the tree grow healthy
*faircompanies wants to become a part of such changes, either trying to bring valuable insights to a conversation that will take place in the whole Internet, or bringing particular tools to be used during this new era of innovation and shape of new values in a world we share, now hopefully in a more understandable way regarding its connections, for those who, say, have watched Avatar by James Cameron or are begining to be interested in how powerful and convenient it could be to make a business as profitable to our pockets as it is to customers, stakeholders, stockholders (why not), society in general and, especially, to the biosphere. Or whatever we want to call it: our House, our Home, Gaia, simply the Earth.
We aim to provide a simple, yet powerful, website where anybody interested can find a way to create, access and/or share information and tools on “sustainability”, a term which may seem loose, but that we understand more and more, as we create and share our life and intellectual experiences through the web, mainly via *faircompanies.
The legendary fanzine from the 60s The Whole Earth Catalog tried to reach a growing audience of people interested in changing the world by taking important lifestyle decisions, inventing or sharing their experience on a wide range of topics, from permaculture to DIY mechanics or computing (in the 60s…). This fanzine was some sort of a Craigslist and a Google for their readers, before the Internet was invented.
We feel inspired by such projects. Now with the Internet, still somewhere where meritocracy, decentralization and openness play a big role, we think people can build a thousands of different, unique and innovative Whole Earth Catalog‘s on their own.
We hope our project, *faircompanies, gets better the same way trees gain strength, as American entrepreneur Jason Fried from 37Signals pointed out during a recent interview.
Doing business by doing good and being “fair”
*faircompanies also believes in the power of entrepreneurship and free market, so after delivering we decided to try to keep our independence as a project, and the best way to do so is to make the project *faircompanies as profitable as we can.
As a company, we embrace the same rules of profit and accountability (corporate social responsibility) the other companies do. When we decided to create *faircompanies, we had our mission clear: we wanted to provide high quality and handcrafted information and tools on sustainability, and we would try to do so by creating a private company, instead of an NGO.
The rules of the free market should work for projects that want to bring ecology and social responsibility to the global market. The more attractive and profitable eco-products and services are, the better and faster we think we can make the impact we want to our “community”, which is as global and unique as the decentralized idea of the Internet by itself.
What are we doing to try to guarantee our economic independence:
- we have integrated advertising in the website for the first time,
- and we provide as well an Extended Version of our services that will allow users who choose this option to disable completely the newly introduced ads, as well as some other interesting tools that will add value to their tasks performed on the site.
Advertising on *faircompanies
Now, users, visitors and anyone interested in advertising on *faircompanies will be able to do so.
We explain the advertising we accept and the channels anyone can use in order to target our audience in a meaningful and responsible way.
We will also keep our header advertising-free at all times, while we clearly delimitate the areas where advertising will be displayed, if accepted.
Those who prefer to target our website using Google Ad Planner and similar tools will be able to do so.
We will provide advertising channels targeting sections, resources by keyword (“tags”), as well as languages, countries, demographics, etcetera.
*faircompanies will provide access to its personal Ad Server, so campaigns will be transparent.
Introducing the “extended version” of *faircompanies (inspired by Radiohead)
Extended Version: we have created an Extended Version of our services. Users will still be able to sign up for free, while getting the fundamental tools we offer, including the ability to create and edit contents.
At the same time, we will continue offering access to all our contents, so no contents created by *faircompanies staff or users will be walled for the time being. Existing users, as well as newly registered users, though, will be able to apply for the extended version of the website.
Users who purchase the Extended Version of *faircompanies (available through the signing up process for new users, or as an upgrade on the subscription tab in settings for existing users), will have some additional preferences that will let them personalize their experience to a larger degree.
Users of the *faircompanies Extended Version will be able to:
- Publish their own content.
- See the site 100% advertising free.
- Activate the auto-translate option (content in other languages will be auto-translated).
- Enjoy extended video player settings (so they will be able to activate high-definition and more).
- They will be helping out our 100% self-funded project as well. And this is a reason by itself.
How much is the *faircompanies Extended Version? As much as you would like to pay
We have followed with interest new approaches to provide new value to our customers and we believe in the “fairness” of those visitors who want to decide how much they want to pay for our Extended Version.
So, inspired in the on-line promotion action taken by the British group Radiohead to sell In Rainbows, their seventh studio album, we will also let our customers decide to “pay what they want”. Literally.
So anyone can either register in *faircompanies for free or choose the “pay what you want” option in order to use the Extended Version of the site.
The “pay what you want” option is available for new visitors and existing users, so anyone can feel comfortable and free enough to upgrade/downgrade from our Free Version to our Extended Version.