E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Magnatune works

The innovative online music label Magnatune (which I mentioned once before) does things differently. They offer unrestricted streams of all their music (not just snippets), have a voluntary sliding price scale, and offer DRM-free downloads in multiple formats including patent-free Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. It's easy to love this as a consumer, but to many business analysts it sounds untenable. Today I came across an academic paper that validates the Magnatune model:

The paper analyzes the behavior of customers of the online music label Magnatune... We develop a model that is based on reciprocal theories of social preferences pioneered by Rabin (1993) and extended by Dufwenberg and Kirchsteiger (2004)... The predictions of our model are empirically tested with the field data we obtained.

Comprehensive pre-purchase access at Magnatune supports music discovery and sets it apart from conventional online music stores. We conclude that this open contracts design encourages people to make a voluntary payment. The results of our empirical analysis validate this, as the average payment is $8.20, far more than the minimum of $5 and even higher than the recommended price of $8.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

0 comments pending approval
Comments are closed for this post. But I welcome questions/comments via email or Twitter.