Google launches Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers

Bitcoin micropayments would work really well here.

Gigaom

[company]Google[/company] often gets criticized by publishers for taking their content without asking them first, but the web giant has probably done more to experiment with alternative monetization options for content than any other media entity. On Thursday it starts rolling out a new one called Google Contributor, which is designed to allow web users to pay sites that they visit a monthly fee, and in return see no Google ads when they visit those sites.

Google said the new feature is launching with 10 publishing partners, including Mashable, Imgur, WikiHow and Science Daily. When a user goes to the Google Contributor website (initial access is by invitation only), they see a list of the publishers that are participating in the beta version and they can choose whether they want to contribute $1, $2 or $3 a month.

The contribution — which is handled through a user’s Google account, using whatever…

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