User generated content can generate cash, but typically not a lot of cash.
Adsense, Yahoo! Publisher Network, Amazon Affiliate Program, Feedburner, Commission Junction, and a host of other services are happy to pay you for the right to put ads or links on your pages.
But the amount of money that results is usually not enough to quit your day job.
I give my blogging revenues away to charity. It makes me feel good. But even that has its issues. If the money is sent to me directly, I get a 1099 and generally have to pay taxes on the money I am giving away. I can take a deduction for that money, but there are limitations on the deductions and I get hosed by the IRS for doing something good.
This morning, as I was blogging and doing email, I was listening to Radio Paradise, a listener supported internet radio station. I was hit with the urge to direct all the money I make on Yahoo! Publisher Network for the next month to Radio Paradise. It was too hard, so I didn’t do it. I sent them cash via paypal instead.
What I want is a place I can send all the money I am getting from these various services to. I don’t want to pay taxes on that money unless I ultimately take it down personally. I want to be able to send that money anywhere I want, to my blog host provider, to my podcast host provider, to charity, to Radio Paradise, or anywhere else that I feel like it should go.
It would be great if PayPal or someone else could build this. I’d use it
UPDATE: On my bike ride this morning, I thought some more about this and figured out that PayPal was already halfway there to creating this virtual bank account I want. Feedburner currently pays via PayPal. If Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, CJ, and other third party networks would support a PayPal payment option, I’d basically have what I need except for the tax implications which would remain a nuisance.