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My questions are now:
1) Do you have any experience with such a revenue model?
2) How would you let your users/customers preview the content?
3) How would you have google and other SEs index your restricted content?
Thanks a lot for your help, Sven
2) additionally to what Dootch already said, you could give out free test accounts valid for a day or two, if the user base is small enough to handle that
3) definitely let the SEs index, how else would the users find you and know that you have interesting stuff.
Do an IP-based check for google/yahoo/msn and let them in as if they are users. There should be no cache-problem if you use the NOARCHIVE tag, all 3 SEs seem to respect this. With google, you may additionally experiment with the NOSNIPPET tag.
I'll also provide a preview area, where users can see what the content round about looks like (e.g. abstracts, but no pictures, etc...).
I'm also thinking of using paypals "payment-pro". It seems nice to have the ability to charge credit cards without the user leaving our website. That usually leaves a professional overall impression with the user.
Also if users want, they can pay with paypal directly, which is a nice advantage over other payment gateway providers. But I'll see. I'm not there yet. I still have months ahead of me producing tons of quality content. :)