“How Much Would You Pay To See A Photo Of Ryan Lochte’s Alleged Penis?” begs a headline on the irreverent sports blog, Deadspin. The post, which went up a little over an hour ago, is illustrated by a photo of Gawker Media employees clustered around a computer screen looking (and laughing) at an alleged photo of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s penis.
The pic, which is “a neck-down bathroom-mirror self-portrait, in which the tip of the penis almost but not quite reaches into the sink basin,” was provided by a source, who is demanding a fee. Deadspin has decided to start a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, probably because Kickstarter doesn’t consider dickpics “art” (subjective!).
Unable to decide just how valuable a photo of Ryan Lochte’s penis might be–both in cold hard cash and cold hard pageviews–the editors of Deadspin put the question to a crowdfunding test:
Do you want to see Ryan Lochte’s alleged penis? Rather than bidding on some hypothetical market value of the photograph, let’s establish a real market value. Call it Cockstarter: Our offer price will be whatever you collectively pledge to the cause, plus a contribution from our own budget. Based on your pledges, we will make a final determination on the photo by next week.
We decided to reach out to ff Venture Capital partner and Indiegogo investor David Teten to gauge his opinion on this important story.
“The adult content industry is suffering because of a surplus of free content,” Mr. Teten told Betabeat via gChat. “That implies the market value of this photo is near-zero; creating an equivalent photo in Photoshop would take 1 minute.”
“That said, I think the management team at Fitocracy should support this Indiegogo project, and perhaps hire Ryan Lochte,” he added.
Additional reporting provided by Nitasha Tiku.