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Creative types have a new option for turning their efforts into income online. Open Salon, now out of private beta, allows anyone to post their work after a quick registration.

Those posts can earn money, but unlike Google's new Knol, income doesn't come from ads. Instead, readers can click a small button to tip the writer through a system called Tippem.

Top-notch posts could get an Editor's Pick tag and front-page promotion.  The home page also features the most read and top rated recent posts.

Salon says it will call out for posts on particular topics, and that it is "always looking for original content (words, images or video) that fit the following categories: politics, personal memoir, images (photographs, illustrations, cartoons, etc.), first-person accounts, television, movies and books."

The current front-page posts fit those themes, with items such as an MSNBC video clip (via YouTube) titled "Limbaugh: Blame Elizabeth Edwards' smart mouth," and a written post titled "Olympics or porn?" There's a good deal of topical news commentary along with creative works.

By contrast, featured articles on Google's Knol are (so far) typically scholarly guide-type postings, such as "Origin of the Solar System"  or "Jaw Fractures." Authoritative articles about a specific topic, as Google's definition of knol states.

I'm interested to see how both these post-for-pay sites fare, but I have one minor bone to pick. Salon describes the current site as a public beta, with a hoped-for official launch later this year. Seriously, enough with the CYA qualifier. If a site is open to the public, it's version 1.0. That goes for you too, Gmail.

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