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    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2010
    On this forum, there are a lot of people with blogs, webcomics, music and pictures that they give to the people of the interwebnets. We do this for free, and that's a nice thing. We like free things, don't we?

    Sometimes, you'll have Paypal donation buttons or even a merch store, but we all know that unless you're really popular or incredibly charming, that'll hardly even amount to trickle funding.

    BUT! Let's say people could come to your site, see a post/song/picture/video they liked that you made, and they could simply click a button next to it to give you a bit of money for that post.

    Furthermore, let's say that if you went to someone's site and saw some content you liked, you could give that person one piece of your monthly "allowance" (2 euros and up) with a simple click of a button.

    Wouldn't this be nice? The content would still be free, but if you really appreciated what people did, you could give them a bit of money from a pool you set aside each month to support people who give content away for free.

    Well, that's what Flattr is. Here's a video that explains it in a less convoluted, obtuse manner:
    This Is Flattr

    I think this is a fantastic idea, and it's something that's been missing from the web. I don't have the money to support all the people I like online with loads of money all the time, but I do have the 2 euro they ask as a minimum a month to distribute among them. Sure, it might not add up to much from ME, but if I flattr a bit of writing by Ginja, and five others do as well, that adds up to SOMETHING.

    Now, in the beginning, this is probably a bit of a circlejerk as a group of friends registers together and gives each other flattrs, nilling the overall effect for them all. However, there's always someone from outside that group that will read one person's blog, etc, and that is how it's spread and that's when it becomes interesting. I'm sure a lot of people here on this forum could end up doing a lot better than simply breaking even. (EVERYONE pays at least 2 euros a month, no exceptions, which is kind of nice and democratic.)

    They're in a sort of "beta" right now, so you need an invite code to join. I was given one for just mentioning it on Twitter, though, and you can register for an invite code on the site. I have three invite codes I can give to friends, so let me know if you're interested and I'll send you one.

    10% of the money goes to flattr themselves, which I think is fair enough.
  1.  (8399.2)
    Flattr is a project started by Peter Sunde, one of the guys behind the Pirate Bay. He has no respect for intellectual property rights or content creators. He makes money by selling merchandise and advertising on a web site that helps people NOT pay for content. He spread his server network across the globe to ensure that after his own country convicted him the criminal enterprise couldn’t be shut down.

    Why would anyone trust him to actually run a legitimate payment service? If Peter Sunde had any respect for content creators nobody would even know who he is. Now he’s trying to use his infamy to con people into helping him set up a content payment system that he can skim from. He’s trying to set up a mob-run casino, but online, where nobody can catch him ripping off all the little guys whose work isn’t being stolen on the Pirate Bay. Nobody is going to make any more money from Flattr than they did from Flooz, Beanz, eDinar, or the other bullshit web payment systems that Sunde is hoping have been forgotten.
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2010 edited
    Yes, James has this one right.

    Even ignoring the questionable motives of it's creators, as a class, micropayment systems just don't seem to be psychologically viable. Internet memory is appallingly short in this regard. Micropayments haven't been missing from the web, they have been tried and faceplanted again and again and again.

    Clay Shirky provided a pretty solid case against their viability all the way back in 2000. He has not yet been proved wrong.

    Flattr is particularly appalling at first glance in that you have to pay into your account a flat rate monthly fee, from which Flattr will right off take 10%. THEN, you can only make micropayments to people who have installed a Flattr button. No Flattr button, no payment possible. And even if there is a button, and you do click it, you DON'T get to decide how much of your balance that person gets. Flattr just tallies up how many times you've clicked each month, then at the END of the month, it divides whatever money happens to be in your account by the number of times you clicked and distributes that tiny dividend to each recipient of a click.

    Do you see what they did there? The more clicks you spread around, the LESS money it is possible for you to gift. So, the MORE you consume, the LESS it is even possible for you to pay. Click 100 times and each recipient will get less than a penny per dollar in your account, because remember they've already taken 10 cents off of each dollar from the start.

    And they have to wait until the end of the month to even see it.

    It's a tip jar than manages to be both inconvenient and insulting.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2010
    I've been thinking about using Flattr, but so far I've shied away from the flat fee. A sytem that takes a percentage out of whatever money I get out of it is fine with me, but a system that rquires up-front payment before maybe, just maybe, paying off... let's just say I'm cautious.

    I like the general idea, though. Keeping an eye on it.

    And never mind the Pirate Bay relation. That doesn't necessarily make it a scam.
    • CommentAuthorn8br
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
    Yeah. I remember when McCloud predicted micropayments changing everything for webcomics 10 years ago. Looks like popular and charming is still the best way to get chumps to give you their money.

    Speaking of, which of you chaps is interested in buying some T-shirts, the currency of artists!
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
    T-shirts, the currency of artists!

    Requesting this quote in form of t-shirt.