Give to get – Flattr

I’m not usually big on “I can haz money nao?” buttons and links on sites. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t object to them per se, but I’ve never seen the need to put any up on my own site. I don’t do this to get money and — to be blunt — I doubt I’d make much anyway.

That said, Arkenor (him again!) found a potentially fun way to get while giving — check it out, he’s got a video and everything. It’s a new, er, thingy (technical term) from some Swedish guys and it’s called Flattr. I gather it’s only in beta right now, but the basic principle is you put a certain amount into a kitty each month, and when you find content you like that has a Flattr button, you can click said button and give the place a thumbs-up. At the end of the month the flat amount you put in is divided by the number of “I like this!” Flattrs you gave. Conversely, if you have a button on your site, people can Flattr you.

What’s nice about this is that you can choose what to give and when, and people can choose to do the same to you. I doubt this is a get rich quick scheme, but I like the basic idea of being able to give — and get — props. Ego stroking is all very nice, but ego-stroking plus a few pennies or cents is even better.

I’m going to put one of those Flattr linky things on here, if I can figure out how (probably not until they let me into the beta, I suspect). I’ve applied for the beta — and no, not just because I’m a beta ho! — just to see what becomes of this. Barter appeals to me, and this is essentially just a form of approval-barter. Not a bad idea at all.

7 thoughts on “Give to get – Flattr

  1. Interesting… but doesn’t it tie profitability into a popularity contest? Mightn’t that have a deleterious effect on content as motivation changes?

    …then again, perhaps the magnitude of what we’re talking about here isn’t enough to matter. *shrug*

    1. Sure, it sort of does, but isn’t that life in general? Books that are popular sell more (or vice versa), same with movies, food, whatever.

      As a way to give tangible props to content you like on the net, though, it’s preferable to me than just throwing up a “Donate!” button on my site. I like the mutuality of it.

  2. I like revenue models like this, even if they end up not working out. I believe the correct term for this model is “freemium,” which is something akin to convoluted donations. There was a business last year that started up here in Portland called Contenture that had a very similar plan. Sadly, they are already out of business.

  3. Looks interesting as it in non-obtrusive.

    I think it can indeed affect content, but in a good way. If I made some money off of my site, I’d be much more willing to put money into it for better software and services.

    1. I’m mostly just thinking of Syncaine and his Darkfall kick. He was an unabashed fan before setting up an endorsement deal, but when he has a revenue stream based on endorsing a product, it will inevitably color his views… or at least what is published. Whether or not that’s a bad thing is perhaps debatable, but I’ve noted a marked difference between things people publish for the love of writing and the things they publish for love of popularity and/or profit.

      1. That’s certainly true, but I think that’s been a paid/unpaid issue for a long time. I’m hoping the difference with this will be it’s mostly a pushme-pullyou thing — sure, some (many?) will use it as a popularity contest, but that’s already the case with blogs (“I have X many readers and you don’t, so my views are necessarily more right/accurate/weighty/whatever!). But since you have to be participating in order to be able to *get* props as well as give them (if I understand the intent correctly), maybe it’ll be more mutual.

        I dunno. Any such system can be worked or abused. You see it in MMOs all the time — “refer a friend for bonuses” becomes ‘refer myself for power levelling/goodies” and so on. It’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Anything can potentially be (and usually is) abused.

        We’ll see.

        (Edited to add — it sure as hell isn’t going to change what I write. Mostly because I expect I’d never get paid enough for it to make a difference! ;))

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