Thursday, January 6, 2011

If you appreciate my stuff, now you can flattr me!

As faithful visitors of my blog may have noticed (do I even have any of those anymore - isn't it all driven by google reader, facebook and twitter?), I have added some colorful buttons in the sidebar and beneath each post.

The first of these are for a peculiar community called "Flattr". I hope to add some others as well, and tidy up the blog, but I feel a bit locked up in blogspot and of course as they say - the children of the shoemaker walks in the worst shoes. Anyway, Flattr is a voluntary community based on that people are willing to give away a constant pretty small amount of money every month, a "flat-rate", to things they appreciate online, which they want to "flatter". Get a better introduction to it here, in this excellent video:

Honestly, I'm participating in this experiment without a serious hope of breaking even, and I would suggest that so should you. I don't think I am the type of content producer to amass people's appreciation like that, but regardless, it is important to realize that the Internet is participatory, and every attempt to reward that should be encouraged. That's actually an interesting threshold - that mainly people who at least are producing some type of content online will be motivated to try to gain something and thus also contribute themselves.

As I discussed recently with a friend, the Flattr model has a number of weaknesses, for instance that it is so completely voluntary, the entry threshold is significant, you only have the option to give one Flattr click not more if you really like something, and finally the incentive to raise your commitment above the basic 2€ per month is way too weak. Overall thought, it would seem, as Chris Anderson would express it, that the routines for charging for close-to-zero-marginal-cost content are still completely under-developed in the economy. I will be very excited to see that development truly happen.

Finally, I think those offline flattr (also IRL-flattr) things seem adorably nerdy, would love to see some innovative use-cases of them!

I hope to have the opportunity to write a bit more about the dynamics of flattr later, stay tuned.

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