Flattr – It’s like digital busking

I really like the idea of Flattr.

It’s a micropayment system that allows you to make a small donation in appreciation of content you value. You set up a monthly amount to donate and at the end of the month that amount is divided between all the things you flattered.

There are three things I particularly like about this:

  1. ‘Like’ doesn’t distinguish.  We need differing degrees of ‘like’. Just today I clicked ‘like’ on a mildly-amusing comment made by a friend in response to someone else’s even-less-mildy-amusing Facebook status update.  But I also clicked ‘like’ on one of this wonderful series of articles by Nathan Rabin for AV Club. My first ‘like’ was for something completely inconsequential. My second was for a piece that gave me a great of pleasure, taught me something new about a band I thought I already knew well, and was clearly the result of a great deal of work and a lifetime’s enthusiasm. They don’t qualify for the same kind of ‘like’. And Flattr acknowledges this.
  2. I also like the image of digital busking, because that is sort of what blogging feels like.   You write something, throw it out there, and see if someone passing by likes it.  If they do they can throw a little something in your hat. It’s encouragement, but, importantly, it’s encouragement that might buy you a beer.
  3. I also really like the community of it.  To be flattered, you have to be a flatterer.  You have to be giving money in order to receive it.  There is, by and large, something nicely collegial about the blogging community.  But this adds another supportive dimension to it.

There’s a video that explains it in more detail here.

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Flattr – It’s like digital busking

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