Tim Pritlove is definitely the poster child to show that Flattr works. Tim is one of our high end users; he makes up to 2000€ a month via Flattr. He came to attention the first time when I saw him on imflattrd.com with having 600 people supporting him.
He’s been a full time podcaster for 2.5 years, but he’s been building up a solid listener base over the past 6 years. As we can see having a solid userbase that already supports you and then supplying them with a simple tool to support you with donations is a great reciepe for success!
We felt it was about time to have a chat with Tim and present him a bit more to you here on FlattrChattr.
15 years ago he started doing radio, Chaosradio. The CCC, Chaos Computer Club the worlds largest hacking community, had accepted an offer for a monthly radio show. This is where his interest for broadcasting started. About 6 years ago, almost 10 years later it was time to move on to a freer format and dive into Podcasting. This was the kind of opportunity he’d been waiting for.
He called his show Chaosradio Express, in honor of Chaosradio. The show wasn’t supposed to be a copy, but is a definite child of the original show. Here he found his own niche.
He currently has 5 projects; Chaosradio Express, mobileMacs, Not Safe for Work, Der Lautsprecher and the Lunatic Fringe. He’s also part of a few other projects (productions). One in particular is The Raumzeit podcast, a project launched together with ESA (European Space Agency) and DLR (Deutches Zentrum für Luft and Raumfahrt – The German Space Agency). The format of the show is a copy of the Chaosexpress, which shows how open development and free use can yield awesome stuff.
You can find all his projects via his homepage.
Tim explained to me that “Flattr is about Sharing the love, and without the love there probably won’t be any sharing”. There’s a special connection between a podcaster and their listeners. It is a lot more personal, since you can hear the host’s voice, than say between a blogger and its readers, where there’s a more intellectual connection. Even if there’s still love between them.
A talkshow like podcast becomes like a soap opera, you’re always waiting for the next crazy thing the guys are going to do. This was suggested on mobileMacs, that there should almost be a “Previously on: (Lost)” segment in the beginning of the show. One of their listeners made that for a few shows. Followers on Twitter showed their appreciation and Tim decided that “hey, this new Flattr a Twitter account feature is awesome for this”, and solemnly just added the guys twitter account to Flattr, and he’s now gotten more than 35€ for bringing that to the table.
When Tim is out traveling and out on events he always tries to meet up with his listeners and have a chat with them. The subject of Flattr comes up once in a while, where they often tell him that Flattr was just what they’ve been looking for in order to give their support. The urge to give back has been there for a long time, and Flattr is the easy way of doing it. The next one you want to support is only one click away.
When Tim started using Flattr he didn’t think it would catch on so fast. He didn’t think that he’d actually be able to turn things around and only work with commercial projects 10% of the time, instead of the 90% time that he’d usually would be required to with normal donation forms. Tim says that the thing with donations is that you constantly have to remind your supporters about it, but Flattr works completely different. Its subscription feature helps users donate on a regular basis without too much hassle.
In Germany money is a sensitive subject, reporting that you earn more than what you’d earn from “normal job” is generally frowned upon. Tim has solved this by clearly showing his supporters what he accomplishes with the money he receives from fans: building up his podcast studio and producing more stuff.
Flattr isn’t Tim’s only source of income, but it does make up between one third and three fifths of his total income, which effectively shifts his attention to community podcasts instead of more contracted projects.
Being a dedicated Flattr evangelist Tim has a lot of ideas for future features on Flattr, that he can’t help it but share with me during the interview. The one he feels most strongly about is allowing of a notification system, preferably via email for expiring subscriptions.
First photo is by Joi Ito licensed under a Creative Commons attribution license.
Second photo is via Tim Pritlove