Weekly Review: Ideas worth spreading

Out of ideasIdeas about

No, unfortunately TED hasn’t joined Flattr yet. And actually we’re not out of ideas, we found loads of them which are worth spreading. Prepare yourself, for this week we have longer articles for you, but they’re all well worth reading.  First in the line is from Bakor, our intern, who has some advice in terms of web presence: My Two Cents Worth for Artist On The Web

The next article won my heart for this week. Amanda DeMarco was already featured in our Review with her article about a flattry Internet Utopia, and now she’s discussing micropayments in a very clever and neutral way: Are Voluntary Micropayments a Solution for Digital Content?

You can kind of answer that here, but maybe it’s not fair to send enthusiastic Flattr users into this survey, so I’ll just highlight the fact that it exists: How Much Would You Pay to Read an Article Online? I’m missing an option between 50 cents and Nothing; I believe that is a big part of Flattr transactions (even thought we are talking about dollars here).

Different ideas

Not everyone welcomes the idea of Flattr, and however it’s painful to see, if you dare to look, read this post from gagagadget : Flattr: Flat Rate Flattery

I also found a comment thread about Flattr where people are rather sceptical, however there are many misunderstandings there which may lead to most of their frustration: Flattr, The best thing since sliced bread on Polycount Forum

To be (free) or not to be (free)

Searching for ‘micropayments’ now you’re most likely to get something about ITV to launch TV Micropayment System in January. It’s good to see this method spreading, and here are few of the positive reactions within the industry: Are consumers ready for micropayments? Some have different opinion about it, and after you’ve read both of them, we would be interested in yours!

I’ve been keeping an eye on Techdirt for a while now, and one of their recent articles discusses a very similar topic (as it usually does…) to the above. It highlights Felix Stalders writing about ‘Producing culture in a weak intellectual property environment’, with a conclusion that…oh wait, I won’t ruin it for you: Getting Past The Myth That Copyright Is Needed To Produce Content

Bad news

We’re living our (mostly) online life, thinking about micropayments and we only read about people who are fighting for their survival (and others who are trying to help them). The nutritional crisis is worsening in Somalia and several charities are there to help. Doctors Without Borders operates in the area and is “treating more than 10,000 severely malnourished children in its feeding centers and clinics”. Now you can show that micropayments are actually working by flattring Doctors Without Borders. The Red Cross is also maintaining a long-term support there, and you can flattr this charity as well.

By the way, what would you do if your favourite charity is not on Flattr yet?

And some good news

Kickstarter has reached their 10.000th successful project and they’ve shared some statistics about the last few months. Congrats to those guys!

Ok, it’s now your turn to share (pointing to those little icons under this post).


Image is from Flickr created by Markus Nielsen

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6 Responses to Weekly Review: Ideas worth spreading

  1. mattias0114 says:

    dont understand how can somebody dont like micropayment its great i love to give to what i like :)

  2. Ploum says:

    Mattias0114 > The problem is that this is currently a centralized process. Flattering can only happen between two Flattr users. Flattr has full control on it.

    This is huge, often under-estimated problem (see http://ploum.net/post/odd2011-en and also https://plus.google.com/118165493193465533929/posts/PaH3bBhakym ).

    I like Flattr a lot but, in the long term, it cannot work (or it will create a monopoly, which is not suitable).

    I even wrote a proposal for that : http://ploum.net/post/bitcoin-banking

    (sorry for all the links, I think they are relevants)

  3. mattias0114 says:

    Ploum > seems like we have different views on things i like flattr for the reason that you can donate with just a click and you can chose your self how mutch you whant to donate dont take me wrong i like bitcoins idea to ;) but i think flattr is the best why do give someting to somebody for there content thats just my opinion ;)

  4. Ploum says:

    mattias > bitcoin is only a “suggestion” but let’s forget bitcoin for now. The real problem for centralized network is that, whatever you try, you will never have everybody.

    We can fairly assume that everybody on the internet has a mail address. Most services require you to have a mail address. This was made possible because mail is decentralized. Nobody has full control over the email network.

    On the other hand, no matter how hard you try, you will never reach a critical mass with a centralized protocol. That means you cannot assume that someone has an account on a centralized protocol.

    And, in the very few cases where a single centralized protocol becomes dominant, it means that users are in danger because the owner of that protocol has too much power. MSN in its time, Facebook, some Google services (although Google showed great openness with stuffs like GTalk).

    I really like Flattr idea. I’m found of Flattr. But I realize that it can never reach a critical mass. Flattr cannot become the default micropayment solution. Even if it does, it would mean that Flattr will have way too much power and would become a dangerous player (like Paypal is).

    I don’t have the solution to this problem. I think that we have all to think about a way to bring decentralization to the wonderful paradigm of Flattr. Now, it’s up to Flattr to see if they want to be part of this progress or if they see it more as a possible competition they would want to avoid.

  5. @Ploum: I’m very much +1 to decentralization – but to decentralize one also needs to standardize and standardization is hard and often need to be preceded by implementations of the ideas to test and try what works and how. Only then can one chop it up into standardizable pieces.

    Some of our pieces has come further than others – identity and social activities have some interesting standards that are getting pretty mature while the area of money transactions are still kind of lacking (but also have interesting development like OpenTransact: http://www.opentransact.org/)

    We lately improved the site with better microformats so that it’s indexable in a social graph and I hope we will be able to do even more in the future.

  6. Ploum says:

    pelle > Yes, I agree. Something like transaction is still very young on the internet. And we cannot wait for everything to be standardized before starting to build stuffs.

    That’s why I like Flattr: they build stuffs. But I believe that we should already start to think about decentralization. It will be only experimental in the beginning but might be really interesting.

    But, of course, that’s only my 0,02€ opinion. I don’t bring any money and my opinion is just as valid as any other.