Flattr subscriptions and Popularity Dance

One of the lesser known features of Flattr is the ability to subscribe to a Thing. It’s a simple way of donating to something over a longer period of time without having to remember to do it manually.

It’s great if you’re a regular user of free software, listen to podcasts, enjoy political analysis of a blogger or want to support your favorite indie band until they make it big and start selling out football stadiums.

How do I subscribe to something?

1. First flattr it as normal.
2. The button now changes and you have three options – subscribe, Tweet about your flattr or write about it in Facebook.
3. Click the subscribe button and you’ll be given three choices – 3 months, 6 months, a whole year.
4. Pick your period and that’s it.

You can later check your subscriptions on your Dashboard where you can also extend or cancel them.

Close to 11.000 active subscriptions show that peeps like the feature, hope you give it a try.

The Popularity Dance – what’s that?

Just once a month subscription features helps to reveal what are really the most popular Things on Flattr. Here’s how:

Our catalog uses something called decay algorithm to constantly recalculate the order of things in categories. If a Thing gets a few flattrs in quick succession it gains “heat” and goes up in the listings but then starts to lose “heat” as time starts to pass.

It’s a pretty clever way of making sure that the same content doesn’t always top the categories making them boring.

All the subscriptions “fire” at the same time in the beginning of each month and for a short while the listings in categories show the real popularity of content that people value enough to subscribe to. A real Popularity Dance, if you will.

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8 Responses to Flattr subscriptions and Popularity Dance

  1. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature :P

  2. Marco says:

    Neat feature! Does that work for the wordpress plugins as well? If so, does it work for all the buttons or only the big one?

    I ask because we are about to launch a language learning web-service and I plan to offer at least part of the content as donation-ware (probably via flattr) Since right now our site (www.gengora.de) uses a wordpress backend having the plugin support the new features would be a great way for content creators to get the word out (twitter, facebook) or get some loyal flattrers.

    PS: Our service is targeting Japanese users and flattr is really well known over there, so I hope that we can help spread the word! :)

  3. Siim Teller says:

    @Marco – It’s possible to subscribe to any Thing (even your comment here) so if you can add a button to it, people can subscribe.

    Japan sounds exciting – keep us posted how it goes.

  4. Marco says:

    @Siim Teller – That’s great to hear, thanks for the effort on your side :)

    About Japan: Interestingly micropayment systems are pretty common in Japan nowadays. They have become popular years ago through heavy mobile phone usage. We are looking into making our website and thereby the plugin more mobile-friendly. Since the Japanese market is still dominated by non-smartphones (mostly using NOKIA’s Symbian platform) we (that’s team gengora) need to come up with something to reach those users.

  5. onny says:

    Thank you guys for enabling the ‘unclaimed’ and ‘everything’ categories, I really missed them ;) Now it’s getting really interesting to find new things on Flattr!

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