Buzz is all around

The buzz has about Flattr has really started. Everyone wants to join and we would love it if we could do that like yesterday. We can’t run as fast as you people want us to right now, but we are trying to catch up!

We feel the love from all of you and we are psyched about all you people who want a system to help you pay for the things you love, even though you get them for free today.

You flattr us!

15 thoughts on “Buzz is all around

  1. Isn’t this the perfect method to transfer money below the radar of goverments to save taxes/ finance shady buisness? Will there be any protection against abuse of this system?

  2. Hello to you all at flattr; let me tell you have all my support. Is there a way yet to suggest localizations? I’d be happy to see flattr in french so that it could grow here too.

    Good question Ed.

    Bye and keep us aware :]

  3. @Ed: You have a good point there, Flatter will most likely have exactly the same issue as Poker sites do, i.e. a superb way to make funds stolen from credit cards superbly hard to trace.

    Off the top of my head, a good way to prevent this on design level would be to make the maximum allowed monthly amount that you can put into account very low, say 5€, which would make this kind of fraud a hassle.

    Another way would be a grace period for accounts before they are activated for payment, or require activation by phone before any payment is made – this could be automated by integrating services like Twilio.

  4. Eagerly waiting for my beta invite! I really hope this actually catches on and my own favorite sites and content creators actually use it! As well as their fans, too!

  5. Re: Ed
    If anything, it will be difficult to finace shady buisness through Flattr. Because, unlike cash, Flattr transactions will be possible to be traced, I imagine it will anyway. And the recipients will probably be responsible to handle tax issues if they receive enough money, just like they would have with an ordinary bank transfer.

  6. Keep it up! It really sounds like a fair and innovative idea, i love it and can’t wait to try it out :)

  7. It is a really strong symbol that this initiative comes from the people behind The Pirate Bay. I hope you’ll have success and I can’t way to be part of the cultural economy again !

    You are the missing piece of the new cultural system. Cheers !

  8. Please blog about your progress more often ;)

    I would hazard you have a high number of nerds following your blog – so even notices of the development progress (bugs? code restructurings? software technology? hardware technology? etc etc etc) is of high interest!

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Well this sounds like a really great idea! I can’t wait to start using it! Hope you have some new updates for us…

    Assuming your rates aren’t too high, I’m definitely subscribing!

  10. i think its a great idea, but it definitely needs to be polished, since there are many ways such a system, could be exploited.

    @viking@

  11. I’m very intrigued by your idea, but I will have to see more to form any solid opinions about it — “The devil’s in the details.”

    I’ve been involved as an observer, commenter, consumer, and producer of free culture content since about 2000, and there are some things about about Flattr that I wonder if you’ve thought of (ideas to consider as you design and improve Flattr)…

    Although I think there are many people who want to donate to free culture projects, to do it through Flattr, they must first sign up. This commitment will immediately cast what was a “gift decision” into an “exchange decision” mindset, and they will of course ask themselves “what am I getting for joining this service?”

    The solution is to provide some kind of member-service “draw.” It could be as simple as an announcements list or a venue for seeing the success of artists using Flattr (it’s well documented that donors are more responsive when they can see the direct results of their donations). But there should be something. It needn’t be “worth” the cost of joining — the user will still see their membership primarily as about supporting artists. They’ll want to feel good about doing that — the purpose of the incentive is mostly to give them a sense of belonging to that group. It’s a social incentive.

    Also, of course, you should give users flexibility in how much they pay. Clearly you’ll need some minimum to cover fixed costs, but it should be low, so as to encourage broad participation. Then you should provide steps up to much higher levels. Some few people (or foundations) may want to contribute hundreds of dollars per month to artists, most won’t want to spend more than they do on video rentals.

    Also, the simple “even pie slices” model is okay, but it carries some problems. Some users may not want to dilute the donation to their favorites and may withhold contributions to works they are only a little interested in. It would be helpful to be able to edit the “slices” on the Flattr site. Or to have some other means of control — for example, what happens when you click on the Flattr icon for a work twice? Do they get a double slice? That might be all that’s required. Users will of course want to be able to look at where their money is going, too — presumably you’ll already have provided an account view with this information.

    Even though it might seem like a no-brainer, artists may also not immediately appreciate the point of joining Flattr. After all, until you’ve got some users, the “pot” is going to be awfully small, so they may not see the advantage over just creating a PayPal link on their own site.

    Artists have another problem too — free culture works are not always by one artist or even by an organized group. This can create some unintentional friction if one person is holding the “hat” to accept donations — how does that get distributed among contributors? For many projects this is easy, but for a few, it’s a nightmare. And many artists are poor accountants.

    A frequently-needed feature, then, is an adjustable “pie” that can be used to automatically distribute contributions according to some agreed-upon formula to selected contributors. Of course, a project could handle that internally. But if you could make it easy, that might be another draw for artists to sign up.

    Good luck with this project, it sounds VERY promising!

  12. @Terry
    I’m with you on the allowing multiple clicks thing. That affords a bit more control to the viewer, and encourages content creators to not only put out work with broad appeal, but also work of high quality.

    I’m also thinking, though, that there’s no reason an artist couldn’t just use both flattr and paypal donations. Even if, at its start, flattr is quite small, there’s really no reason NOT to add the widget beneath your work. Flattr shifts the profit model so that advertisement/sharing is profitable, and if someone REALLY LURVES your work, you can let them paypal you all the money they want. Seems just about perfect to me.

  13. @Christian,
    Yes, there’s no reason and every likelyhood that individual composers (like me) will have more than one donation/payment option on their site. I think it’s up to the composer to handle that, and have flattr as one of a collection of options, if they so choose.

    Alex.

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