A post to our penpals Dan and Marco across the pond

This is a response to a response to a response to Dan Benjamin and Marco Arment who have now talked about Flattr twice on their Build & Analyze podcast. Feel free to read on even if you’re not Dan or Marco.

Go and listen to their latest episode, the bit about Flattr starts around 17 minute mark.

First of all, our intention was never to put Marco and Dan on the spot and we also weren’t offended by their first show. Quite the contrary, who doesn’t like being talked about? :)

Nothing said on the show was really incorrect but it nicely highlighted issues and some misconceptions that are common among our (potential) customers. Apologies if we came off accusing you guys, that was never the intention.

We loved the “bum cup” analogy and it did get mentioned many times in our own video because it’s a very common argument against using Flattr. Even if Dan and Marco don’t think Flattr is a bum cup plenty others do and it was a good chance to address that topic.

No, we didn’t plan on the PR

The rejection of Instacast over Flattr integration wasn’t anything we planned to blow up into this global news. In fact, we hadn’t even consider it would get outside our own community and the server our blog runs on crashed an hour after we posted the story.

The plan was simple – inform our users what happened and why Flattr was removed from Instacast. It was the most popular tool with Flattr integration and we knew our users had those questions.

Having said that, we don’t like that some big company can dictate what you can/cannot do on a platform as big as iOS and we want to fight the fight ourselves and not leave 3rd party developers punch it out on their own.

Invisible micropayments everywhere

The auto-flattr feature in Instacast (every podcast you listen to is quietly flattred in the background) was much loved by us and our users as it was the perfect way of “paying for free”. You set a budget and rest happens automagically as you consume content.

Marco, what if you did let people do the same via Instapaper? Using Instapaper on a web page could also trigger a small voluntary payment in the background. Boom! What if a music service would use us in a similar transparent manner instead of secret deals where big labels get more than the small ones per stream?

This is a darn great way of giving back to creativity, we’d love Apple to take part, work with us on a user friendly way forward.

PS. There’s a minimum €10 to withdraw money, it seems a sensible level but we’re open to review it. You can always give all of your revenue back to others via Flattr.

Oh, and it was myself (Linus, co-founder of Flattr) and Siim, our community manager, in that video.

3 thoughts on “A post to our penpals Dan and Marco across the pond

  1. I don’t think the auto flattr in the background is such a good idea – I prefer to flattr only the content that I liked, not all that I read/listen/etc.

  2. @Cyber Killer: Then don’t use it.
    I do like the auto flattr feature in Instacast because its the most comfortable way to support my favourite podcasts. Also I usually donÄt listen to podcasts I don’t like, so that’s not an issue.

  3. What Marcel says here is quite right, Cyber Killer.

    There’s no force behind using any auto-flattr mechanism, as there’s no force to use subscriptions.
    which opens up the option to both those who like it and those who don’t.

    I’d love to be able to flattr everything I feel I’m consuming, and am making an effort to flattr as much as I can, not matter if they are signed up or not. This includes flattring twitter accounts or tweets of people, to get around certain things. It’s quite a hassle and sometimes I forget about it.

    Just the other day I told Per, who’s both been working with Flattr and on his own Youtify, that I’d love it if Youtify could auto-flattr songs I listened to on Soundcloud through it. With a simple way to turn on and off.

    Now I need to listen to Dan and Marco’s response. (From what I read here, I understand their reaction because I sort of reacted similar to it.. :P)

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