Once upon a time many blogs ago I briefly entertained the idea of soliciting donations. I chickened out pretty quickly, but starting today I’m trying something similar yet altogether new.
Unlike a mere PayPal button Flattr is a micropayment system that’s pay-for-play — that is, to get anything out of the service its users must also pony up and put in. That’s honestly what piqued my interest, and even if there are no other beneficiaries I can rest easy knowing that the €2 EUR I’ve put into Flattr this month will go to my favourite Linux podcast.
And what would I do with the income sent my way? I haven’t really thought about that, but in the interest of getting others using Flattr I plan to be pretty transparent about it. At the low end of the scale I could share it with my guest bloggers or pass it on as a charitable contribution to The Pirate Party of Canada, The Free Software Foundation, etc. At the higher end I might seize the opportunity to join The Linux Foundation, and if we’re talking the stuff of pure fantasy I’d love to be able to visit some of the amazing tech conferences happening around the world — and report my findings to you, of course.
But this isn’t about me — the ultimate goal here would be a successful alternative economy for creators online, whether they’re bloggers (the ones whose sites aren’t riddled with ads), podcasters, filmmakers, software authors or something that hasn’t even been invented yet. So long as it’s not run by big media I’m all for it.
Oh, did I mention that Flattr was the brainchild of Peter Sunde? Yup, that Peter Sunde. Did Flattr just become a bit more awesome? I think it did!
Currently Flattr is in closed beta, but if you’d like an invite leave a comment below with a legit email address (it won’t be publicly visible) and I’ll send out as many as I’m able to. And don’t worry, you only have to Flattr me if you want to…