No it’s not a typo, Flattr is a new online business set up by some of the people behind the infamous Pirate Bay. The idea is that people will offer a micro donation to the content publisher by clicking on the Flattr icon on the content they have shared. For example, if I was to have a Flattr button on this page, you could click it, just like you would the “Like” option in Facebook and I would receive a share of a donation you are happy to part with on a monthly basis. So for example, let’s say you set your monthly “means” as €2 per month and you clicked one “Flattr” icon, that content ownwer received €2. If you clicked 2 links, your €2 would be shared evenly between the two parties, each receiving €1.
There is where I see the major flaw in this system. At the moment, I have absolutely no intention of giving money to the content providers of the blogs, news sites or whatever that I regularly visit. Now possibly, if made easy to do (which Flattr in fairness is trying to do), I would be happy to donate a small amount of money when an article is really worthwhile to me. If in that rare that something really adds value, I would like to donate my money. But not having the option as to how much to donate would pretty much annoy me. I would much prefer the ability to set a donation amount for each item I click. Rather than wasting €2 a month on possibly one article, I would be in complete control of the money I am spending and where it goes.
So far there have been a few content providers who have made a few hundred euros from this system which is still pretty much in beta mode. Here is one guys story – http://tim.geekheim.de/2010/07/02/flattr-zweiter-streich/
Flattr is an innovative idea and a nice way of helping content creators make money from their content – but with their current model, I find hard to see the masses jumping on board and offering money for nothing! I look forward to seeing how well this does in the future.
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