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Flattr is now in open beta (flattr.com)
55 points by cstuder on Aug 13, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments



You know what annoys me? When a company has a blog for their product, but that blog doesn't include a link to the product. Anywhere.

If your blog post interests me and I want to learn about the product, it should be as easy as clicking your logo to get to it.


Amen to that! I have come across several company blog posts where there is no direct link to the actual site. Clicking on their logo usually leads me right back to the blog.

Very annoying - For anyone else who gets annoyed with this - Clickable link - http://flattr.com/


I was JUST about to write the same thing! I see this all the time on blog.(app) sites -- annoys the hell out of me!

That said, I love the idea of this. A nice way to say thanks to people without having to go through paypal hell :D Might also inspire me to write more than "what I did on the weekend" blog posts ;P


Advice: This would have been a good opportunity to tell me what Flattr is rather than making the assumption that I have been eagerly following along with your progress and am as excited now as you are.

(Edit: Found the homepage, read it, still don't know. Tab closed).


I put 20euro into my Flattr Account, and choose to spend 2uero a month. As I browse the web, when I see content I like, and click the 'Flattr' button, which is like the Facebook like button. At the end of the month, everyone who's button I clicked gets an equal share of 2euro.

I can spend whatever I want monthly, this is just what I actually do.


I think the home page sums it up fairly well, the only thing missing would be to maybe use the words web content or something similar to convey that users are choosing to donate to producers of content that they like. That's how I understand it although I think I watched the video a while back so have a bit more context.


Actually, I think they could get traction, but for that to happen that would need to release an API to check if user "donated" to my blog/service/etc.

Therefore I can create a "premium" zone accessible for a smallest fee ever. That would create a need for user to create Flattr account. You pay to see some premium content. Also, you pay the same fee to get premium content on dozens, potentially, hundreds of sites.

Otherwise you're just hoping to sign up users to pay 10EUR(?) monthly as a kind of "permanent monthly donation". Even though it's not a lot of money, but still most people would avoid that: 1. it's a semi-permanent obligation 2. as practice shows - relying on people giving a donation for something available for free is a bad idea. (Let alone MONTHLY donation for same thing)

You need to provide something in exchange for their money. Give us the API to find out that user donated and we'll give him a reason to sign up with Flattr (premium content).


While seemingly similar that would be an entirely different concept. What flattr does is enabling small donations for things you already like. One of the nice things with flattr is that the users are already "sold" and have already payed the "fee". If they like what you've done they are going to flattr you, not thinking "is this really worth x". There are a lot of potentially nice things that differs from other revenue models, like making it harder for "link-bait".

I can't really explain entire concept (as I see it) in a good way, you'll have to "get into it" yourself. You also have to keep in mind what the founders are coming from. I don't think it would be a very good fit for Peter Sunde to push for "paywalling" of the Internet with a subscription network.

Finally, the monthly minimum amount is currently 2€.


I do wonder how many of the users currently on Flattr are there because they hope to manage to get enough Flattrs of their own to come out ahead. It would be interesting to run some stats: What percentage of Flattr users have created at least one Flattr button?


Great news, well done! One quick suggestion: have a link to Flattr from the blog ;)


I like the business model, even though it's heavily geared towards content creators. I have no problem putting a little money in and rewarding other content creators if I get something in return, too. It doesn't have to be equal. So far, I have flattr'd one thing, and have received three flattrs. There's something in it for me.

However, if I didn't have stuff people could flattr, I doubt I would've joined.


So my comment was removed without reason or identification so I'm going to assume it was a mistake based on that I previously posted two comments and removed the duplicate.

Here is my original comment: "Well, part of the point is (or will be) that most people on the Internet creates content. Like you just did when you wrote your comment. I guess this will be clearer when the API stuff gets going."

While I do feel pretty unmotivated to explain what I mean, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

One of the more highlighted features of the Internet is that the line between customer and consumer has been blurred. Today you can create what was previously only known as a TV channels or newspapers in the form of video sharing or blogs. Even when traditional media publishes something, you can follow-up with your own view. Because of this and social media trends, almost every Internet user is also a creator. The upcoming Flattr API will let sites with user created content have their users flattr each other and take part of the revenue of those flattrs.


Now, that's an interesting insight. In monetary terms, you have spent €2 on one flattr (with the option to add as many more as you like for free), and received 3 flattrs, which are probably each worth €0.10 to €0.50. But you won't even know the amount until the end of the month, and until then, it psychologically feels as if you are coming out ahead.


In an earlier discussion, patio11 had an interesting comment about their business model - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1499269.


Thoughts:

* split test your font and colour usage. A lot. I'm pretty sure the green/orange combo is going to hurt your conversion rate

* The black box around the YouTube thing is kinda fuzzy. Crisp is good

* The social element seems slightly random. There seems to be too much latitude for it to get spammed. Maybe feature blogs, instead of posts? Or aim to be the flip side to Kickstarter - I've made something (book, blog, album, book of poetry), enjoy it and then pay me

* Share the love - you're focusing on the wrong thing - people aren't going to share stuff they love in large numbers; content creators will share there own stuff. So if you're appealing to the masses, then it needs to be about supporting the stuff you love. If it's geared towards sharing, what's this got that Twitter/Digg/Fb hasn't got for promotional purposes? Split test the messaging

I don't mean to put a downer on it, just trying to pick it apart a little so you can make sure it works as best as possible.


"Flattr is a social micropayment platform. Help support the people you like - and enable them to continue to do what they do! And add your own things to Flattr and receive support from others."

I'm obviously not an English expert, but I don't particularly like this text. Too much "10 years old" words repeated. (i.e. "to do what they like to do")


Flattr is Swedish, so I'm guessing English isn't the copy writer's native language either.


It's your own blog.

It's linking to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and a WordPress theme.

But not to Flattr.com.

Not picking on you in particular - about six people do this every day. Drives me insane.


Does this mean that if no one cares enough to donate then you wouldn't be making money at all?


Cool. But what is flattr?


It's a sort of micropayment service: You sign up and distribute a fixed amount of money per month (I.E. 10€). Everytime you click on a flattr-button (Which seem to shop up on german blogs only, in my experience), they will get a share. At the end of the month, your fixed amount divided by the number of shares is payed out to the sites.

There are some implementation details which results into calling themselves a 'social payment service'.


Which is worth pointing out - it is not a social payment service, it is a social donation service, since you get to view the content whether you pay or not.


Hmm. So what's the difference between using this and using Paypal for donations?

Also, it's hoping that people will donate - if nobody cares to donate any money, would this mean the content creator gets zilch?


There wouldn't be much difference, but taking donations is only a small part of what paypal does. You can donate money with a credit card, but that is not what it is mostely used for.

Flattr on the other hand, can only be used for donations, which means that it has little, if any value.


Flattr strangely seems to have taken off in Germany fairly quickly. And it seems to work. If you are a popular blog you already (with Flattr still being invite only until very recently) seem to be able to make between a few hundred and maybe a thousand Euro per month.


Another area where it may be taking off is Free and Open Source Software. See http://raphaelhertzog.com/flattr-foss/ ; dpkg is currently in the top 5 most flattrd things.


I think the frontpage explains it well enough: http://flattr.com


that could work... intriguing step up from HN in many ways as I'd be putting my money where my mouth/comments/pts currently reside...


Like TipJoy.


I won't be using this service.

The owners of flattr also own thepiratebay. I remember hearing a speech a few months ago talking about how everything should be free, just like when we were children (we need to learn to share). They have no regard for the rights of developers and have no problems giving a clear and direct roadmap to a free copy of your commercial application.

If they really believed in sharing, freedom, and rainbows, why does Flattr charge a 10% surcharge on top of every transaction (more than even Paypal). I might use them if they didn't make a profit and only paid for the infrastructure and bandwidth of the service.

It seems most people here don't see them for what they really are: a bunch of greedy fucks.


"The owners of flattr also own thepiratebay. I remember hearing a speech a few months ago talking about how everything should be free, just like when we were children (we need to learn to share). They have no regard for the rights of developers and have no problems giving a clear and direct roadmap to a free copy of your commercial application."

[Citation Needed]

"why does Flattr charge a 10% surcharge on top of every transaction"

Bandwidth isn't free.

"I might use them if they didn't make a profit"

How do you know they are profitable?


[Citation Needed]

(pirate bay founders create flattr)

http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/12/pirate-bay-founders-flattr-...

Here is the video where he talks about sharing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyGCsCpofVk

"How do you know they are profitable?"

Bandwidth isn't that expensive. With all of the micropayments that will go through their service, they will make a profit.


What's wrong with earning a few dollars providing a useful service?


"What's wrong with earning a few dollars providing a useful service?"

Nothing. It's when you have also have a service that promotes the sharing of other people's commercial work for free (and say it's because you thing that sharing is for the good of the world). It's hypocritical and the people in this forum don't seem to see a problem with it.

I suppose I will just go with the flow and pirate any user's app I see on here.


I think Flattr is interesting and potentially worth using to the extent that it is disruptive.

Note that you get to pay Paypal's fee too when sending money to Flattr. Best of both worlds. :P

I think that the 10% may be currently justified, but if Flattr takes off, will quickly be hugely excessive. If they don't reduce it to something more reasonable, I would expect to see others try to compete with them on price.




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