One of the things I heard several times when I was running my Kickstarter Campaign was that people would like a way to back me outside of the Kickstarter campaign. Today I was reminded of this when I saw an article from Make Use Of on making money from creative content. They mentioned two ways my readers could tip me so I wanted to ask which way you’d like me to go with.
They mention Patreon and Beacon, but neither of them seem like a good fit for me. They also mention tipping and name a couple of sites to help you do that: Flattr, which I’d heard of, and a site that’s not just new to me but pretty new themselves, TipTheWeb. They each have some pros and cons so I want to let you check them both out and let me know which you’d rather I use.
Flattr has been around a while and already has a large number of members. When you sign up with Flattr you set up a monthly budget of how much you’d like to be able to give out each month. Then you put money in your Flattr account and as you go around online you can click sites’ Flattr buttons to show you want to support them. At the end of the month Flattr divides your giving budget by however many sites you want to tip and splits your budget evenly among them. It’s pretty easy to use but they’re based in Europe so that’s the currency they like to use. Luckily you deal with your local currency and the conversions between your preferred currency (for me US Dollars) and the Euro is done without your having to think about it. The bad news is that you can’t specify an amount to give, plus they take 10% of your donations. For some that’s not a big deal but for others it could be a deal breaker.
TipTheWeb is run by Tip The Web Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization based nearby in Newton, MA, in 2012. The service is so new that they launched the first public release of the service on 23 March. But the fact that they’re new doesn’t mean they’re not a good service to use, it just means that a lot of people haven’t heard about them yet. You can pay as little as 5¢ to a content creator, on a variety of platforms, and every month they take all the tips a content creator has gotten and send it to them.
Actually that isn’t entirely correct. You’re not giving money to the person or organization directly. They put it like this:
TipTheWeb can’t be used to directly send money to anyone, even a charity. But you can use TipTheWeb to support what a charity publishes online.
Since they’re a nonprofit they don’t take any fees. Instead they get donations from users to support web publishers. The only fees come in when they use PayPal to send the collected tips to the publishers.
I know I’m probably not doing a good job of describing how TipTheWeb works so if you have questions you should head over to their website and check them out. I don’t have my account there yet so you won’t be able to tip me (yet) but you can see if they’re a service you’d be willing to use, both for me and for other content creators.
So what do you guys think? Should I set up a tip jar? If so which service would you want me to use? Flattr? TipTheWeb? Both? Let me know in the poll, and if you want me to so something else let me know in the comments section. You can vote for multiple options and no, voting a certain way doesn’t hold you to tipping that way, it’s just so I can get an idea of how people feel on the matter.