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U Flattr Me

Topics: Technology | Add A CommentBy admin | October 30, 2010

What if there were a “Like” button that let you put your money where your “Like” was? Flattr is a cool new micropayment service that lets you do just that.

We’ve pointed out the limited usefulness of the Facebook “Like” button before; in fact we offered a set of alternatives. Although I have no metrics to prove it, I personally think that the “Like” button significantly diminished the quality of interaction on Facebook. I’d guess the amusing banter on my “wall” dropped by about 60-80% as people suddenly found it easier to simply ‘like” something than actually use their brain for a moment and add a witty comment. But what if when you liked something, you could put your money where your mouth was, and actually know that in a small way you were financially supporting the thing you liked? We’ve talked about the new frictionless, wireless economy before, but one service we missed was Flattr. Flattr is an ingenious new service brought to us by some of the people that created The Pirate Bay, the occasionally controversial BitTorrent tracker. A little ironic that the people who brought the world so much stuff that might not be properly paid for would dream up a way for lots of people to legitimately give money to content creators they like. But it really is a brilliant idea, and could be a great thing for anyone from bloggers, to musicians, to social causes and non-profits. Although the concept has what I consider a few small barriers to broad acceptance, I think this is one of the coolest social networking ideas in a while. It’s like a tip jar for the internet! The barriers I’m referring to? First of all, the site frames all the payments in Euros as of this writing, and we all know how intimidating non-US currency can be to an American! And I have to confess that when I signed up, even though I was well aware that the 2 Euros required was about 2.80USD, I spaced out and paid 2 *dollars, then had to go back and add another buck to bring it over 2 Euros. But that’s really just my attention disorder at work, no fault of Flattr’s. It would also probably be cool if they plugged into more virtual currencies; for now you can use PayPal and most major credit cards, but if you’re building a new economy, you might want to open up the market as wide as possible. And the last thing? I have to admit that I had a weensy bit of trepidation about turning my credit card info over to people who were famous for starting a thing called the Pirate Bay, but quickly got over it. Ultimately, if this caught on it would be a fantastic new paradigm of payment, and a solution to a lot of the woes of undercompensated content creators. Like me. So here’s your chance. Sign up and Flattr me:

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