Bootstrapping a Podcast Economy with Flattr

Posted on October 5, 2013
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Bootstrapping a Podcast Economy with Flattr

Very short version: I think Flattr has the possibility of enabling a reasonable podcast economy. If enough people use it, podcasters will be able to generate an income with minimal overhead. If I pointed you here from an email, it is because I want to give you money.

Slightly longer background:

If you are unfamiliar with +Flattr , it is a very low friction microdonation system. The brilliant thing they did was to separate out the cash decision from the payment decision. Unlike most where you have to decide whether to pay $0.03 vs $0.05, that decision has a mental transaction cost. With Flattr, you allocate a pool of money to pay each month then you "Flattr" which is basically the same thing as a Digg, a Facebook like or a +1. The things you like in a month, that pool of money is spread equally across all of those. Brilliant.

I have had Flattr on my blog/podcast for a few years. It has been an interesting experiment and worth doing, but not a huge revenue producer for me. To this date, the using of Flattr was a niche, early adopter thing. My hope – and the reason for my push for advocacy – is that this spreads out into a more widely adopted platform.

In a world where this was as common as, say, Digg was at its height then there would be a reasonable amount of money flowing in a roughly meritocratic manner. The more listeners you have, in general the more money that should flow towards you. The money that comes into podcasting now is distributed quite bi-modally. The top 5% makes livable money from Stamps.com and Legal Zoom et al, the bottom 95% makes little or nothing. I've been lucky enough to sell t-shirts and make a little from sponsorships via the very kind folks at Backbeat Media. Over the course of this podcast, I am probably close to break even on hosting, equipment and various expenses. That probably puts me in the top 20 percentile of podcasters because most people pay expenses and earn nothing.

My pledge is that I will flattr every episode of every podcast in my subscription list that has it enabled. If you run off of WordPress, you can install the Flattr plugin and go to town. Make sure you check the option to put payment information in your RSS/Atom feed and you are good to go. I'm still looking for auto-flattring solutions, but for now I'm manually clicking the button on the site of every pocaster that has it on their site. The trickle has begun, I hope to see a wider adoption over time. If the amount climbs enough, I will increase the amount of money I give.

My appeal is two-fold. If you are a podcast listener and a fan, sign up for an account. The site is in Euros, that is no impediment to Americans. The money will auto-convert from your credit card. All of the podcasters that you listen to, flattr their episodes either automatically via a podcatcher or manually.

If you are a podcaster, create a Flattr account and let people give you money. If you run WordPress it is super easy, others might be slightly more work but nothing is hard to do. If you have technical questions, I volunteer to be your tech support. Be patient, don't expect anything huge at first but I can guarantee nothing about this will suck money away from you. At worst, you wasted a few minutes. At best, you might find yourself paying your hosting or more with the money that flows in.

Because this is a "boil the ocean" situation, the early going has been and is tough. It makes little sense to sign up as a listener when there is nothing to flattr. As a creator, it makes little sense to invest in a platform with few users. Let's cut through that, and push on both fronts simultaneously with a mutual leap of faith. Neither group has much to lose, so let's all just do it. I'm doing both ends myself, so I'm as invested as I can be. +Dan Benjamin of 5by5.tv does it for all their shows, the biggest network adopter I know of at this point. As Rage Against the Machine sings: "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?"

This is already long, in a future post I'll talk about auto-flattr solutions for podcast listeners.

For now, I urge everyone to give this a try. You click like, +1 and similar things all day every day. You understand the paradigm, let's do it in a system where your money matches your attention.

#podcasteconomy #blog #flattr

Flattr – Social microdonations
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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 30, 2013 – “Don’t Give Me A Story When I Want Information”

Posted on September 30, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 30, 2013.

I talk about my podcast listening workflow and my mostly frustrating search for a satisfactory Android equivalent; I continue to talk about the podcast economy and Flattr’s possible role in that; I use the professional poker world as an analogy for how this might work; I talk about how little I care of most issues that inflame the social media lately; I discuss about how I don’t want my information as “stories” despite being told repeatedly that is the way we need everything.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Podcast Yearly Statistics

Posted on September 24, 2013
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Podcast Yearly Statistics

I was curious about these stats because of the #dogdaysofpodcasting  event and my recent return to a regular publishing schedule. Here are the number of shows I have published broken down by year:

2004:   64  (Started in August)
2005:   85  (First full year)
2006:   46
2007:   24
2008:   15
2009:   11
2010:   10
2011:    2 
2012:    5
2013:    41

What you can see from this is that in less than nine months of 2013, I have published more episodes than the previous four years, and I will soon surpass the previous five years. 

Admittedly, there are different scopes at play. 2010 and earlier tended to be longer episodes with music and more production. 2011 and later tend to be shows recorded in my car. There's a bit of an apple and orange situation, but I am pleased to be more prolific. It definitely sucked when I went to publish and episode and realize it had been six months since the previous one. 

Thanks +Kreg Steppe for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to get back on track!

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 23, 2013 – “This Generation is Full of Unruly Beasts”

Posted on September 23, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 23, 2013.

In this show I react to the Louis CK video going around about how smartphones are making us worse. I discuss that specifically and also point out that the notion that technology is why our kids are worse is an ancient idea; I talk about the book Generations by Strauss and Howe and use Dr. Laura to refute the nostalgic notion that things used to be better; I talk about how most of my friendships are now a hybrid of online and off in a satisfying way.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 20, 2013 – “Three Years with Flattr”

Posted on September 20, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 20, 2013.

I mostly discuss the Flattr project and my experience with using it for three years; (Marie is the name I fail to recall); I discuss a modest proposal for kickstarting a Flattr based podcast economy; I close by talking about why Ting is so attractive to me for cell phone service.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 13, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #28″

Posted on September 13, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 13, 2013.

In this episode, I finish up the fandom series by covering the years 2000 to present; after that I discuss a few quotes I found funny from recent podcast listening.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 6, 2013 – “The New Normal”

Posted on September 6, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 6, 2013.

I talk about finishing up the Dog Days of Podcasting challenge; I talk about the Intel style concept of “disagree and commit”; I talk about the WordPress plugin Auphonic Importer; I talk about the suprising length of an Anthony Trollope novel; I talk about the way queues of fun things become their own kind of job; I close with some talk about making my internet/computer time to be only mindful.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 30, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #27″

Posted on August 30, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 30, 2013.

This episode covers my time in the Portland OR area and my very pleasant interactions with PDX fandom.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 29, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #26″

Posted on August 29, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 29, 2013.

I talk about the fallout of the GEnie shutdown and the disappearance of the SFRTs. I cover mainly three venues: SFF.net, Dueling Modems and Usenet, specifically rec.arts.sf.written and neighboring hierarchies.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 28, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #25″

Posted on August 28, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast on August 28, 2013.

This episode of “My Life in Fandom” is about some of the SF cons I attended in the 1990s.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 27, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #24″

Posted on August 27, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast on August 27, 2013.

I talk about Reality Break, the radio interview show I did first for WREK and later on the public radio satellite system thanks to KRVS FM in Lafayette LA. I tell the whole story, starting from 1992 through my various changes of locale and ways of preparing the show, all the way through to the end in 1998.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 26, 2013 – “Nine Year Anniversary Celebration!’

Posted on August 26, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 26, 2013.

This is a marker for and celebration of the ninth anniversary of this podcast. Well, really as of August 20, but one does what one can. I talk about getting and losing a following; about restarting and shutting back down Reality Break; and about what the Dog Days of Podcasting has done for me.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 25, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #23″

Posted on August 25, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 25, 2013.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 24, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #22″

Posted on August 24, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 24, 2013.

The story has reached the first few years of the 1990s, and I talk about my failed crack as an aspiring writer.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 23, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #21″

Posted on August 23, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 23, 2013.

This time, the whole show is about one convention – World Fantasy Convention 1992, in Pine Mountain GA. I talk about walking around trying to find interview guests for my budding radio show Reality Break; staying in cabins in Callaway Gardens; playing softball with a bunch of professional writers and eventually joining the Double Breasted Fedoras (a fake online baseball team); eating dinner with strangers for expediency’s sake.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 22, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #20″

Posted on August 22, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 22 2013.

In this episode, I talk about my first brushes with online fandom in the form of Compuserve and GEnie; the Hypercard stack I used for offline reading; rubbing virtual elbows with famous science fiction writers; .

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 21, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #19″

Posted on August 21, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 21, 2013.

In this episode, I talk about the comic books I was buying in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 20, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #18″

Posted on August 20, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 20, 2013.

I talk about my experiences with Dragon*Con, from 1990ish to the present. Doing live remotes from the show floor; being a Z list guest in the green room and other good times.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 19, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #17″

Posted on August 19, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 19, 2013.

For this outing, I discuss Oxford Books, including Oxford Too and Oxford Comics. Riding the #23 MARTA bus up Peachtree, buying comics records and good stuff in the old house up the hill, going to a Neil Gaiman signing on Pharr Road that happened at the same time as a Jimmy Carter signing, meeting Laurie Anderson late at night and more.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 18, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #16″

Posted on August 18, 2013
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Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 18, 2013.

More discussion of the science fiction literature that formed me into the kind of reader (and person) that I am: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Frank Herbert, John Brunner. I close with an anecdote of David G. Hartwell helping me shop for books at Balticon a few years ago.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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