Flattr and the Drying Pond

I’ve been experimenting with Flattr since May. I started when it was a closed beta that required a waiting list to get approved, and it’s been about 4 months since it went to an open beta. Thus far, my results are … eh. It isn’t ridiculous, but nothing much has happened for me with it. I’ll occasionally get one or two flattrs on a post or podcast. Most get nothing, and the blog as a whole has two. I have done absolutely nothing to goose that, so this is the un-pimped base state.

Clearly, if I wanted more attention from the Flattr community I’d write more posts about Flattr itself (like, uhm, this one.) My biggest problem is that I don’t think the critical mass is anywhere close at this point. There is only one site in my general orbit that is Flattr enabled, which is Thomas Gideon’s Command Line. Generally I give him one flattr every month. I never ever run across any other site in my travels on which I can flattr someone else. Much like any similar project, Flattr suffers from the power law distribution. A very small number of items get a huge number of flattrs while almost all get few or none. It also seems like the German origins of this project shine through in that most of the really big hitter items that get large amounts of attention are in German. Items of English and American origin appear to have an uphill climb to crack that.

At this point, I have run all the way through my initial deposit. I flipped all the income I’ve ever received back into my allocation pool, and will continue doing that. Unless something radically changes in the system, I don’t plan on depositing another chunk of money. I’ll keep flipping my ever shrinking pool of income until the day it runs out and I have no more in there. If the accounts ever zero out, I’m done. I’d love to be surprised with some of my regular sites popping up with Flattr widgets on there so I can give them some money and use it more like a Digg replacement. Until that day, I’m hopeful it takes off but it’s not how I’m betting much money.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

3 thoughts on “Flattr and the Drying Pond”

  1. hugh says:

    Have you considered:
    “Seit Mai habe ich mit Flattr experimentiert…”

  2. Drawmeat says:

    I just jumped in the “small pond.” I was very excited when I found out about it. it seemed perfect for a donation driven site like the one I run (drawmeat.com). Especially since donations through paypal haven’t exactly been pouring in. But then again, it was never about being rich, but it would be nice if the site at least paid for it’s self. Then this site came into my radar. And it seemed great. If anyone who liked one of my drawings pitched in a couple of cents, it would really make a difference. Yours was my first flattr, (try not to spend it all in one place 😛 ) but I hope my experience goes a bit better. I hope both of ours do!

  3. Jack says:

    Came across your blog once more when looking up stuff on flattr. I think we need to be more pro-active in the promotion of this community if we want to see it grow and work. I made a quick graphic for my site, actually might change it around.

    Have you tried directly emailing websites telling them that you want to flattr them but you can’t. 2Euro a month is not much, some of your favorite sites might actually consider it, especially if they already have a bunch of tacky social network links/counters going.

    Now that I’m into this, you can count on at least one more crazy blogger trying to make a buck, and anyone doing well with flattr will only help us out, and bring more users into flattr.

    Imagine Alex Jones telling his listeners to sign up and help support his site/work. That’d be 100,000s of new users, now searching for other related content.

    Artists, Musicians…free-ware video games…linux games? Image what this could mean for Linux developers, they can just throw their software info pages on flattr and get revenue.

    Look at this as the alternative facebook/digg/paypal…in a sense. Look at is as OUR community, OUR site, and OUR business. I think we can kick some ass with this.

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