Nowadays, anyone can with a laptop and Internet connection can create content on the web, whether it be a blog post, a song, or a video clip. The Internet has essentially leveled the playing field for anyone who wants to put ideas out to the world. Youtube, Myspace, and the myriad of blogs are just a few examples that illustrate just how prevalent DIY online content has become, and it has drastically altered how information is distributed and how people get their information.
But how do people who contribute creative content on the web get paid for their work? Shouldn’t good works be rewarded to distinguish themselves from the mire of mediocre online content? All of web’s content didn’t just get dumped onto the Internet by some mindless robot. There was someone who actually spent time and energy to produce the content that you enjoy everyday.
Enter Flattr, a new social micro-payment service founded by The Piratebay co-founder Peter Sunde, which aims “to revolutionize how people pay and get paid for content on the Internet.” Flattr is a hassle-free way for people to donate to online content which they like, whether it be a song, a blog, a picture, or a video, etc. Flattr subscribers will put money into their account each month, and as they browse the web, they can click on Flattr icons of content they like, similar to Twitter, Facebook, and Digg icons that are found on websites. Then, at the end of each month, the money in the user’s account will be distributed evenly to the creators of the content that they liked. For example, if you put $5 in your Flattr account and you clicked on 5 Flattr icons, then each of the content creators will receive $1 from you. This allows people to donate money easily to content that they like without having to pull out their credit cards every time, and it enables people to receive money for their work. Moreover, if people know they can get paid for their online work, it’ll be an incentive to produce worthy content on the Internet, which benefits everyone. In addition, Flattr could affect how donors contribute to nonprofit organizations, as more nonprofits are using social media tools effectively to raise funds and awareness for their cause.
Flattr is still in the Beta stages, but check out the video below to see how it works.