Micropayments: just my, er, one cent.
May 9, 2006 3:00 AM   Subscribe

IndieKarma micropayments: automatically tip the weblogs you favour 1¢ each time you visit. (Via Kottke, perhaps unsurprisingly.)
posted by jack_mo (24 comments total)
Kottke's right with the 'chicken and the egg' conundrum. What will drive people to signup and chuck in money on the offchance their regular haunts will go to the trouble of joining? (even accepting there is any fair double-digit % of internet users who consider paying for what they get for free at the moment is a just cause)

I like the thinking to an extent. But it needs an incentive beyond concience. It needs some big driving contest or the like...or something. Still, interesting.
posted by peacay at 3:44 AM on May 9, 2006

What if we have a deep, unabated loathing of the author and are just browsing to write our own scathing response to their contemptible rhetoric and would rather not encourage, even in the smallest way, their continued virtual existence? (Not that I've come accross the situation much, but you know.......)
posted by IronLizard at 3:46 AM on May 9, 2006

The pennies accumulate quite quickly...

I have about 15 blogs that I visit daily (which is not too many comparatively) and usually I visit the pages way more than once a day. I'm curious about the limitation one can set for the system. Does every refresh constitute a payment?

The automation doesn't appeal to me, unless I have full control over who and how often I'm paying. So, I think I'll just stick to donating larger amounts in longer intervals.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:53 AM on May 9, 2006

At the bottom of each page on any blog or website on the indieKarma network, you'll see a small "dock", with a message from the site. If you're browser is logged in, this will thank you for your support and quickly fade out for the rest of your visit. If your browser is not logged in, it will encourage your support at each page reload.
So you have to log on and off to either pay or send your protest at their vile swill by witholding 1c. But the reader seems to be 'harassed' by fucking messages either way.
posted by peacay at 4:03 AM on May 9, 2006

What if we have a deep, unabated loathing of the author and are just browsing to write our own scathing response to their contemptible rhetoric

You could easily follow a link to a racist/homophobic/generally offensive site and find that you'd just inadvertantly paid a scumbag your last IndieKarma cent, too. Which is a bit of a problem with the service, really - the 'silent' way it works is simultaneously the best and worst thing about the service.
posted by jack_mo at 4:18 AM on May 9, 2006

One way to help out the "start-up bootstrapping" (chicken and egg problem) is to donate a sum into each account when it's opened. I.e., if the first $5.00 was free, then it'd be worth it for a reader to "give away" $5.00, real dollars, to their favorite blogs. But IndieKarma is only doing $1.00. It's not enough -- I signed up and I think that sum will be out within a week or so. Or at least it will be if Matt signs up the 'fliter.
posted by zpousman at 4:38 AM on May 9, 2006

You know, there's a reason God invented advertising.
posted by nyxxxx at 4:48 AM on May 9, 2006

T'weren't God that invented advertising
posted by antifuse at 5:01 AM on May 9, 2006

I wouldn't get this unless each payment was opt-in, and it was unobtrusive.. from what I can see, neither of those are true. I do like the idea in principle as it eliminates the "threshold" effect of donating: i.e. if you're going to go through the hassle of sending a paypal payment then it should be a "worthwhile" amount like $5, but you aren't necessarily willing to pay that much unless you visit a site regularly. If something like this worked as a way to enable one-click micropayments, it would encourage people to spread out their payments and be more generous in general, right?
posted by Drexen at 5:05 AM on May 9, 2006

Perhaps there should be another button to send a little "I don't THINK so" message if you don't feel the website is deserving. :P
posted by Drexen at 5:07 AM on May 9, 2006

This is the online equivalent of the now ubiquitous tip cup that's taken up residence on the counter of every deli, coffee shop, and pizzeria in America.

I'll happily ignore this just the same.
posted by quite unimportant at 5:57 AM on May 9, 2006

Meh to micropayments. Meh to most sorts of ads as well (though I have had google ads on my blog from time to time)

i read a fair number of blogs, and I notice that the same crap pops up in a lot of places. I should pay a penny when I read on boingboing about an unergonomic computer desk that turns into an uncomfortable bed, after I paid a penny reading about it in make:blog? Lately the echo chamber/circle jerk factor on some of these blogs has gone through the roof, and I've taken the worst of them out of the list of sites I read.

On my own website, I publish original projects, software and photography from time to time. There are long dry spells because I don't post when I don't have anything original to say. That's what you get in return for letting me browse your blog, and if it's not enough then you can go to hell. All you have to do is engage in micronagging (or do you prefer the term 'micropanhandling'?), and I'll quit reading.
posted by jepler at 6:13 AM on May 9, 2006

Sure, God invented advertising. Why do you think he has a guy on every corner handing out pamplets? Why do you think he has all those tv channels?

I mean, you never see the devil buying tv ad spots.
posted by nyxxxx at 6:13 AM on May 9, 2006

So, is this suggesting I should pay to read blogs? No.
posted by poppo at 6:41 AM on May 9, 2006

This is the online equivalent of the now ubiquitous tip cup that's taken up residence on the counter of every deli, coffee shop, and pizzeria in America.

You'd rather carry those filthy, annoying coins around? Animal.
posted by mullacc at 6:43 AM on May 9, 2006

So far kottke has created a pretty nice font. But for some reason people take the rest of his stale pillow talk all over the place for him like wind to a withered dandelion. Maybe its just nerd love.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:53 AM on May 9, 2006

So I pay through looking at ads, and I pay through a tip jar too? Look, if the site owner wants to make money, change people a monthly fee, don't nickel and dime me to death. Oh, and if you do charge a monthly fee, I'll take my business elsewhere. THAT's the beauty of the open market.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:56 AM on May 9, 2006

Wow, what an awful idea. You know, modern media only works because people never completely realize that they're being fucked over for their time/cash/sanity/happiness. If you make it blatant you'll just piss off a lot of people.
posted by nixerman at 7:27 AM on May 9, 2006

The Case Against Micropayments. Oldish article, but still relevant, I suspect.
posted by normy at 8:38 AM on May 9, 2006

I would like write a microcomment on this.
posted by srboisvert at 8:52 AM on May 9, 2006

One cent automatically every time you go? To hell with that.

A better method would be a little alert or something in the browser notifying you of the pages' begging status.
posted by delmoi at 9:46 AM on May 9, 2006

I guess it will only work if a lot of people start using it. I love the idea and it might work indeed. Future will tell...
posted by Marco Raaphorst at 10:01 AM on May 9, 2006

Not every time you visit... how about every time the content is good? Oh, right. That'd leave us right back where we are now.
posted by Eideteker at 11:59 AM on May 9, 2006

Hmmm, put a big ugly thing at the bottom of my screen to encourage inform people they have paid me money? Not a bad idea at all.
posted by robot at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2006

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