For many years, I've been convinced that micropayments are the way of the future. The internet has brought us so much that is freely available, but often it's nice to show some appreciation for something someone has given us. This is true both for the open source software without which I couldn't do my job, and for the excellent content that makes me think or guides me through a particular issue.
While I've always tried to be proactive with donating to products I'm using, sometimes it's a hassle to go to their site, find the donate button, etc. I love that so many projects do have the donate button, even the wordpress plugins seem to mostly have one which is good, but that still doesn't leave me with a concrete way to thank the people whose blog posts save my day.
Enter Flattr, a system designed exactly to make it completely painless to part with small amounts of cash to people that you like. You state how much you want make available each month, and at the end of the month, they split the cash between all the things you "flattr"d that month. It's literally a one-click when you see a flattr button and it works really well for content, music, art, and all those other things that are really difficult to get people to pay for, until they love your content and then will happily pay for it out of sheer goodwill and pleasure!
I met the flattr folk at OggCamp this summer, and I'd seen talks about the social and technical ideas behind it at previous events; I knew I was interested in this idea. Fast forward a few weeks and I read this thoughtful piece by Dan Lynch and got signed up with flattr immediately.
For now, I've added a single flattr button in the footer of this blog. I don't really go in for social media linkage at all (actually I noticed the other day that there's no reference to my twitter account from my website, oops! I'm lornajane), so although I'd quite like to add the buttons to each post, I think it might be a bit much. They are also green, which doesn't look great with my lovely turquoise and purple theme!
What do you think? Are you using flattr? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts (and flattr links)!