Monday, August 1, 2011

Flattr-y, wherein I Step into the 21st Century

One should like to think that being a mathematician gives me a certain amount of geek cred. It doesn't. So, I'm slowly but surely teaching myself all the ins and outs of blogging (beyond the writing bit. I think I do a fair job of getting content out, and making it mostly entertaining to read - about 20k visitors in a month isn't so bad, right?), but how to optimize and make blog friendly to spiders (you'd think the spider story would have done that, right? I'm pro spider!), and what not.

Like many people, I blog for a number of reasons.  Chief among which is that I have something to say about the recent disharmony among the godless here on the interwebz.  But I'm putting more time into reading and thinking about things on a bit of an odd angle so that I can bring such self-award winning stories as my morning getting a cup of coffee, and how Twilight relates to the current financial debacle in Washington. Other reasons exist to be sure. For one, I want my blog to be successful on several levels. Notably among them: intellectual, entertainment, popularity and financial.  The intellectual bit is easy, but the entertaining bit ties into the latter two and is the hardest single component.  For instance, my particular field of expertise doesn't lend itself well to comedy anyone but a few hundred people in the world will understand.

A successful, popular blog that does not make.  So, like I do my wry daily life, I'm trying to look at things obliquely and sardonically. Sarcasm is my default, and derision is its first corollary.  Anyway, one with the message at issue.

This takes skill to marry those to together. At any rate, I've become aware of a site called flattr. I'm dubious that this will prove useful, but I'll get in on the action and see what, if anything, it's useful for. I have the paypal buttons up; everyone knows paypal. It's straightforward, and people understand it. Flattr works by a user depositing into his or her own account a certain amount of money.

Let's say I've decided that I want to spend up to $40.00 this month on various internet musings.  But I don't want to keep track of what I've sent to whom, or to divide it out at the end of month and disburse the funds, or go over that amount, or keep a running log of which places entertained me more so I can apply a weighted average. Enter Flattr.  You have a set amount prepaid into. If you're reading, oh, say, my blog and something amuses you, you click my "thing" in the corner up there.  That records one share of your total.

If the end of the month comes around and you found nothing else online that was worth clicking the flattr button over, the share is evaluated, in this case, as 1 vote being 100% of the total. I'd get the whole shebang.

Say you happen to find one other place worthy of a click. You click it. Only the two of us now. At the end of the month, each share has a value of 50% of your total balance, or $20.00.

Or, let's say you read me and one other person whose writing you like. But you like, for the sake of my fragile ego, more of what I've written and so you click my "thing" more often than his "thing". So, over the month, you've clicked my "thing" 9 times, and his only once. At the end, that share would be weighted to 90% in my favor, 10% in his favor and the funds disbursed that way.

The idea is that you deposit a certain amount, which will be fully disbursed at the end of each month. If at the end of the month you haven't clicked on anyone, they clean out your account and donate those funds to a charity. So, you never just have money lying around taking up space; it's being sent somewhere.  So, I signed up today, and I'm going to give it a whirl and see if it's wortwhile.

Otherwise, there's the paypal corner, on the side of the RIGHTeous. And the Flattr thing on SINISTER side.

Your choice, but keep an eye out for other people with Flattr accounts. I'm going to go through my blogroll right now and see who has one.  This could be fun - shopping with absolutely no work!

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