If you can't play the introducing Flattr video embedded above, try this link instead.
Today's been declared Pay a Blogger day by the people at Flattr, a social micropayments scheme designed to reward bloggers via readers and other bloggers who've signed up for it. Each signee decides how much they'd like to pay per month (a small fee, minimum 2 euros ) and bloggers who like the idea can display a button on their blogs.
If someone signed up to the scheme finds a blogger they like who's displaying the button, they can click on it in appreciation. At the end of the month their monthly fee is divided amongst all the sites they've clicked on. The idea is the blogging community can be rewarded for all the sparkling content they provide free of charge.
All this of course is dependent on people signing up and I suspect today's Pay a Blogger designation is to try and gain some publicity and generate awareness. Until last week I'd only found one blog displaying the badge: Patrick at Bifurcated Carrots. The link takes you to his latest post about the scheme. Zoe kindly brought Jane Alexander's post about it to my attention and so I resolved to write about it today.
I can see the attractiveness of the idea, especially for really good content providers. Many bloggers wish to retain their independence and not go down the advertising route to gain something for the often considerable time they give so freely. However, I'm not really sure how well it's been taken up by either bloggers or readers. I also believe it's dependent on having a significant proportion of non-blogging readers for it to work well.
Flattr isn't the only blog donation scheme available, though the others I've found aren't centred around the social side of blogging, nor geared towards regular payments. Garden Rant has had a Tip Jar for ages and NAH is using Blogger's Donate button to raise funds for his beloved steam engine restoration. I have no idea how well any of these options actually work in terms of generating funds.
Having looked at Flattr and the other donation buttons available, I've decided not to go down this route for now. I'm managing to cover the costs of my blogging via my Sponsors and my visitor numbers are increasing significantly, so it looks like you're not put off by them. 'Payment' via your comments will suffice for me, dear Reader :)
Update: Other social micropayment schemes are out there, such as Kachingle
Should we Flattr as well as Comment? Let me know your thoughts below.
NB In case you hadn't realised, this is my penultimate post for NaBloPoMo and tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday post is all ready to go. Both you and I will be relieved to return to normal blogging frequency soon ;)