Gittip, patreon, flattr and centup


The whole thing of distributing resources is huge.  Hopefully everyone has heard the usual stats – the population of the world could fit in an area the size of texas, x% of the world’s people use y% of the world’s resources, …

My family is in a strange situation where we are out of debt and taking a year off regular paid work to see if we can generate an income from portraits and other odd things.  Peter is drawing portraits, posting them on tumblr, etsy, redbubble, and every now and then someone buys something.

Most of my effort still goes into things that do not generate any income. I actually pay to do my volunteer work. I do 8 hours helpline per month and I pay $50/year for the privilege. I get to scout out and train up my successors. I still think it is worthwhile, but alongside these ongoing thoughts on how to generate an income it does seem an odd sort of thing to sink time and resources into. On the other hand I get to meet great people and learn new skills. Will there come a point when I have to quit? I hope not. It still seems like there ought to be a way to even things out.  That’s where these micropayments for creators caught my eye.

I’ve come across Flattr before – probably when visiting the Gimp’s webpage. It is a system that is nice and unobtrusive from a donor’s point of view.  Set your monthly spend, click “Flattr” buttons and they pipe money to your favourite projects. So, with my preoccupation with generating revenue, I signed up, added buttons to this blog, my husband’s art shop blog, then got stuck with my jekyll blog. Scouting around for suitable icons I came across Gittip. Then, wondering how many other such schemes like this are out there, I came across a google hangout between four men with beards talking about their respective plans.

Of course, there’s more to it than just putting up buttons. Looking at these videos of how much people are putting into their ideas puts me to shame, but also inspires me to leave off the financial worry and imagine what I would love to be creating.

Flattr seems best right now for non-US projects. It is easy to sign up and seems geared towards having lots of people giving small amounts. Maybe it’s more my habit of spending small, but it’s the sort of thing I’m happy to sign up for. 2 euros per month towards all those free and open source projects that I use every day sounds like a bargain (and please let me know of any other good flattr-able projects out there)

Gittip sounds really well thought out. It is based around a weekly donation. People can see how much you have given, how much you have received, but not who to. Anything connected with Git tends to be very good. I like how gittip itself is funded through gittip – they don’t take a cut of the donation like the other schemes. And you can see how much they’re making and giving like the other members. It may be more for the geeky people, but hey, that’s me – so now I’ve joined up too – even easier than flattr! and here’s my gittip profile.

Patreon looks very attractive – something like kickstarter for ongoing work. Even just framing Peter’s work in that sort of pitch would be very useful.

Centup splits donations with charities of the donor’s choice. I’m out of time – baby calls. but all very interesting ideas here.