OK so I’m sure by now you are well aware that I am making good use of the website Flattr by including buttons automatically in each of my posts. If you’ve read my previous post on Flattr then you’ll be well aware of the hopes that I have for this service. Now if you have followed this since it’s creation (which I know that one or two have) then you may have noticed some small adverts located around the page. The only reason that they are there is because at the moment, while Flattr is still in beta, there is little chance of me getting a single Flattr without making something incredibly amazing (See: Minecraft). However, with advertising I have a small chance to make a little money back, though I am well aware that there is no chance I’ll be able to cover the monthly costs with either at this point in time.
I must confess I am unhappy with my implementation of adverts. I have plenty of trouble trying to make them unobtrusive while still being visible, and I had plenty of arguments with the plugin that I was using since ads were appearing in all the wrong places and at abnormal sizes. While I did eventually get them somewhat sorted out, I have the feeling that my time was wasted trying to sort something out that benefits no one but the advertisers. I will have to deal with annoying adverts on my screen while sorting out my own blog, and viewers with have to put up with the adverts that, in my opinion, detract from the overall page look.
So how can Flattr help? Well I must say that Flattr was a breeze to install with the help of this amazing plugin (though do keep in mind it requires this plugin to work). After a few clicks and entering my User ID (which you can find at your Flattr Dashboard) I now have a small button at the bottom of each post. The button is very plain with little distracting text and only presents the current Flattr counter for that post, with a button that other Flattr users can use to donate to my site. Simple! It’s more clear on what I’m getting from it in comparison to the overly complex nature of how Google Adwords work out what money I am earning from my adverts, while overall being less annoying to my readers and providing me with money from people that actually like my blog, as opposed to companies that just want to get links in as many places as possible.
So what’s the problem with Flattr? Well, while Flattr is a truly amazing service, it still has one particularly major shortfall: lack of user base. Of course this is to be expected in a beta product, but still I can’t help wishing more websites had Flattr buttons so that I could give them a slice of my cake. Until then, I have to browse through the Flattr site to find websites that already have Flattr buttons ready to take my money. This also crossovers to people who run sites with Flattr buttons, like myself, as they could get thousands of readers, but no Flattrs due to the current small numbers of Flattr users. This of course will change over time, but currently that is why I’m finding myself forced to use services like Adwords instead of relying solely on Flattr.
If you are now wondering what the real point of this post is, then it’s to show you why you should get Flattr. Imagine a world wide web where advertising is considerably less intrusive in order to compete with the sheer volume of Flattr (and similar services that may exist in the future) using websites. If you own a website then I encourage you to get Flattr for it. You will need a beta code (which seem to be given out pretty regularly) and you will need to use the service yourself. If you do decide to get it then please give me a link to your site, as I am always looking for new people to Flattr!
Here’s to the future of the web.