Once upon a time, Flattr went offline

Many times in your life you have to be quicker than everybody else. Philippe Bernard from France had a great idea about how to expand Flattr services, but he soon discovered he wasn’t alone. He wanted the glory of creating the first offline Flattr app and related website, without knowing anything about Android or iPhone development. As he remembers: “I didn’t want to code for months to see somebody do exactly the same. So I decided to act quickly and I created Flattirl in a week or two.”

Flattirl logo

A month after Philippe finished the online QR code generator, the Flattr team noticed his site and asked if he would implement the Android app. The answer was: “Yes, sure! – while I had never coded for Android :). It took three months to learn Android, code, add an SDK for Android developers to add a Flattr button to their apps, build a decent web site and here you are, Flattr4Android was born (flattr4android.com). All that time I got support from Linus and the Flattr team for the REST stuff, graphics… Nice project.

So this is how Flattr went offline.

But what is Offline Flattr about?

While you sit for hours (and hours) in front of your computer daily, the real world still exists somewhere out there. There are people who create paintings on canvas instead of using Photoshop, or ones organizing events not for any profit. Obsessives, who build drift cars from all their money just for a few hours of fun in every month. (Only in the summer.) Musicians playing in underground subway stations making us wonder: Wow, why aren’t they on X-Factor? (And yet we’re happy they aren’t.)
To create something IRL only for the sake of joy; Offline Flattr is for them.

How does it work?

You can easily generate QR codes using one of these dedicated tools:

On the Flattr website: Login to flattr.com and find the Thing you want to promote. Click the Button code option in the menu of the item and choose the ‘QR code’ type. Finally ‘Get QR code PDF’.


On Philippe’s Flattrirl: Go to flattirl.com and enter your Flattr URL or number of your Thing. Click ‘Generate my IRL Flattr button’, and the magic happens: You can choose from several options to represent whatever is behind the code. If you’re still lost, try this.

Print it, display, and wait for people to explore and scan it with any QR code scanner. (To make the event more memorable, there is an open challenge to build an app that makes “Cashing” sound at scanning.)

“What’s next? Improve the Android app, promote the SDK, and update Flattirl for it to generate valid buttons again, with updated design.” (By now Flattirl’s got a new design with fixed QR code generators – half of the plan is done!)

If you’re utilizing this service already, or know somebody using it, give us a shout and we’ll do a post highlighting the pilgrims of Offline Flattr.


Flattr is now available for iPhone! Have a look here »

FlattrChattr QR code
Offline Flattr online

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