Pelle and his stickers

Time to put a star in our reasonably priced car aka time to start introducing the faces behind Flattr, something that is long overdue. I’ll kick the series off with Pelle Wessman or @voxpelli, one of our frontend wizards.

When I asked Pelle to describe what he did at Flattr he modestly answered “I’m somewhat of a social media guy among us coders – I’m the one overall responsible for Flattr’s connections to other systems – like Twitter, SoundCloud, Facebook etc.”

Where and how did you learn to code?

I started when I was around 8-9 years old – some basic things in QBasic on DOS but I never got further than some simple 2D games.

In 2002-2003 I took up web coding – initially some very simple HTML and PHP and was soon invited to do voluntary work on a community site. My first real project was to build an image generator that took text, numbers and images from a user and turned it into a nice image that others could rate and comment on. Funnily enough the system is still alive and in use.

Having a great mentor while working on that community site taught me a lot, and one thing lead to another and it didn’t take long until someone asked me to help out with their commercial project. So I freelanced in high school and joined a web agency, and now I’m at Flattr, building this cool micropayment thingy for the web.

When did you first hear about Flattr and what’s the story behind you joining the team?

I heard about Flattr when I was sent an invite to the beta. I’m user #17 and was quick to give feedback regarding connections to social media to not become yet another data silo on the web. Since I was working in Malmö and living only 350 meters from the office we met up for a coffee and talk and soon I started part-timing for Flattr in addition to my other job. In the beginning of this year I decided to focus only on Flattr.

I tried to get Pelle to name a few bands or songs he’s enjoyed recently to embed some videos here. Turns out he’s not much of a music lover. Instead he pointed me to Starbase Orion, a space strategy, that launched at the beginning of October.

What are your hobby projects that keep you burning the midnight oil?

I’ve been doing a lot of open source work on Drupal – I’m the maintainer of the OAuth module as well as the co-maintainer of the API module “Services” and a couple of other modules. I’m moving away from that role now and looking around, weighing alternatives to see what to do next.

Why Flattr?

Several reasons – I fascinated by the fact that people get to decide what is worth their support and what isn’t and they’re not forced to pay. It’s interesting to see what happens when revenue comes from people loving stuff created by others rather than because the creators demanding a payment.

The other this is that money is secondary, Flattr focuses on you wanting to show your support for something, not on how much you want to support it with. We all have different amounts of money – how much you can afford and are willing to give is your decision and no-one else’s business. All flattrs are a sign of appreciation no matter the amount.

Any specific “category” that you support more than others? Music? Software? Games? Charities? Why?

I support creators who shows commitment and interest in what they do. The last thing I flattred was the subtlepattern’s Twitter account – I love when simple feeds like that use Flattr even if they don’t create the content themselves but rather just curate it like Little Big Details does. It’s nice to be able to support the little things too, not just the big and popular blogs, podcasts and software projects.

Snap your fingers and change something in Flattr. What would that be?

I’d make Flattr a real part of the open web by amongs other things adding a real OStatus support. OStatus is a protocol designed by the guys and describes a real nice way for sites to interact with each other through basic web standards. The result is similar to what Facebook does with their open graph, but without it all being controlled by a single entity like Facebook.

That’s Pelle, one of our frontend guys. Got questions you want to ask Pelle? Drop them in the comments and he’ll get back to you shortly.

2 thoughts on “Pelle, the guy who hooked in SoundCloud, Twitter (and soon Facebook)

  1. Really looking forward to user adoption numbers after facebook integration, but also what about a deeper wordpress too.

    Could you add wordpress users as a option to flattr directly from the dashboard, I mean when your not busy and all, hehe.

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