Build & Analyze #78 inspired videocast – unclaimed flattrs, “bum cup” and more

This Tuesday morning all our team was busy listening to the latest episode of Build & Analyze, a popular podcast by Dan Benjamin and Marco Arment. Both are Flattr users but this was the first time they discussed various aspects of our service.

After the initial buzz we realized that quite a few issues they brought up are myths, misconceptions or just resulting from the fact that we’re not always very good explaining how we work, what features we have etc. Instead of a long winded blog post I jumped on a plane to record a video response, more fun that way.

Dan’s the man behind which is “an internet broadcasting network for geeks, developers, designers and entrepreneurs”. There are over 20 different shows (yes, all flattrable), something for everyone. Marco is a well-known iOS developer, creator of Instapaper, a simple tool to save web pages for reading later. If you missed it in the video then Marco’s Flattr profile is:

Linus claims that he knows this video stuff but getting two iPhone video streams and a separate audio stream to sync up proved to be a bit of a challenge so we’re posting this a day late. Meanwhile there have been other… disappointing developments, namely Apple rejecting a popular podcatcher application Instacast over its Flattr integration. I’ll be posting about this issue shortly.

7 thoughts on “Build & Analyze #78 inspired videocast – unclaimed flattrs, “bum cup” and more

  1. The problem is not you guys explaining stuff badly but the fact that people like Marco who just want to make a fun podcast for themselves do not recognize the power and therefore responsibility they have with an audience of tens of thousand of listeners. So if they elaborate on a subject they don’t really know anything about it does not matter whether every second sentence they say is “I don’t know who this works” but this is how I think it does and why I don’t like it.

  2. We don’t hold it against Marco or Dan, it’s actually a very good reminder to us that that’s about the level of how deep typical Flattr users are willing to dig into this. So we need to simplify our product, how we explain it etc in order to not force people to research and spend a lot of time before things become clear.

    And a little coverage in their show is better than nothing. Especially since Dan Benjamin has already over 2000 flattrs altogether on his podcasts.

  3. In fairness to Marco, the “bum cup” comment was in reference to another service, Tipjoy, not about Flattr.

  4. For what it’s worth, I think I agree with Marco about bothering people and about the bum cuppiness of flattr buttons. Regardless of the fine distinctions we can draw (bum cup != busker != tip), there is a certain undignified feeling that comes with soliciting donations. The worst case is when you see a guy asking people on twitter (repeatedly even) to flattr him, but even having the button on your website feels a bit icky.

    It doesn’t help that the service is called “flattr”; imagine asking people after your poetry reading, “hey, did you enjoy this? How about flattering me?” Now we’re soliciting *praise* along with donations?

    It’s maybe no worse than having a PayPal donate button. I dunno. I like to tell myself that the only reason I have flattr buttons is to help make flattr more visible (but in some tiny way since my reach is small). For casual users who aren’t really expecting to get money from this, maybe just using Flattr out of curiosity, I wonder if there is any way to play on the idea of positioning flattr as a way of defraying the cost of doing something I’m already doing anyway?

    Otherwise, the not-worth-my-time issue for accumulation of tiny donations has come up repeatedly for people. X asks, “why should I bother?” I wonder what could mitigate that. Enabling auto-withdraw?

  5. I think in many respects we are just beginning to see the power of crowdfunding and Flattr is in a sweet spot precisely be ause it can reach the fine grain level. Flattr’s are unique in that they are social appreciations which is in contrast to the fabeled bum cup or tip.

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