More Flattr downsides

I’ve written a bit about flattr before and in particular it was just three months ago that I last complained about seeing it dwindling down.

Even if the developers have started working to push more features out, to find more content to flattr… it seems to me like it hasn’t spurn enough enthusiasm in people to add more money into the system. At the end of the month, the dozen euros that used to come in my flattr, which I would then reinvest on more flattrs to other, have cut down to half.

A few months ago seeing the trend, I gave myself a rule; since I’m on flattr also because I make content, and most of the time said content is not something I’m paid to make, I expect to have a positive balance out of it: if any given month the revenue is lower than the monthly amount, I won’t be using it the following month; this was helped by the fact that now you can wait to add funds even to the middle of the month, so I can just wait for the new revenue to be finalised, and then move it to funds.

This happened the past month. This month seems to be better, but not so much. By comparison, Google AdSense – which is on this blog and on my Autotools Mythbuster – and does not require a direct donation, brought me a couple of euros more than flattr, consistently, for the past six months.

What’s the issue? I guess the main problem here is that Flattr still takes 10% of each month’s revenue, which means that, given my monthly budget of €5, to have it available, I have to get at least €5.56 in donations, and then what my targets’ revenue is going to be €4.50. And over that they take a fee (5% if I recall correctly) when you add funds directly, and then you have PayPal taking another fee if you want to withdraw the revenue.

While this was designed as an easy way to handle microdonations, the impact on these starts to be big enough that what was considered a huge chunk of money being eaten away by PayPal is now looking not too bad — myself, if flattr is going to go down the drain, I think I’ll get people I feel deserve something Amazon gift certificates, the same way I’m listing them as primary donation point for me as well — especially since those I can use to buy books for the Kindle.

Flattr, please, try to get more people involved by reducing the percentage fee you take, or just moving it to when you add and receive funds, rather than just when you pass them around to others.