Have you heard about TipJoy and the still-very-small phenomena of tipping (real money) on the web?
It’s quite fascinating, in my opinion, and I certainly have very mixed feelings on this issue.
- I admire how the founder gets “out there” to talk about his service… but not only about his service.
- I think there’s a true need to reward outstanding authors/contributors on the web with real money, and I think tipping is better than huge ad clutter / massively off-topic ads.
- In particular, I love the idea of tipping in the context of supporting artists and art online. Give me great MP3s, and then give me a culture in which MANY of us offer tips… even $2-7/album, which’d be WAY more than the artist would normally get via CDs or iTunes, etc.
- TipJoy is pretty easy to use.
- The fees seem reasonable.
- I hate tipping as an institution overall, at least in the “real” world. Hate hate hate it! Why shouldn’t people just be paid a decent living wage? By extension, then, one could argue… why shouldn’t bloggers and artists online just be able to charge an honest fee for their work? The answer, of course, is that too many of us are freetards, if you’ll forgive the nickname I’ve stolen from Fake Steve Jobs. We expect, no, we DEMAND content / entertainment / information for free. Frankly, that in itself seems horribly messed up, but I digress.
- TipJoy, and indeed, tipping on the web on the whole hasn’t gotten anywhere near the—no pun intended—tipping point. People aren’t gonna tip unless they see many other people tipping. So it makes me feel, sheesh, does my 10cent tip mean anything at all? The fact that TipJoy now offers tippers the option to broadcast their donations is a step in the right direction (Friendfeed does this as well), but it’s nonetheless a small step.
- It’s still not seamless. With TipJoy—one of the more fluid / well-set-up services, IMHO—you still have to sign up for an account, fund the account… and to fund it, you still have to use (at least for now) the evil PayPal. Blech 🙁
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Don’t just read, do! Give it a try 😀
Clicking the button at the bottom of this post will establish for you sort of an “IOU” of, well, 20 cents (TipJoy will, I believe, ask you to pay up via PayPal when you’ve tipped a total of $5 around the web).
What do you think?
Anyway, even more than your donations, I look forward to hearing your thoughts about not only TipJoy, but also the idea of tipping on the web. Do you think it will ever become popular? If so, what will need to happen in order to make it an oft-used part of the web economy?