I’ve been using Flattr a good six months run and have decided not to add any more funds into my Flattr means for the reasons outlined below. Read more about Flattr here.
Firstly may I make it clear that I don’t expect to be Flattrd for my opinionated, easily imitable ramblings here. It isn’t for greed I write this blog else it would be plastered in ads for a start. The reason I gave Flattr a run was:
- I liked the idea of it;
- to see if people thought this blog was worth me doing it;
- to test if Flattr would become a decent content discovery platform as I have mentioned on my many posts about it.
Reason 1: Nobody to Flattr
Last month I Flattrd nobody, which is a shame as the critical mass required to make the platform work as a community isn’t there. But one major problem is the site itself, you search for ‘things’ using language and keywords but that doesn’t matter, (mattr?). Irrelevant results turn up in obscure languages and you cannot find the content. Search ‘SEO’ and the second and third results are in Swedish, then with more German results. Two results are for ‘New Years Resolutions’ and one ‘Birthdays Calendar’. Results aren’t in date order or that of popularity, nor do they include results I have seen individually tagged ‘SEO’. Awkward. If we could browse easier it would make discovering Flattrable content so much more easier.
Reason 2: Stop Auto-Flattring Me
In November I received very few ‘real’ Flattrs but one user had clicked every single thing I had submitted right back to June, including the duplicates for different languages. And yes there is a problem with that, it isn’t the encouragement to keep writing in the same way just one Flattr would have. I knew full well this user hadn’t read any of my posts and as for the money – there wouldn’t be that much in it if they had liked every single thing from every other user too. I can’t be sure if this was a Flattr member of staff or a user trying to gain attention through the system to encourage mutual Flattry.
Reason 3: My Flattr ‘Things’ Outranked Me in Google.
This isn’t their fault but Google’s piss-poor search engine. Searchers were pointed towards Flattr’s splash page for my ‘things’ where users had to click through to my site. The reason this bothers me because it tarnished my image and makes me look like one of those network of circle-jerker autoblogs but without the ads. 98% or so of my traffic comes from Google too so unfortunately I know people use that pathetic search tool.
Reason 4: Nobody Flattrd Me
Actually they did but not really enough for me to keep funding my outgoings. Is that selfish? Tough.
The final word is that I love the concept of Flattr, I really would like to see it work and if it gets the viral growth it needs I will be back but for now it is on pause while I use the money for alternative experiments.