There is a new way of showing you appreciation for things posted on the web, and this one helps support content providers at the same time! Currently you have various sharing widgets for social and non-social services such as Facebook, Digg, Twitter, MySpace, Google Buzz, etc. but all these do is increase the publicity of the website and that’s providing someone actually looks at what has been shared. In a long term view this could increase revenues from your content as the more popular a page is the more chance of someone clicking “Donate” or clicking on an Advert but there is no guarantee!

Flattr Logo

Flattr is different. Flattr allows you to show appreciation for content and give a donation towards the content provider. This means that the content provider is guaranteed to get something for your appreciation. To fully understand just what Flattr is I recomend you view this explanatory video which pretty much sums it up:

To give a bit more detail on how it works, you fill your account with some money then

Flattr solves a problem which I often have with regards to donating! A lot of the time (especially with freeware) I want to give the developer something for the trouble of designing there but going through PayPal to donate a small would make no sense and might come across as more rude – particularly when they see that a large chunk has been taken with PayPal’s fees. Flattr makes giving small amounts easier and make more sense

The important thing about Flattr is that to receive you have to give! You cannot just set up a Flattr and receive money and by doing this it keeps the Flattr ecosystem going, as if you have paid for Flattr you are going to want to use it where ever you can and this in turn helps the developers. Another important thing that has been done to encourage using your flattr is that whether or not you flattr anyone, if you account is active, you will have to pay the monthly fee. At the moment this money goes to charity but you would still want to use your Flattr for what it is designed for which will help content publishers who have the Flattr button.

With usage comes popularity and expansion; if Flattr can get established then lots of sites will offer it and having a Flattr account will be worthwhile and will hopefully lead to a more productive and rewarding web for all!

I have now integrated Flattr and the Facebook Like Button into my blog. This will allow easier sharing of the things you read on my blog as well help towards the running of my blog! The new Like button appears the top and bottom of each blog post. If you have a flattr account and want to flattr me then you can flattr my blog by using the widget in the sidebar, or flattr my posts by using the button at the bottom of each.

Dont know what Flattr is? I will be posting another blog with info about Flattr as well as giving away 3 invites to Flattr! Watch this space and subscribe to my blog for updates when I post my blogs about it!

If you would be interested in getting flattr for comments where you can earn by commenting, then please leave a comment outlining your interest bellow and it will be considered!

When on-line you have to be very careful about what information you give to companies in order to protect your privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud. For many websites (especially on-line shops) you would look for the padlock in your browser that shows the site is ‘safe’. Well this is where the common misconception is; just because the site has the padlock, it does not mean that the website is safe.



All the padlock really means is that the information cannot be easily read in the journey from your computer to the website’s server (I say easily as no encryption is uncrackable) . It does not confirm that the site will not use the information they receive in the way you want them to or that they will not give the information to anyone else. The padlock does not automatically mean you should trust the site!

This is also the case in the reverse. If there is no padlock shown the website could be quite legitimate however it would mean that you data could be read by a 3rd party who may not be so trustworthy. I would stongly recomend that you never give credit/debit card details over an unsecured connection.

If the padlock, however shows an error this too can often be safe. You can check what is causing the problem by clicking on it, and sometimes the problem could be that you have never visited the site before that it is uncertain how safe it is. You have to evaluate the security to make a decision as to whether it is safe or not.

When I shop on-line I always shop from websites that I am familiar with and have shopped on before or that have been recommended from a trusted friend. In the cases where I have found a website that I have never used before, then I would only risk buying on them if they offer PayPal as a payment. For me, PayPal provides enough protection on those sites for me to trust them.

I have always wondered if there would be a way of selling idle CPU time. I know you can donate (with things like Folding@Home) it but why would I waste my electricity for that? I might do it in the future when I build my new computer that will have more than enough CPU cycles to share but if I was getting paid for it I would be more than happy to leave an array of computers running all the time selling CPU time.

After a bit of research I could only find one service on the internet that offered this service, CPUShare. The way the site works is that you register and create a “Sell Order” or a “Buy Order” depending on your needs. I have not yet attempted t test the buying side of the site but when you create your sell order a a unique ISO file is created that is associated with your order. You can then download this and run it on your system as a LiveCD or within a Virtual Macehine (this allows it to be run while you are using the computer yourself and also means that it can be compatible with Linux, Windows and Macintosh – which all have virtual machine software available to them).

This sounded perfect for me so I gave it a whirl and guess how much I made? In 12 hours I made nothing! Not a penny! You know why? Because there was no one who wanted to buy my CPU time. There are many factors which my attribute to this: the fact the buyer must eb running Linux (unlikely), the fact most people have enough CPU time or wouldn’t think of buying it and the fact it might be cheaer for them to just buy a more powerful PC.

Although this would be great for those of us who wouldn’t mind leaving a computer running all the time and raising money in the process the current business models available do not provide what the market (if there even is a market) needs.