A few days ago, I have disabled and uninstalled the flattr and patreon plugins on this blog. I really loved the idea of flattr: a simple way to thank creators on the web, I really appreciated the symmetric nature of the system: everybody was a creator, you could even tag offline creations with QR-codes and go beyond the web.
While the idea was nice, it seems the system was not working for its creators, for a long time the system was half dead, and it was recently relaunched as version 2.0 in a form that I don’t like: instead of a button (and active intent), you need to install an extensions that tracks your traffic (err, no).
Generally, the few flattr I received have not correlated with the traffic I see on my blog, around 50% of the visitors I have on this blog visit the entry Falsehoods programmers believe about geography, I have yet to get a single flattr for it.
I have a Patreon account which I use to support some creators. It seems this tool suits their needs better, but the Patreon model does not match the irregular way I publish here. While this is not a real problem – I don’t need financial support for this blog – the symmetry is broken. In one case there was a network of creators supporting each others (albeit to different levels) in the other there are creators and patrons and I fall into the second category. Patreon also introduces monetization mechanisms like perks that – for me – add more complexity than happiness. It does not really make a difference for me if I can a comic a day earlier, but having to log in to see is tedious.
For my blog, the two plugins just added complexity and weight with no real benefit, so scrapping them was the logical choice. But it also means abandoning a bit more a certain vision of the web.