Acceptable Monetization on the Fediverse


Convener: Jeremiah Lee (@Jeremiah@alpaca.gold), Evan Prodromou

Participants (add yourself here if you want to be listed, no obligation): Name and Fediverse handle

  • Tim Erickson (@stpaultim@fosstodon.org)
  • Shannon Clark (@rycaut@mastodon.social)
  • Deb Schultz (@debs@mastodon.cloud)
  • Jesse Baer (@misc@mastodon.social)
  • Hannah Aubry (@haubles@fosstodon.org)
  • Gabe Kangas (@gabek@social.gabekangas.com)
  • Christel van der Boom (@xtel@flipboard.social)
  • Peter Benjamin Ani (benjaminparish6@gmail.com)
  • Tim Chambers (@tchambers@indieweb.social)
  • Jamie Clark (@jamiexml@infosec.exchange)
  • Sarthak Vijayvergiya (sarthakvijayvergiya@gmail.com, @workwithsarthak@mastodon.social)
  • Steve Vitka (@svitka@mastodon.social, although stephen.vitka@gmail.com is better)
  • Jeff (@Jeff@newsie.social (work) or @jeff@conchrepublic.social (fun))
  • Steve Ediger (@steveediger@social.coop) chicommons.coop, datacommons.coop (and find.coop)
  • Ryan Barrett (@snarfed.org@snarfed.org)
  • Lucas Gonze (@lucasgonze@indieweb.social)

Key points:

  • Individual monetization (creator) vs instance/server monetization (suggesting this should be discussed) vs software developers (clients & server) vs protocol/api maintainers (Mastodon API, ActivityPub etc)
  • idea proposed - each server issues its own currency (not a fan - Shannon)
  • SV: currency per instance
  • PHB: micropayments don’t work but
  • Deb: what works with Patreon as an example (Shannon - addition - look at Twitch as well)
  • historical example - community dollars might be a historic model (but still not a fan - shannon)
  • Time banks are another example
  • But also look at how/how badly currency in games works / doesn’t work
  • Deb: I worry about any advertising model as it monetizes attention vs value and intention
  • Jeremiah: I like fiat. 😃 This is why I think Interledger network can help. Get a digital wallet that supports payment pointers (variety of providers) and share your payment pointer to your fans.
  • Jesse: important of being mindful of conversations vs not just interacting with people making “content”/monetizing it
  • Gabe: I totally agree with Jesse. When everything becomes monetized it changes the “vibe”. I love that the Fediverse isn’t trying to sell me anything or to steal my eyeballs.
  • Jeremiah: Whether you personally like influencers or not, they have influence because millions of people do like them.
  • Tim: Tumblr (soon to be in the Fediverse) already does have this form of tipping for inside Tumblr at least: https://help.tumblr.com/hc/en-us/articles/4417356885527-Tipping
  • Deb: take a step back and look at monetization as awareness/presence
  • Hannah: +++ Debs, maybe the answer is integrating with existing monetization models. slightly facetious, but OnlyFans is right there! (and patreon, twitch, etc.)
  • Tim: We should start thinking of the Fediverse as just part of the open web…so it should tie into any good, distributed open web solutions for tipping, giving etc
  • Evan: world has changed / tools for content creators now ex
  • Chat: We should create a code of conduct for monetizing content. Is there a need for collecting “best practices”?
  • Related: https://webmonetization.org/
  • Evan: Running instances as coops.
  • Deb: I’d love to explore what MAJOR investment/support for a public fediverse looks like - civic, govt, city, nonprofit - or is that too scary?
  • Jeff: using open collective to successfully raise funds to support server. But, has had to become a fundraiser and do things like “dye beard pink” and “write poems” - Need to provide a entertaining experience.
  • Chat: One of the things has the biggest impact on payments is just making it easy to pay.

Outside references: