Making a living on the social web (e.g. monetization)


Convener: Chris Messina (@chrismessina@mastodon.xyz)

Participants who chose to record their names here:

Previous FediForum sessions:

  • Web Monetization for the Social Web
  • Acceptable Monetization on the Fediverse
  • Web Monetization API
  • Spotify Open Access Platform
  • Passport
  • Web Payments Working Group
  • Web Monetization Feb 2024 Community Report
  • Interledger
  • Open Payments
  • Web Monetization Vocabulary (From the author: this is out of date)
  • FEP-8c3f Web Monetization federation via ActivityPub (also out of date, but Jeremiah will be updating once WM spec updates are finalized)
  • FEP-d767: Extend ActivityPub with Valueflows
  • awesome-web-monetization
  • W3C Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL)
  • Nostr Marketplace

Examples in the wild

  • Patreon
  • Bandcamp
  • Github Sponsors & Tips
  • Tumblr tips
  • Bounties
  • Kofi, Buymeacoffee, et al
  • Post.news
  • Substack / Ghost / Biihive
  • OnlyFans
  • Eventbrite
  • Cameo / Superpeer/ Intro
  • Twitter Blue/X Premium, et al
  • Podcast monetization
  • Brave’s Attention Token
  • Nostr’s zap (bitcoin lightning network micropayments)
  • https://boosty.to/
  • Mash (bitcoin lightning)
  • Medium (and Quora) attempt to paid content providers (I’ve made eh $10 in many many years on Medium - Shannon)Methods


  • P2P payments/
  • Tips
  • Micropayments / sats /Nostr-wallet Connect
  • IAPs
  • Gifts
  • Bounties / performance based


  • IAPs
  • Subscriptions / Tiers
  • Sponsorships
  • Advertising
  • Memberships
  • Group memberships


  • Colored coins

Spotify example 1 Spotify example 2

Session Notes

Instance funding vs individual monetization

nostr supports micropayments

micropayments don’t always make much money

  1. human-meet events.
  2. knowledge-oriented focus
  3. conduct channeled during certain time intervals.
  4. Why events: timebound constraint. And a few other constraints.

Easiest way to make money in Social - sell something people buy outside of that social platform (I’ve bought a LOT of books from authors mentioning them as well as events like Fediforum promoted on the Fediverse)

if we got Stratechery to try out OAuth payments, what would we bring to them? benefits over Spotify?

one monthly payment gets you access to multiple podcasts: Stratechery, Dithering, another. how do we do this?

ActivityPub gives us all the necessary functionality, but Mastodon doesn’t have the flexibility. fork and hope

maybe send an edit to an existing post


https://prodromou.pub/@evanplus <– $5/month!

concern about payments creating two tiers – people who pay and people who can’t

people are scared to pay

politics is the working out of constant dissatisfaction


Nostr has a marketplace event type and it’s built in to a bunch of apps: https://doc.nostrassets.com/marketplace


Marketplace FEP

There’s also.. GoCardless which was one of the first “bank to bank” platforms: https://gocardless.com/blog/rise-of-bank-to-bank/


Groups functionality to limit the reach of a post is needed in Mastodon. Group specification needs to be adopted.

Labeled link on Mastodon with call out button to support like the original Twitter implemenation of its tip jar: just link to your specific service. A button would be enough to bring support.



Rights expression language: ODRL. Talk to Bob Wyman.