Every month we give monetary awards to the web publishers who’ve received Tips through TipTheWeb.org. We have made some important changes to our award redemption options which are described in this post.
We made two major changes:
Added the option to redeem an award by transferring the award amount to your account and use it to fund Tips that you make.
Lowered the minimum for redeeming an award via PayPal to $10.
Award Redemption Options
Tip Funding Balance
5¢ — $100
Amazon Instant Gift Card
$1 — $1,000
$10 — $2,500
TipTheWeb Tip Funding Balance
Awards from 5¢ — $100 can be redeemed instantly by transferring the Award amount to your TipTheWeb Tip Funding Balance and use it to fund the Tips you make.
Amazon Instant Gift Card
Awards from $1 — $1,000 can be redeemed instantly as an Amazon Gift Card and be used right away or the next time you make a purchase on Amazon.com.
Awards from $10 — $2,500 can be redeemed by transferring the money to a PayPal account.
Note: for awards over $2,500 a check can be written and mailed to you.
Until now, TipTheWeb has supported two types of sites: 1) independent websites (no integration required), where Tips go to the site publisher, and 2) popular publishing platforms like YouTube, Flickr, etc with custom integrations to support tipping individual accounts.
Today, we are excited to announce support for a third type of site, ones which have content produced by multiple authors or contributors. A website like this can now be set up so Tips go to the individual authors of pages.
In the past, tipping a website — even if it had multiple authors — meant that the publisher of the site would receive the Tip, and it would be up to them to share any TipTheWeb award money with any other contributors to the site.
Now, when you tip a site which includes TipTheWeb author information in its pages, you’ll be able to tell that the Tip will be routed directly to the author by looking at how the Tip is displayed— it will be marked with an Author icon, and hovering over that icon will show you the author’s name or ID:
<title>A Page By Dave On Example.com</title>
<link rel="author" href="http://twitter.com/davefogel" title="Dave" />
In the above example, we identify the author of the page by his twitter profile, but you can use any URL which refers to a site that the author could claim through TipTheWeb, like their personal website. (We are also working on a small additional feature that will let you use an author’s OpenID instead.) You can find more detailed information in our multi-author docs.
What Kind of Websites Should Use TipTheWeb’s Multi-Author Support?
While the decision to delegate incoming Tips to a site’s contributors is up to the website’s publisher, we think that most sites that work as a platform for their members to contribute or share content would be good candidates. In addition to multi-author blogs (which is what we get asked about the most), we think that, for example, recipe sites, media-sharing sites, how-to sites, art sites, product review sites, as well as news and magazine-style sites would all work best if integrated with TipTheWeb’s multi-author support.
Let us know what you think!
Support for multi-author websites is brand-new, so we’d like to hear what you think about it. Will you use it in your site? Let us know by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In a recent post on A List Apart, Cameron Koczon wrote about what he’s calling “Orbital Content”— a term he uses to describe how people are using new tools and services (e.g., Instapaper) to collect, consume, and interact with web content they care about.
“The result is a user-controlled collection of content that is free (as in speech), distilled, open, personal, and—most importantly—useful. You do the work to assemble a collection of content from disparate sources, and apps do the work to make those collections useful. These orbital collections will push users to be more self-reliant and applications to be more innovative.”
If you haven’t yet read Orbital Content, you should do so now because the rest of this post assumes you have, plus the article is great (I tipped it)!
TipTheWeb addresses the issues of content attribution, ownership, and monetization which Cameron describes as “looming” over orbital content.
Cameron points out the importance of preserving content ownership and attribution, especially for content being copied.
URLs for Web Content Attribution
Attributing ownership to disparate web content seems like a very large problem to tackle. People are publishing to all sorts of places on the Web, including: YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, GitHub, etc., and to their own hosted websites.
There is one thing all web content does have: a URL
URLs should be used for attribution. Processing the URLs of all the places people publish is messy business, but understanding how to use URLs in combination with APIs and metadata you can accurately and programmatically assign attribution to content. This is why URLs are central to how TipTheWeb relates attribution and ownership of content to the compensation of authors and publishers.
Here’s how a Tip on TipTheWeb connects together a URL, attribution, ownership and compensation for a piece of web content:
Compensating Web Publishers
“Today’s web environment makes it nothing less than a struggle to support content creators. We have unlimited tools for sharing and virtually none for payment.”
Cameron’s desire to support the creators of web content is exactly what we are enabling. We’ve felt this pain too, and it’s why we built TipTheWeb.
Compensating the publishers of web content requires the content to first be attributed to the creator, and the content creator lay claim to their content verifying they are, in fact, who should be compensated. For TipTheWeb these are two separate processes that happen at different points in time and use URLs to tie both parts together.
Content attribution happens instantly while someone is making a Tip to some content. Tips are an amount associated with a URL that’s attributed to a site or profile that can be claimed through TipTheWeb.
The reverse side of content attribution, content claiming, works by having web publishers claim the places they publish online in order to receive compensation for their content, which are the Tips that other users are voluntarily giving to support their work. The system to facilitate this claiming and verification process is built on open web technologies, in most cases OAuth, and is usually just two clicks to complete and only has to be done once.
We hope TipTheWeb will be part of the new toolset people use to improve and expand the ways they interact with web content, while also enabling a new monetization model for web publishers.
We’ve vastly improved the process for claiming a GitHub account and added support for claiming GitHub organization accounts1. The process for claiming all the tips people make for your GitHub projects and Gists is now just two clicks!
Claiming a GitHub account on TipTheWeb now joins Twitter, Flickr2, Vimeo, and YouTube which all use the open standard, OAuth, for a simple and secure account verification process that doesn’t require sharing your passwords with anyone. We’re happy that GitHub has specifically embraced the new OAuth 2.0 standard— which is much easier for developers to work with and made it possible for us to quickly roll-out these new features.
Watch How it Works
Get Tips for Your GitHub Projects & Gists
Claim your GitHub account; and the tips people make to your projects, gists, and other content you create on GitHub will be directed to your TipTheWeb account.
GitHub’s API requires read/write access to get a list of an organization’s owners. We’re also working with GitHub on resolving twoissues to make our process for claiming GitHub organization accounts even smoother. ↩
Dave and I have been working towards this release for a while, and we’re super excited to finally show TipTheWeb to the world and to see more people start to use it to support the stuff they like online.
Our goal is to enable community-supported web publishing. We think that giving the community of Internet users a way to financially support the web publishers that create the best content will result in a new positive feedback loop for the Internet, one that encourages an increase in quantity and quality of the genuinely useful content that has made the Internet such an amazing public resource.
If you want to know more about why we built TipTheWeb (and why it’s a non-profit), you can read our short manifesto: Why TipTheWeb.
Working With the Web
Dave and I knew from the beginning that TipTheWeb should work without requiring any technical integration for web publishers. TipTheWeb is built around the language of the Web, URLs, and a Tip uses only a URL to identify web content. TipTheWeb processes those URLs to determine who published the content. This means that you can tip stuff that you like even before the publisher signs-up with TipTheWeb.
The Tip Anywhere Bookmarklet streamlines the tipping process; you can tip, fund, and share what you’re supporting without leaving the page you’re on.
Publishing online doesn’t necessarily mean you have your own website. We’ve integrated TipTheWeb with the popular publishing platforms that people are using. Tipping works great on: YouTube, Vimeo, GitHub, Flickr, Slideshare, Twitter!
Publishers can place Tip Buttons on their website, which lets people tip the publisher’s content without leaving the page— the buttons work much like the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet does. Dave posted to our blog a great overview of our Tip Buttons.
Check Out What We’ve Been Tipping
Here’s what Dave and I have been tipping, check out our public Tip Streams:
We’re super excited to finally announce a major new feature for TipTheWeb which we’ve been working on for a long time, and which is the #1 most requested feature from people giving us feedback: Tip Buttons!
Publishers can place Tip Buttons on their website, which lets people tip the publisher’s content without leaving the page. The buttons work much like the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet does, letting users create a Tip, and optionally fund and share it.
Here’s a large Tip Button that tips the current page: Tip This
Here’s a small Tip Button that tips a specific link: Tip
If you click on a Tip Button (try it out!) you will see the Tip Widget pop up, prompting you to choose an amount:
You can read all the details in our docs, but one of coolest things about the Tip Button API is that at the most basic level, a Tip Button is just a URL to http://tiptheweb.org/tip/. You can customize the behavior of the button by adding query parameters to the URL, such as adding a “link” param to specify what the Tip should link to (which by default is the page the Button is on).
Advantages of Tip Buttons
One of the most important features of TipTheWeb is that you don’t have to go through any technical integration to get tipped by people- everything works using the language of the web, publicly accessible URLs, and TipTheWeb users can use the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet to tip your content.
However, there are some big advantages to adding Tip Buttons to your website, both for you, your audience, and TipTheWeb:
Tip Buttons remind and encourage visitors to consider supporting your work as a publisher, at just the moment that they have enjoyed reading or seeing your content.
Not everyone who visits your site will be a TipTheWeb user (at least not yet :-) ) Tip Buttons work well for new users, and we make sure that we save the Tip they make in their account when they sign up.
Tip Buttons allow you to customize the Tip to link to a different page than where the button is. This is really useful in situations like blog landing pages, which show multiple posts on one page, but where you’d rather have Tips that identify the specific post (using a permalink) that the user likes, rather than just the blog host. This is also useful if you are embedding content like YouTube videos in a website, and you want the Tip to link to the YouTube video URL.
The Tip Buttons also give the user an opportunity to share their Tip on Facebook and Twitter. Doing so will promote your content to a wider audience.
Finally, Tip Buttons help to promote TipTheWeb itself, which benefits everyone by coming closer to realizing TipTheWeb’s vision of Community-Supported Web Publishing, where we all participate in making the internet better.
At TipTheWeb, our most important goal is to make tipping as easy as possible. In particular, people should be able to tip stuff they like while browsing the web, without disrupting their flow or distracting them from what they’re doing. That’s why we created the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet, a special link you can save to your bookmarks bar and which lets you tip the page you’re on.
A New Look and New Features
Until now, using the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet would just create a new “unfunded” Tip in your account. (Unfunded Tips are like drafts- only you can see them). To fund your Tips, you still had to go to your Tips page on your account and click one or more fund buttons. While this works okay, we found ourselves always wishing we could fund our Tips right away, and we received feedback from users that they want this too. So the new Tip Anywhere experience now allows you to choose to fund your new Tip right away, or wait until later:
The funding feature is especially useful for people who want their Tip Stream feed updated right when they tip.
Sharing Your Tips
If you like something enough to tip it, chances are that you might want to share a link to that content with your friends. So we’ve added a new feature directly to the Tip Anywhere widget where you can share your Tip (and the link it refers to) on Facebook and Twitter:
Not only will your friends or followers benefit from seeing the link, but they might be encouraged to tip it as well, which increases support for the publisher of that content, and helps spread the word about TipTheWeb.
Improved Mobile Experience
We’ve vastly improved the experience of using the Tip Anywhere Bookmarklet in the browser on your iOS or Android device. We’ve now included special instructions for installing the bookmarklet in iOS (which is significantly harder than in a regular browser), and on devices with smaller screens, we’ve changed the flow so you see the Tip Widget in full screen mode:
Let Us Know What You Think
We think every TipTheWeb user should be using the Tip Anywhere bookmarklet to create their tips- it’s so much easier than copying and pasting links, and it fits with our vision that people should tip stuff right when they’ve found it and gotten value from it. So we’d love to hear your feedback about the new bookmarklet, and any ideas about how it could work better. Let us know at email@example.com
We’re trying to build a better Internet by enabling community supported web publishing. Giving people a way to financially support the web publishers that create the best content online encourages them to continue creating high-quality, genuinely useful content while keeping it freely accessible to everyone.
To do this, we make monthly, monetary awards to the web publishers who receive Tips through TipTheWeb.org, these awards are for the full value of the Tips they receive, 100% of the money!
We want to explain exactly what an award from TipTheWeb is, how we determine the amounts and who receives awards, how awards can be redeemed, and how we process donations into awards based on user’s Tips.
Wait, donations and awards? Isn’t TipTheWeb a payment system?
Nope. We’re a non-profit organization that uses donations from users to support web publishers. When you tip something online, you aren’t identifying a specific person (like you do when you write someone a check), you’re identifying a specific link/URL and telling us how valuable that content is to you. We use that information to help us figure out which publishers should receive awards, and how much those awards should be.
How Tips, Donations, and Awards Fit Together
A Tip is not a payment; it’s simply an amount associated with a link/URL, think of it as a bookmark with an amount field.
We keep track of all the Tips you make while you’re browsing the Internet and tipping the stuff you like. You can come to TipTheWeb.org whenever you want and fund your Tips by making a donation to TipTheWeb. We use the money people donate to make monthly awards to the publishers of the web content that you (and other TipTheWeb users) tip.
Receiving an Award from TipTheWeb
Update: Changes to Award Redemption Options on May 2, 2011
Awards between $0.05 – $1000 USD can be redeemed instantly as an Amazon Gift Card for use on Amazon.com. What you get is a code which represents value stored as a digital Amazon Gift Card which can be applied to your Amazon account at anytime; the next time you make a purchase on Amazon, the money will be deducted from your Gift Card Balance first.
Awards of $100 USD or more have an additional option of being redeemed through a PayPal balance transfer; we will transfer the amount of your award, in full, to your PayPal account.
Why the $100 minimum for receiving awards through PayPal? TipTheWeb pays no fees when processing awards as Amazon Gift Cards, in fact our partnership with Amazon allows us to receive a small bulk discount, which helps cover operational costs. It’s especially important for us to avoid transaction fees for small awards. We hope this won’t be an inconvenience— we figure smaller amounts will end up getting spent on Amazon anyway :-) but we are very interested in how you feel about this minimum, let us know.
You Can Receive Awards Too!
To receive awards, you’ll have to sign-up for TipTheWeb and claim the places you publish online. We try to make this extremely fast and easy for you, and it’s totally free to sign-up and use every part of TipTheWeb.
We understand that not everyone owns their own .com domain name, so we’ve integrated with some of the most popular places to publish online, and we’re always adding new integrations. These are some of the places online you can claim and where people can tip what you publish:
The vast majority of content online is available to the public for free. This is one of the
defining characteristics of our time— unprecedented public access to the world’s collected
knowledge and creative works— and this access greatly benefits us all.
Good publishing is hard.
Although tools make online publishing easier than ever, creating valuable, useful content will
always involve time, effort, and resources. The amazing thing about the Internet is how much of
it is produced as part of a labor of love, community contribution, or personal endeavor.
Selling content doesn’t work.
Publishing online is often hindered by either the practical limits of an unpaid, hobby-level
effort, or the misaligned goals of incompatible business models. Pay-walls and paid subscription
strategies have mostly failed for web publishers, in part because on the Internet there is usually
a free alternative.
Advertising is not sufficient.
Online advertising has become the primary monetization strategy for web publishing, but while it
works for the very most popular sites, it isn’t fruitful for the majority of publishers. Most
advertising doesn’t give publishers very clear feedback about the value of their content to their
audience— it only tells them how well the advertisement matches their audience. Additionally,
while advertising can complement web publishing in tasteful amounts, many struggling publishers
choose to display so many advertisements that their audience suffers.
Community-supported web publishing can work!
We think creative works that benefit the public should be supported by the public, in a way
that can steadily increase both the quantity and quality of these works. A voluntary service that
lets users connect their donations with specific links to online content can enable such public
support, but only if it is transparent in its operation and has goals worthy of public trust. This
is why we’ve built TipTheWeb as a non-profit organization that focuses on helping the community
support publishers instead of maximizing profits.
So we built TipTheWeb.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this: we think something like TipTheWeb should exist.
Once we started thinking about it, we couldn’t stop— every time we found something online that we
liked, we couldn’t help but think “I really want to tip this!”. So we built it!
TipTheWeb is a service that lets you directly support your favorite web content by tipping it. We’re a non-profit organization promoting freely-accessible, high-quality web content by awarding publishers that receive Tips. Create an accountorlearn more