Tip Jar! Tipjoy!
I have long thought the Internet needed a tip jar. I felt so strongly about this that back in 2003 I spent some time building my own online feed aggregator, which had the ambition of collecting feedback (like Digg) and later monetizing by allowing users, should they desire, to “share the wealth” back to site authors. Say, if you’d marked 50 pages that you like, and decided to chuck in $5, the site could take your $5 and try to give, say, 10 cents to each site. In this way people could gain some modest remuneration for the Internet publishing efforts.
Of course, that was a bit ambitious for me and the project was scrapped when I scored full-time employment.
JRA was recently wishing for the Internet tip jar, and he found that someone has finally built one: Tipjoy.
Briefly, the idea is you can earmark sites for tips of various sizes, then send in a few dollars via PayPal. Tipjoy will then pass the tips along to site authors. They profit by collecting a 3% transaction fee, and I assume they get some float off their PayPal balance as well. At this time authors “cash out” via Amazon.com gift certificates or by sending the money off to charity.
That is for legal reasons though it sounds like they hope to traffic in cash in the future.
I added a tip jar down in the feedback section below. I set the default to a modest 2 cents. I’m more curious than anything as to how many folks would bother to spread the karma.