Wednesday, May 10, 2006

IndieKarma

I'm trying out IndieKarma, a new scheme for micropayments on the web. Sign up for IndieKarma and put some money on your account. Every time you then visit a website with IndieKarma enabled, you automatically "donate" $0.01.

Many webmasters are currently using AdSense or similar schemes for making money off of web traffic. My view is that charging people outright would be a better, simpler, and more honest solution, as long as the price is fair. One cent seems like a good deal, especially if the scheme is voluntary.

Clearly, IndieKarma suffers from the traditional chicken-or-egg problem. Also, if the idea really turns out to be great, such a site would be simple to implement, so there could be a rush of competitors doing the same thing and cluttering the space.

I originally read about the site on kottke.org. He has an interesting request: He says they should introduce the option of charging different amounts per site. I disagree. The iTunes model – one price for all songs, err, sites – seems a lot better. However, they do need to add an "undo" button for bad sites and offer standard ad-format donation images instead of a huge, intrusive banner. Until then, click here. I'll report on the proceeds in a later post.

1 comment:

bálint said...

It's interesting, but personally I feel somehow strange about giving out money automatically to somebody just because I went to his website... If you browse a lot around, suddenly you notice that you spent quite some money... and you were never even asked about it. But yeah, if people are okay with this, then I do not see why it shouldn't work on long term.

But if it is really a good idea, it wouldn't be a big problem for paypal to implement it, and they already have the customer base...

cheers,
balint