Flattr for publishers: tips and wishes

Flattr is a way for readers to donate small amounts of money to publishers. Read [1] for an introduction to Flattr. This post describes its benefits for publishers in more detail and lists tips and wishes.

Benefits for publishers

Publishers reap the following benefits from Flattr:
  • You can ask for donation per article or per site. And anywhere where one can donate, one can also subscribe – give repeated donations automatically.
  • Thus, Flattr is a useful alternative to Paypal regarding making donations.
  • Furthermore, if your “things” get flattred, you appear on their top lists and possibly get additional traffic.


Flattr buttons:
  • If you submit your thing, you are given JavaScript to put into the <head> of your web page and HTML for the button itself.
    • Some WYSIWYG editors don’t handle empty HTML elements well and remove them automatically. Instead, you can add a text to the anchor, say, “Flattr”. If you additionally remove the display:none style, you will see the link while editing.
    • Compact buttons: The easiest is to add an additional query parameter to load.js in the header, to change all buttons on a page. The addition is in bold: http://api.flattr.com/js/0.6/load.js?mode=auto&button=compact
  • There is more documentation on the Flattr JavaScript API, but it seems partially out of date. Stick to the code from the submit web page and you’ll be fine.
  • Details on integrating Flattr with you site, e.g. plugins for easier submission.


My wish list for Flattr is as follows.
  • Submit page:
    • Read-only text areas for the code snippets (then the shortcut “select all” works)
    • A button for extracting the title of a given URL (see reddit link submission)
    • Automatic extraction of more data (e.g. tags) for websites such as Blogger and Wordpress.
  • I “My top things” (on the dashboard) is interesting to publishers, give us a way to directly link to it.
  • Show an empty placeholder why the Flattr button is loading then the layout does not have to be rearranged once everything is done.
  • Show images in a gallery.
  • Long-term idea: Much more could be done with content, Flattr could lay out a complete dynamically generated newspaper (including great pictures!). Having a gallery for images is one step for preparing for this.

Related reading

  1. Flattr or how to finance web content