Web Monetization

We’ve just started experimenting with Web Monetization, a standard for streaming payments on the web. I wrote a little about it here:

As I mention in that post, Write.as now has the capability for Web Monetization! If you’d like to try this out, just send us your payment pointer to @support and we’ll add it to any (or all) of your blogs. Note: Since this is a Write.as Labs feature, you’ll need to be a Pro user to take advantage of this.

What do you all think about this? Are you interested in trying it out? Is anything confusing? Would you rather avoid monetizing your work? Any input you have is welcome!

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Not bad. I always find myself overwhelmed and dumbfounded by digital payment and fintech and how it all ACTUALLY works, but I went ahead and created a GateHub account (verification pending) to see what I can do here. It looks (and in all honesty is) beyond complicated with what is involved, on THEIR end (in this case GateHub), but it seems easy enough for me. Cool that the monetization method W.a went with (or is going with now) is kind of in the vein of crypto-indie-decentralized-privacy friendly sort of…thing. lol!

Anyway, I really look forward to trying this out :slight_smile:

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Pardon my ignorance as I can’t seem to wrap my head around how this should work. My understanding is, if I click and read a blog post that has web monetization enabled, small amounts of money will be streaming from my wallet to the author. My initial thought was, wouldn’t this dissuade readers from reading blog posts? I mean, if I know I’m going to be giving away money by just reading an article that I don’t know is good or not, I wouldn’t want to read in the first place.

That’s a great point! But I think there are a few aspects of this that potentially make it a minor issue… For one, the money probably comes from a subscription you’ve already paid, e.g. the $5/month you’d pay for a Coil subscription (one provider). But more importantly, the amounts are very small – about $0.36 / hour of read time – so even if you decide you don’t like an article, there’s relatively little lost.

Otherwise, since this is a browser technology, it’s actually possible to dynamically control the flow of money. So for example, we (the platform) or you (the writer) could add some custom Javascript that adds a button to the page – maybe it says “Start paying this writer” – and only enables monetization after the reader clicks that button. That’s just one way readers might get more control over everything.

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I see. In that case, yeah I agree, it is not as big of a problem as I thought. Thank you for explaining it to me. I’m still not sold on it, but I’m curious to see how it will pan out.

To be honest, my preference would still be to have some kind of “tip” widget that shows up at the bottom/end of a post. However, that’s no different from making use of Buy Me A Coffee or Ko-fi. I actually appreciate that you guys are trying something different on here.

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My main question is How likely is it for one to actually earn more than the cost of premium membership that would be required to get involved in monetization and therefore would it be worth the effort?

Is it CPM or CPC? And what are the rates?

Yep, like I discussed a bit in the blog post, I’d like to work toward supporting multiple income streams. So while this is a start, it definitely doesn’t rule out tips, download fees, premium content, one-time payments, subscriptions, etc.

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Though it’s possible to make more than the monthly cost of a subscription, this probably wouldn’t be the sole reason you’d want to upgrade – there are plenty of other features included with Pro that you might want for your blog.

Payments stream to you based on reading time, at a rate of $0.36 / hour / user.

I’m 100% behind this. Having a way for folks to monetize their blogs and writing is essential and using web standards is the way to go. I hope this catches on more and I will definitely send you my payment pointer to try it out!

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Maybe team up with places like Gumroad and Stripe. Would be cool if I could set up a subscription service in say Gumroad and then just freely write in write.as pointing to that subscription target.

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Thanks again for setting this up. I’m very excited that write.as is pioneering in this way. I’m seeing many other sites like dev.to and freecodecamp starting to do this as well.

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Matt, would exclusive content already work with this?

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Hey @salis, the exclusive content side of things won’t work automatically. It would require a little extra logic on Write.as’ end to make this happen. Looking at the code shown, it might actually be possible with the Custom JS.

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Hi @salis @cjeller1592 in case you’re interested, I’ve just posted a game development class on my Write.as site that’s only accessible to users with Web Monetization enabled (though I don’t currently check clients against a server, so it would be feasible to trick my code pretty easily).

The Web Monetized class: https://innkeepergames.com/getting-started-in-game-development-develop-strong-video-game-ideas

I’m planning on creating more tutorials and classes accessible via Web Monetization on Write.as.

My code is super messy and based on that tutorial, but I’m happy to share it:
JS:

if (document.getElementById('monetized')) {
  if (document.monetization) {
      document.getElementById('not-monetized').classList.add('hidden');
      document.getElementById('loading').classList.remove('hidden');
      document.monetization.addEventListener('monetizationstart', () => {
          document.getElementById('monetized').classList.remove('hidden');
          document.getElementById('loading').classList.add('hidden');
      })
  }
}

HTML:

<div id="not-monetized"><div id="lock">🔒</div>Please enable Web Monetization (using <a href="https://coil.com/">Coil</a> or another provider) to view this exclusive content. Thanks for supporting my work!</div>

<div id="loading" class="hidden">Loading your exclusive content. If this step is taking too long, ensure that your Web Monetization provider is active!</div>

<div id="monetized" class="hidden">Success! Thank you for your support. Feel free to reach out with any questions.</div>

I also added some CSS to make it look a little nicer, including a free loader animation.

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That’s really cool! Seems to work well too.

FYI, if you’d like to see some example code from the Coil team, you can find some Glitch projects they created here.

Here’s one that shows or hides exclusive content based on whether someone’s a subscriber to a WM service.

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This is cool, let me try a step in another direction.
Practical scenario I’m trying to achieve: digital download with fixed price.

  1. I have a podcast https://sim.show/podcast
  2. I want to sell a bundle of all interviews in FLAC+eBook in 3 different formats for ~$15.
  3. On the podcast page there should be a “Buy directly from me” button with this.
  4. Users who paid are redirected to a file download that I host elsewhere.

(Though this is potentially cutting out anyone with just a credit card and ready to buy it, like it’d be with Stripe, which is not indifferent at all in the real world).

Trying to see if there’s a practical implementation of this.

Hey everyone, just wanted to share a few exciting updates on this!

  1. Web Monetization is now available to everyone on Write.as! Now you’ll see a “Web Monetization” section on your blog’s Customize page, so you can easily add your payment pointer. Anyone who sent us their pointer already will see it appear here, so no extra step is needed.

  2. Web Monetization is coming to WriteFreely, too! We just merged these changes, so admins will be able to offer this to their users in our upcoming v0.13 release (set monetization = true in your [app] config section).

  3. We plan to support exclusive content via Web Monetization (as mentioned by @salis)! We’re working with the folks at Coil on a server-side implementation, so no Javascript trickery will be needed when that’s ready.

As always, would love to hear any other thoughts you have. We’ll keep you updated here as this continues developing!

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Great news, thanks for your constant efforts, @matt & @cjeller1592.

Edit: Added small note about WM on one blog I have on write.as—and explaining why I signed up for the 5-years-plan as well: https://sim.show/simshow-now-supports-web-monetization

this is really interesting…

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