(republished from Paperkeg)
I like to think of myself as a hip cat. I’m with it.
I use some pretty cool and nerdy apps. One of which is Instapaper. There are many like it these days, but this was the first I tried. Often, you’ll find yourself coming to an article you’d like to read, but would prefer to read it later, so I’d used Instapaper to save that URL, and I could read it later at my leisure. Not only that, but it would just save the text and get rid of all the crap. It makes it look like I’m reading an eBook, essentially.
I have a point here, don’t worry.
The developer of this app, Marco Arment, left Tumblr to make Instapaper his full time job. The app was $4, if I recall, so once I paid that, I didn’t really have to give him any more money. However, he created a subscription service. If you signed up, this fee allowed you to remove the ads from Instapaper’s website if you so chose while also giving him about $3 a month.
More than that, it gave you piece of mind that you were supporting Marco while he continued expanding his fantastic service. At one point, I even stopped using Instapaper as a daily, or even as weekly app, but I felt strongly enough that its development was worth my chipping in a few bucks a month to help out.
If your favorite comic book creator had a monthly or even tri-monthly subscription/donation system, would you sign up?
Let’s say the boys from Atomic Robo had a button on their sign marked “VIP”. That sets you up to pay them $3/month. You get emailed some cool sketches and maybe even some peeks at new covers.
Sure, you buy Atomic Robo each month, but feel like you want to do as much as you can so they can keep doing what they’re doing. Is it worth going above and beyond the cost of a monthly comic?
And on the other side, maybe you’re a guy that just pirated Atomic Robo V1-4. Maybe you want to send a little cheddar their way because you have some oddball reason of not wanting to pay full price for a creator-owned book.
This brings up a whole host of questions since comic books are obviously not the same as Instapaper. Mainly, pirates paying the creators straight out kind of skips offer Red 5 along with other junk I don’t really feel like expanding on.
However, paying for their monthly books and wanting to show direct appreciation with a sort of digital tip jar is kind of new, right?
I’m a guy that doesn’t often buy shirts, or even sketches at cons, so this kind of lazy digital tip jar appeals to me. Anything where I don’t have to get out of bed to support creators is A-OK in my book.
See, I told you I had a point. Maybe.
(This post was inspired in small part by PKW host, @JMStump.)