How I Supported some Free in April

04 May 2011

Free Geek signs
Image by Jason McHuff, via Flickr

Whew! I'm running at top speed over here, but I realized that I didn't post the results of my April efforts to support Free in the community. That's such an important project to me, I decided to break my blogging break (as it were).

Image by Kirsty Hall

First, I made a small donation to Kirsty Hall's 365 Jars project. Go read about it - it's awesome. She's creating a piece of art based on a jar each and every day for the coming year. And she's hiding the jars in whatever locale she happens to be. Sometimes people find them, and log into her website to report the finds.

Kirsty has been an awesome guest on the podcast - we've talked about her last daily art project, and about being authentic online. I love what she's doing here, and respect the fact that she's needed to re-arrange a lot of her life to take on this project.


I also made a donation to Carina Envoldsen-Harris. She has a very interesting fundraising effort going on at her blog right now. She wants to start doing embroidery video tutorials, but she needs a video camera. So she put out a call for donations, and some of her readers are responding.

Personally, I like having this opportunity to help a crafter who's work I really enjoy branch out into other forms of media. Since I'll be the beneficiary of the video how-to's, it definitely feels like a win to me.

Oh, and finally, I do this every month, but thought I'd mention it again here. Flattr is a micropayment system that lets you pay small amounts of money to blogs and posts you like. You can set yourself a monthly limit of $5.00 or more, and then just click the Flattr buttons you see on various websites. At the end of the month, Flattr divides your monthly amount by the number of clicks you made, and pays people.

I think Flattr has a whole lot of potential for making blogging and Free content more sustainable. It gives us all a super easy way to pay and be paid, and because we're talking about such small amounts, it's easier to afford. (And, speaking as a Flattr user, those tiny payments do add up over time!) Flattr has recently simplified itself, too, so it's easier than ever to use.

I Flattred Dryden, Rayna, Kim and Kirsty. Are you using Flattr on your blog? Please comment and give me your link. I'd love to add you to my monthly rounds.

Thanks, as always, for witnessing this little project!


I love this page, Lisa, and thank you for sharing the link. I'd love a world where every blog spelled out how they'd like support this clearly. I think a lot of bloggers have fairly vague dreams of someday maybe making a little money from their blogs, but this vagueness doesn't give readers any idea they'd like support, let alone cues on how to do it.

My donation button has never amounted to large amounts of money either, but I think we're at the start of a big evolution in how people see the value of their favorite blogs - something you describe beautifully on your page. I think it's important to put it out there and stand behind it. And be patient, because this evolution will happen pretty slowly, even in a supportive community like this one.

Thanks for the flattr! I enjoy using it because it gives me a great way to share some love with creative people across all fields of making. I do wish there were more crafters using it though!

Me too! I think we could all do each other a lot more good if there were more of us using it.

Just popped in to say how happy I was to see one of Kirsty's jars! I am a fan of her project and keep hoping a jar will pop up in Germany...!! It makes me so happy to see she's being supported. It's also great to see that Carina put a call out for what she needs. It's a good example for artists to see that it's OK to ask for what we want or need...
Best wishes for all your happy creations, tj

I so agree, TJ - this is a moment when we need to ask instead of quietly hope for support. It's the only way we can make visible the amount of effort we put into our work.

I hope Kirsty can get a jar (or more!) to Germany, too!

I was delighted to see a new post at the CraftyPod! It's still highly motivating to see you continuing to pursue this idea. I have been contemplating placing an order from a fellow blogger, and you just gave me the extra incentive to do it! Thanks, Diane!

Hey, yippeeee, Erin! Place that order - you'll make someone's day!

I'm excited to see flattr change. I'm excited to use micropayments. I hope it will open the use to people I want to support in the writing and crafting community. Last I checked I couldn't find users who I wanted to support. It narrowed the pool. I want to use it myself as well to open the pool.
I love being the first to try new ideas. i was an early user of twitter, but didn't use it well for a long time because I didn't know about platform building or how to connect wih people. Now it's all coming together. I see micropayments getting big in the near future.

I think it's still a little challenging to find people to Flattr, Asrai, which is why I'm hoping some folks will share their URLs here. I do hope there will be a bigger pool as we move forward, because I'd really love to show my support to more bloggers!

Yay! I am so glad you found a few minutes to do this! I know you are slammed. but it is so important - this awareness you are bringing to the craft blog community.

I am posting my April purchases/support on Monday.

I am very glad you pointed me to Flattr and in this post you have pointed me to some new people to Flattr! Thank you for that!

And thanks so much for the tip about Carina. I actually am purchasing from her shop this month - May and will include a donation to her Video camera.

And OMG that project of Kristy's is amazing. I love the idea that she is leaving the jars to be found. Headed back to the links you provided right this minute.

Thank you so much, Diane, for inspiring me to join you in supporting our community of craft bloggers and sharing how we did that each month. It has become quite quickly a satisfying and fun habit!

I love these posts. I hope to support some free this month myself. Thanks!