Recently, my blog was featured on Coil's list of monetised content. I'd like to take a little time to explain what Web Monetisation is, how to get set up with it, and what my thoughts are.
Stick this line in the
<head> of your HTML page.
<meta name="monetization" content="$ilp.uphold.com/ieELEKD7epqw">
You should replace my uphold address with your own. Unless you want me to get paid for your work.
This is a draft specification for seamless payments on the web.
This gives a website visitor a few ways to pay to use a website.
- Passive payment. You load your browser up with, say £5 per month. Your browser works out which sites your spent your time on, then splits the fiver between them.
- Active payment. You visit a website and hit a paywall. You can tell the browser to pay for it - rather than going through an arduous payments process.
There's a lot more to it than that - obviously - but that'll do as a brief explanation.
I was asked to beta test Coil - so that's what this section will focus on.
They have a pretty simple guide to getting started. In theory, you can choose a variety of payment providers. I went with Uphold because they don't require you to use a shitty pseudo-currency based on half-baked Blockchain tech. You can get your money in pounds, pesos, paʻanga, or most other world currencies.
Uphold, like any reputable financial institution, has to perform a Know Your Customer check. The usual thing of sending in copies of your ID and proving you are who you claim. Nothing too arduous.
Once you have an "Interledger Payments" address -
$ilp.uphold.com/ieELEKD7epqw - you can use it to start receiving payments from visitors.
Coil has a range of plugins for things like WordPress, and can even connect your YouTube and Twitch accounts to enable monetisation there.
We need a better way to pay for the web - because advertising sucks. At best it is boorish and irrelevant interruptions. At worst it is... well, look around you.
Unfortunately, as popular as my blog is, I quite often get notifications like this:
I know every penny helps - but that's a bit ridiculous!
It's a chicken-and-egg problem. But I think it's important that content creators take the first step. Start putting the meta elements on your pages now. Get the content and infrastructure there, and wait for consumers to catch up.
Coil could do with a bit more fine grained detail on where payments are coming from. It would be useful for me to know which of my pages performs best, or whether payments have come from YouTube or Twitch. But it is early days - I'm excited to see how it develops.
So, get started now with Web Monetisation - and perhaps we can rid the web of the scourge of advertising.