Friday 7 June 2013

Patronage and the arts of courtly flattery


I have been reading my favourite blogs for years, without paying a penny for the privilege. The material was there, free, so I just read it. When some of my much-visited bloggers admitted they were facing destitution, I sent them some dollars every now and then. Life being what it is, I only did that when they reminded me that they could not continue writing without some income to support them. It was hit and miss. One day, reading Steve Sailer’s blog, I noticed a little ”Flattr” button at the end of each post. is a way of making social micro-donations. You set aside a fixed sum which will be distributed each month according to which blogs you think deserve support. The more you flatter different writers by clicking on their “flattr” buttons the more finely the donations are distributed, but they never exceed your maximum monthly sum. Think of it as a way of paying to read a newspaper, but ensuring that your payment goes to those columnists whose writings you most value, and to no-one else.

And now, back to the program.


  1. Out of curiosity (other than Sailer), who are your regular reads? The usual HBD suspects?

  2. I once asked Sailer whether he'd like a cheque in GBP or NZD. Do you know, he didn't reply.

  3. he was very polite to me and thanked me for my 50 bucks (i had just read his hilarious piece on gladwell)

  4. endre bakken stovner30 July 2013 at 19:42

    oh, and if you added a paypal button i'd donate.