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HOT The word new as would be seen on a sticker on an item in store inventory trying to attract new customers.

Web monetization?

Official definition:

Web Monetization is “A JavaScript browser API which allows the creation of a payment stream from the user agent to the website” via https://webmonetization.org/

Simply said:

It’s an alternative way of monetizing content.

Ease of Use:

3.5 out of 5

Setup Time:

~ 1hr

Screenshot of the web monetization home page.

What?

Let's say you are a blogger. Instead of showing ads on your site, you can get direct payments from your viewers.

To get it going, you set up a digital wallet somewhere like Uphold and wrap your premium content in a wrapper such as {{% exclusive %}} and voila - when your audience clicks to see the content, they stream cents to your digital wallet.

Here is a screenshot of the digital wallet we created to test this out👇

Screenshot of our uphold digital wallet in multiple currencies

We became interested in web monetization because:

Heard about it through grant for the web which is backed by awesomeness like Mozilla and Creative Commons.

Also, who doesn’t like the idea of cutting out the middle man and content creators directly making money!

Screenshot of mozilla and creative common's site for their grant for the web, which asked people to use web monetization in an interesting way, which is why we began this process.

Getting it Working

When we started, webmonetization.org only had Hugo documentation which is a static site generator neither of us had heard of so part of the challenge was learning Hugo as well.

Every day it seems the Web Monetization community is growing and now the documentation includes a plugin by Angular, Vue, Wordpress, Jekyll with new ones popping up every day.

High level steps from the web monetization quick start guide:

To monetize your site, you must:

  1. Set up a web monetized receiver (wallet) for receiving payments.
  2. Get your wallet's payment pointer.
  3. Create a special tag that tells Web Monetization providers how to pay you.
  4. Add the tag to each page of your website that you want to monetize

Trip ups we had that maybe you can avoid:

  • Anticipate setting up a wallet. You don't actually need to add your bank account. You will need to "add funds" and then generate a payment pointer which you then add to your meta tag. Great instructions for uphold here
  • Your site must be https to enable web monetization
  • When we initially did it there was only documentation for Hugo - if you go the Hugo route beware its a theme (not a plugin), and the second “option” for setting up a theme worked.
  • Ultimately on this site we implemented by adding the meta tag in the html head and then adding some custom css/js to get it working as advised on the web monetization site - they said this is not a good way of doing it because can easily be manipulated through the browser - but they will give server side examples soon in their docs.

Conclusion

What are the pros / cons of it:

Pros: New! (exciting, inspiring, will give more flexibility and range for content creators)

Cons: Is it hot enough? (who is using web browser payments?) How easy is to hack?

Would you recommend it?

Yes! Definitely content creators should experiment with it, for an ~1hr investment to get running could be a whole new way to make $$. Besides the monetization itself, the advocacy for this new web standard would probably also draw attention to your content.

HOT NEW EXCLUSIVE MONETIZED CONTENT will appear here if you are monetized: