Regular readers and subscribers may be aware that Haggerston Times has become “tibbable”! This means that visitors can choose to make small donations via the “tibdit” WordPress widget I have installed and which you can see displayed in the top right hand corner of my screen. Cool, huh?
Think of it as virtual busking. With words instead of notes. What tibit co-founders Justin Maxwell and Pauline Hunter are trying to do is recreate that instinctive reaction that we all have from time to time, to reward somebody for a service, but voluntarily, and without having to think too hard about it. Both are adamant that in order to do this effectively the act of “tibbing” must not be labour intensive. The hardest part of real life tipping is separating your coppers and silvers from your pound coins and notes; with “tibbing”, the hardest part is initially specifying your tib size, before you step out into the big wide web. And that, Pauline and Justin believe, is as complicated as it should ever get!
Below you will find answers to many of the questions you might have as you consider whether to get your tib on! If you have any more, feel free to contribute to the discussion. Your feedback is far more valuable to them than your donations are to me (but nothing stops you doing both, right?)! It helps the team understand the customer’s experience and make things better; tibdit want to become the no. 1 for casual micropayments on the web, but every journey begins with small steps, as they say. Here goes:
So I’m ready to tib, but I want to send somebody 2 or 3 tibs?
No can do I’m afraid; the founders, as I have mentioned, are sticklers for detail; the aim is to mimic virtually the instinctive, binary decision making process that takes place when we choose to make a present of a few coins to an entertainer or service provider. It’s a one time, reach in your pocket and toss approach. Anything that adversely complicates the decision making process or causes one to stop and think is out; simplicity and instinct are in. It’s all about staying true to the vision.
So I am set up to receive tibs, I’m a “tibbee” (yay!) but 15 pence is too small for the service I’m providing. Let me charge “tibbers” a little more?
Out of the question, and you know why! “This will trigger the innate process of evaluating whether or not the amount is fair”, explains Justin; “not what tibit is for”. Tibs are not value judgments, the services they reward, just like the busker in the street, are ephemeral, their worth cannot be measured in this way; in real terms, the service is worth “next to nothing”. 75 pence is the upper limit, 5 times the sum of 15p, 3p the lower limit, 5 times less. Remember, the aim is to keep things simple.
What about currencies, can I “tib”, in rupees, dollars, Vietnamese Dong?
tibit has real intent to support all currencies, and it’s being worked on. In fact, this is one of the main reasons the price of a “tib” may not be set too high (alongside the reasons already mentioned). 75 pence in the UK is not a game changing sum, but in parts of India and Africa it could be. Right now, you can tip in USD (recommended tib size 25c, EUR (20c), and XBT (1000 micro-Bitcoin).
Ok, I want to accept payments and be a “tibbee”. But I’m old fashioned. Bitcoin? Really?
Absolutely! Bitcoin is the perfect currency for incremental payments. For starters it can be accepted anywhere, by anyone, and administratively it is streets ahead of any other kind of currency, which helps to make it safer, and easier for “tibbees” to set up. Bitcoin, the brand, has been misused in the past by some people with dubious moral codes, but the underlying technology, the “blockchain”, has never let anybody down. As we have mentioned before, “tibbers” do not encounter bitcoin at any stage in the “tibbing” process. Tibbee’s receive their payment in bitcoin, and the reason for that is simple: would you post your bank details online? Of course not, but you can post a bitcoin link with complete impunity. The rest is simply good accounting practice; the risk, if there is any risk, belongs to the founders. And they happen to be founding members of the UK Digital Currency Association.
I found a great website, I wish they accepted tibs! Can I give them a nudge, ask them to get the widget installed?
By all means! You can’t tip a busker with no hat! tibit’s advice is to “tib where you can, spread the word where you can’t!” Any blogger or service provider would be delighted to hear directly from somebody who is a fan of their work, especially if that fan wants to “tib” them! A tibdit button on a site should say that this person thinks their content is worth more than just your eyeballs!
So what happens when I tib someone? Do they know? Do they know it’s from me?
tibit has a twitter account that will tweet every tib to the interweb, so everyone can see who has been raking in the tibs. They will also send the tibbee a “proof of tib” token, via the tibbers browser (although the tibber will not see this). Tibit will not share your email address or any other details with “tibees”, but the “tibbee” might already know the name or email address of the tibber in which case they may choose to thank them personally. That warm glow they feel when they see they have received a “tib” should be satisfaction enough, right!
So I’m a “tibbee”: how do I keep track of tibs? When do I get paid? And if I start receiving a high volume of tibs?
The first part is simple. If you have more than 5 tibs in your account then you will be paid every 72 hours. More than 50, it’s every 24 hours. To answer the second part, tibit monitors tibbing patterns, and, although it is unlikely given the small sums involved, will investigate any suggestion of fraudulent tibbing. Anything that encourages high frequency tibbing is not permitted; the tibit team can slow down payments should it become necessary. Anti-money laundering procedures and secure payment systems are in place.
So how many sites will become tib friendly over next few weeks / months / years?
The guys believe that tibit will really start to take off when an average user is able to tib more than one of the sites they visit. If you can only tib one site, let’s be honest, things may get a little boring. But as you start to see more sites carrying the buttons, the fun begins! Now you have choice. If you know any bloggers or public facing sites you think would get a kick out of a tib or two, let them know about the service!
I don’t like the button and logo, can I change it?
Hey, the guys worked hard on that logo! Seriously they are working on providing different colour schemes so you will have more choice, plus we are trying to take on as much feedback as possible from our users, so please, leave a comment and let them know what your ideal tib button might look like!
I want to meet you guys! Where can I find you?
tibdit wants to meet you too! They’ll be at WordCamp next month, with their own booth, and Haggerston Times will be joining them too! Plus tibit’s amazing PR team are always working on finding them great events to attend and do what they love to do; talk about tibit!
Oh, and one final thing: tibdit are giving away free T-shirts!
The first 100 bloggers who put a tib-button on their site, and get five of their visitors to sign up and pay them a tib, get a free t-shirt! To claim your shirt, sign up to the tibit mailing list, then email email@example.com with the address of your blog, your bitcoin address, the address you’d like the t-shirt posted to, and your size: S/M/L/XL
Or, if you happen to be at Word Camp, come to the tibdit booth and if you can show a tib button live on your site, you’ll get a free t-shirt.