Kachingle beta goes live (Kachingle me, please!)

By Steve Outing

One of my strongest interests this year has been news and content business models, and how to pay for content that’s given away free online. As a blogger (and my professional interest as a writer, researcher, and consultant on news business models), I’m especially interested in the wave of new solutions for websites and blogs to attract money from volunteer contributors.

This weekend, Kachingle, one of the first of this new wave of voluntary-pay solutions I heard and started writing about in early 2009, debuted its service in beta. (Disclaimer.) I’m excited to finally see this concept in action, and find out if my gut instincts are correct: that some websites and blogs can make a tidy revenue stream of voluntary user donations (a.k.a., crowdfunding).

Image from Kachingle.com

It’d be great if you would “Kachingle” me, which means that you like my blog and writing enough to monetarily support it (along with your other favorite sites and blogs that will start using Kachingle). Note the Kachingle “medallion” in the upper right of all my blog pages and sign up.

Here’s the quick version of Kachingle for the first-time user:

  • Via the medallion, you’d sign up for a Kachingle account
  • This will entail committing to a $5/month Paypal withdrawal from your account
  • That $5 will be shared each month among all sites that you like most (and are Kachingle publishers carrying the medallion)
  • Whenever you encounter a Kachingle-enabled site, if it’s one you like and visit often, mouseover the Kachingle medallion so it expands, then click “Kachingle website.com”
  • Your money will be distributed only among sites you’ve “Kachingled” and based on number of site visits by you

So, now as a Kachingle paying member, your money (minus Kachingle’s admin fee) will be shared by the sites you’ve “Kachingled.” No money will go to Kachingle-enabled sites that you haven’t opted to support.

I’m in touch with several other companies also looking for monetary solutions for free online content, including several operating under the crowdfunding principle, and you’ll see me test them out on this blog. Currently I have alpha versions of SurfShare and Payyattention on this blog, but both of those are still in demo mode; no money is being accepted by them yet.

I’ve tried out a couple others but took them down due to coding conflicts. As those developers get things straightened out, I’ll experiment with their services, too.

This is going to be interesting to watch, across the web. Will voluntary user/reader support represent much money for websites and blogs that try it?

I don’t think that crowdfunding is going to save the news industry, though it could become a nice extra revenue stream for web news publishers. I think that for some bloggers, crowdfunding using streamlined donation solutions like Kachingle could be significant.

So Kachingle is off and running. Let’s see the rest of you launch soon, and see what happens!

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

6 Responses to "Kachingle beta goes live (Kachingle me, please!)"

  1. Erik Mogensen
    Erik Mogensen 8 years ago .Reply

    This is cool, since it’s one huge experiment.

    But what about RSS feeds?

    I’m an eager reader of your blog, but I only follow your feed. This is actually the first time I’ve clicked through to reach the site. How can kachingle work for me?

  2. Steve Outing
    Steve Outing 8 years ago .Reply

    Erik: I’ll check with Kachingle folks about plans for RSS support. … One thing I’ve thought about is changing my blog to excerpt mode (first couple grafs then “more” link to encourage clickthroughs to my site). Used to have it that way, then decided full-feed was more convenient for readers. What do you think? Would you find that annoying?

  3. Erik Mogensen
    Erik Mogensen 8 years ago .Reply

    I do find I often don’t read “partial feeds”, since I do most of my reading on my mobile phone using Google Reader, and most web sites are less than stellar on most mobile phones.

    And even if I do, a lot of phones have no JavaScript and I’ve turned off images, to conserve bandwidth, and to speed things up.

    I guess a little reminder in the feed could suffice, a bit like all those (uesless) feedburner (tracking) icons at the bottom of a lot of feeds. It could simply be a link which (hopefully) would allow me to sign up and kachingle from my mobile phone.

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  5. Selling Old Mobile Phones
    Selling Old Mobile Phones 7 years ago .Reply

    Regarding the above comment – I don’t often read partial feeds either – but i have heard that there are so problems on certain blogging platforms where it’s set by defalut and then very difficult to change. I think this is a problem assocaited with feedburner.

    I do sympathise with the blog owners though – if they’re going to spend a lot of time writing posts the least the readers could do is visit the site.

  6. sean
    sean 7 years ago .Reply

    not sure if I like the name or not.

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