During the early stages of our project, we have been taking the time to get to know the web monetization community, experiment with the platforms and tools to begin to monetize our various storyworlds, identify glitches that need a fix or work around, find people and project to include in our vlogcast and case study series, share our initial findings on the web monetization standard with our community and our students, and begin to build educational resources around web monetization.
Progress on objectives
Our objectives with this project are to learn from others about their successes and challenges in utilizing the web monetization standard, conduct our own experiments in utilizing the web monetization standard, demonstrate different pathways forward with sustainable funding models and the web monetization standard, and create resources for creators to learn about the web monetization standard from in the form of vlogcast interviews, case studies, and online open educational resources.
As we got started on these objectives, with our initial focus on setting up our own web monetization experiments and getting to know the community and identify projects to feature on the Sustainable Funding Series, we kept identifying glitches that needed fixes or work arounds (which is to be expected with newer platforms and tools), and recognized the need for public outreach and education in order to grow the communities on each of the platforms to help make them sustainable.
In this bent, we have spent a fair chunk of our initial time on these endeavours:
- Identifying glitches and finding fixes or workarounds - these have included:
- An issue with the excerpts displaying from the Coil Web Monetization Plugin for WordPress, which the Coil team fixed: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/no-excerpts-and-how-to-test-if-its-working/
Searching for a Solution : Coil's Web Monetization Plugin Excerpts Not Displaying on WordPress sites
Erica Hargreave ・ Feb 7 '21 ・ 1 min read
An issue with larger file size uploads on Cinnamon, which while we are hoping is fixed in the future, we are currently using a workaround of downsizing our video quality before uploading to Cinnamon; and
An issue sending money out of our Uphold account, which Mateo from mg.social and Adam from gfam both created a fix for our immediate need on.
- Sharing content from Cinnamon and on web monetization created by ourselves and others in the community, with our broader community in our various social spaces;
- Helping others in the web monetization community tackle their challenges where we can, like lending Adam at gfam some of our digital strategy and community building experience and advice: https://mg.social/post/view/2890, https://lifebe.com.au/digital/instagram-influencers-are-they-useful/
Our key activities to date have been to:
Set up and begin to experiment with web monetization on a number of our websites. Our original plan had been to just do this on StoryToGo and Roamancing, but as we discovered that there is no downside to web monetizing more of our sites, we've set this up on StoryToGo, StoryToGo Classroom, Roamancing, Being Emme, and my personal speaking site.
Built StoryToGo and Roamancing on Cinnamon. In addition to this, we have web monetized the associated YouTube Channels through Coil.
Engaged with the web monetization community to better understand the space, see what different people are up to, begin to compile a list of projects we'd like to interview for the sustainable funding series, better understand the current challenges and possible solutions in web monetization, and get to know the community. Thus far, we've been doing this on Cinnamon, mg.social, gfam, twitter, and reddit.
Started shaping a plan for the content to include in an open course on the web monetization standard, as well as in the current courses that we teach at BCIT.
Pitched and had accepted two talks on the web monetization at educational conferences in April - CNIE and OERxDomains.
Informally pitched (as I missed seeing the call for proposals) a talk on web monetization to TMAC, either for a professional development session or their travel media conference in June. Awaiting to hear back from them.
Conducted my first sustainable funding interview including web monetization with Adam from gfam.
- Took part in the Grant for the Web round table discussion at MozFest on 'Business models on the web are broken! Let's fix them.' You can watch the recorded copy of it here: https://schedule.mozillafestival.org/session/FTCNBS-1
Communications and marketing
To date, we are publicly sharing our own experiments in web monetization, as well as content from the broader community focused on web monetization, in the following ways:
- on social media - predominantly Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn;
in niche communities, including the StoryToGo Community Group, UBC MET Community Group, and journalism and media communities we are a part of;
by beginning to write up our experiences and tutorials around on my speaking site, with the idea that some of the resources created around can later be repurposed into the open course on web monetization, including this post on setting up the Coil Web Monetization Plugin on your WordPress.org site: https://ericahargreave.com/2021/02/coil-web-monetization-plugin-for-wordpress-set-up/;
informally discussed the web monetization standard in our own sessions and that of others at the OE Global Conference in November (and at MozFest this past week);
as well as through one-on-one meetings in places like LunchClub and with our current BCIT students on our course news feed
While we will continue with web monetization experiments with our own storyworlds and community building and sharing, our focus in leading up to April's talks at the CNIE and OERxDomains Conferences needs to be on:
conducting more interviews on different projects for the Sustainable Funding Series;
editing and publishing those interviews, and building case studies from them; and
developing more educational resources around web monetization, as we build towards the development of open courses on web monetization and sustainable funding.
What community support would benefit your project?
The Sustainable Funding Series is a series my team and I would love to extend beyond the Grant for the Web portion of the series. In that bent:
- Please let me know if you wish to partake in the Sustainable Funding Series by taking part in an interview on your project and having your interview and a case study on it shared to the StoryToGo.
As I continue to experiment with web monetization, are there:
Other avenues web monetization and platforms that you recommend that my team and I experiment with?
Examples of exemplary or creative web monetized projects that you think we should check out?
Long term, I'd like to compile a list of resources for creators in building sustainably.
- If you have or know of resources that should be on that list, please share a link to them in the comments below.
As I begin to build open educational courses around web monetization and sustainable funding, I'd love your input.
What things do you think are important to include in an open course on web monetization?
What things do you think are important to include in an open course on sustainable funding?
Have you created or are you aware of resources on web monetization and / or sustainable funding that I should include in the open courses?
Thanks so much for any ideas and resources you share, and for all the wonderful supportive people that we've been discovering in this web monetization community. We are loving being a part of this community and enjoying getting to know the people here and interesting work that everyone is up to.
Latest comments (1)
Obviously I've loved being a part of your Grant for the Web project! I've learnt so much from you already and have obviously been very keen to help you where I can.
I can't remember if we spoke about it in our interview, it might not have been ready, but gFam.live now has Gated Content where creators can specify XRP amounts that unlock the content just for that consumer... this might be a viable form of sustainable funding for your story tellers. Both the image and text is blurred so creators could bury private links to other content in the text and use gFam as the gateway between paying consumers and content creators.
Personally I think the explainer video that MG.Social has on its site and Cinnamon channel is a fantastic resource for web monetization... and Vivid Labs has been collecting resources and creating a video platform to be owned by the community.
Personally I think the most important thing to include in a course about web monetization is the why... why should people care more about not consuming content for "free".
Thank you so much for all the effort you've put into our platforms already and everything you've done for the community thus far. We super appreciate it!