Supporting Creatives Part 2: Tipping


Tags Creativity

I have always been very ambivalent toward tipping content creators. In the past I was downright hostile toward it because I felt like people were throwing their spare change at us.

NeoCities has a tipping feature, but I think it’s safe to say the feature hasn’t caught on. I only ever saw one profile with tips and I don’t even remember which user it was. I think the concept of tipping ends up running parallel to NeoCities’ open/free culture (thus ne’er the twain shall meet).

I’ve been thinking about tipping the past few days and I think the most important thing about tipping is it moves away from creative-as-product. It is an acknowledgement of creative as service.

I was recently introduced to ko-fi (“support [creatives] for the price of a coffee”), and what I like about it is the tipping is not tied to an explicit exchange of goods. On Patreon, the patronage system has become a way to drive creative product. Many creatives on Patreon have subscription tiers and it is a clear exchange of money for a specific type and volume of creative product on a regular schedule. With ko-fi it’s more an acknowledgement of the ongoing creative endeavor, which has highs and lows and changes over time. There is no demand on the creative to provide a specific form of content, only a gesture of support for their service.

So, tipping? I’m warming up to it.