Flattr is a micropayment service that lets you effectively leave a tip to websites, bloggers, software and other online things setup to accept payments. You put in a set amount of money to Flattr every month and then just use the Internet as you normally would from your computer. If you see the Flattr button and you like the content or service or what have you, you click it to leave a tip (let’s call that a Flattring).

How much of a tip is simple: Flattr divide your set amount of money by the number of Flattrings and distribute the money to the people behind the Flattr buttons. Pretty simple, and a nice way to give small amounts of money to people online.

Of course Flattr can only give the money to people who want to accept it, but it’s as simple a system as I can think of in order to say thanks to software or services or people publishing interesting content online that don’t otherwise accept formal payment for anything.

My blog attracts precious few visitors, I don’t advertise it anywhere online and I don’t run ads on it, so running a Flattr button is more than a little counter intuitive and should result in bare pennies at best. I love the idea though and I’m happy to give it a go.

It’s very much a system that depends on the network effect to get going, so if you read this and you’re interested, poke around their site and maybe sign up and see how you find it. As someone who reads a hell of a lot online for entertainment and to learn about new things, I’m looking forward to leaving the odd Flattr tip where I can.