I'm building ActivityWatch (time tracker) and Thankful (browser extension for donating to creators)

Hi everyone!

First off: Great initiative! I’m really excited to see what it leads to.

I have two projects that could relate to this forum & the grant:

  • ActivityWatch (https://activitywatch.net/), an open-source, privacy-first, cross-platform, automated time tracker. It can be used to help you understand how much you work (and on what), help you with bad screen habits (such as certain social media sites feasting on your attention), or just to feed your curiosity about what you really do all day. We built it with privacy in mind so you own all your data, meaning it doesn’t leave your device.

  • Thankful (https://getthankful.io/), a browser extension that tracks creators from your browsing history and lets you semi-automatically donate cryptocurrency directly to them. There are no platform fees only transaction fees, and we have a way to reduce them to practically zero. Development has stalled, but we have an MVP available that works yet leaves much to be desired.

We started building Thankful after asking what could be a good use of the data you get with ActivityWatch. So they are both naturally privacy-first (although Thankful uses Ether as a cryptocurrency, so transactions are public on the chain).

I’m curious about the WebDonations API, and want to experiment further with the ideas we were planning for Thankful: crypto-rewards, “crowd/micro/supporter-equity”, fully automatic donations (with EIP1337), onboarding of creators and supporters without crypto addresses, private transactions.

Anyway, happy to be here! Would love to chat more with people that I share these interests with :slight_smile:

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Since it only allowed two links per post for new users, here’s two more to the repositories/READMEs of the projects:

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welcome on the board

Your second project has pretty good idea behind it. Artists should be paid, I think

Thankful seems very similar to Brave Rewards. Is there anything major that sets you apart?

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How we’re different from Brave:

  • We support any browser that supports WebExtentions
  • No special token, we use ETH and plan to move to Dai
  • There’s no KYC/registration requirement for creators
  • There are no ads involved
  • It is actually decentralized and censorship resistant. If we disappear Thankful will still work fine.

Apart from that, we see it going in a quite different direction. We don’t want to be an ad protocol (like BAT basically is), we just want to let creators raise money themselves without intermediaries or platforms and reward their supporters any way they like, be it “social money” (special tokens issued by creators) or Patreon-like rewards.

What we’ve found is that rewards (even if they are just bragging/signaling rights) are basically required if you want to attract donors, and we’ve been a bit too idealistic in this regard to not take that into account when building our MVP.

Personally I’m not a big fan of Brave for some of the above reasons and don’t believe they will succeed in the long run, and frankly I think a far simpler design like what we built for Thankful is the better foundation to build on.

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Sounds good, I feel very similarly, and I’m doing nearly the same thing for podcast donations with Podcrypt: https://podcrypt.app

Interesting ideas. You’ve already explained how Thankful differs from Brave Rewards. Curious if you can explain more about how ActivityWatch differs from RescueTime?

As far as I can tell, it doesn’t automatically discover payment addresses for content creators, right? As I understand it, users has to micro-manage the extension by manually adding payment addresses for the creators they want to support. Are there any plans to auto-discover addresses from websites/creators?

Any plans on supporting Web Monetization?