Why not tipping for accepting monetary support?

Tipping supplements service worker salaries (bartenders, servers, baristas, musicians, etc.) offline, why not extend to offer as a monetization option online?

Tipping gives people the power to chose how much and how often to support people. Rather than automatically distributing a fixed or limited amount at a certain interval, you open up the possibility for ad-hoc discrete payments.

Tipalink.com provides a service that extends tipping from the creator to creator’s content. Tips can be received on the web address, or “link”, of a web page - which may contain an article, a project, artwork, etc. Some may give nothing (most already do this), some may give $1 per article per month, some “big tippers” and enthusiastic supporters might drop considerably more and/or more often.


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does it possible to integrate another sources of money to your system (e.g. crypto)?

and what do you think about cooperation with similar projects? The thing is Musicoin project provide tipping system, but atm you can tip only musicians on the platform

imo, it’d be great if you and Musicoin team will cooperate and make tipping more advanced

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Yes, it is possible to integrate many payment solutions. There is one activated right now for processing credit cards and I will be adding Bitcoin by the end of this month (January). I plan on adding multiple additional options after that.

The way it works is the beneficiary (user receiving the tips) decides which payment options to accept and enable. When a tipper decides to pay out the tips on their tab, then they must use one of the payment options configured by a particular beneficiary. I plan on creating some screenshots and videos to explain and show this process.

I am definitely onpen to cooperation with other projects. In fact, most recently I have been completing an API for others to integrate tipping as a service into their projects. This will add features from Tipalink like tipping urls and queuing tips into a tab.

I will reach out to the Musicoin team, thanks for that suggestion and thanks for your reply!

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Yeah, in this case you can check Musicoin page on GFTW - https://forum.grantfortheweb.org/t/musicoin-is-helping-musicians/427

hope you’ll find way to cooperate with this great project

Have a good day

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Firstly, any culture that requires tipping before a worker’s salary even reaches the poverty line ( much less actually passing it ), is a fundamentally sick society … secondly, if everyone who needs more money has to suck up to those that already have it, not only is this utterly demeaning, but it also inevitably leads to those people with the money getting to dictate how you do what you’re doing, which means they have the power to undermine everything you’re trying to achieve, either by not giving you money, or demanding changes in order to receive it, and they will absolutely do this to crush things they’re ideologically opposed to … and if you need a thirdly after that: the amount of money required for complex projects is proportional to the scale and scope of their agenda, and if you have to spend time sucking up to people to get money, then it’s time you’re not spending on the quality of what you’re actually doing … it’s an utterly distracting waste of your time.


@GalacticPrez Accepting tips does not follow solely from “sucking up” to others. People give tips to show their appreciation and support for a creator and/or his/her service. I agree with you that employers should pay more if they can. But I’m also a realist; just because there should be world peace (it’s better for everyone, no?), doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. So, short of changing the hearts and minds of employers and others with the means, but not the will, to help distribute some money… I see tipping as one (of multiple) ways to help. What do you propose?

Edit: I’d like to add that I appreciate your response and empathize with your points of view

There is no valid excuse for how awful the minimum wage is in the USA, none whatsoever, it should be much higher, and anyone guilty of paying less than it should be up on CRIMINAL charges, as this constitutes an abuse of people’s human rights, which is 100% certain to cause suffering, which means it is without question within the purview of Tort Law ( damages ).

It is not an issue of changing employers hearts and minds, they literally shouldn’t have the option in the first place … either they plan their business properly and seek appropriate funding to get off the ground, or they don’t start the business … this is what banks are supposed to be for, and this is what a social safety net is supposed to be for.

Wage depression and social inequality are certainly pressing (and worsening) issues. But it’s up to the US legislature (and those that fund their campaigns) whether to raise the minimum wage. Sadly, I don’t see those wills changing. Likewise, I don’t hold much hope on changing employers’ hearts and minds.

I’m doing my part to help where I can by creating Tipalink and giving people an easy opportunity to accept extra support online. It’s a model that’s been proven to help in many service industries here in the US (sometimes dramatically increasing annual incomes); regardless of the morality (or criminality?) of salaries.

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Ok, fair points in some respects, but wouldn’t it be an equally valid solution to simply figure out how to make more money, and to remove a parasitic owner class from the equation via cooperatives etc., so that workers just get paid properly in the first place?

To what extent is tipping culture mediated? I point to this news report which notes tipping recommendations have “started conditioning their customers to tip less and less. From what I’ve seen in the US, tipping is a way to bump up the chronically underpaid service jobs whereas other countries build it into the service fee. I think what you are saying (correct me if wrong) is that you want some feedback from end-customer as to what is a fair portion that goes to the labor component (as compared with profit). So if there’s a signal that one is willing to pay a little more so long as it compensates worker dignity and not the branding premium then the question is how to unbundle the final bill into the different components (a data management problem) and that the extra goes to that specific person and not just the CxO bonus pool (a provenance issue). This suggests some more sophistication as to the micro-payment (think vector not single lump).

@GalacticPrez - it’s very difficult to get people paid a living wage when labor supply greatly surpasses demand for many jobs available. gofundme, kickstarter, patreon, et al. are helping cut to the chase and provide cooperative funding solutions. tipalink is throwing in it’s hat, as well. more solutions like these and others that give people alternatives (gig economy), the better.

honestly i hadn’t thought about it like that.

quite simply, i see gratuity as a partial solution to the chronic underpayment problem. many people are not being paid enough for all the full value they are providing. and it’s not just in an employment setting - many gig-economy workers and content creator online have the same problem.

profits can be maximized because of the imbalance between labor supply and job demand. many people are “stuck”. the market helps determine the cutoff between profit vs. wages for labor. the market is imbalanced against labor (and online so much is provided for free because again of the imbalance between content consumers and producers). it’s so bad that some companies are taking a cut of the tips (see doordash)!

i’d prefer to see these markets balanced and the cut off moved more towards the middle, but i don’t see that happening with the trends in technology and globalization. these trends are producing tremendous value and, don’t get me wrong, i support them both very much! people still need to get paid somehow, however!

since it’s not balanced, and to avoid additional unfair wage garnishment by letting companies take a portion of the workers’ tips, i am very much in favor of extending direct tipping from the physical service economy to the digital service economy to help. tips are straight from the consumer to those providing the service - they’re peer-to-peer!

I’d have to disagree on the use of the phrase “very difficult”, this is just not true — for example: it’s very much like saying “it’s very difficult to provide a home for everyone and eliminate homelessness”, when in reality in the USA, there’s 6 vacant homes ( entire homes ) per single ( individual ) homeless person.

It’s not that these problems are even remotely difficult to solve, quite to the contrary, all these types of problems are entirely and unnecessarily manufactured by capitalism.

Except that economic theory posits that goods/services in a material abundance economy get priced at point where MARGINAL value equal to marginal cost of supply [link]. This is the fundamental problem with digital goods as the marginal cost of additional distribution is incredibly low compared with the upfront (or sunk costs wrt backcatalogs) of production. That’s why you have elaborate schemes like

  • differential pricing, a first class seat doesn’t get you to destination faster than cattle-class
  • regional zoning - remember that DVD feature which forced developed countries to pay more?
  • planned obsolescence - why software is not supported after X years
  • bundled pricing - why old CDs you get a couple decent track amongst the dozen mediocre ones

Balancing markets is non-trivial since you have multi-party negotiations which (esp once lawyers get involved) are expensive and in the long-term favor the ones with control. The other factor is the time-preference. a lot of things you can do yourself (eg opensource) but if you want convenience of immediate gratification, you have to fork out the cash. I think it is human nature to want to compensate another person rather than a faceless corporation but the current trend with Uber et al is not encouraging.

@drllau - indeed, pricing happens as you’ve well described in your last two replies. psychologically tipping is a bit different than pricing. it’s clearly related to the total cost someone is willing to pay. it’s also something “extra”, more like a donation. as i mentioned before, i don’t see the market imbalance improving much for labor (which would be ideal), so we have to look for other solutions to the income for work problem. i see tipping as helping.

@GalacticPrez - the difficulty i was referring to is in changing the hearts and minds of those with the power to route some greater percentage of revenue towards wages rather than profit (as @drllau articulated); not the difficulty in actually doing so. i totally agree that it’d be easy to do! in many cases it wouldn’t disrupt pricing or business operations; it’s simply a matter of a little more fair redistribution. if the power to do so is concentrated, rather than distributed, then it is not an easy task. tipping offers a distributed model - accepting thousands of $1-5 tips is arguably easier than asking for a thousands of dollars of a raise or raising your prices if your self-employed.

Well, fair call … but have you considered the possibility that those wealthy people actually want people to be poor and die? I don’t think they’re rational reasonable people whose hearts and minds can be changed, I think they’re bigoted fascistic sociopaths, mass murderers, dealers in death, and they’re convinced that “might is right”, and that capitalism is just fine and dandy, and that murdering people in the billions is actually a good outcome ( in their minds ), because they believe the world to be over populated in an absolute sense, irrespective of the inefficiency, wastefulness, and destructiveness of capitalism ( their religion ).

I’m not saying don’t do it … only don’t get your hopes up that it’s going to cure anything, because it surely won’t.

tipping offers a distributed model - accepting thousands of $1-5 tips is arguably easier than asking for a thousands of dollars of a raise

Actually, from a transaction/negotiaton PoV, the latter is less costly. You might have heard the phrase that capitalism privatise the benefits and socialise the costs. Refusing one employee or even head-butting a union is easier to management than trying to raise prices or shifting the wagebill to thousands of customers or suppliers.

I agree with sentiment in general that the PHB attitude is anti-humanism in treating labor as a replaceable input … people are people (not robots) and you can tell what type of boss you’d be working for by their attitude towards janitors or wait-staff.

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Are there people who think “might is right” and everything is working as expected? Of course. Do I agree with them? No. Are they evil? Not all of them. Some are, some are greedy, some are blinded by ambition, some are working on incomplete or wrong information, some are temporarily embarrassed millionaires, etc. Whatever the case, I’d rather direct my efforts towards coming up with new and innovative solutions rather than fighting with them or trying to change their minds. Shine a light!

Because the law (and hence industry structure) favors accumulation of monopolies, hence bargaining power is tilted towards middlemen and content concentrators (back-catalogs).

Decades of trying to make copyright into a system for both industrial actors and their audiences has demonstrated that the result is always a system that serves the former while bewildering and confounding the [customers].

Example is indie artists attempting to reverse a false flag of copyright infringement on YouTube. Another is Amazon Audible market who at discretion can terminate authors’ or publishers’ access to the audience it controls. New solutions have to work within the framework of existing IP laws and technological platforms which makes it challenging to reward creators. Good luck on your regeneration efforts.