Media and communication

Flattr X: For what reason should we give back?


                Share what have you [sic] done with the money, link to pictures, blog posts or videos.

               Give them something extra, create some secret content just for them. Make them feel special.

               Show them the next thing, link to the new, give them a reason to flattr you in the future.

(Olsson 2012)

Olsson talks to creative professionals with a Flattr button on their material and asks them to share what they’ve done with the money members bestowed upon them by flattring. He asks them to share by showing what they have done for the money by linking images, blog posts or video. ”Give them something extra, create some secret content just for them. Make them feel special.” writes Olsson (2012). We can see a clear link to the gift economy in previous post. A gift can be given to show gratitude, which is implicit in Olsson’s text. The creator should show his gratitude to his flatterer, show appreciation for the gift by giving something back.


But we also know that a gift can be given in order to bribe or manipulate and when Olsson writes : ”[… ] give them a reason to flattr you in the future”, we could see it as a manipulative act. The creator should, in line with Mauss’s (1997) theory reciprocate the gift to receive another gift in the future. The text conveys the importance and how it is expected of the creator to give back to the donator, albeit in a different form, and we can understand that the network also live under a form of gift culture with a gift economy.



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