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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feature Tipit: The Real Plato & his #BitcoinRoadtrip

Now that we’ve launched our new website, we want to share with you some of the Tipits that we come across and like. We hope you like them to, and perhaps give a tip?! Let’s get those Bitcoins moving ;-)

To start the Feature series, we couldn’t choose better than Plato, The Real Plato. Six weeks ago, this guy embarked on a road trip across the United States. You might say: “Sure, a road trip and so what?”. Well, he has set out to not use a single US dollar to do so. How is he doing that? With Bitcoins. Yes, you read right. No ‘money’, just Bitcoins. We think this is very cool. A great ambassador for Bitcoins, thanks Plato!

Here is a quick glance:

You want to donate Bitcoins? Go ahead and tip him here

Read his stories on his blog
Follow him on Twitter

If you like it, Youtipit!

P.S. btw, we are working on our new blog look & feel. Coming soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Opportunity: Thy Name is Bitcoin

In Mat Cropp's excellent article for the Bitcoin Sun(@TheBitcoinSun) this week he describes how Bitcoin opens doors to fledgling new startups like Youtipit...
"....As a result of this risk-aversion on the part of large firms, shoe-string start-ups that would have been squelched by big com- petitors in the dollar economy have had the opportunity to gain their footing and some momentum. In the case of micro-payment tipping, YouTipIt has emerged as the leader in the Bitcoin economy and, with a bit of luck and a lot of sweat, is looking like it might have the capacity to take on Flattr head-to-head in the near future. In the absence of the shield provided by the currency risk, YouTipIt, along with many other Bitcoin businesses, would never have gotten off the ground."

Read the full issue here.

When we started this project the goal sounded straight forward: we wanted to create the simplest and most effective service that enabled people to reward somebody when they contributed worthwhile content online. Our paradigm was that of the "Online Street Performer": Make its as easy to give a tip online as it is to tip the busker on the side of the street.

We quickly found out however that any conventional method solely based on
Dollars/Euros would be prohibitively expensive, with numerous legal pitfalls that would render our service unviable. Hence we jumped at the opportunity to base our application on a currency as innovative and flexible as Bitcoin. In his article, Matt compares us to Flattr and argues that without Bitcoin we would not be in a position to compete. Flattr is an excellent service that attempts to implement a similar idea to ours. We feel however, that our service complements Flattrs and that even though we currently do not have the same level of features or funding that Flattr has, Bitcoin allows us to provide a more pure service to our members. If you see something you like, you tip it. You give what you feel is appropriate, what you can afford where and when you want to. You can tip truly anonymously or participate in the community and spread the word about the person you just tipped. You do not need to subscribe monthly to tip, in fact you don't even need an account with Youtipit to tip someone who you like. Youtipit is also likely to be a cheaper way to reward someone online(after all maybe you mined the coins yourself!).

When you receive a tip often its not the value of the tip that matters most, its the fact that someone took the time to reward you with something of actual value: for this Bitcoin is perfect. At the end of the day if you want to give something tangible to someone to acknowledge their good work, its difficult to beat giving them a Bitcoin tip on Youtipit.


The Youtipit team

PS: If Matt or any of the guys from the Bitcoin Sun wish to create a tipit on Youtipit we will be sure to reward you for your excellent publication.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Escrow Tipits – Tip any Facebook user using Youtipit

After our successful relaunch of the site, we are now actually going to show you where that Escrow Tipit feature can be found. We deliberately concealed this feature on purpose as we wanted to test it ourselves live before we let you guys loose on it.

Quick recap: An Escrow Tipit can be created if you wish to tip somebody, who does not have a Youtipit account yet. All you need is the Facebook homepage link of the person you would like to tip. (If this feature is successful, we will be adding Twitter support as well)

So here is how it works:
To create a new Escrow Tipit
  • Go to the normal create Tipit page and click on the last link “here” in the bottom of the description at the right of the page.
  • Enter the link to the Facebook page of the person for whom you would like to create a Tipit. (Note: This currently must be a person and not Facebook (fan) page).
  • Check to make sure the image returned is that of the person you want to tip.
  • Follow the dialogs to complete the process.
You will have tipped and created a Escrow Tipit and Escrow Account.
  • All members can tip this Tipit now
  • All members can edit and maintain the Tipit.
  • All members can add new Tipits to the Escrow Account. (To this just follow the above “Create Escrow Tipit” steps again.
How does the owner know of the Tipits existence?

He doesn’t. If you really want him to get your tip, then we depend on you to try and notify him or her.

So how can the owner claim it?

On the Escrow Tipit page, there is a Claim link. All the owner has to do, is click on the link and login with his matching Facebook account. He is then the owner of the account and his Tipits will turn into normal Tipits.

What happens if the owner doesn’t claim it?
If the owner doesn’t claim it all tips go back to the Tipster. We are currently thinking of a time span between 3 and 12 Months for this to happen.

Can I see it in action?

Here is an Escrow Tipit for Soma FM, the excellent online radio station based in San Francisco, California. (We've been listening to Soma FM a lot, mainly Space Station Soma and Groove Salad, while developing Youtipit.) With this Escrow Tipit, we hope to give something back.

As of the time of writing this post, the SomaFM Tipit is unclaimed. However once the owner of this Facebook account realizes he has some Bitcoins waiting for him on Youtipit, he/she can claim the Tipit (and its tips) using the simple claim process. Then its up to him/her to decide what to do with their Bitcoins.

We believe that the Escrow Tipits are a very powerful feature for us. On the other hand they could also be perceived like unsolicited Emails and that is the last thing we want and that is why we are a bit cautious on using them.

We will be watching how they are perceived and used in the next week and then decide if we will keep them or not. We'd love to hear from you. Give us your Feedback and thoughts please!

And Send Soma FM some tips. The've been around since the '90 and really deserve support (if you have been listening)


The Youtipit team.

PS: We are not 100% happy with the current "Escrow Tipit" name: Other names we are thinking about are:
  • Guerilla Tipit
  • Slip Tipit
  • Unclaimed Tipit
We are open to offers and suggestions :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Youtipit Relaunch - THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO

Finally all the bits and pieces are falling into place and we are ready to launch our new design. Youtipit will be going into maintenance mode on Monday the 16th of May, sometime around 13:00 CET. We expect a downtime of around four hours, but if all goes well it should be done in an hour.

We had planned to launch last Friday, the 13th, but our astronomer advised us not to risk a bad karma.

Development has taken a lot longer than anticipated, mainly because we decided to rewrite the complete front end. In our current release we had some design issues which would have hurt us in the long run, so really there was no way around the change.

So what’s in store for you? Here are some of the highlights:
• Brand new design (yes, we are listening)
• Bye,bye Junkets: Hello Tipits
• Directory of Tipits now supports sorting
• Previous and Next navigation in Tipits
• Simpler login process (no more popups)
• Associate multiple account providers with your Youtipit account
• Option to use alternative profile images (use your Facebook or Twitter image)
• Escrow Tipits

What are Escrow Tipits?
Escrow tipits (and matching escrow accounts) are our hottest new (alpha) feature. Essentially we are enabling you to tip whoever you like – without the receiver having a Youtipit account! All you need to know is the link to the receivers’ facebook page and you can create a tipit and tip the person in three simple steps. You then notify the receiver and he can then come and claim his escrow account by signing in with his Facebook account.

Escrow accounts have a wiki-like character, meaning that Youtipit members can go and edit the tipits or even add more tipits to the escrow account. If an escrow tipit is not claimed within a year (time span can still be reduced) tips will be returned to sender.
This feature is still in alpha or lab stage, because we are a bit unsure of how popual it will be. We will be explaining more about escrow tipits in a forth coming blog post.

Note to Youtipit Google Members
Youtipit Google Members are, members who registered with us in the current version using Google as their account provider. As we are changing our login-system, we will require an additional action on your side to migrate your account. We will be sending an re-confirm-your account email to all existing Google members and ask you to go through a simple process to re-validate your Google credentials with us. (All other accounts won’t be needing this and will be able to login seamlessly)

Next Steps
Youtipit will still be in Beta for approximately two to four weeks. Then we will finally launch the full product. We still have a load of features up our sleave, which will be releasing step by step in the course of the year(s)..

.. and last but not least: Our Bitcoin stash has been added to.....,
so "Keep it humming"!

Happy Tipping!
The Youtipit Team