The idea is simple. People register, pay a monthly fee of: 2, 5, 10 or 20€ and can Flattr as many times as they like. At the end of the month that money is equally shared amongst all the owners of the Flattr buttons clicked. Thats it simple and genious.
Who profits in this system?
The people who obviously will profit are those content creators that in a way emotionalize others (or Flattr users as others can not (yet) Flattr) so that they click the button. I personally click all the buttons when the words 'Cool' or 'Wow' are in my head or I have a smile on my face after consuming the content.
I myself am using Flattr now in my development community (http://www.anddev.org) so every single of the 13.000 users can add his/her Flattr-ID and a Flattr button will magically appera below every single post, so others can show their appreciation for the help they just received. I think that the use of Flattr in Forums is a area that has not yet received the attention it deserves. In the end its about people that Flattr other people.
and its hardest nut to crack...
But wait, ....
In the end its about people that Flattr other people.Who did sign up to Flattr up to now? I don't really know! But all I can assume that the vast majority were content creators and not consumers.
So what does this mean?
This means that the (currently) the money does not yet flow from consumers to content creators but from one content creator to another. The biggest nut to crack will be to actually get consumers to participate in the system. Would you take that hurdle to register to a service that requires you to pay 2€ per month to show your appreciation for an 'average' blog post? Probably not, at least I would not do so. When money enters the game, people start thinking about it at least twice.
In my opinion this is when emotion comes back into the game. For example:
If I'd help a user on my forum on a problem that he's been fighting for days, that he's probably doing his Happy-Dance in private, he might consider jumping over that hurdle!
So what are your ideas on how consumers can be induces to participate in the system?