Basically, it should work like this:Alice (email@example.com) likes Bob's (firstname.lastname@example.org) music. So she goes to Bob's music website and clicks his openflattr button .
This brings her to the openflattr page (thing) about Bob's music, lets say it's https://of.b.net/bob/music where she can type in her openflattr-id email@example.com (this could be made easier by browser extensions or cookies). Then she gets directed to her own openflattr site to verify the flattring.
Now both sites know that Alice has flattered Bob's music.
After a certain time (on Flattr, it's a month), that is defined on of.a.com all things Alice has flattred get an equal share of the money she payed into openflattr in this timespan.
Who will be able to run a openflattr server? basically everyone, thats the whole point. of course this makes some things a little more complicated, on the other hand it creates competition and removes the problem of a single point of failure. A person could run a server for eir peergroup or just for emself. That allwos flexible transparency and privacy and different implementations working parallel.
How can Alice assure that she is really flattring Bob? That's propably the easiest problem, since Bob directly links to https://of.b.net/bob/music it's very likely that Bob trusts the server and gets his money. Bob could also verify the link with a digital signature.
How can Bob make shure that he gets the money from of.a.com? that's a little more tricky, a "web of trust"-like reputation system could solve the problem. Server owner could set up a manual list of trusted servers. Also, an automatic list of trust and distrust could be created when a transaction was successful or unsuccessful.
What about Spam? SEO-spammers are already considering to attack Flattr and similar services to give their websites an unjustified high ranking. They could do this by flattring themselves and each other with sockpuppet accounts. Of course we want the number of flattrings to be somewhat meaningful, so we should try to counteract this. Spammers basically have two choices:
- Setting up a server themselves. Then it would be rather diffucult for them to make anyone care about the the flattrings they give to themselves.
- They could log in on a publicly available (meaning that everyone can sign in) server. Hopefully admins will have an open eye there.
Owners of openflattr servers could also decide to make flattrings made from their servers uncounted, thus making it unattractive for spammers but also less attractive for users. On the other hand they could demand a small fee which would also discourage spamming.
Transparency vs. Privacy Edit
User can essentially choose between high privacy and complete openness. Users get to choose to publish:
- What they have flattred
- How much they have been flattred
- How much Money they pay in
- How much Money they got out (per thing or )
- The approximate worth of one of their flattrings
- The average worth of the flattrings they get