This is the old Gittip blog. We have renamed to Gratipay and moved our blog.

Status Report, and Priorities for Fall 2012

October 11, 2012, 7:00 pm

Gittip, a platform for sustainable crowd-funding, is now just over four months old, having launched on June 1. The core of the service is small, anonymous, weekly gifts to people who do great work.

Here’s a snapshot of Gittip’s current status:

That’s not nothing. I am humbled and excited by the way you all have gotten behind Gittip and used it and broken it and fixed it and constructively criticized it and generally pushed it this far in four months. Thank you!

A couple nights ago over drinks I was telling a friend about Gittip, that multiple patrons on the site are giving away thousands of dollars a year each. He was floored when, in response to a comment of his, I told him it wasn’t even tax-deductible. “That’s amazing that there’s a community that would share that much with each other without even getting a tax break for it!” No kidding!


Let’s keep flooring people! :-)

We’ve got a lot of pressing issues with Gittip, and I admit that I can tend to get distracted by conversations that maybe aren’t the highest priority. Sorry about that. Stepping back, here’s what I’m seeing as Gittip’s top priorities for the next few months:

Twitter. Update: Finished. I started adding Twitter support, but it’s half-baked. There’s no way to link both a Twitter account and a GitHub account to the same Gittip account, and if you pledge to an unclaimed account it ends up garbled on your profile. We need to finish baking the Twitter integration.

Non-US Payouts. We need to find a solution for payouts outside the US. There are 22 people on Gittip who have accumulated $100 or more, and eight of them (36%) are outside the US. There’s a fair bit of pressure to add bitcoin support, which could solve this in theory, but in fact those affected are generally not supporters of bitcoin and wouldn’t take advantage of it. The clearest way forward at this point is probably adding PayPal, or at least implementing a manual process. Maybe we mail monthly checks?

Visual Design. Update: Finished. Damon Chin from Balanced has contributed a new visual design, which has yet to be implemented. I think this would make Gittip much more accessible to those further back on the adoption curve, along with giving us a chance to make the site just plain easier to use.

Open Registration. We’ve got an offer from RubyGems to add Gittip integration once we have email-based registration. This would be a great partnership to have in place, and email- based registration would effectively throw Gittip wide open in the process, further expanding our reach.

More Cooks. Update: We’re off to a good start. Now, as you may know if you’ve been following along, Gittip is funded on Gittip. It’s the only way I could think to do it that is true to the ethos of the site, but that means we can’t just take venture capital and hire a bunch of people to build this out. I left my corporate job two months ago, and have been able to spend about 20 hours per week on Gittip since then. We are seeing some code contributions from others—thank you! Can we do more of that? Do you want to run a Gittip install party at your user group or as part of a Python or other tech conference? I’d love to at least Skype in or otherwise help you out. The more people hacking on Gittip, the better.

There’s plenty of other issues, but those are the ones I am seeing as priorities. Do you agree? What do you want to see Gittip focus on over the next few months? How can I help you build Gittip?

Chad Whitacre is the founder of Gittip.