Update 3: Get the new plugin for your WordPress blog!
Update 2: Tipping and payment options are now active!
Update: Steve Outing has a great post on SurfShare entitled, "The value of showing your users how much they love you"
SurfShare provides an experimental sandbox for testing user interaction models and business rules around micropayment systems. You can see the technology in action on a handful of blogs and at the SurfShare site.
First, read some stories on a few of these blogs and look at the Surfshare-powered widgets in the sidebars: e.g. The NewsCloud blog, Jeff Reifman's blog, Steve Outing's blog, Idealog.US and Chuck Taylor's blog.
The activity widget gives the readers feedback on their activity on this site with links to their SurfShare history, which provides a searchable, auto-tagged listing of all the stories viewed on participating sites. Readers can also mark the page as a Favorite. The top stories widget provides a list of links to the site's most popular pages. More widgets and features are in development.
Once you've visited a few participating sites, visit the SurfShare site. Here, you can browse your web surfing history and favorites, review your usage statistics or review aggregate statistics for all participating sites:
Keep in mind, SurfShare is a prototype for testing approaches to micropayments. At this early stage, we do not collect funds from readers or enforce metered limits. As Steve Outing writes, there are probably a number of different ways to implement such rules. We'll likely add some of these features soon. Steve has suggested that SurfShare be used to specifically study different approaches in an organized research effort - we concur.
Some variation of these models could provide a basis for future revenue for bloggers, news sites and other independent publishers. SurfShare does a good job of showing the potential of such systems:
- It provides a simple way for bloggers and news publishers to measure
the reading habits of and provide feedback to individual readers
- It's transparent for readers, tracking and benefits begin without any sign up
- It's simple and fast for sites to integrate. Add your site.
SurfShare is currently integrated with Facebook Connect and Open Calais. This is one of those prototypes that inspires numerous idea of directions to go with new features.
Feedback and Contact Info
We'd very much appreciate your feedback on SurfShare. Post your comments here or email Jeff at newscloud dot com. As this technology is quite new and will change rapidly, check back here often for updates or follow us on twitter: @reifman, @surfsharenews, @newscloud.
- SurfShare is alpha software.
- SurfShare is not scaled for production
- Reader activities are not yet synchronized across multiple computers, browsers and devices
- No monetary integration exists at this time
- Much more is possible than is implemented currently