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Web Monetization like I'm 5

Table Of Contents

Web Monetization like I'm 5

The term is exactly as it sounds, monetizing the web! but what that term doesn't explain is the fact that it's also protecting your privacy, protecting your data, saving your time, and also distributing payment seamlessly using open-protocol. Ohh I shouldn't bring in the boring stuff from now, I'll keep things basic and in another article, I'll talk about the web monetization API and others.

If a product is free, it's good, but when you pay for a product; that's better. Or perhaps, I should ask like this, would you rather have your information sold or would you pay $0.0001 (In Nigeria that's like 30Kobo) or so. You might probably think your data are worthless until you tell your friend you are not voting for a particular presidential candidate on WhatsApp and you start having issues with your voter's card...That's just a joke, but you get the gist right?
The way your data are used influences what you see, what you read, and subconsciously how you behave. People understand the influence the world wide web has over various factors and the goal is to make it safer.

And let's say you wanted to read an article or tutorial on DNA splitting, that was written by a professor that happens to have a paywall, you have to start thinking about what currency is in use in that country, the payment platform to use and if you subscribe, you're probably going to just read that DNA RNA article and that's it, after that day, the subscription is no longer useful. These examples go on and on like that. This brings me back to "Web Monetization" Take it as a way to have unlimited access(covered under your subscription with Coil

Web Monetization is a way of streaming micropayments to the creator of the contents you're using. Meaning, you don't have to always register on every website just to read a two-page article.
Payments are automatically sent to the payment pointer while you're on the website. But one thing is sure, if you're on Coil with $5, you can't exhaust it in a month. Two reasons for this are

  1. The Micropayments streamed are small.
  2. When you use up to $4.5 your remaining funds are well managed to spread across the end of the month. As a creator/User, you don't need to bother yourself about this.

See it like this, the future of Web is faster, little or no more annoying on-click redirection in websites, content creators can accept streamed payments from all over the world without worrying about the location, currency, or conversation rate of their users. And oh, I'm from Nigeria and I have Web Monetization all setup also both as a creator and a user, you can check out devcareer.io/sultan

I'll be sharing how you can set things up as a first time user also.

Why we need Web Monetization

There's no single answer as to why we want a safer web, a faster web, and a web that supports content creators from all over the world seamlessly. I can begin to explain the technology behind the Web Monetization API, interledger, the meaning of Open protocol, and even go as far as explaining the process of streaming funds across the web, but the simple answer is: We need a better web that's safer and less frustrating. We need a web that supports content creators without extorting users, a web that generates revenue for content creators without having to sell users' privacy. Do you want to read more about how Coil handle user privacy? Check out this post by Ben Sharafian

Web Monetization as a user

So you want to have a feel of what Web Monetization is all about as a user? Here's a quick guide to help you out.

Steps

  1. visit https://coil.com/signup and sign up.
  2. Go to settings and enter the "Membership" card.
  3. Add your credit card and subscribe, it's $5
  4. Download the extension for whichever browser of your choice, Web Monetization is currently being discussed as a standard under the W3C and has several players involved in the conversation including a number of the major browser vendors. Here's an INTERVIEW W3C had with Stefan Thomas; the current CEO of Coil.

Download the Coil extension for Google Chrome here
Download The Coil Add-on for Firefox here
Download The Coil Add-on for Microsoft Edge here

You can also download Puma Browser as an addition to other browsers for mobile phones.

Once this is done, you can start visiting the various websites that are monetized, an easy way to know if a website is monetized is by checking the status of your Coil extension/addon icon.

Here's an example of a monetized website: Check out the Coil icon with the dollar tag on the top right corner.

About Page of devcareer.io

Compare that to this page that wasn't monetized:
Home page of devcareer.io

If you click on the Coil Icon, you should see this: Coil is paying; which means, as you're spending time on the website, Coil is streaming micropayments to a payment pointer associated with that webpage.
Website showing coil is paying

Yes, your guess is correct, Web monetization for creators is so easy that you can easily decide what pages on your website you want to monetize. I'll talk about this in the next Article, oh sorry next chapter.

Web Monetization as a Creator

So you're a content creator, or you just want to test this out? Let's try out this short tutorial, Feel free to send me a message on Twitter on @hackSultan if you need help with anything.
It's completely free to test out and to start using Web Monetization on your website, you're an early adopter + you have more to gain and nothing to lose.

Steps:

  1. Register as a creator on Coil on coil.com/creator-setup
  2. The next thing is getting you a payment pointer, you can get a payment pointer from tons of wallet providers. In this example, I'm using Uphold, visit uphold.com/signup and sign up.

Next is to get your payment pointer, Uphold offers you access to various cards, ranging from USD, to EUR and also Cryptocurrency cards.
We're using a USD card for this example:

Click on your USD card, and click on the "ADD FUNDS" tab
Uphold USD card page

You would be picking the "from Interledger Payment Pointer" option here.

Generate payment pointer

Click on "generate payment pointer" and you should get something like this:

Uphold payment pointer

Copy this (your) payment pointer, it should look funny, like a pair of letters & numbers that you can't keep in your head. So you'll just have to copy it. You have no need to save it elsewhere, you can always come back to this page and copy it in the future.

Here you'll want to do two things with your payment pointer,
A. You'll attach it to your Coil creator account.
You'll do this by going to Settings on your Coil account, then visit "Payout" and add your payment pointer. If you got your payment pointer from Uphold, then you'll select Uphold.

Uphold payment pointer

Setting up your Payment Pointer in Africa (Nigeria): If you're in Nigeria (I haven't checked out all other countries in Africa), Uphold is fully available for you as a payment pointer provider with no downside. I would say this is the best wallet provider as of now for Africans.

B. You'll add it to your browser.

Adding your payment pointer to your website is pretty straightforward.
Web monetization is flexible, you can decide what pages on your website you wish to monetize if you're a writer and you want to make some article premium, you can set things up.
So now that we're still setting things up, just go to the

section of the webpage you wish to monetize and add this:
Your payment pointer

So now, all you have to do is change "Your payment pointer here" to the actual payment pointer you copied.
You can do this on any website, and if you're having trouble setting this up, feel free to ask me here in the comment section and or send me a message on twitter @hackSultan.

Suggested Project for Web Monetization Hackathon

So DEV announced that there's a Grant for the web Hackathon going on here.

Kindly go through the post to get a full understanding of what the hackathon is all about?

And oh, my personal goal is to get 10,000 content creators in Africa to start using Web Monetization before the end of 2020. In case you're about to ask me, NO I haven't applied yet so you can still steal my idea. I'm sure the web is enough for us all to come up with the same/different ideas and still see it through.

So here's a cheat for you, visit the official Grant For the Web forum and you'll see tons of ideas there, but if you need me to help out with an idea, just drop a comment here on what you do and your field and I'll look for suggestions along that line for you.

Welcome to the future!!!

And Ohh, if you'll love to test the Web Monetization API, you can through https://testwebmonetization.com
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Discussion (93)

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boyiin profile image
boyiin

Awww interesting writeup, at first I didn't understand the article but after going thru all the comments, apparently, you'd answered all my questions .Now I understand what web monetization is all about..
Just amazing! Thanks for this. πŸ‘ πŸ‘

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joshtom profile image
olajide joshua

Great article! But my question here is, Let's say for example I am a content writer and I have a blog post and I have already signed up for coil (A way to monetize my premium articles and the likes) How do I get paid even though the user viewing the content hasn't signed up on coil but Just viewing the content. Will I be paid based on the number of readers or the time spent on the platform (monetized)?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

As a creator, you can decide if you want only people with a monetization subscription to view your content or everyone in general. Coil calculates how much micropayment to send to you as a creator based on user interaction with our article. If the users viewing your article are not on a coil subscription, you don't receive micropayments to your payment pointer attached. Example: devcareer.io is monetized, if users on a coil subscription visit the website, I get micropayments, if users without a coil subscription visit, I don't get anything. I can easily set it that only people with coil extensions should be able to view it if I want.. It's all depends on me.

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layobright profile image
Ayodeji Oladimeji

I'm sorry for disturbing sir, can you please enlist the advantages of being a Creator.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Majorly, as a creator, it's a simple way to get revenge.. A micropayment is another word for money. And due to the use of interledger you don't have to worry about your location or the location of your users.

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layobright profile image
Ayodeji Oladimeji

Such a nice response,
Now I have the Idea.

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cyberdees profile image
☞ Desigan Chinniah ☜ • Edited on

For further insight into some of the thinking between Web Monetization provider (Coil et al) members and non-members viewing content do see 100+20 Content Rule. This is just a baseline start for this thinking and we totally expect that things like the DEV Hackathon, the initial early 2020 Grant for the Web CFP and many other upcoming activities will bring out even more creativity here.

+@tdaypreneur @unclejaa

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goodfellas_io profile image
Max

i love the privacy part but can search engines like google monetized their contents, if so i think the web is going to be like the BVN we use in Nigeria where you must own one for you to transact.
Nice article chief

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

This is a great question.
1st: We can't relate Web Monetization to BVN in Nigeria because even though individual creators have unique payment pointers, Coil and others do not track what a user is reading but only the activities going on once the monetization starts. This means, even Coil doesn't save your data as a user or keep track of your reading history.
2nd: The view about search engines monetizing their contents is really tricky and interesting but I don't think that's going to happen, search engines thrive on the ability to return enough results on search queries, this means as many results as possible.
I hope you understand my explanations? feel free to ask more questions if anything is unclear.

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goodfellas_io profile image
Max

This is well explained, I really hope this gets a lot of grounds and is widely accepted. For the privacy part is really interesting as I think this will end a lot of unwanted ads displaying in your feeds.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author • Edited on

Web monetization is currently being discussed as a standard, and a lot of popular web vendors are on this.
Here's an interview the founder of Coil had with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

w3.org/blog/2019/09/w3c-interview-...

About the ads, Web monetization as a term here, coil as a provider, and tons of other providers will in no single way include ads either wanted or unwanted to users. If you're on a website that's monetized as a user, and you're seeing ads, it's because the creator is using an entirely different ad vender on that website, this in no way has anything to do with Coil as a provider.

Let me put it like this, the term Web Monetization here is in no way related to showing users ads.

Just adding this here:
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. w3.org

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goodfellas_io profile image
Max

Fully understood chief. Thanks for the enlightenment

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bolaji_snr profile image
Abolaji Mustapha

Good piece of article! But I must say, scoping about the privacy protection aspects that web monetization services like coil are meant to provide, I feel there's still sort of a bridge in this, at least from the info I've consumed so far.

I think in the adaptation of web monetization services like "coil.com" content creators, should work fully in compliance with the solution to make their web user's experience a fully privacy protected one, as such, technologies implemented in the "Coil.com" platform should be to detect any form of privacy bridge installments on web pages and call authors/Creator's attention to enable user authorization on such implementation. This being established, micro web installments such as Ads by Google are detected on pages, automatically eluding these pages from payment except authorized by the user. I mean coil in this instance would be fulfilling their role as a privacy protector wherever it may concern them.

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unclejaa profile image
Jerry Aaron

Have read the article since last night and went through ideas regarding the hackathon. I have a question. when u build an app or website and add web monetization to it. Let's say a blog how will a user who did not subscribe to web monetization let's say (the user did not register on coil) will be debited or be charge for consuming contents on your site

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kewbish profile image
Emilie Ma

They won't - you won't receive anything either.
However, you can make it so that a user can't see exclusive content if they don't have Coil.
See webmonetization.org/docs/exclusive....

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wisdomudo profile image
WISDOMUDO

Adding to the above questions, is it only those that have account with coil a content creator can earn from?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Right now, the adoption is still new, and also content creators can decide on that. For example, if you visit devcareer.io and you don't have a coil extension on your browser, you will still be able to view all the contents, and if you have a coil account, coil will stream micropayments to me. I can decide to make content visible to only people with a monetization account (extension) on their browser. So it's totally depending on the creator.

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angiethedev profile image
angiethedev

Thanks for the article. It's very informative... and maybe a treasure map too.

The target now is to religiously explore the links on getting set up, then ultimately own a website and publish contents to benefit from this future goldmine.

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lc4d profile image
ganjar p.

treasure in knowledge.. very true.. it's fair play, I hope the idea will boom world wide in near future..

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stellaoze profile image
Stella Ozemoya

Thank you very much Sultan, i really love this article it just for me who is a mother with 4 kids and want to work and get paid from the comfort of my home, (remote working and blogging) i am just starting web development with Node.Js thanks to you and others, from the above i need a to web site first before setting up stuffs, i still need to carefully read through to understand more, but this so great!

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

I'm glad you find it useful. Be sure to ask any questions you have relating to this.

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femakin profile image
femakin

Nice Write-up! My concern is just that
Online Advertisements may become extinct which might not be favorable to some business platforms.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Well, it's not that black and white. The first thing is, We all want a safer and faster web. And right now, web monetization is not coming to clash with ads. Both can co-exist.
Let's look at it like this, Web Monetization is putting both users and creators in mind and since it can co-exist with ads, it's a double win for content creators and since users don't have to pay multiple subscriptions to each platform. It's another win for the users too.

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femakin profile image
femakin

Win Win πŸ’ͺ for both sides

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wisestme profile image
wisestMe

Thanks Sultan for the early eye opener. Please i would like to know in addition to the data security of users and possibility of making money as a content creator, are there features on the platform to put a check on plagiarism?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author • Edited on

Each website being monetized is different. If I copy exactly what's on your personal website and to put on my personal website, my hosting company won't block my website because the contents are copied. Let me try and explain like this, Web Monetization does not govern or control the contents you share under a single umbrella. You're only implementing a feature that allows you to monetize content on that particular website. The same way Twitter would not block you from copying someone's else tweet and tweet. Web Monetization does not have power on your content. To the best of my understanding right now.. If you have any questions on this, feel free to ask.

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wisestme profile image
wisestMe

Thanks. I understand your explanation. However, I would like to suggest even though they do not have control over what content creators put up on their sites,they can still put features in place that can enable us to report plagiarists then allow them investigate and take necessary actions to discourage plagiarism. And also forewarn content creators before they come up on the platform. Just a suggestion.

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lytecyde profile image
Mik Seljamaa πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ͺ

Might be an idea with biz incentive, rather than delete plagiarism/ ban the plagiarist, maybe get a reference system going that might further explode the original creator's revenue stream, if they are plagiarised. So there is sort of an incentive to it even to plagiarise a bit and mix it with own work. Being more proactive than reactive.

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wisestme profile image
wisestMe

that's another interesting angle to look at it from.

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jakecupani profile image
Jake Cupani

Coil seems cool, but have you checked out the Brave browser? It allows users to support their favorite sites through the Basic Attention Token (BAT). I would highly suggest checking it out.

brave.com/

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chrislarry33 profile image
Chris Lawrence

Thanks for the rigor and excitement you bring to this post. As a member of the Program Team team for GftW it is fun to start to watch people get curious and buzzing about the possibilities.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

It's amazing and I really hope I'm able to work on my goal of introducing 10,000 Africans (Creators) to Web Monetizatin before the end of this year....

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chrislarry33 profile image
Chris Lawrence

So do we, keen to see how beyong the grant funding we might be able to help.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

That'll be great, kindly share a twitter handle I can send you a DM on.

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chrislarry33 profile image
Chris Lawrence

either @GrantForTheWeb or @chrislarry33 (me) will work

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oyinsplash profile image
Oyinkansola Alabi

@sultan , thank you for this eyeopening piece! I must confess that I was completely lost when I read the article for the first time. I see it as a way of creating a balance between creators and users.
So it means eCommerce site, for example, can now make money from the products or services they sell and the traffic they drive. Cool !!

But how about surveys?
I'm curious about how this will affect survey companies?

Also, can you shed more light on the type of user data that can be protected?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

For E-Commerce, I think their main source of revenue is from the sales conversion rate. They wouldn't really be interested in these, normally, we won't even count them as content creators but a service creator. They are making money from the products they're able to sell through their platform.'

Also about surveys, I really do not see this affecting the survey industries in any way. The positive part is they can monetize their various survey results.
Also in terms on user data and privacy. The good thing here is, the system is designed not to hold user's read history either on the go or in a database, meaning Coil is designed in a way that they don't get to see what you're interested in reading. So the privacy there is not protecting your data, it's making sure your data are not stored in the first place for them to need protecting.

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lc4d profile image
ganjar p.

I see, thank you

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited on

Anyone reading this in 2020 or later: AVOID COIL. They do not have proper processes in place to protect data. They just sent a big 'ol privacy policy email out, and exposed every single user's email address in the To: field. This is no small error: it amounts to the same damage as a comprehensive data breach.

I just deleted my account, and I strongly advise everyone else to do the same.

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code_quenn profile image
Code_Quinn

I am still confused on what MONETIZATION mean

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Monetization here means an individual (creator) getting money for the content they're putting on the web.

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layobright profile image
Ayodeji Oladimeji

From the Article, I can summarize it as the process of earning money from a particular website or blog by using it as an advertising platform.
Can you please tell me more about the advantage of being a user?
Do user's get paid?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

No, not an advertising platform.
Let me put it like this, people who provide content online want to generate money from it. People who consume content online, are willing to pay for premium contents (tutorials, article etc). What web monetization does is allow a user who has a monthly subscription access all the contents that are behind a paywall through one single subscription. Imagine instead of paying for Medium, TechCrunch etc and other blogs that require you to pay a monthly subscription to read, you can have access to all these with just one subscription. You're happy, the creators are happy also...
Users don't get paid, the reward for being a user is the access to premium contents.

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layobright profile image
Ayodeji Oladimeji

Thanks for the enlightenment, Now I understand what web monetization is all about...

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tdaypreneur profile image
Ganiyu Omotayo Seedik

Does that mean those without coil account will be restricted from viewing the page or they will view it for free @sultan sir?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Right now, the adoption is still new, and also content creators can decide on that. For example, if you visit devcareer.io and you don't have a coil extension on your browser, you will still be able to view all the contents, and if you have a coil account, coil will stream micropayments to me. I can decide to make content visible to only people with a monetization account (extension) on their browser. So it's totally depending on the creator.

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tdaypreneur profile image
Ganiyu Omotayo Seedik

Sorry sir, who is paying here? User or coil ...

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

With a user's monthly subscription of $5 on Coil, Coil will be paying the creator for the user.
Take it like, instead of subscribing to $5 on like 4 to 10 different websites, with one subscription, you get to see all the contents on this website. A win win.

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tdaypreneur profile image
Ganiyu Omotayo Seedik

Thanks sir ... Now I understand better

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ins1d30ut profile image
βœͺ1nS1d30uTβœͺ

Heey! This caught my eye and I think that you and I should get in touch with each other. I am all ab monetizing the web and would like to show you some projects that are extremely revolutionary. BitcoinSV allows microtransactions at such a small fee it's incredible. I'll show you some great applications. I hope youre open to what ideas I have in mind.

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upg16 profile image
TronTrig

How you think it will affect the internet when everyone adopt it on their websites?

For one side is just and good for creators and users, for the other sound like a prequel of black mirror temp 1 cap 2, you can't do anything without pay, literally.

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sinhapiyush profile image
Piyush Sinha

Creator also need to buy that 5$ subscription for this to work? I have made a creator account on Coil & added my uphold payment pointer there. I have also added the meta tags on my website. Anything else I need to do?

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Uphold for payement pointer is now available !

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Really great!!!

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_feeohnah profile image
Fiona

A really insightful article. Thank you for this

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Thanks.

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kewbish profile image
Emilie Ma

Great post and introduction to Web Monetization!
Just an aside - your Table of Contents doesn't seem to have rendered properly! :)

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

LOL. Thanks for spotting that. In my defense, I did try to edit it again.. Looks like I just can't get it right...

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godspowercuche profile image
Godspower Uche

This is nice.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Thanks for a great post

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keenanpayne profile image
Keenan Payne

Thank you so much for taking the time to share! I love the idea of the Web Monetization API and I hope that it continues to gain momentum for content creators across the world

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temitopeakin profile image
Akinmegha Temitope (T'megha)

Thanks for this @hacksultan ..I understand the whole coil ,micropayment stuff,your response to the comments just answered my questions. ..

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

I'm gad.. thanks.

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ufonumo profile image
ufonumo

Can I decide to monetize all of my webpages? Or must it be just a single page

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

You can decide to monetize all your pages. In my example above, I only monetized devcareer.io/about as a test feature. As of now. The whole of devcareer.io is monetized and even our mini CV feature (over 1000+ users) is also monetized.

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nijezie profile image
Nnanna

Hi, please can I implement this on a site built with Notion?

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

If Notion allows you input meta tags on your pages, then sure you can.

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nelyne profile image
Nelyne

Thanks for the write up and subsequent explanations... really brought it home for me... well done

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Thanks. Glad you find it useful.

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gbolame profile image
gbolame

Thanks so much mentor β™₯

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Glad you find it useful.

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hannah_ankode profile image
Nwokocha Hannah

The article was really enlightening it explained web monetization very well. But of you are using coil do you have to authorize the payment or every month it takes the payment automatically.

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Great question, payments are automated to reoccur every month, but you can stop/pause it anytime you want. So with this, you still have total control.

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charleyvibez profile image
Williams Charles

Very informative and insightful, definitely going to research more about it

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hacksultan profile image
Name cannot be blank Author

Great. Feel free to reach out to me on any questions or roadblocks you might be facing.