Economists Do It With Models

Warning: “graphic” content…

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All About Tipjoy…

I know, new things are confusing…but this one is really easy, I promise. In the grand not quite yet tradition of Radiohead’s pay what you want model of album sales, I figured I would let you pay what you want, if anything, for the content on this site. Just to be clear: there’s no pressure at all to contribute, but I figured that if it turns out that people want to help then why the hell not? If nothing else, it will allow me focus more on this and less on a *gulp* real job. Since more people have read this site than will likely ever read my dissertation, I would argue that that is a good thing.

So here’s how it works: Tipjoy is a modified PayPal that deals well with small payments. You will notice that the button asks you to enter your email address and then click to give 25 cents. (I figured 25 cents was a good default amount for a post that you enjoy.) Once you click, it will ask you if you want to give more. That’s all.

So, at this point you are thinking to yourself, “How can that possibly be all? Don’t I have to actually pay somewhere with a credit card?” Well, yes…eventually (and via PayPal). If you know anything about credit cards, you probably realize that it’s a little absurd to make a payment of something as small as 25 cents. Tipjoy takes care of this for you by keeping a tally of the tips you give (you will find these buttons on a bunch of different sites, and you can even tip anyone on Twitter through Tipjoy) and allowing you to add money to your account in larger increments. The most convenient part is that you don’t have to add money up front- you are allowed to have a negative balance, and Tipjoy will just send you an email reminding you to bring the balance up into the black. (If you don’t eventually pay your bill, Tipjoy is even nice enough to not come after you…though that means that your beneficiaries don’t get paid, which is sad.)

You can find Tipjoy’s site here, and you can learn more via the site’s FAQ here.

In case no one’s said it to you already, welcome to 2009. 🙂