We have just launched our Web Monetization to the general public! A user now can simply setup her/his payment pointer in the wallet page, and it will appear on all her/his articles, whether accessing from matters.news website or from IPFS.
We have reached our goal in providing our users a Web Monetization integration that is easy to setup: they simply go to their wallet page, enter their payment pointer, and Web Monetization will be enabled for all their articles on both matters.news and IPFS. The wallet page has been the portal for users to review their transactions in fiat currency and LikeCoin, and now is also where they manage their payment pointer.
Another objective we have is to simplify the process of publishing HTML with Web Monetization standards to IPFS, in the form of an open source package. This objective is also met with this TypeScript repository on GitHub. It takes a HTML string, payment pointer and other arguments, and outputs a buffer object of the HTML package including all referenced assets, which can be directly added to IPFS. This package can be installed from npm.
We started from user research and product design, to determine where is the best place to integrate and introduce Web Monetization for our users, and what is the best way to explain the related concepts to our users.
We then implement the design in our system, with all the code open sourced. You can find the logic related to matters.news frontend in this repository, logic related to formatting for IPFS in this repository, and logic related to storing and reading payment pointers on the server side in this repository.
Since we just launched this integration, we are communicating and testing with a group of selective users to see if there is any bug and how the users are adapting to new technologies and new mindsets.
In our product we included a short explainer in both English and Chinese to point users to the resources they need in order to understand Web Monetization and Interledger Protocol. However this is not enough for most non-technical users, and we will have to rely on the next step to promote this functionality.
For the next step, we will be writing articles to the community to explain the concepts behind Web Monetization, and how can they start using it. In order to motivate users’ adoption and to showcase the convenience of Web Monetization, we will allocate a part of the grant to reward authors who have setup their payment pointers, prioritizing the content that explains and demonstrate Web Monetization and other technologies suitable for a decentralized web.
The biggest support we can have is more payment and wallet providers, and in different forms, including SDK integration etc. For now the only available payment provider is Coil, meaning all donations has to come through Coil. This is not a bad thing, but if more providers and methods of integrations are available, it will be easier to convince users to make the switch.
Another support that would benefit our project is better support of paid content, for example content behind paywalls. For most professional writers, living on donations is not realistic. With the rise of platforms such as Substack, Medium and Patreon, readers are gradually getting used to paid content. If Web Monetization can have a good support for paid content, it will benefits independent writers, and therefore benefits projects like ours who are serving independent writers.