Questions & Answers

What’s TipTheWeb?

TipTheWeb is a service you can use to support the publishers of your favorite web content. When you find something online that you like, such as a great blog post, a useful website, or a funny video, you can Tip it. Tipping is like creating a bookmark, except that in addition to saving a link, you also choose an amount, like 25 cents.

TipTheWeb keeps track of all your Tips. Later, you can sign in to your account and fund your Tips, by making a donation to TipTheWeb (we’re a non-profit organization). When you donate to TipTheWeb to fund your tips, we use that money to make monthly awards to the publishers of the web content that you (and other TipTheWeb users) tip.

About Tipping

Why would I want to Tip stuff I see online?

Most of the Web is freely accessible to anyone, and we find new ways it benefits us all every day. But creating good stuff is hard, and takes time and resources. By financially supporting the publishers of the stuff you like online, you participate in making the Internet better in ways that matter to you. And Tipping also promotes the content you like, helping other people find it.

What kind of things can I Tip?

You can Tip most things online, as long as the content is freely available to the public, and as long as you think that what you’re tipping is something that adds value to the Internet.

Here are some examples of web content that you can tip:
The written word: blog articles, essays, stories, poems
Independent news: journalistic works, event reporting, first hand accounts
Media: photography, illustrations, comic strips, artistic and instructional videos, independent music, podcasts, archival recordings
Scientific research and analysis: original research, experimental results
Software: free software, open source software
Educational: study tools, lesson plans, teacher resources
Instructional: cooking recipes, knitting patterns, foreign language instruction
Health: medical information, nutrition and health recommendations, exercise planning tools

Can I Tip content by commercial publishers? What about New York Times articles?

You can Tip commercial publishers. The largest, most traditional publishing businesses probably won’t need your support as much as the smaller publishers, but Tipping can still work well as a way to promote the things you like so that other people can find it. However, Tips should only be made to content that is freely accessible, now and in the future. Some publishers, like the New York Times, have content which they make free for a limited time, after which they charge people to access it. TipTheWeb can not be used to support that kind of publishing.

Will publishers know I Tipped their work? Will other people know?

Once a publisher claims their sites on TipTheWeb, they can see any Tips that you fund. Before a Tip is funded, only you can see it. Also, every TipTheWeb user has a public "Tip Stream" page that shows their recently-funded Tips. You can choose whether your name is displayed along with the your Tips- some users may prefer to remain anonymous.

What fees do you charge?

We don’t have any fees! TipTheWeb is a non-profit- we’re not in this for the money- and we’re very serious about supporting publishers to the maximum extent possible.

Is TipTheWeb a payment system?

Nope. TipTheWeb is a non-profit company that uses donations from users to support Web publishers. When you Tip something online, you aren’t identifying a specific person (like you do when you write someone a check), you’re identifying a specific link/URL and telling us how valuable that content is to you. Then we use that information to help us figure out which publishers should receive awards, and how much those awards should be. We promise to do the best we can at identifying the right people responsible for the content that you like.

Can I use TipTheWeb to buy things from people online?

No, TipTheWeb can’t be used to pay someone money in return for physical (or digital) goods or services. Not only is this against our terms of service, but it wouldn’t work anyhow- we can’t guarantee the money will go to any specific person, and a Tip can be canceled for several weeks after it’s been funded. There are plenty of payment systems available for buying and selling things online; TipTheWeb is designed to enabled voluntary support of Web publishing.

Can I use TipTheWeb to make donations to charities that I like?

No, TipTheWeb can’t be used to directly send money to anyone, even a charity. But you can use TipTheWeb to support what a charity publishes online. TipTheWeb is all about supporting web publishing, so if a charity has a website (and most do), you can support their site by Tipping it, and if they claim their site on TipTheWeb, they’ll be eligible to receive awards. But if you want to make a direct donation to a charity, you should use Paypal or write them a check.

About Publishing

What if I have a blog or some other kind of website- can people Tip my stuff?

If you publish things online, you can use your TipTheWeb account to claim the places you publish, and be eligible to receive monthly awards from TipTheWeb. After you’ve claimed your sites, you can see Tips from people who like what you’ve published, even Tips that were made before you claimed your website.

Do I have to sign up with TipTheWeb before people can Tip what I publish?

No, TipTheWeb users can Tip the things you publish even before you sign up with TipTheWeb, and those Tips will stay around for many months before being returned as unclaimed.

Do I have to integrate TipTheWeb buttons into my website to accept Tips?

Nope- although TipTheWeb does offer buttons to put in your site, they aren’t necessary, since TipTheWeb works fine using just links to content. (More coming soon about integrating with TipTheWeb).

Does it cost money to sign up as a publisher?

Nope, TipTheWeb is a free service for both tippers and publishers.

If I get a publisher award from TipTheWeb, how do I use it?

When you get an award, you can choose how to receive it.

  • Awards from 5¢ — $100 USD can redeem instantly by transferring the Award amount to your TipTheWeb Funding Balance and use it to fund the Tips you make.
  • Awards from $1 — $2,500 USD can be redeemed via a money transfer to a PayPal account.

Awards over $2,500 USD a check can be written and can be mailed to you.