Experimenting with Kachingle

In April last year I wrote about a start-up called Kachingle for The Guardian. I explained Kachingle thusly:

After registering with Kachingle, users decide on a maximum monthly donation, currently set at $5 (£3.50). When they see something they like, they simply click on the Kachingle “medallion” to initiate a donation. Kachingle tracks their reading habits, tots up how many times they visit each favoured site and divvies up the money proportionally at the end of the month.

It’s equally simple for site owners, who just need a PayPal account and a snippet of code to display the Kachingle medallion. The revenue split gives content providers 80% of the donations, with the rest covering Kachingle’s costs and PayPal fees.

I’ve been quietly keeping an eye on Kachingle to see when they would launch and was excited to get an email from Bill Lazar, Kachingle’s Marketing Engineer, last week saying that they were ready for beta testers to come on board. They will be launching properly in early February.

I think Kachingle is a really interesting idea, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to test it out. That’s the medallion, up there in the top of the right-hand sidebar. All you need to sign up with Kachingle is a PayPal account and a spare $5 a month (although you can spend more if you want to). That works out at £3.07 per month, which even in a recession I think I can spare!

Kachingle sits very nicely with my recent decision to buy as many hand-crafted present for Christmas as I could. In an economic downturn it is more important than ever to support small businesses and I really like the fact that the vast majority of the money I spend on sites like Folksy go to the person who made the item I’ve bought.

But Kachingle is not just a way that I might earn a little spare change, it also gives me a way to support others. I’m hoping that over the course of the next few months, bloggers I enjoy will be able to join up and let me show them my appreciation.

If you want to sign up as a Kachingler or as a Site Owner, get in touch with Kachingle’s beta programme. And, of course, let me know what you think in the comments!