Could the future of Music be in the “Art of Asking”

Posted on January 12th, 2015

Having been a fan of the TED Talk series for a while, it was great to come across this fantastic talk featuring  Amanda Palmer, who gave a passionate and quite emboldened speech about her road experiences as a street performer and lead singer of a US punk band.

She detailed in great depth, that awkward moment when an artist is confronted with having  to openly ask fans for their immediate support in order to continue their work.

As she explained, the results of taking this controversial and often unconventional approach have been astonishing .  She went on to raise over $1.2 million in donations in one of Kickstarter’s most successful crowdfunding projects ever.

This makes a great case for why paywalls shouldn’t be the only means for monetising an artist’s work. Many are now exploring this route, thanks to the fact that the internet has changed how people consume and access music. Online piracy has forced many to question the sustainability of the existing music industry.  The debate still rages on with no definite answer as to how this subject should be settled, it’s left many artists like Amanda having to “experiment”  to see what works.

Radio Head and Prince are examples of a handful of other artists who have attempted this, or use what is called a “pay-What-You-Want Model”.  This could start a monumental shift in the music industry, allowing musicians and artists to no longer be reliant on complex & restrictive legal contracts or have total dependency on the mainstream music labels just to “make it big”.

This is very practical in the real world; having direct & physical contact in this manner with your fans and audience makes this process more genuine. But what about online? The Internet is now generally accepted to be the easiest method to spread your music, but as Amanda points out in the talk “…the online tools are just not there yet…”.

We here at tibdit believe we have taken a big leap in solving this problem. Anyone anywhere can get a Bitcoin address in 30 seconds, add it to a tibdit URL and immediately begin accepting micro donations (check out our SoundCloud concept demo to get a better idea). You don’t even have to sign up to begin receiving money. If you’re a musician or artist you could easily get a “tib link” up and running and add it to your SoundCloud, MySpace, Youtube or practically any other site where your content resides, then encourage your fans to support you. Who knows what might happen!

“Don’t make people pay for music …..let them” Amanda Palmer

Team tibdit

2014: A bad year for journalism

Posted on January 5th, 2015

As 2015 is right upon us it’s time to reflect on what’s happened in the previous year.

2014 has been a tough year for local newspapers; Trinity Mirror Group, one of the UKs most prominent news outlets has shut 7 local newspapers, some of which had been operating for more than 150 years. The decline of print media and the unstoppable rise of web and mobile devices has radically changed the behaviour of how people consume news. The disruption that new technology like the internet can bring, can be a massive challenge for businesses to adapt to, especially with the speed and frequency of change.

The problem here though, is that many proponents for local journalism have stated that a trusted local news source is paramount to a healthy “democratic society”. In fact local MPs have called for an enquiry into the future of local news in the UK for this very reason. But with the fall in print and advertising revenues, how can local journalism make a come back? Some news outlets have opted to stay with free distribution and subscription paywalls as they move over to an online-only presence. Could this be too little too late? only time will tell.

So what does the future hold for the local news industry?

If consumers are now using new forms of digital media to consume news (e.g. iPad, Smartphones etc), then new methods of digital monetisation must be developed to bridge the growing gap between reader & news providers.

Consumers can only stomach so much web advertising, and subscription paywalls have only had marginal success at best. This is where tibdit comes in: tibbing tiny payments/donations to a local journalist for a good article you’ve read or even access to the whole article, in your currency of choice. A tib button at the bottom of any website could act as a virtual tib jar, giving journalists a new method of monetisation and control over their hard work, by not just being reliant on demanding subscription sign-ups or annoying clickbait. A method that makes journalists beholden to their readers and not just to advertisers.

For the tibbees (recipients) this is where Bitcoin comes in;  @Walter Issacson, a former Managing Editor of TIME Magazine, @Time.com, has recently written a great article on how Bitcoin can save journalism. We couldn’t agree with him more! We want to give the tools to the writers and readers of the new “digital age” to enable journalists to provide quality content without paywalls and advertising, and for readers to support their local news websites straight from their own mobile devices.

Let’s hope things start to turn around for the local news industry in 2015.

If you know of any local newspapers or journalists who could benefit from @micropayments from their readers, let them know about @tibdit or please get in touch.

Until next time, all the best for the New Year

Team tibdit

Bitcoin donations helping Charities

Posted on December 30th, 2014

Recently the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) had some great success on its recent experiment with Bitcoin donations. It’s fantastic to see charities starting to realise the ease of use and efficiency in cryptocurrencies. Low transaction fees makes this a great medium for donating to your favourite charity on line instantly.  According to Blockchain.info, the RNLI bitcoin address has received 7.36122515 bitcoin since July 2014.Thanks to the innovation that Bitcoin brings, not only do donations get to charities faster, but they can easily be tracked in real-time through the Block Chain (the engine under the hood that drives the Bitcoin network). This gives supporters and donators unparalleled transparency in how much is being raised and brings new levels of accountability to the charity sector. At today’s Bitcoin market value that makes RNLI better off with £1500+ additional funds raised in donations…Hoooray!!

So why isn’t Bitcoin being used by more charities?

The truth is Bitcoin is still in its infancy and has a long way to go before it is truly mainstream. One of the biggest hurdles for users to adopt Bitcoin is that it appears pretty complicated to use. Dealing with long, gibberish style Bitcoin addresses and securing your Bitcoin wallet seems quite intimidating (except for internet geeks of course). In actuality, it’s really easy and there are a number of exhanges out there e.g Cryptopay,  Blockchain.  Just remember to keep a record of your wallet and private key.

Using tibdit: our service takes the Bitcoin headache away as tibbers don’t need to know anything about Bitcoin if they don’t want to use it; they can use debit/credit cards in their own currency from mid January. The Bitcoin bit is at the tibbees’ side of the process.

We are really happy to see RNLI are at least experimenting with crypto currencies; we want to see more charities take the plunge and we are working to make online micro-donations as easy and frictionless as possible, as simple as 2 clicks via a tib button on any site and BOOM, you’ve supported your favourite cause,  no more complicated than a Facebook “like” or tweet. We want to provide the tools to make the gift economy thrive.

If you know of any charity that you think could really benefit from online micro donations, please let them know about tibdit, or do get in touch with us yourselves! We would love to hear from you.

“A tib a day, means my charity is here to stay”

We wish you every success for the New Year,

Team tibdit

Hoe Hoe Hoe

Posted on December 24th, 2014

Thanks to everyone who has been following us this year. Another week to go and we’re in to 2015. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone.

So last weekend we had the A and Z teams moving furniture to our new office!!! (More like a sketch from Monty Python)

Jim and Justin on Friday, made a sterling effort (with some small plaster damage!!), to make  one trip to the office with desks etc from storage, and it took 5 hours!! There was a lot of tutting about the time it took (mainly from me!!).

Then it was mine and Jan’s turn on Saturday morning. I travelled with gusto (on the bus) and wondered if I would find the storage facility . . . as it turned out, the bus stopped directly outside so I couldn’t have missed it if I tried.

The transfer of furniture out of the @Big Yellow Storage was fine, and we thought a second run would be easy, but getting the bits and pieces up to the first floor where our office is, was not!!  So, after 1 run, we called it a day and went for a well-earned bacon butty, and tried to get our breath back!

Ever onwards and upwards, we’ll be in the new office by the end of December, and looking for other start-ups to rent office space.

We’re a good group (well, I would say that), and looking forward to co-locating with others in the new year.

Best wishes to you all


Lunch in Peckham; not as simple as it sounds!!

Posted on December 19th, 2014

Three of our team went to Peckham yesterday to sign the lease on our new office. Whilst there, we thought we’d explore the @Busseybuilding. Really cool businesses and artwork; example below. Outside there was a guy enthusiastically cooking bbq food under 2 Gazebos, playing music and dancing to it so we decided to order cheeseburgers. After about 40 mins, he wandered off, with a ‘I’ll be back in a minute, okay?’ leaving us sat under the Gazebos watching our burgers cook. 15 minutes later, we still couldn’t see him anywhere.

Then, the wind picked-up, knocking one of the gazebos towards the bbq where the flames were blowing quite high!!

Justin and Michael caught the Gazebo before it went up in flames and stood it back up, and I threw water on the bbq to stop a full scale fire. We didn’t want to leave in case the whole thing caught alight, so sat and waited, laughing nervously about the whole thing and wondering if our burgers would end up as cinders.

At one point, we thought it was all a joke or someone was filming us, but no, it was just an eccentric chef.   It was another 10 mins before he came back, from the opposite direction, to find us trying to get the burgers off the bbq, which had now been cooking for 1 hour.

Profuse apologies and another 10 mins and we had our burgers, which were very tasty; with some chargrilled-chicken (delicious) on the side.  Definitely worth a visit, so long as you’re not in a hurry. What a bizarre sequence of events, but so entertaining. Looking forward to more experiences when we move to Peckham in a couple of weeks.

Art on the wall of one of the buildings in the courtyard.


micropayments mega madness

Posted on December 7th, 2014

We’re really excited to announce that from Tuesday 9th December we’ll be going live with the ability to make/receive micropayments/microdonations online using bitcoin payments. We appreciate it may be a while before content providers place our button/url on their websites until they become aware of our product, but ‘word of mouth’ will make this easier so let them know you’re interested!!

We’ll have some press releases out on Tuesday, and are planning to roll out for credit card, debit card payments in mid January.

The first tibbee will be iamsatoshi.com, a very impressive film maker.

On the tibdit operational front, we’re all working hard to make this a great experience for everyone, so let us know if there’s anything we can do better.

Thankyou and good night.

Time to read

Posted on November 30th, 2014

Although I’ve been keeping up with tibdit progress every day, it’s been great having time to read interesting books and articles while I’ve been on holiday. As well as some mindless fiction, I read a really good book written by Nir Eyal (@nireyal) about how to build habit-forming products, called ‘Hooked’. It certainly clears up some myths and explains the cognitive processes we all go through on a day-to-day basis. For example, did you know 79% of smartphone owners check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up!

I also checked out some articles mentioned in Hooked and found this one about Joel Gascoigne (@joelgascoigne), founder of Buffer, really thought-provoking I’m Joel Gascoigne and This Is the Story Behind Buffer.

Back to Blighty today and looking forward to seeing the tibdit team in London on Thursday. As you can see from the photo of Elena, they’ve all been focussed and working hard without me.

tibdit in tenerife, well one of us anyway!!

Posted on November 24th, 2014

Okay, so I’m on holiday in tenerife and forgot how difficult it was to get internet access in a hotel whilst also trying to ignore the noise and serial killers  . . . . of music, in every bar. I’m sure they’re taking turns trying to stop me from concentrating. I’ve heard 3 Cher’s, 2 Frank Sinatra’s and a couple of “it’s all about the bass” remixes. All I really want to do is enjoy the sun and keep up with tibdit stuff. Oh no,now we have patsy cline by the pool with some lively pensioners!!!!


testmode tibs are free and carry no value

Micropayments for all

Posted on November 10th, 2014

We had another good week and welcomed our apprentice junior front-end developer, @Elena Vilimaite to the team. She fits into the team very well and we hope to aid her development over the next 12 months.
We have a wealth of expertise in web development and solution architecture, so there will be no shortage of quality mentoring.

We also had the first cut of a wordpress plug-in to integrate with tibbees that require it. Tomer Kantor, founder of @iamsatoshi visited our office to test the plug-in and discuss progress and timelines. We’re very pleased to have him on board as our first tibbee.


testmode tibs are free and carry no value

tibdit progress

Posted on November 2nd, 2014

We’ve had some great feedback from testing; good and bad, which has enabled us to improve the journey for both tibbers and tibbees, and give you a fast, easy solution. But we still need more testing . . . tibbees - How would you like to be able to monetise the content of your blog, or charity website or any other website by receiving micropayments?  That’s what we’ll deliver. tibbers - How would you like to say ‘thankyou’ with a tiny donation at a price that you’ve set yourself, rather than just press a ‘like’ button or ‘heart’? You’d know the recipient would be earning money for their quality content and you’d feel good about keeping them going without having to resort to advertising. We’ve also met up with 2 very talented people; @rasajusionyte and @Rosemin Anderson, founder of @rosapr who we hope to work with going forward. Anyhoo, hope you all had a great Halloween and have exciting plans for Guy Fawkes.


testmode tibs are free and carry no value