Friday, February 27, 2009

Give and collect tips at Inkling

Thinking about how to incent people, as we just mentioned in our previous blog post, is an important key to the success of your marketplace. Many people like to trade on Inkling for the competition alone, whether it's amongst the entire community or the friends in their friends list. Other people do indeed like more tangible goods, anything from mugs and tshirts to plane tickets and cash.

But even if you do end up offering some prizes, it's yet another task you have to take on: buy the gift certificate, design and get the Top Trader t-shirt made, etc.

So as an experiment, we've introduced the concept of "tipping" to Inkling. Any trader can now tip, with real money, any other trader. Think someone made an insightful comment? Tip em'! Think someone is running a good market? Tip em'!

One 3rd party service that allows this commerce to take place is called Tipjoy ( (also a company from Y Combinator, where Inkling originated).

In fact, a few weeks ago we tipped everyone off (no pun intended) to the fact we were thinking of doing this on our public marketplace.

And the market expressed that there is an 85% probability 50 tips will be made by one month from the launch date of the feature (today). So it felt like something worthwhile to get out there and start doing.

Here are the nitty gritty details about enabling Tipjoy and using it:


The ability to use Tipjoy needs to be turned on by an administrator of the Inkling site that you are using. We've turned it on at our public marketplace for example.

Now that it's on, when you visit anyone's profile page at, you'll see a tip button.

Let's go through an example. I'd like to tip "wstritt" at Not only has he been a top trader for quite some time, he's very helpful in letting us know about markets that need to be liquidated. He deserves more than a tiny "tip" of a quarter, but to get the ball rolling, I go to his profile page and click the tip button:

A box will pop up like the following:

If you don't have a Tipjoy account you can still supply your email address and tip amount here, and Tipjoy will go ahead and create an account for you.

The integration isn't as seamless as we want yet. For example, if wstritt hasn't entered his Tipjoy account info on his settings page yet, he won't know someone has tipped him yet. We are working on making this automatic, but you might want to go ahead and message ("Send message") the user you just tipped letting them know.

Also to make sure you can "claim" tips people are giving to you, you need to have a Tipjoy account and make sure to add that Tipjoy username to your settings page:

This will allow us to prove you are who you say you are to Tipjoy.

And as you collect tips and make at least $5, you can cash out those tips for real money to be paid to your Paypal account or gift card.

We hope this is fun to use, let us know how you like it.

No comments: