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IndieKarma — So, It’s Been A Month

This page wrote about what might (or might not) be the ultimate triumph of no-hassle micropayments; we promised at that time to keep an eye on the service, and so we’re briefly revisiting IndieKarma today.

When last we left the intrepid entrepenuers of e-commerce, there were a total of 227 sites and 540 users signed up over the course of about a week (and the number was changing rapidly due to the press they received). As of this writing, the numbers stand at 335 sites and 818 users. In the interests of testing, I took out an account and got my free dollar; presently, my balance sits at a dollar still, as I haven’t come across any sites that use IndieKarma yet. One of the things that company principal Brad Patterson was looking at for IKv2.0 was a listing of member sites, but it’s not there yet. Also not yet implemented is the ability to configure contribution amount/interval on a per-site basis; in fact, the only things that appear to be configurable at this moment are password and balances (see who got your pennies, or add more via PayPal).

So we’re pretty much where we were a month ago — without the new features, uptake is going to be slow. On the other hand, it is still just beta (whatever that means), and there are several hundred sites out there that are willing to take a flyer on the concept … it’s just a matter of finding them. On the other-other hand, the IndieKarma crew have a large incentive to get those features and site lists to us, since they’ll make money only if they facilitate transfer of funds (and nothing on the first dollar of the first 5000 users). All of which brings us back to the chicken-and-egg situation that is the chief barrier to the service.

Given the potential that IndieKarma has, we’ll keep coming back to see how it progresses, but for now we’ve got to give the service an incomplete. And as we all recall from school, you gotta get that incomplete finished up by the next semester, or it does bad things to your average.

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