Between the extremes presented by Lerner and Shirky, “For Micro-Money or the Amour”, I land somewhere in the middle.

When you sign up for ComicDrop, you hold 0 ComicCoin, but you don’t know it. This decision is driven by the same forces that illuminate the anecdote about a friend making a code contribution and being pleasantly suprized by a reward granted without expectation. Also, I don’t think I’m a “you have a 100 on the first day of class” kindof guy. Gotta earn that shit.

When a submitted sticker (a shared drawing) is approved, the artist recieves 100 ComicCoin. Approval happens when the drawing is screened to a) be School-Safe and b) not garbage scribbles. You’ll get an email in a day or so letting you know your drawing is accepted and your ComicCoin credited. Hopefully this encourages return visits. Friends* in ComicDrop can see / access your sticker immediately (to foster realtime collaboration).

I want a way for Kids like Karl(tm) to get involved. Therefore – when registered users submit a request/idea for a sticker – they’ll get 50 ComicCoin. These requests will be used as prompts for people with a proclivity to draw but want/could use ideas. These requests are also screened. No notification for successfully submitted requests, but accreditation takes place.

If you draw a requested sticker, you get 150 ComicCoin. Both the person who submitted the idea and the person who fulfilled the request are notified of the successful collaboration.

Once you’ve reached some yet-to-be-determined number of ComicCoin, you can lob a physical thing into the world at a discounted price.

For Example :

Jay has 100 ComicCoin. Jay can order a Mug for 20$, a Postcard for 2.50$, or a Poster for 10$.

Sam has 1000 ComicCoin. Sam can order a Mug for 17$, a Postcard for 1.75$, or a Poster for 7.50$.

This system is therefore not about the popularity of drawings. It does, however, reward taking time to address an unmet/stated want/need. In a system that rewards frequent sticker-reuse, the person who draws a stupid heart will be rewarded. In this system, people are encouraged to stay nimble, stretch creatively, and keep drawing.

Right now, the numbers are fungible, and I’m interested in gathering sentiments re: “what is fair” / how much effort should a discount take.

Additionally, People want a place to feel recognized for their work, and to browse each other’s sticker portfolios – I appreciate that. ComicDrop will have a zone where an individual user’s stickers will be viewable as a collection. Users can give & recieve kudos to one another. Kudos thresholds might exist for bonus discount(s). The idea is that respect and encouragement is earned by making outstanding drawings – unique work that other people feel compelled to tip their virtual hats towards.


ComicCoin earns users a discount on Material made Real. This discount would, in effect, take “my/our” cut. Which is to stay, the profit I would otherwise make when people order physical goods. I.E. a mug on lob costs 17$. If I normally charge 20$, but offer a discount for 1000 ComicCoin, I’m giving someone 3$ for their 7 – 10 Stickers, because they’ve made a contribution that improves ComicDrop for everyone. The discounts, at least to start, will not be “stackable”.

I would be interested in subsidizing printed matter even further, but I would have to see whether / how this is economically feasable. If some people are drawing a ton of stickers and other people are buying a ton of stuff at non-discounted prices, I’d be very interested in exploring stacked discounts as rewards for those superusers.

Down the road, I imagine there are also other potential tasks for people interested in accumulating ComicCoin – tasks like moderation, tagging and sorting.

1 thought on “ComicCoin”

  1. What I like about this is that you’re looking to what you want to motivate, first and foremost. And you end up with a counterintuitively appropriate model, where both sides of the transaction are rewarded just for collaborating.

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