Consider going premium (even if you don’t use Trickle regularly?!)

Note: This article is about Trickle Premium. We are currently transitioning to a Freemium model that will enable us to make Trickle a self-sustaining lifelong learning platform. It will take us a few days to enable payments — until then everyone gets the benefits of a Premium subscription. If you’ve arrived at this page it’s probably because you are asking yourself one the following questions: What is the difference between a premium subscription and a free account?Why pay for Trickle when you can just use it for free?Are the current Trickle features convincing enough for you to put money on the table? Trickle will always have a free version Trickle has a free option by design. It can be used indefinitely and offers a similar learning experience to a premium account. Trickle’s mission is to make lifelong learning effortless and accessible for as many people as possible. A person’s financial situation should not keep them from using Trickle. On the contrary, we think Trickle can be part of the solution. Lifelong learning has the power to enable personal growth and financial freedom. So we’re working hard to make Trickle one of the key components in everyone’s lifelong learning toolbox. Premium is an investment in yourself and in Trickle So what makes Trickle Premium better than the free version? This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s not necessarily the additional drips and features that you’ll get when you subscribe.  Here’s what makes premium worth the money:  Skin in the game will increase your commitment to learningYou’ll be supporting a sustainable business model for lifelong learning that focuses on you as the customer (not advertisers) We designed Trickle to help you be a self-directed lifelong learner. But your success depends entirely on your commitment to making learning a daily habit. If you do succeed, learning becomes effortless and you can learn anything. Subscribing to Trickle Premium is a commitment to lifelong learning. Having skin in the game will increase the likelihood that you will succeed in building a learning habit.  In the early days of the internet, people expected things to be free. But we’ve since learned that “free” often comes at a cost. The drive to provide free products led many companies to develop business models that are ad-funded, based on monetizing user data, or both. These business models lead to distorted incentive structures because users are no longer the customers — they become the product. Paying for a product or service creates a win-win situation for users and for the companies that serve them — it keeps everyone’s incentives aligned.  At Trickle, we want to have the foremost commitment to serving you as our customer. We believe that the field of learning requires an elevated level of trust that makes ad-funded models inappropriate. We need your support to grow and improve Trickle in the long run, so we can keep Trickle ad-free and focused on creating the best possible learning experience for you. Did we mention that you set your own price? When signing up for Trickle Premium you set the amount you want to pay. The convenient slider in our premium checkout allows you not only to set your own price, but you’ll also get a sense of how much of an impact your contribution is going to have. No matter which price you chose, you will become a premium member. Your contribution level has some impact on your available features, but it makes a much bigger difference behind the scenes.  Premium subscriptions can be changed or cancelled anytime. Any changes will be applied to the next monthly payment. All premium subscribers get access to five drips per day, while free members are limited to two. Contributions above €3 per month help keep Trickle ad-free.Contributions above €6 support our authors in the creation of new learning content.Premium subscribers paying more than €8 get unlimited storage in “My Trickle”. Users below this contribution level can add up to 100 streams and 1000 sources per year to their account. Contributions of at least €9 per month support the long-term development of Trickle and help us pursue our mission of making lifelong learning effortless.  With any contribution, you’re helping us keep the servers switched on. At higher levels, you’re supporting the growth of Trickle into the platform that we envision, including supporting our authors. We hope this model enables anyone to make a contribution that suits their personal financial means to the platform and to the community.  Support our mission to make lifelong learning effortless You’ve arrived at Trickle in a very crucial time: early! Trickle is still young and vulnerable. Your actions are going to have a big influence on how Trickle develops. We started Trickle with the vision of making lifelong learning effortless. We’re convinced that Trickle can be a powerful tool that leverages the wealth of available knowledge in the digital age and helps you adapt to the challenges of an ever-changing world. Trickle will continue to develop and we know it’s still rough around the edges. We’ve got so many things we want to improve. We also have a clear vision for how Trickle evolves into an amazing product that makes lifelong learning effortless. The Trickle you see in 2020 is our first release after exiting our beta phase — it’s really just the beginning.  We suggest that you consider a premium membership, even if you think Trickle is still missing some key features or is difficult to use. Think of Trickle as an investment in yourself, the learning community, and in the pursuit of a system for lifelong learning that works. Trickle is bootstrapped, which means the founders have paid for its development out of our own pockets. We’ve avoided taking outside funding to maintain the purity of our mission. If you believe that we are onto something and if you want us to succeed, then consider supporting us right now by becoming a premium user. It’s an important time for Trickle. Your commitment to us at this stage will have a significant impact on our ability to succeed. Are you ready to dive in and begin your lifelong learning journey?

Achim Rothe
03 Jul 2020

Why drips are limited

There are several reasons why we limit drips, but the most important — by far — is to improve your learning success. Drip limits will also provide the mechanism for rewarding drip authors for their contributions to the Trickle lifelong learning community and to create a sustainable economic engine for the Trickle platform. We limit drips to improve your learning experience Learning is like food: larger portions do not necessarily lead to a better outcome or experience. It is our mission to build the best possible system for lifelong learning. Our primary metric for success is the learning outcome of our users. We've only done a good job if you can successfully use Trickle to acquire new knowledge and skills. Learning requires focus. But our current environment is replete with distractions. Competing media outlets vie for our attention inviting us to binge on content, scroll just a little further, swipe one more time, or click on one more link. It's like trying to drink from a firehose. Focus is hard to achieve when everybody is competing for your attention. Trickle is designed for your long-term success. We leverage the concept of microlearning transporting knowledge in short drips that can be easily consumed in breaks throughout the day. Drips are concise explanations of a single idea or concept. These easily digestible units of microlearning content are the foundation of Trickle. Drips set a steady pace for learning, like the rhythm of a drum that sets the tempo for your lifelong learning dance. As long as you read a few drips per day, you can be sure to make amazing progress over time. If you consume too many drips, you risk treating a subject superficially. You risk to skim over important insights and are likely to forget them quickly before you've had the chance to internalize them. Time plays also an important role in memory. The less time you spent on a subject the less capacity you may have later to recall this memory. Repetition also plays a critical role and that's where sources come in. Sources are essential to learning with Trickle and are attached to every drip providing you with the opportunity to dive deeper into a subject. Sources are links to great learning content in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, books, or websites. Virtually anything with an internet address can be a Trickle source if it helps people learn. We designed Trickle in a way that all drips look similar, so you can easily find your way into any subject. But visiting sources will trigger very different experiences, some are videos, some are audio, each page has a different design. This variation helps make an idea stick. So give us the benefit of the doubt and try it out. Read your drips and return to the content in a steady cadence. You'll see what we mean. Now let's cover the secondary aspects of why we limit drips. We limit drips to be able to give back to content creators In addition to being a place for learning, Trickle is a platform for you to share your knowledge. And we believe that everyone should be rewarded for sharing good quality insights. We envision a system in which users publishing good quality content receive micropayments for every drip read by a premium user. Great insights are invaluable, so we want to set up incentives that encourages our users to create high-quality drips and keep them up to date as our collective knowledge evolves. We believe that this will help knowledge spread and make it more accessible to everyone. By limiting the number of drips, the system encourages drip authors to deliver great value with every drip. We limit drips to reward users that support our platform financially Just like any organization, Trickle needs an economic engine to support the platform. The economic engine is what provides the funds that keep the lights on and the servers humming. That is the rationale for our Freemium model. The free-tier helps make lifelong learning available for everyone, no matter their financial means. While the premium-tier collects a contribution to keeping Trickle running from users willing to pay for additional features and content. Free users are limited to two drips per day, while premium users can access five. Naturally, we will collect feedback from users and test our assumptions. This might lead to adjustments to the economic engine over time. For the time being, we are confident that this is the right direction for Trickle and its users.

Achim Rothe
02 Jul 2020

Publishing criteria for Trickle learning content

Our mission at Trickle is to make lifelong learning effortless. That mission has a profound influence on the type of content we welcome on the platform. The primary purpose of any content on Trickle must be to enable learning. While that narrows down the range of content on Trickle a little, the potential scope remains immense. Collectively, lifelong learners have an immense range of interests. And there are many different ways to present information to facilitate learning. So authors have significant freedom in how they present their material. However, it should be clear that their intent is to explain ideas and concepts rather than to sell, advertise, or promote a product or service.  Here’s what we think characterizes great learning content on Trickle: Simple: Written in everyday language so that someone who is not an expert in the topic can easily understand it. Any jargon or specialized terms should be explained.Concise: Because drips are short, it’s critical to filter out the noise to focus on the essential.Memorable: Presents thought-provoking ideas in ways that facilitate the retention of new knowledge. Well-researched: Based on quality research that seeks to uncover the truth. That generally means using multiple credible sources. Balanced: Consider multiple points of view, not just the opinion of one expert. Each drip should rely on multiple sources. Authors should embrace controversy if it exists. Linked: Key facts, statistics, and quotes should be linked to external sources. Quotes should have accurate attributions, when possible to the primary source. We are building Trickle to be a platform where people can showcase their expertise and make a name for themselves. However, it’s important that authors disclose potential conflicts of interest. Readers should know, or example, if you are being paid to promote something or have a financial interest in its success.  There are certain types of content we won’t tolerate on Trickle. Content that does any of the following will be removed.  Promotes hate or violence Engages in harassment or the violation of someone’s rights (e.g. privacy, copyright, trademarks)Promotes dangerous pseudo-scientific ideas or unfounded conspiracy theoriesMakes misleading or false claims or is otherwise deceptivePublishes content whose main purpose is to sell, advertise, promote, drive traffic, generate backlinks, etc.Is annoying and spammy Please flag inappropriate or offensive content to 

Phil von Heydebreck
18 Jun 2020

How to Share and Publish on Trickle

Anyone can share and publish content on Trickle Trickle is not just a tool for lifelong learners to discover great content, it is a community for sharing knowledge. We believe that everybody can become an expert in some domain and share their knowledge with others. We created Trickle to be a platform that allows lifelong learners to bring together their insights and research on a specific topic. Trickle users create content in streams. Streams often start out as simple repositories for knowledge, containing a set of curated links to compelling learning content — we call them sources. However, streams can evolve into well-marked paths that other learners can follow on their learning journey. Stream authors can create short, easily-digestible summaries we call drips and arrange them into logical sequences that guide other learners through a set of ideas and concepts.  Drips are the foundation of Trickle. They are concise explanations of an idea or concept. Drips make it possible to easily fit learning into anyone’s busy schedule using the principle of microlearning. Anyone can effectively acquire knowledge by dedicating just a few minutes a day to learning. Drips break knowledge down into manageable packages. Each drip has an author-curated set of sources that provide opportunities to dive deeper into the topic and reinforce the newly-learned concept.  Once you’ve understood the essential elements of Trickle you can begin to create your own streams and drips. You’ll see that by summarizing knowledge into the form of drips, you propel your understanding of a topic to a new level. Even if you create drips only for yourself, you’ll reap the benefits of improved understanding and retention of knowledge Even better, once the content exists, sharing is easy.  This video explains how to create and share streams on Trikle Several methods for sharing and publishing There are several ways you can share your content with others on Trickle. The method you choose will depend on how widely you want to share.  Sharing via invitation: Invite specific people to view your stream. They receive an email invitation and must be logged in to Trickle to view. You can allow them to add their own sources to the stream if you like. Sharing via link: Creates a unique link that can be used to direct people to your stream by sharing it via email, your website, or social media. Anyone with the link can view the stream, no Trickle account is required. Publish to public profile: A published stream appears on your profile page. The first time you publish a stream, your profile becomes public — meaning people can find it on Trickle or via a search engine. Submit to the Discover page: The Discover page is a showcase for the best content on Trickle. You can submit your stream for a review and we will consider it for inclusion on the page if it meets the publishing criteria for Trickle learning content.  Sharing via invitation allows you to keep full control of who sees your content, while publishing makes your content available to a much broader audience.  Note: As we refine the publishing features on Trickle, we currently require manual approval of your content. Add as a collaborator to your stream or send a link to your stream to that email address. We’ll have a quick look and get it published if it meets the criteria we set out below. Also, let us know if we should consider featuring it on the Discover page. This process will be automated soon. Add to your stream to publish it.

Phil von Heydebreck
17 Jun 2020