Why drips are limited

Achim Rothe
02 Jul 2020

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.

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