Most of us benefit from the work of volunteer creators every day. Whether it's artists, bloggers, YouTubers, or open source builders, these people create things for the world without expecting a reciprocal transaction. Many of these people can make enough money to continue their work with the support of just a few fans. The top creators on, say, Patreon or Github Sponsors receive a sustainable income from their platforms. And this works great for the percentage of creators that can attract a large, durable base of support. But what about the long tail of creators responsible for 99% of the content out there, who simply haven't been discovered yet, or work on the 'behind-the-scenes' stuff that is super useful, but not in the spotlight? Donation income for these people is sporadic, if they receive any at all. Umbrella seeks to stabilize the income of this long tail by allowing them to group together in a pool where donations are split among them. As a token of appreciation, contributors receive Drops, which are like loyalty points from the pool. Contributors can award their Drops to a particular creator in the pool, increasing their share of future income. The ratio of Drops to shares is non-linear (square-root), ensuring that creators that deliver a lot of value are rewarded, but the income of smaller and under-the-radar creators remains stable and competitive.

Umbrella showcase

How it's made

The smart contract for the DROPS token is written in Vyper. The DROPS token is an ERC-20 which keeps track of each creator in the pool, the share of the donations they will recieve, and allows their shares to increase when contributors transfer their tokens to a creator. It also implements an algorithm that lets creators retrieve their pro-rata rewards in a gas-efficient way. The front-end is a static app built in Svelte and Sapper. It loads names for the addresses in the pool and stats about total donations received using a JSON API.