ePatroneer is a Google Chrome extension that adds a Venmo button to every YouTube video page and thus enables the user of the extension to send money to a YouTube user at the click of a button. Consider this an attempt at an extension of Patreon. The catch is, that since Venmo requires at least an email address to send a payment, the extension user must have access to the email address of the person they want to pay. Other than that, it works like a charm.
This project was a last minute pivot at my first Pennapps in the Winter of 2015. That aside, I am a fan of several YouTube artists that I would like to support but I have no way of easily and safely doing so. I like Patreon as a platform for supporting artists but I thought it would be nice if there were a nice button right below the artists' videos and so I created this.
How it works
The first component of the payment process is the extension, ePatronier, which uses JQuery to embed a "Venmo me" button into the HTML of Youtube video pages. Whenever a user clicks on the Venmo Me button, a call is made to the Chrome API to open a new tab, where the user can log into Venmo. From there, the user can pay the artist a specified amount by using the artist's phone number, email address, or user id. In the future, this information will be extracted from Google+ through an API and filled in automatically. If an artist does not have the necessary information readily available on their YouTube or Google+ profiles, then they may not be able to get paid.
Challenges I ran into
The JQuery syntax for embedding the venmo button into the YouTube video page, getting Google Chrome API and the Venmo API to open the payment platform and log the user in.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
Never give up! Believe in yourself and in the expertise of the Pennapps mentors. I also learned how to inject HTML objects into a webpage using JQuery, how to use the Chrome API to open a new tab to a set web page, how to make a Chrome extension from scratch, how to extract data from Google+ using python as well as basic design things in Gimp.
What's next for ePatronier
Going to polish the app, build a scraper to extract the artists' email from G+ or request that the user send them a PM asking them for the info. Going to eventually publish in the Google Playstore. Overall, it's been fun.