I'm glad you made this post wraith. It's a complicated subject.PREFACE
One of the reasons this site was originally started was because i wanted to have a place where i could get feedback about the software I was writing.
Perhaps those big companies making lots of money from their software find satisfaction in financial success and don't really need the feedback from users -- but i think for small developers, half the fun is hearing from users and getting inspiration from their comments, and just in general having fun collaborating with others in making a better program. And the pleasure one gets from creating something that people appreciate is just part of human nature, and should not be underestimated.CONTINUING
My experience has been that it's very hard to predict the kind of feedback and interest you are going to get in a program.. Very often one works hard on a program and no one seems to notice; and sometimes a tiny program that the author thought nothiing of gets written up everywhere.
More often than not, it takes some time before the people who have real use for your program stumble on it.
That's why it's important to make a web page for the program, put up some screenshots, and make a PAD file for it so that it is indexed by the software sites.
As others have said -- don't hesitate to ask for feedback! When you post, on your website, etc. And don't let it get to you if such feedback is late in coming. Just soldier on with what makes you happy. Not just in software development, but in all things in life, don't condition your pride on the opinions or lack of feedback from others. As nice as it may be, it's not the last word on your creations.
None of this is to say that you shouldn't explore alternatives and changes and ways to correct the problem of lack of feedback -- quite the opposite -- i think you should do what you are doing -- actively try to find a solution to the lack of feedback. I'm just saying don't let feedback be the arbiter of your satisfaction with your work.CONTINUING
Having said all that -- I do think DC should take *extremely* seriously our responsibility to be a site where authors can get useful feedback and encouragement for their work (especially freeware authors since commercial authors have other resources and rewards at their disposal). So I think we (and I) have let you down a bit.
Let's all redouble our efforts to provide feedback to programmers and not let things like this fall through the cracks. Perhaps one of the things we can do is figure out better ways to provide authors a place where there stuff can be seen and appreciated.
One thing that might be good idea is maybe we can find some dc member or two who would be interested in committing to doing mini-reviews of all dc member created software.. or making a blog about them -- so that when someone writes a coding snack or other small utility, there is at least one person who checks it out seriously and summarizes it for others. I think that would help a lot.SIDE COMMENT
One thing i want to make sure to mention is that it seems to me we are living in a world which seems to fetishize the get-rich-quick overnight millionaire success story. We are now seeing some of the price that gets paid for this kind of attitude as the economy comes crashing down from the fraud and schemes that people have been gorging themselves on. I think one is well advised to forget about the idea of overnight success and hitting the lottery of public opinion, etc. Better to follow the philosophy of a slow and steady work ethic. Concentrate on doing good work and moving forward -- but don't spend your time looking for that one golden ticket that will solve all of your problems.MOVING FORWARD
There are a few things you can do to get more feedback from programs you write.. One is to go back in time, so to speak, and choose a program to write based on ideas from users. That's one reason the Coding Snacks
section of the forum can be so much fun.
Another big thing you could do is make some screencasts showing your program in action.. Screencasts and screenshots make a *HUGE* difference in terms of giving users an easy and fast way to see if it's something they might be interested in. Without these people will just click on the next page and move on without giving your program a second look. That's also why it's important to make a web page on your site about each program you make. Any freeware author reading this who doesn't have a website, just ask us and dc will provide one -- or you can use some of the many other free website hosting services.