+1 from me for mousers idea with the "bound to version license key".
+1 from me too for jgpaivas idea for a "New update available" screen.
- Our software is and will stay free with this. Everyone can get the app and the license key without donating and signing up. Removing all that discussions here and there if DC is a freeware site.
- Its at users choice if he will stay and is glad with the old version or if he update and jump throughout the easy to go hoop to download another version bound key (forcing him to visit our page at least once again).
- The update screen should show improvements points though, so that the user can decide if he wants to go for the new version or still satisfied with the old one. And an update notification screen is IMO not considered a nag screen by most users. Maybe the "check for update" should be an option that can be disabled in the app preferences. That will cancel our interest in having the user back on our site though, but if the user is satisfied with his version and don't want a new key he will not visit our pages anyway and from then on the update screen will be considered a "nag screen" by that user.
For me that worked nicely when there was an offer for a free license key of "USB Safely remove". That was not upgradable though. But i was impressed by the generousity of that company and learned that they are nice and customer care related and responsive (they even did a special version soleyly for me when i ran into some coloring problems where i can't see some parts of the screen - WOW!). At the end the successor "Zentimo" from them offered me such a big additional value and i had the strong feeling to support that nice company. So i decided to fold my free key and purchase a paid one for Zentimo.
That make me think this may work for donations as well. If they see there are regularly updates and they benefit from them, they learn to know us more and more better, they think about a donation with more positive thinking over the time and lastly donate and visit our site regularly.
Maybe the free key download page can be combined with the "daily blog" page somehow, so the may get attracted by a new post or article when they go for their new key and maybe switch over to that post and read or in best case want to write a reply what results in a signup.
So i think with this concept we can reach all our goals like:
- Give useres the opportunity to use our programs really free and stop all the rumour all over the net about "Is DC software really freeware".
- Give users the freedom to use our apps forever in the version they got if they don't need updates and are satisfied with the features (and bugs *cough* *cough*)
- Give us the chance that users visit the page regularly
- Convince users that visiting our pages that we are kind, nice, helpful and the best site in the net
- Make them maybe donate and/or at least think about to do so.
- Simplify the licensing process
And i think the 3rd choice "if you are not able to donate, write us an email" is totally unnecessary for this reasons:
- Our (mousers?) apps are already great and very useable. A freeware author or non-profit organization can perfectly live with the actual version of e.g. Screenshot capture. There is no need to always have the newest versions or features for them. So they can get the app for free, use it free forever and have no need for a next key. If they really want the new feature they have to go for the new key. So what? A small way to go for a really wanted and free gift that costs nothing more than 2 minutues of time and some mouse clicks, isn't it? I think we can demand that from them in reward for giving them the software for completely no obligations.
- I can't fight the feeling this can be considered "begging" by the email writers. For me i'd feel uncomfortable to write an email "I am soooo poor, please gift me the full time key". And there is no need for it anyway, as i can use my actual version unlimited and when i want the new, i can get the new key for free again and without begging.
- It complicates things again (a third bulleted point in the licensing explanation).
- We don't get any additional value from those that writes an email except additional work for mouser. He had to read, decide and reply to the mails. And we are giving away a full time key for nothing than work. And i think mousers time is better spent in improving FARR & Co. and torture the IRC channel members with teasing them into discussions and then mousering them (for non regular IRC channel members: "to mouser someone" is a new created verb by the DC IRC community that means to just stop responding in a running discussion without any seeable reason, letting the talking partner stand outside in the rain without an umbrella alone
Last unresolved problem is the "how to donate" topic though. But i think that is not in our hands completely. There are other participants that must give us the opportunity to use an easy to use, for everyone payment system.
Just my 2ct.