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Last post Author Topic: DonationCoder.com Article - One Year Report on our Experiments with Donationware  (Read 49209 times)

mouser

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This thread will be for discussing the one-year report article:
http://articles.donationcoder.com/One

Please share this article with anyone you know who might be interested in Donationware, or in what this site is trying to do.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 11:01:28 AM by mouser »

nudone

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just read the excellent article, mouser. fascinating. it will be of great use i'm sure for all those thinking of embracing the donation ethic - for the potential donator and for the beneficiary.

mouser

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thanks nudone  :Thmbsup:

i still feel like i wasn't quite able to capture the amazing spirit that users have brought to this site - it far outweighs any monetary issues.  but it's hard to convey that, so i ended up mostly speaking in business terms i'm afraid.

brotherS

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i still feel like i wasn't quite able to capture the amazing spirit that users have brought to this site
It surely was that spirit that captured me here! :)

zridling

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I see the end of a interesting doctoral dissertation. Interesting, for a change! The relationship between coder and donator is obviously symbiotic when reconceived using this idea. I can't code, but I can donate. Others can code, and if they contribute, they can find reward through donationware, not merely monetarily, but through persistent feedback on every level from newbie to programmer.

4vrqrisPt

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Really enjoyed your article.It was long :) but done very well.
The concept of DonationCoder was very well considered and implemented.
It is my belief that the concept serves as an example how things can be done the right way.
It's my wish that coders wordwide join DonationCoder to form
the largest repository of software anywhere.
It would create a more equitable situation for freeware developers.
Again,thanks very much.

Pete.

mouser

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Thanks for your support 4vrqrisPt.

Now that we have the microdonation system set up we are going to make soem more changes to make it easier for donationware authors to make a home here.

ps.
does your forum name have a meaning?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006, 12:39:58 AM by mouser »

4vrqrisPt

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Yes,it's the corrupted :) contraction of forever curious !
and I'll be that way till the day I die :)

Pete.

thomthowolf

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A great article, Mouser. :Thmbsup:I think you did just fine in capturing the spirit of the site.  I have to tell you that I am delighted to be a member of this forum.  I have discovered a lot of new software and avoided some others all through the advice of my fellow software junkies.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

jgpaiva

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I'm a little bit late, but still, you deserve good recognition for this one!
Great article, really enjoyed reading it, and it gives a very good idea of how DC's first year was, and how you (and other contributors) are really into making DC a great place. (even better than it is right now ;) )

Thanks!  :Thmbsup:

Deozaan

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Great article! I'm still fairly new here and it gives me a greater understanding of what this site is all about.

Good stuff.


dluby

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I enjoyed the article and I'm 100% behind your goals to reward people for their efforts, especially if it makes my life/work easier.

gri

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A possible mystype:

~We've tried to make it easy to give to give out credits~

in the article
http://www.donationc...icles/One/index.html .
Your Gritoadmixes to Gri | Your Gritoadmixes to App103 | ~Gri to App103~
First Human banned by Simple Machines of the Earth

mouser

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fixed; thank you  :up:

gri

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Please share share this article with anyone

Hmm.. Don't know - may be it is english language idiom..
Your Gritoadmixes to Gri | Your Gritoadmixes to App103 | ~Gri to App103~
First Human banned by Simple Machines of the Earth

mouser

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Quote
may be it is english language idiom

not in this universe.  corrected  :P

richardchaven

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The article itself was good; some of the bibliography was very questionable. The case against micropayments, for example, was a diffident overview of the problems facing micropayments including the admission that the author was not opposed to them. Hardly a reasoned argument against something; more like a casual blog entry.

Bibliographies should support one's implicit assertion that one has researched an issue: including a bad paper does nothing to further that.

Cheers

mouser

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Thanks for the feedback Richard -- I should add that whenever i find an article about micropayment systems I post it on the forum, and there are some interesting web articles and websites that have come out since then.  Anyone who finds a useful paper or blog post about the issue, please do post it.

anakata

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 :trout:

I'm glad to see people are thinking out of the box.  But I found it quite annoying that I had to register a program that's essentially freeware, go through the whole rigamarole including signing up for a forum, and waiting for a verification email, when all I wanted to do was license the screen capture program.  DONATIONS should NOT HAVE TO BE SOLICITED until AFTER the user's gotten a chance to USE the program without annoying nags or service interruptions.  I believe you make your user happy, then nudge after 60 days towards provision of donation info, you'd have gotten a donation from me.  I am not sure I want to donate having been irritated by this software before even getting the chance to use it! It is an irritation up there with the programs that attach a web browser starter to the program's uninstaller so you don't get a choice whether to open a browser and TAKE a SURVEY about why uninstalled the program.  I will ALWAYS take these surveys but only if the author gives ME the choice to open the browser and take the survey on my own instead of forcing open the browser before I agree to it.  People will do what you want them to if you guide them in non annoying ways.  Don't insult our intelligence in other words...

    :-\

Thank you for listening to this criticism,
Anakata
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 09:20:18 PM by anakata »

czb

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:trout:

I'm glad to see people are thinking out of the box.  But I found it quite annoying that I had to register a program that's essentially freeware, go through the whole rigamarole including signing up for a forum, and waiting for a verification email, when all I wanted to do was license the screen capture program.  DONATIONS should NOT HAVE TO BE SOLICITED until AFTER the user's gotten a chance to USE the program without annoying nags or service interruptions.  I believe you make your user happy, then nudge after 60 days towards provision of donation info, you'd have gotten a donation from me.  I am not sure I want to donate having been irritated by this software before even getting the chance to use it! It is an irritation up there with the programs that attach a web browser starter to the program's uninstaller so you don't get a choice whether to open a browser and TAKE a SURVEY about why uninstalled the program.  I will ALWAYS take these surveys but only if the author gives ME the choice to open the browser and take the survey on my own instead of forcing open the browser before I agree to it.  People will do what you want them to if you guide them in non annoying ways.  Don't insult our intelligence in other words...

    :-\

Thank you for listening to this criticism,
Anakata

I completely agree. I hate serial numbers. And this is exactly the case where no serials are needed at all...
My open-source online piano game: https://github.com/musicope/game

mouser

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I'm very sympathetic to what you are saying -- I know when i want to try a new program i do NOT want to be bothered by things like signing up, etc.  I run away if i find something like that.

However there is something that i think may confuse people:

The DC programs that take license keys do NOT require you to sign up or even download a free license key to use the program for a while!

I think there may be a confusion: When a program like Screenshot Captor starts for the very first time after installation it shows an about box welcoming use to program and suggesting they consider donating.

It will not show that "nag" again until the free period ends in 10 days or so.  For those 10 days the user will not be nagged or have any features limited.  I think people may see that dialog and think -- oh im going to be nagged every time from now on -- it's not the case.

After the 10 days you will see a pop up reminding you to come get a free license key (though the program will keep working indefinitely).

At that point you could continue using the program and ignore the startup nag.  OR you could visit the free license key page -- and if you still hate signing up, you can always generate a quick 30 day free license key right online from the license key page without ever signing up if you really object to signing up.

Signing up at the forum is what lets you download a 6 month free license key, and also puts you on track for a permanent non-expiring license key after 12 month.

--

I know it's more complicated than it should be.. I'm open to improving it.  The problem, as we've discussed before, is that we have to walk a fine line and find a good balance that encourages people to donate without being overbearing and while keeping the software free for those who cant pay.  Inevitably we end up "punishing" some good people who would have donated anyway without all the rigmarole, which sucks.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 01:12:11 AM by mouser »

czb

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To be honest I do not understand the idea of forcing people to sign up at all. There are so many people who do NOT speak and understand English. They would normaly download it from some local download server and use it, but now they are forced to sign up in English.

Maybe better would be to put there notice that this forum exists and how to sign up but definitely not to FORCE them...

For example, I think that serial number policy discriminates FARR against Launchy and other alternatives, which is pitty

EDIT: this also holds for donations
My open-source online piano game: https://github.com/musicope/game

mouser

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I think your points are good czb -- and especially coming from a coder on the site i think should be given great weight.

I should say that I/we agonized over it quite a bit initially. And i think you are right that for non-english speakers, even though we have translation buttons on every page of the website, it has to be more even more confusing and frustration.

On the other hand these negatives have to be balanced against some facts:
  • most people download our software from external software sites, and if there is no reason to come to our website they never will.
  • it seems we are living in a strange age where most people are perfectly happy to pay for software labeled as "commercial" but would never consider donating for something they don't have to.  this presents a huge dilemna for us because we are fighting an uphill battle trying to get people to even consider the remote possibility of donating to our site.
  • encouraging people to sign up at the forum allows us to give away the non-expiring lifetime keys because we know someone has been a member for a year and if they haven't donated by then they probably never will, but at least they would have considered it, which is the important thing as far as i'm concerned.
  • although requiring people to sign up no doubt frustrates some people, it's hard to argue that it doesn't also have the benefit of bringing new active participants into the forum who actually add a lot to the discussion.  having to sign up at a forum is probably what stops most people from ever participating in a forum -- because this provides another reason to sign up, i think it means that significantly more people sign up and then afterwards end up participating than would otherwise.
  • having people sign up at the forum give us the opportunity to ask them if they will subscribe to our twice-monthly newsletter.  the newsletter is very important to the site -- it gives us an opportunity to keep in touch with people who might otherwise forget about the site; instead they discover that the site is a real, active site that offers continued value, and is something worth supporting.

czb

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so you want to
1) force people to attend this forum
2) force people to think about donating

1) you could just add a checked option in installation wizzard to open donationcoder forum and if user likes the forum he will sign up for sure. You can also ask for an email in installation wizzard and send newsletter directly without signing up

2) again you can incorporate this idea into what I have writen in 1). That means put into installation wizzard donate button, talk about donations in the newsletter...

So the result would be:
A) No serial numbers
B) No signing up required

if you go around the net you can find a lot of discussions why people hate to sign up (for example when buying online etc). This is fact and we should obbey it. There are so many other ways how to let people know about forum and donating then FORCING them  :Thmbsup:
My open-source online piano game: https://github.com/musicope/game
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:43:49 AM by czechboy »

f0dder

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Not sure that's a good idea, czechboy.

I personally get pretty suspicious when something asks me for an email address, and for unknown software I'll definitely be entering a bogus address unless I absolutely HAVE to enter a valid one. Now, of course I know that DonationCoder software has no bad intentions, but if I was a new user that didn't know about the site yet and just wanted to try FARR or Screenshot Captor? I would enter bogus information.

Also, I think there shouldn't be too much about donating in the newsletter, as it could easily be seen as begging. Iirc we've seen one or two posts from people who couldn't remember signing up for the newsletter who thought they were being spammed, and if the newsletter was full of donation-begging... then that could easily seem worse.

On the other hand, I don't have a better solution I'm afraid. The license policy does seem strange, even if I understand mouser's reasons.
- carpe noctem