The confusion surrounding the concept of donationware and freeware has come up a few times before, and it got me wondering if it might be nice to discuss the idea of formulating a new term with a more precise definition.
Im not wedded to the name, but maybe "Donationware 2.0" is a good working title until we find something better.
So here is what i was thinking by way of a definition, but please do jump in and modify. I'm basically starting off with the things we do here, but that doesn't mean they are the right way, i'm just trying to start us off on the path of coming up with something reasonable.Donationware 2.0:
- Software or media that puts a strong emphasis on asking the user to make a donation to support the author, while still remaining free of charge should the user choose not to donate (or cannot donate).
- Such software may require a minimum amount of effort on the users part to encourage donating, but this work should not be "prohibitive or overly annoying".
In an attempt to be more specific about this term, the following activities would be considered overly annoying and prohibitive:
1) showing a nag which is removed only on donating.
2) requiring a donation to unlock certain features.
3) showing ads inside the software which are removed only on donating.
However, such software may reasonably do the following:
1) Require the person to sign up to receive the full version, or a license key or download (no email collected may be used for spamming purposes!)
2) Require the person to declare that they have considered donating and decided not to.
3) Require the person to return to download a new version or license key occasionally (no more frequently than once every 6 months)
Summarizing: The software model puts an emphasis on requiring the user to actually consider the act of donating, and perform some action to avoid donating (though not monetary, and not anything that would take more than a few minutes per year). Read my article (http://www.donationc...icles/One/index.html
) for longer discussion about the motivation and philosophy behind these decisions.Other issues worth considering:
Should donationware2.0 specify that an author should make all of their software available as a bundle when a user donates?
Should it say that the author can charge for commercial/non-personal/home use? (i would favor this i think)
Should it be able to say that a donation is mandatory, but user can choose the amount, or else indicate that they cannot donate for some real reason?