Some of my ideas on Donationware 2.0
For users who haven't donated,
License Type: Freeware (120 days before renewal is necessary)
1. DC donationware will not require any license key to run in full-functional mode for the first 15 days after first installation (Trial period) Optional
2. [After the 15-day trial]
, the user is required to obtain a valid license key to continue using the program. Otherwise the program will not run.
3. Each license key will be valid for 4 months. After expiration, the user will have to renew his license at the DC website. Otherwise the program will not run.
4. The user will be reminded constantly by a unobtrusive static notification label staying in the corner of the program GUI to keep him informed about the expiration date of the current license key.
5. Users can renew their license keys forever at any time, without restrictions.
6. After 1 year from initial signup, the non-donating user can return to the DC website for a permanent non-expiring license key.DC donationware will not pop up any reminder nag nor cripple any functionality for non-donating members in ANY situation.
For DonationCoder members,
License Type: Lifetime Universal Deluxe
I think we (dc coders) are trapped by a dilemma regarding how to encourage people to donate -
Does "Stop working" work (for non-donating users)?
- If we don't nag or don't nag enough, most users won't donate if they are not used to the concept of donationware.
- If we are to nag users into donating (rarely works), we've already crossed over the line to become nagware makers.
1. It's psychologically more effective than nagging, giving a user more incentive to donate.
It doesn't take a lot for users to get used to nags since they just have to press "OK" "I understand". And if the program works full-functionally after nagging, users looks upon it as an (imperfect) private property that they can use it or dispose of it any time, which discourages them to donate - "I've got it, just a nag screen, no big deal, why bother donating? It'll still work no matter what."
However with "stop working", it's less likely for an illusion of 'private property' and 'full control' to develop. Users know that the program will not be theirs until they decide to donate. So it appears
more like a trialware
to users for which they have to pay after a period, but it's actually not. - However by changing the way people think, the way they look at it, hopefully we can get more donations.
2. By giving users a 4-month between-renewal period and forever free license key renewal, we are not being mean to anybody.
Users get enough(ample!) time to decide to donate, and they are allowed to donate any amount. If a user still won't spare a dime for our work, why would we reciprocate with excessive generosity?
3. The '1-year permanent non-expiring license key' offer already indicates we are basically freeware authors with goodwill.
Alternatives to "Stop working completely"
Sometimes a user might be in urgent need of a DCware and he happens to have forgotten to renew his license. (Travelling on a train, airplane, a ship, etc.) Should our programs still to their seemingly unforgiving "no renewal, no way"? Maybe sometimes not.
1. Display a textbox asking the user to type in words like "Emergency Use Only" verbatim and click ok to continue using the app.
2. Tell the user that he can change the system date temperarily to trick the program into work.
3. Nag, and nag more.