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Is DonationCoder too exposed of a brand?

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Paul Keith:
Lately there's been talks of upgrading DC's homepage design and DC's app-nag designs but I think something that is equally as fatal if not more so is that: DonationCoder is a DIFFERENT name than DonationWare!

It's like Ubuntu to Linux except DonationCoder's brand is split in half.

If I'm making up fake statistics based on my estimation:

40% of users are here to use the software
25% of the users come here to get their suggested softwares, programmed
30% of the users come here for the forum and the community

Certain percent of these are probably donating one way or another if they have the cash


Here's the clincher:

Probably only 5% represent donationware on their sleeves

I'm not talking about people who give donations but people who feel strongly about the concept of donationware in the same vein some open source users understand and spread the philosophy of FOSS.

This is an important distinction because DonationCoder is not just any Donationware site. It is the ALPHA site of Donationware.

Where others merely turn their software into donationware, DC is supposed to champion the why, the audience, the developers into donationware. Instead what is DC's brand?

(Emphasis on brand, not category, not posts, not philosophy)

DC's brand is NANY. DC's brand is software developed thanks to developers who took their time to build it for someone. Other times, DC's brand is about having a polite tech forum and a repository of some really good free software that happens to be donationware.

...but DC's brand is not exuding donationware beyond that.

How can I say this?

I haven't been checking up on Netvibes so today when I say that they have a new "Dashboard It" feature, I thought...hmm...hey often times I use the search term "hentai" just to verify if a search engine is legit or not because there's literally a day and night instant difference between a spam site and a legit site and you don't have to be a porn addict to know which are the middle of the line top quality websites that aren't famous.

...and I did it to the search entry and it looks legit enough at crawling data. Like any search engine results, it's going to be filled with lots of inaccuracies but it was able to hit some really good marks here and there. (Note that Netvibes is just piggybacking on things like Google's search results in it's widget and not really using an algorithmn)

...and so I said, ok, just out of curiosity...what other rare search terms that can be used to test the value of this feature. Something that I might legitimately treat as a saved search and I wrote in "donationware".


There's not only no mention of donationcoder, there's almost no mention of the philosophy of promoting donationware.

Here you have one of the biggest sources and repository of donationware and yet donationcoder is donationcoder. Donationware is donationware.

I even tested this with an alternative dashboard service in and it's the same result except donationware has more entries.

Worse, donationware is treated as something that is merely ASKING for donations and nothing else. Not license key implementations, not support implementations, not NANYs.

I mean look at these:

I don’t think I’ll do this, but it’s an interesting idea: the software remains free, but each download costs $1. Just $1.

I think it’s safe to say that most people could afford to pay $1 to download one of my apps/hacks/etc. You download it, can’t get it to work, don’t like it, etc.? Too bad, you’re out $1, no big loss. You already downloaded this version once but lost the zip file? Too bad, you’re out another $1. It’s only $1, no big thing – right?

It’s such a simple idea – even if it cut my downloads by 2/3, I’d have upwards of $10,000 so far instead of the nearly $500 I’ve gotten in donations (stats are updated on the Donation Page). I’d (of course) set it up so people who have already donated are exempt for the download charge.

The only real problem I see is that the barrier to entry then becomes PayPal, and it seems lots of people don’t like PayPal. Ah well, it’s an interesting idea – who knows I might try it down the road.
--- End quote ---

$1 is no longer part of donationware? Then DC's license key probably isn't either!!!


Theory of Community Destruction

This is a theory. Something rather remarkable happened when I switched to Donationware, which is that the overall quality of feedback visibily declined. While there will always be a certain segment of the userbase that you simply cannot please, what can be quite surprising is to see the champions of your application begin to fade away over time. When an application has a fee for a full version it serves to gate the horde out. When anyone can and does gain access, it becomes a commons and only a certain percentage of users try to keep the place kept up--in a manner very similar to a public or shared space. My theory is this. Donationware is a negative pressure on a community that seeds the destruction of the application licensed under this model.
--- End quote ---

Donationware a feedback destroyer? OMG no wonder DC is a wasteland of ghosts. Nobody wants to talk and participate in donationware!!!


...however the rest of the article is awesome. I didn't do a check if it was linked here before but it's worth reading the entire article for anyone interested in Donationware.

So from the first paragraph I understand you mean the following:

1. There has been talk about changing the layout of the frontpage.
2. This change is bad.
3. donationcoder is different - this is as bad as change.

Did I understand correctly?

Paul Keith:

Except for the first part, wrong on all counts. (especially considering I was part of that talk and even shared a mock-up on that thread)

That is a very interesting read indeed. Unfortunately I have to agree with a lot of it, even though I don't want to  :(

30% of the users come here for the forum and the community
-Paul Keith (February 24, 2011, 10:23 AM)
--- End quote ---

Are you kidding me? I'd say probably only 50-60 users are here for the community. I see lots of lots people who used to frequent this forum simply disappeared. As you said, it's a ghost town and some people here just don't realize this fact.


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