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Why no donations?

omfgomfg New
edited February 2009 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I've shown this filebrowser to a few artists friends and they love it. Generally fine artists and illustrators who want to dump their work online and not deal with the hassle of creating a site. However they like the Filebrowser enough that they'd like to donate. They don't have tons of cash, but they want to chip in.

I told them to sign up for a forum account and ask, they told me to ask for them :x

So, why don't you take donations at Lussumo. I think these products are built well enough and people like them enough where it could be Donationware with no complaints.


  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited July 2005

    First of all, thank you for the sentiment. I'm really glad that everyone likes the products so much. It really makes it worthwhlie to get that kind of feedback :)

    As for donations, I've been hesitant to ask for donations for two reasons:

    1. Whenever I see software sites asking for donations, it smacks of "cheap" to me. I don't want my products to be considered cheap in any way, because in my mind that is the farthest thing from the truth.

    2. I make very good money doing what I do. I could be completely wrong, and maybe there are a lot more people out there willing to give donations than I think there are, but in my mind I just can't see any donations I'd get ending up even coming close to my actual working salary. As such, the donations wouldn't make it so I could quit doing contracts and focus on developing my own software. And if I'm getting donations from other artists who really can't afford to spare the money, but do it to support my cause, I'd rather they kept the money themselves and supported their own cause.

    The only way that I think I'd ever take donations is if I actually had something else that people could get for their donation. Like, say I made T-Shirts with "Lussumo" and some nifty art on it or something. Then I could have it set up so that when people make a "donation", if they donate up to or over a certain amount of money, then they get one of the t-shirts. Or a coffee mug. or whatever. Kind of like how Firefox does it. What do you think?

  • lechlech Chicagoland
    I find the whole logo t-shirt idea cheaper than the original donation idea as "cheap". I guess that's just me though. And in the end it really boils down to the quality of the software in question. I think I can name at least 3 different suites of software that by no means are cheap in price, but the quality of programming is so damn cheap that it shouldn't even have a price tag. Now that is what I see as super-cheap. Also you can think of it more as a "tip jar" or something instead of a donation. Like the moz foundation, you can make a donation to help keep them in service or you can go buy some stuff from them. I don't think mozilla is really cheap because the software quality exceeds my expectations. That and some of their store products look really fucking silly (plushie fox that looks like a bear? wtf?!). But yeah, they still make good software. I guess the tip jar "donation" while completely optional is more of an incentive to let the programmer know that his or her project is wanted and needed. It's not always seens as chairity for "help save this starving programmer", plus it's really up to you what you do with that money. You could use all the "donations" to go back to firefox if you wanted. And if not, buy yourself dinner and some beers on us for continuing to do such a great job :) In the end it's not like you're spare-changing on the street corner and offering no services. You're providing a service for nothing to us and I'll be willing to bet that many of us would be willing to take you out to dinner or throw so cash into the tip jar for doing such a fine job. Even if you truely don't ask for anything in return.
  • i think if you phrased the copy just so, people wouldn't find it cheap for you to have a tip jar. it's all in how you say it, and if you were to do it, i wouldn't make it prominent. but i understand what you are saying mark. likewise, when you accept donations, you feel more of an obligation to REALLY support the product perhaps.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    I dunno. Maybe I will put a donate button up there. I'll think about it a bit... I definitely see what you are saying, lech. And yeah - there would be a bit more obligation to support the products. But I already do that anyway.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited July 2005
    I talked it over with my wife this afternoon, and she thinks that I should be taking donations, too. I guess there's no way of knowing the kind of donations I'd be getting unless I start to take them. I imagine it won't be much - but who knows? I might be surprised. And in a magical world it would be enough to quit my "job" and just make my own software full time. My wife said, "At the end of the day, you'd be an idiot to turn away money from people who want to support you." So yeah. I'll do it. Here goes nothing. *feels dumb*
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    Haha, yeah, the wife or g/f will usually get the last word in and point you off in the direction you least expect. You would be suprised though at how many people use something that's offered for free but would be totally willing to pay for it had they a chance. take mIRC for example, it's been around for years. With all the licenses dude has sold for people using his irc program, (free upgrades too). He's taken more than half the money and turned it towards chairity. like 46k dollars total or something last I checked. Consider it a bonus either way. And yeah, just something like "if you like vanilla or file browser, and end up loving it, feel free to contribute to the tip jar" or something along those lines. I'll even fedex you some brew for all the hard work you've done so far :)
  • It's not like you are per say asking for donations. But I mean, good quality software gets respect, and people like to show their appreciation some how. Not everyone of course, but I mean, you are doing alot of work, giving alot of really great easy to use tools to people. The least they can do is throw a little back.

    And heck, if you don't want the money, you can throw it torwards charity, or maybe make it a grant for others who make good software. Shrug.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited July 2005
    I think I'll save any donation money I get and hold on to it for the next time a contract ends. Then I'll treat it like a salary for doing lussumo software while I'm not working for any other clients. That's the justification I've got in my head right now. Oh, and it's live on all the sites now:,, and (look at the top-left menu).
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    Looks good :)
  • smart man. never turn down money, especially when people want to give it to you when you aren't even asking. at least that is my feeling on the subject.

  • p.s. mark - perhaps is in order?

    And yeah, i think the donations thing is a good idea - regardless of how useful it will be to you and the end product, i enjoyed doing the phpBB migrator thing cause in a very small way it made me feel asif i was atleast trying to give something back - some people may prefer to do this with neat extensions, some with money, some not at all but if you were never getting anything you wouldnt have lost out.

    And i'd watch the donations money if i were you, i saw a 'shoe shopping' glint in sarahs eye when you were talking about it ;)...if nothing else it could atleast help to keep the server running.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    mini: has been online for a couple of weeks. It's linked on the bottom-right of every single vanilla out there, and it's linked on the top-left of,, and I can't believe you missed it :) All good points otherwise :)
  • oh snap! i'm on the docs page! hahaha
  • agreed. donation sent.
  • Um. I'm sure i posted a reply to this but perhaps i didnt.

    Mark, i meant as a subdomain. But i guess i'm just a domain whore...balls in your court.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    mmmmmmm. balls!
  • chocolate salty balls?
  • so are you a millionaire yet from the donations?
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Two donations so far. Many thanks to those two members! :)
  • Is there any way to donate apart from paypal?

    Paypal hates my visa ever since i cancelled my account
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