Culture Fund


OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
Donating money to developers of free software is always a nice gesture. It provides developers with a little extra incentive to continue developing. However, it doesn't work that way. Few people ever actually donate and even worse, some people promise to donate when they see amazing software pop up but then fail to keep their promise for whatever reason.

My theory is that most people are actually willing and able to donate money for stuff they enjoy. What they lack is a little guidance, convenience and pressure. Here is an idea how to provide that and make the whole community spend money where it should be spent:

We need a central place organizing this. It would probably have to be under the supervision of Craig, ED etc. Everyone who wants to contribute signs up for a monthly plan. This means that you pay a fixed sum every month which will be collected at the central organization. You can then assign this money to any of the free software developers registered with the program.

Why should you sign up? You get a shiny badge to use on these forums and other scene places to show that you are an active contributor. Earn respect and at the same time encourage others to give as you do! ;) Other possible benefits: Developers could offer exclusive beta versions and similar stuff to registered contributors only. There could be a secret place where you hang out with the cool kids only and laugh about everyone else. Exclusive limited coffee mugs. Stuff like that.

There would be different contribution classes:
Bronze - 10€ a month.
Silver - 20€ a month.
Gold - 50€ a month.
Platinum - 100€ a month.
Of course, there would always be the option of donating a one time sum. Total contributions over time should also be counted and displayed in a certified graphic.

To encourage buying and development of paid software, too, it would be an interesting idea to allow people to use half of the contributed money on buying software from the official shop.

Every free software developer should be able to sign up for this. However, the cetral organization would need to review each application. Every developer should write a little summary of his contributions. This would have to be reviewed, also, to prevent scams.

Unassigned money would need to get assigned somehow. I'm not quite sure how to go about that. An idea would be a committee of trusted community members who look for developers that make amazing contributions but don't get enough attention for it. This would somewhat counterbalance the effect good publicity (without much actual work behind it) would have on the flow of donations.

I realize that this would need some serious development effort and ongoing maintenance. However, I think it would be worth it. Developers would be rewarded more for their effort. They would be able to put aside more time for development and more developers would be attracted to the community. A way to democratically pay for free stuff would be tested with possible cultural and political implications for the digital future. Microtransactions for small things would become possible. Example: I (and 200 other people) might be willing to pay someone 50 €ent for their small game. Paypal (as well as bank transfers etc.) would add hefty fees to that, making a transaction this small pretty much impossible. However, if everyone has paid 20€ to a central organization and then assigns 50 €ent of it to the developer, he would get almost the full 100€.


What do you think about the proposed system? Any ideas how to improve it further?
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
151
OrR said:
Donating money to developers of free software is always a nice gesture. It provides developers with a little extra incentive to continue developing. However, it doesn't work that way. Few people ever actually donate and even worse, some people promise to donate when they see amazing software pop up but then fail to keep their promise for whatever reason.

My theory is that most people are actually willing and able to donate money for stuff they enjoy. What they lack is a little guidance, convenience and pressure. Here is an idea how to provide that and make the whole community spend money where it should be spent:

We need a central place organizing this. It would probably have to be under the supervision of Craig, ED etc. Everyone who wants to contribute signs up for a monthly plan. This means that you pay a fixed sum every month which will be collected at the central organization. You can then assign this money to any of the free software developers registered with the program.

Why should you sign up? You get a shiny badge to use on these forums and other scene places to show that you are an active contributor. Earn respect and at the same time encourage others to give as you do! ;) Other possible benefits: Developers could offer exclusive beta versions and similar stuff to registered contributors only. There could be a secret place where you hang out with the cool kids only and laugh about everyone else. Exclusive limited coffee mugs. Stuff like that.

There would be different contribution classes:
Bronze - 10€ a month.
Silver - 20€ a month.
Gold - 50€ a month.
Platinum - 100€ a month.
Of course, there would always be the option of donating a one time sum. Total contributions over time should also be counted and displayed in a certified graphic.

To encourage buying and development of paid software, too, it would be an interesting idea to allow people to use half of the contributed money on buying software from the official shop.

Every free software developer should be able to sign up for this. However, the cetral organization would need to review each application. Every developer should write a little summary of his contributions. This would have to be reviewed, also, to prevent scams.

Unassigned money would need to get assigned somehow. I'm not quite sure how to go about that. An idea would be a committee of trusted community members who look for developers that make amazing contributions but don't get enough attention for it. This would somewhat counterbalance the effect good publicity (without much actual work behind it) would have on the flow of donations.

I realize that this would need some serious development effort and ongoing maintenance. However, I think it would be worth it. Developers would be rewarded more for their effort. They would be able to put aside more time for development and more developers would be attracted to the community. A way to democratically pay for free stuff would be tested with possible cultural and political implications for the digital future. Microtransactions for small things would become possible. Example: I (and 200 other people) might be willing to pay someone 50 €ent for their small game. Paypal (as well as bank transfers etc.) would add hefty fees to that, making a transaction this small pretty much impossible. However, if everyone has paid 20€ to a central organization and then assigns 50 €ent of it to the developer, he would get almost the full 100€.
What do you think about the proposed system? Any ideas how to improve it further?



while this is theoretically a good idea, the problem with that is that most people plan in all means to donate but I can garentee most of us are pretty broke individuals so a subscription plan would not work. Well, it could work but its hard to know.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
That is why there is the alternative option of accumulating a "score" by making one time donations when you can afford it. You wouldn't get a metal badge but still a certified graphic with a number to prove that you are contributing.
Of course there may be people around who can't afford to donate much. This system doesn't force anyone to donate and if you don't, you can still participate in the community and enjoy the free software. What the system does is making people, who could afford to donate but haven't done it, yet, ashamed of themselves. They would then sit at home and cry about their own greed or sign up for a silver plan ASAP. ;)
 

don

AWSMOE!
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
635
Location
$$$GERMONEY$$$
Website
gp32.chemicalkungfu.de
While anything that's helping in honoring homebrew devs is a great thing, there are a few problems with that:

- Nobody would pay 100 quid for a premium badge, the amount would need to be significantly smaller than that, like 20e for the "best" membership.
- People need incentives other than the badge to be interested, betas, early versions, extra stuff (just think about extras like downloadable content like concept art or soundtrack w/remixes or whatever for donators only - much like xbox live gold)
- Most of the money would end up with emulation devs. While I don't feel bad about them getting money for their work and efforts, it'd still be divided unfairly, people are after emus way too much.

Other than that, nice idea, and it's good to see that people still care about homebrew.

EDIT:

QUOTE
while this is theoretically a good idea, the problem with that is that most people plan in all means to donate but I can garentee most of us are pretty broke individuals so a subscription plan would not work. Well, it could work but its hard to know.


Strangely people are always broke when it comes to donating, and yet they can buy > $300 devices... If there's a game you like, there's always one way or another to donate a small amount.
 

yaustar

UK GP32 & GP2X Owner
Joined
Oct 18, 2003
Messages
2,714
Location
UK
Website
Visit site
I personally refuse to use PayPal due to some of the horror stories that I have heard. Last time I donated, I sent a cheque to the author.
 

goobers

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
344
Location
The UK
Website
Visit site
That system also means that people would be paying for a whole bunch of software that they personally don't care about. I also think that it would be hard to decide whether a Dev deserves money or not- I think that it could cause some upsets personally.
 

OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
don said:
While anything that's helping in honoring homebrew devs is a great thing, there are a few problems with that:

- Nobody would pay 100 quid for a premium badge, the amount would need to be significantly smaller than that, like 20e for the "best" membership.
- People need incentives other than the badge to be interested, betas, early versions, extra stuff (just think about extras like downloadable content like concept art or soundtrack w/remixes or whatever for donators only - much like xbox live gold)
- Most of the money would end up with emulation devs. While I don't feel bad about them getting money for their work and efforts, it'd still be divided unfairly, people are after emus way too much.

Other than that, nice idea, and it's good to see that people still care about homebrew.
If you can only pay 20€, you get a silver badge. Where is the problem with that? :p I think it's a good idea to have a high price premium membership so that rich people (if there are any around here ;) ) also have a motivation for throwing away their money.

yaustar said:
I personally refuse to use PayPal due to some of the horror stories that I have heard. Last time I donated, I sent a cheque to the author.
Well, if a central organization would handle this, you could probably send money to it in a number of different ways.
CongoZombie said:
That system also means that people would be paying for a whole bunch of software that they personally don't care about. I also think that it would be hard to decide whether a Dev deserves money or not- I think that it could cause some upsets personally.
You decide which dev gets your money. The system just ensures that you pay at least 20 €uros total a month.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

goobers

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
344
Location
The UK
Website
Visit site
OrR said:
You decide which dev gets your money. The system just ensures that you pay at least 20 €uros total a month.
I don't get it- €20 each month just for one piece of software? I pay £40 for an Xbox 360 game, but I don't want to keep paying that same £40 each month thereafter!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
No, you pay 20€ for nothing in return! The money then goes to the free software developers you like. For example, one month you may like the new TTD port, so you assign it to zodttd (or whoever did the port). The next month, you like the Atari Lynx emulator. So your money goes to whoever did that. The only thing you get for your money is a nice badge to wear around here proudly. And maybe some prereleases or other little exclusive stuff.
 

goobers

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
344
Location
The UK
Website
Visit site
Oh right, I see what you mean now. I think that I'll probably just do some developing myself to 'give something back' personally and maybe donate here and there to projects that I use a lot, but I think that is a cool idea nonetheless :)
 

kagato

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
303
It's been done with other projects before, so it can be workable.

Mandriva Linux (back when it was Mandrake) used to have a Club with multiple levels of subscription; it got you commercial software extras, but was primarily to support the whole project. (Now it's all rolled into the Powerpack subscription.)

TransGaming uses a subscription service for their Cedega windows compatibility software (based on Wine). In their case, you have to subscribe to get the software so it's not really open, but subscribers get to vote on the direction of the project.

Given the true open nature of both the software and hardware development for the Pandora, I'm not sure either of these models are appropriate. They're already freely accepting feedback from the whole community, so they're unlikely to start charging for the privilege. Something more akin to a tip jar would make sense... "I like and support what you guys are doing, so here's some money to show my appreciation."

Some sort of payment system for independent developers would be nice, but by virtue of being independent it would be hard to centralise a payment system. However, you could have a central repository where developers can list their projects, and they could provide direct payment links on their pages (PayPal etc): again, as a tip jar to say thanks, or bounty payments to vote on project direction, or maybe even commission toward future projects.

But it would probably be best for the Pandora team to let people manage their own financial arrangements, rather than handle the money themselves. Just provide the facility for developers to add it if they choose.
 

JakeK

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
553
Age
31
Location
Pomona, QLD, Australia
Website
Visit site
A subscription is a rediculous idea, not only would you be forking out money (in my 35 fricking bucks for the lowest plan (GET STUFFED)) but once you have donated to the project you wanted to you have to fork out money for those projects in which you don't care about.

I support donating, but only if I can choose how much I can donate to the developer.

If developers want to get donations they will supply ways in which to receive them. Personally if I want to donate it will only be on the games that I really like, not because someone spent there own time to make it.

To me a subscription service screams greediness.
 

OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
The lowest plan I proposed is 10€ a month which isn't quite 35$ (yet). :huh: Also, you only assign money to whoever you like. If you don't like/can't afford a subscription, the option to make one time payments is there. The subscription is just for people who can afford it and to ensure that they remember giving money to support the developers regularly.
Also, the whole thing is voluntary. The free software will still be free if you are a greedy bastard (or poor) and refuse to give any money for it.
 

Jon Grant

Still Fresh
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
28
it amazes me how some people will pay £10-£20 a week .... every week .... all year .... to send utterly pointless text messages all the time, but when they are asked to make some contribution to something worthwhile they scream like someone took a blunt chainsaw to their family jewels :blink:

although I do think for the time periods involved and the totals you would accrue each year the actual figures quoted are too high, for example 10£ a month is £120 over the year, too much for the two or three apps you may be actually interested in that motivated you to contribute in the first place.

at that you would be paying more than you pay for commercial games, contributions would be more in the £1-£2 a month category to make sense (IMO) , that gives a contribution of £12-£24 pa, anyone can afford that, even if they`re homeless, (please note: I think any homeless person running a games console and downloading/playing games probably has some prioritisation difficulties) :p .
 

OrR

Corporate games suck.
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
1,411
Location
Hildesheim/Germany
Website
grvoid.com
Well, that's why I proposed different levels. What you want to pay is your decision. If you are a heavy Pandora user and earn enough money, paying 50€ a month might be reasonable. If you are unemployed and only use one or two emulators, a subscription plan might not make sense for you and you could donate small sums whenever you've got money to spare.
What doesn't make sense is a 2€ subscription plan. Paypal, bank transfers etc. come with fees that would eat up most of that money. I guess a 5€plan would be the absolute minimum.
 

icurafu

The Hallucinogenic Elf
Joined
Sep 28, 2005
Messages
2,078
Location
Sydney, Australia
Website
gamesreborn.blogspot.com
I will continue to make donations to homebrew and emulator artists in a inconsistent manner without expecting a badge.

I once promised to donate but didn't because the actual release was different from the pre-release description, which I think is fair enough and not such a big crime.

That said, I'm sure a subscription could work for some people.
 

goobers

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
344
Location
The UK
Website
Visit site
OrR said:
The free software will still be free if you are a greedy bastard (or poor) and refuse to give any money for it.
I think you're missing the point here. Most devs don't start a project because they are expecting money. They start a project because it is of personal interest to them, and any money that people donate is a bonus. If they wanted money for it, they'd have made people pay for it. Please don't try and make it seem as if people who don't pay for software that is released for free seem like they are 'greedy'. I don't think badges should be allowed, as people will use it as a status symbol and as a free ticket to flame people without one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for donating to dev's, but I don't think there is any need for people on a forum such as this to have another way to think that they're more 1337 than everyone else.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

fishybawb

Hired Geek
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
1,115
Age
41
Location
York, UK
Website
Visit site
CongoZombie said:
Please don't try and make it seem as if people who don't pay for software that is released for free seem like they are 'greedy'.
Not greedy, more ungrateful and tight-fisted :p

Joking!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

goobers

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
344
Location
The UK
Website
Visit site
fishybawb said:
CongoZombie said:
Please don't try and make it seem as if people who don't pay for software that is released for free seem like they are 'greedy'.
Not greedy, more ungrateful and tight-fisted :p

Joking!


I R COOKIE MONSTER> I EATS UR SOFTWARE
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top