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Comment on "Cocoa Dev Central Donations"
by Michael Strck — Dec 07
Hi Scott,

I recently sent $21 your way, but never heard back about wether the money reached you or wether you even appreciate it ;-) Now, I'm not personally offended and do not really care all that much, but I can't imagine that I'm your typical contributor in that respect.

The first rule of customer relationship management is that you follow up on EVERYTHING. If you want to have people donate multiple times, you have to commit to giving them feedback. Contributors are customers, and you will have to expend effort to get their initial and continued attention.

A fairly recent example will demonstrate my point. Kottke ended his "professional blogger" experiment after a year, citing the fact that practically all contributions had been made made during the first few weeks, when he had a big, all-out drive for funds.

In my mind, the mistake he made was obvious and pretty ridiculous: After the first few weeks, every highgly visible appeal for donations was GONE. To the casual reader, looked just like your average blog. You had to really make an effort to find out about the fact that he was trying to make a living off of it, and about his micro-patronship program. If you happen to subscribe via RSS, there was ZERO indication that you might want to donate to keep the service up. What was he thinking?

Don't fall into the trap of not wanting to be obnoxious. Even Wikipedia has to run highly visible appeals for donations at the very top of it's pages for a cumulative period of several weeks each year, in addition to lobbying for support with big-time philantropies. How bloggers and freeware-coders can believe they will get away with any less is beyond me...
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