Saturday, June 11, 2016

Suggestions to freeware developers

Sometimes I wonder if freeware users think programs on websites like or are being written entirely by Microsoft as like a free extra as thanks for using Windows. It's frustrating and I've worked for some time now to help generate a clearer line between software users and software developers as people.  With that in mind, here's some ways to approach running a freeware or open source software project that won't leave you feeling unappreciated:
  1. Keep in mind that you may only hear from your users when something goes wrong. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind.  I have lots of programs that save me time and energy, but haven't really had a reason to reach out to the developer.
  2. If you ask users to contact you if they like your product.  People like giving advice (like the guy writing this sentence) so if you ask for feedback, you'll get more responses.  Just as with the above item, asking for advice means you'll get some negative responses too. From experience, that's just how some people communicate.
  3. Recognize that thanks may come in weird places. Some people say thanks by telling their friends, I spend more time writing up entries for software I like, but there are a hundred ways to show appreciation that don't include an email or a cash bump from paypal.

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