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FLOSS Needs A Holiday

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supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

You know how every year we gather up some cash and provide gifts to our loved ones? In my case, it's at Christmas time. In your case, it may be different. Well, it dawned on me that FLOSS needs a holiday too. If you look at the OpenBSD project, which are the devs of the sensational OpenSSH project in addition to many other things, they ran out of a major amount of funding the other day and asked for donations. Luckily they got a huge chunk from Mozilla.org today and others have come in thousands of tiny donations.

I'd like to designate the month of May every year as FLOSS Holiday Month. All you have to do is look at what tools you rely on, look at the About or Man pages on them, and find out what groups on the web take these donations to support these projects. All it takes is $5, $10, $20, whatever you have. If you contribute a small amount and spread it over multiple projects, that would probably be the best idea. And there are many other organizations that you could donate to such as OSDL, FSF, GNU, Mozilla.org, OpenOffice.org, KDE, GNOME, etc. Many of these orgs make it extremely simple to PayPal them with a Donate Now button.

Note I'm not asking you to "tithe" part of your monthly paycheck like you might do with a church. I'm just asking for you to consider one month every year where you slam these FLOSS orgs with funding. It's like an annual funding drive. And sure, if you want to tithe to these funds, or start a new project where you give 10% of your profits to FLOSS orgs, or just pay a little amount here or there throughout the year, then so be it.

Please consider spreading the word...

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

good idea. we have the libervis network to make this real...!!!

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Sounds an interesting idea....now which day should it be?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

That's a nice idea. I'd love to donate to some of these orgs and devs. The only problem with me is that everybody uses and accepts only PayPal while I live in a country not supported by it.

"tbuitenh" wrote:

good idea. we have the libervis network to make this real...!!!

Indeed, we can push it through all our sites. However, again, as for actual involvement in gathering funds that would be hard, except if someone else we can trust with a paypal account is willing to jump in.

But of course, we can just promote the idea, not necessarily be the fund raisers.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

How about a small PNG one can click? You could try to encourage other websites to put it on their sites. When they click it, it brings eyeballs back to your network. On the page they see, they can read about May being FLOSS Holiday Month, or you could rename it as something like "FLOSS Annual Fund Drive", "May is Free, Open Source Fundraiser Month", or whatever.

If you make it go to a page which then redirects randomly to one of your portal sites, all of a sudden you'd have eyeballs that see these other forums. Meanwhile, you can show the message about what this is all about.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08

s/Open Source/Free Software/
?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Supermike, there was an idea that I had before and that is still possible about a Libervis Free Culture Alliance. It would be an alliance of web sites that promote Free Culture on the web in some way and would all link to a central alliance site with a button much the way you describe it. I imagine that if this alliance would be achieved it would be rather easy to promote the FOSS Fund Drive Day through it by simply putting a link to it on that central alliance site.

The central alliance site was meant to be part of Libervis Network, but instead of the whole thing being called Libervis Network it was meant to be an "alliance" to make a distinction between possibly a commercial (at some point) entity that is a network and an alliance consisting of sites not necessarily "working for" Libervis Network.

Anyway.. this whole FOSS Fund Drive Day idea fits so nicely in the Alliance idea and it might be time to start working on making it a reality. Libervis.com is a place to discuss it further, make propositions and develop the general idea further.

Thanks

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Good idea. There's another free software holiday, Software Freedom Day IIRC. It's earlier in the year.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Software Freedom Day seems to be on September the 16th this year.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Okay then, I'm there. I'll sign up for that. Too bad it's only one day. That's like not going to completely work, but okay.

It just comes down to one waking up with themselves, realizing, hey, I use all this free stuff and actually depend on it and hope it helps me get rich (or at least some of us want to think that). And then realizing that someone stayed up late, perhaps, writing that to make your life comfortable, so we should at least float them a $5, if anything. If we all did that, these people might even could quit their day jobs.

I'm also not a fan of putting a lot of money on one player. Leave that for the big foundations unless you're Mr. Megabux. When we put a lot of money on one player, even as much as $20, we are not able to think hard about the obscure players that need our recognition just as much. Instead, I say give $5 or $10 to each software group you depend on.

For instance, take your last month. Think of every command you typed. It's probably not that hard. Guesstimate. Then think of every app. Now write the list out and type it into a spreadsheet. Now add a column for the URL to click to donate cash. As you get your next paycheck, consider putting $5 or $10 aside just for one or two of these at a time. Do it at least for 8 months or up to $200. If you have a job and are not in college, that's not much to ask for. You could even skip a year. But if we all did this, the FLOSS movement would be in a different place than it is now.

And if you ever make it big in the FLOSS movement, and are earning over $80K, then consider "tithing" someday, where you take like 5% to 10% of that and spread that across multiple projects that you depend on, including obscure ones. And don't forget budding projects that are not complete yet but would be really cool if they were, or foundations that use legal defense on behalf of FLOSS.

Now I know that talking about fundraisers is a HUGE drag, so I'll stop being a cheerleader and just respond to statements, but I felt compelled to say this because eventually my FLOSS project will take off and I'll partially depend on moments like this, myself.

Note in my case that I'm having to handle something like 4 jobs -- parent, husband (and believe me those are two separate jobs right there), regular day job guy, and moonlight FLOSSer at night. Add to that religious work, FLOSS activism, political activism, and rural economic development activism, and that's quite a lot of nights without sleep. I've had to blow off my family a couple of weekends to try and get through a major phase of my project. I've had to spend years on it. I've had to pull 60 hour work weeks for the day job and have that compete with my moonlight work. It's a tough world out there. And if I'm an example of what FLOSS developers are, then Lord knows they could receive a $5 bill from a thousand of us, at least.

Okay, enough cheerleading. Hope you have a great evening.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
"supermike" wrote:

Okay then, I'm there. I'll sign up for that. Too bad it's only one day. That's like not going to completely work, but okay.

Oh I don't know why I caught on to that "day" term in my last post here. I do think month is better for this kind of thing.

As for the rest of your post, right on! We need that kind of positive cheerleading (can cheerleading be negagive anyway? Smiling ).

Your situation might be one of the worse ones and for all the effort that you put into Free Software and your project with so many other jobs/obligations you certainly deserve respect.. and, these 5 bucks from a number of supporters. Eye

I'll keep your idea tabbed for integration into that alliance that we ought to do at some point soon. Of course though, we can spread the word about it from this very moment...

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18

ahh its a pain Croatia doesnt accept paypal, I would love for libervisco to set up an account for us to donate to. Then spread accross aload of projects

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
"AndrewB" wrote:

ahh its a pain Croatia doesnt accept paypal, I would love for libervisco to set up an account for us to donate to. Then spread accross aload of projects

I do have an online money account, but it is moneybookers which isn't as widely supported as paypal. Maybe some project leaders actually do support moneybookers though, but I'm not sure if and which.

That donate box on the homepage is powered by moneybookers (though no donations are recieved yet, probably because people usually don't have moneybookers).

One way to get around this is to find another person we can trust that has a paypal account to transfer money to. That way it might work.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17
Paypal, Moneybookers

I wonder how to bridge the gap between Paypal and Moneybookers. Is Moneybookers quite popular in the rest of the world, besides Paypal? If it is, I'll definitely make a note of it. Perhaps Moneybookers is already looking into a way to receive Paypal funds?

How hard would it be for a foreigner to get a USA Nevada Corp? (Nevada has the best Internet-friendly tax laws, supposedly.) If that were possible, then funds could go through Paypal to that corp. Then, you could get a bank card to draw funds from the Nevada corp.

Somewhere there's got to be some political activism that you could get involved in within your country to get something introduced into legislation?

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08

note from *rest of world* - never heard of money bookers, Paypal is mostly used for money transfer to/from the US. (we have bank transfers)

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: Paypal, Moneybookers
"supermike" wrote:

I wonder how to bridge the gap between Paypal and Moneybookers. Is Moneybookers quite popular in the rest of the world, besides Paypal? If it is, I'll definitely make a note of it. Perhaps Moneybookers is already looking into a way to receive Paypal funds?

Even if it wasn't popular it should be, because if you ask me it's a good service and I haven't had any major problems with it so far. I believe it is a true alternative to the paypal apparent monopoly. That said I think moneybookers is fairly popular and gaining traction, especially among webmasters and web designers, though still not in such great numbers (otherwise I wouldn't loose a few too many advertising deals this year).

I think there already is a way to transfer money from paypal to moneybookers, but I'm not familiar with the details. From what I hear it is less than a convenient process which is why not many do it.

"supermike" wrote:

How hard would it be for a foreigner to get a USA Nevada Corp? (Nevada has the best Internet-friendly tax laws, supposedly.) If that were possible, then funds could go through Paypal to that corp. Then, you could get a bank card to draw funds from the Nevada corp.

Well I have no idea. I don't know USA Nevada and its laws. Smiling It sounds like an exciting idea though..

"supermike" wrote:

Somewhere there's got to be some political activism that you could get involved in within your country to get something introduced into legislation?

There is a local community of GNU/Linux users and Free Culture supporters. However, from what I know they haven't yet been involved in much of that kind of activism pushing for or against certain legislations. We'll see about later as we move towards entering the EU.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

If you ever want to see how stupid the USA Fed Govt is, beyond their obvious love of monopolists, look at this:

http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=news_wastewatcher

BTW, back to the original thread, it's like someone needs to write a new book and come up with a new term that embodies "ethical capitalism without monopolism". For instance, it's not just monopolies that irritate me about capitalism. It's ethics too. Consider for instance that a guy named T.Bone Pickens (believe me, that's his REAL name, unfortunately). Back in the 1980's, he purchased Weyerhauser, the paper company, when it was near bankruptcy. He looted the company of assets, which included selling timber off huge sections of its forests, and then sold the company again. For profit, he just punched a huge hole in the ozone layer. Fun fun fun. Not. It's almost a treasonable act for what he did, practically.