Donate Friday

If you’ve used Twitter for any length of time you’ve probably noticed the phenomenom called “Follow Friday” where people tweet about people they think are worth following and actively search out new people to follow themselves.   If anything, “Follow Friday” shows us how something can gain traction when it’s simple and consistent.  Probably not too many people heard about it when it first started but because the few that did kept doing it and used a common hashtag – it quickly gained a following (pardon the pun) in the twitter realm.

I’m writing this post because of my love for WordPress and especially all the developers out there who contribute code to both the opensource project and the thousands of plugins and themes that make it such a great tool for all of us.  There has been discussion over the years of ways in which we can express appreciation to the developers who freely offer up their code to the world to use (and all the hours put into developing, maintaining, and supporting that code) but as a plugin developer myself (only one at that),  although I’ve appreciated gratitude sent my way and reviews posted on people’s blogs nothing has stoked me more than seeing that little notification from PayPal that someone has donated a sum of money to me.  The dollar amount doesn’t really matter – it’s more the realization that someone thinks what I’ve invested so much time in worthwhile enough to pay for.

How are the above two paragraphs connected?  Well, I’d like to propose starting something this Friday called “Donate Friday” – each Friday for as long as I can do it – I’m going to pick a plugin that I’m using on any of my websites and donate to them and then tweet about the plugin (including linkies of course) with the hashtag #donatefriday (I checked it and it’s not in use at the time of this post).  If enough of us do this, it will be an incredible way to express our appreciation to the developers in the WordPress community who help make WordPress so awesome.

How can you participate? In keeping with the #followfriday example:

  • pick who you will donate to.  Most plugin or theme authors have a donate link either on their plugin/theme listing at WordPress extend OR on the page they host their plugin/theme at on their own website.  You may also just want to donate to someone who contributes code to the WordPress project.
  • Pick an amount.  It doesn’t have to be a lot,  even as little as $5 is fine!  Some of you may be able to donate more than others – if you can, think of what you would be willing to pay for what you are using if you had to pay for it.  However, remember the whole point is just to lift up that developers day and give them reason to keep on working away at it!  Surely, you can spare around the cost of a gourmet coffee once a week?
  • Tweet about it using the #donatefriday hashtag.  Make sure you include the plugin/theme name,  the developer and link to the plugin page in your tweet.  Do something like, “Just donated to {name of developer} for {name of plugin/theme}.  Makes my blog purr. #donatefriday”
  • MAKE sure you actually donate!

What do you think folks?  A good idea?  I really do hope it gains traction – think of the impact this will make (especially for developers in between jobs) in the WordPress community?

UPDATE: I realize I posted this fairly early in the week, but by doing so I hope the idea gains more steam before this Friday so it maximizes participation.  If you are reading this and want to participate but think you may forget this Friday let me remind you, follow me on Twitter and you’ll catch my #donatefriday this week (or you can use something like Peoplebrowsr.com to save a #donatefriday search).

UPDATE (JULY 31, 2009): I  made my first donation for #donatefriday.  Sure hope more people do this!! Also Dave Moyer, the cohost and producer of WordCast (the #1 WordPress and blogging podcast) has picked up this idea and is helping to promote it.  He got in touch with me and if you tweet your donations with @wordcast and #donatefriday (he is also said #df but that tag is already in use so I think it’d be better if we stuck with #donatefriday) then he’ll read your name on the air.  Thanks Dave!

UPDATE (August 14, 2009): Using “Twitter for WordPress Extended” by Marc Schieferdecker to display #donatefriday tweets in my sidebar on this page.  Wanna give you peeps donating more recognition!

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About Darren

My name is Darren Ethier. I'm the owner of roughsmootheng.in. I'm the father of four children and husband of the most beautiful woman in the world. My passion is technology and it's strategic use in ministry. I also love anything to do with leadership and the wise use of words. I'm also the developer of the popular WordPress plugin Organize Series. Since THAT'S not enough to keep me busy I also work as a core developer for a great plugin called Event Espresso

21 thoughts on “Donate Friday

  1. I think this is a great idea actually. FollowFriday kind of lost some steam but for WordPress, this ought to work. I’ll be mentioning this post in a follow up to my thankless community post to hopefully spread the word.

    • That’d be awesome Jeffro if you can help spread the word. I’ve contacted Lorelle as well to see if she’ll help promote this and she mentioned she’d try to get something out. I’d love to see this take off!

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    • Thanks Jeffro for participating. Yeah, I’ve been watching the results too. I still plan on keeping this up each Friday. I think the more consistently it’s done (and the more those with influence pick this up) the more potential it has for taking off. We’ll see. At the very least, it’s a way for me to remember to thank the developers for the plugins I use!

  3. I always donate at least something to a plugin – Better the plugin, the better the reward. I suppose I’ll be using #donatefriday from now on. Great idea, hope it works out.

    • Awesome, just completed my third donation. It feels good to have some sort of system help remind me to show appreciation for the plugins I’m using. Hope it gains more momentum in the weeks to come!

        • Yeah, I’ve seen the retweet count go up too! That’s cool. There’s also been a dramatic increase in visits to this page. It’d be neat if I could include some sort of section on this page that would display the tweet search results for #donatefriday. Know of any plugin off hand that would do that?

          • And it worked! Yay. You can now see #donatefriday results in the sidebar on this page. I’ve updated the post to announce it.

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  5. Ahh, gave Mark Jaquith 10$ this week for the subscribe to comments plugin. Now what happened to the comment section of this site? Everything is very hard to read.

    • I went with Intense Debate for comments, sorry for the poor color contrast. I haven't had a chance to get around to the .css yet, been working hard on getting the next version of Organize Series out the door for this week and then I'm going to work on releasing a new theme for unfoldingneurons.com

      Thanks for supporting Donate Friday!

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