1. Ben Word

    Regarding anything Open Collective — we tried using their platform for quite a while to raise funds for our projects, and it’s almost unusable with all of the bugs and awkward user interactions (for both individuals/companies wanting to contribute to your project and the project maintainers themselves). Open Collective is still plagued by these issues over a year later. I would use a lot of caution if you’re considering using it.

    Patreon is what we switched over to and haven’t had any headaches since leaving Open Collective. I’m excited to see GitHub Sponsors support teams/orgs, hopefully sooner than later 👍

    Regarding individuals expecting higher priority support with their small financial contributions — this is something we’ve not really run into at Roots while raising funds for over a year. I think it’s important to make it clear to your supporters what is included with their contributions. You could have tiers for companies that pay significantly more money with some support time included.


  2. Jesse

    GitHub Sponsors is long overdue. Any ethical concerns are mute on the part of repo maintainers, because those exist with or without the new donation tools which are largely “shortcut” links.

    The OSS maintainers who previously demanded cash via PayPal or Patreon will continue their ways, and the maintainers who are ethical, transparent, and legal about any sponsorship will probably also continue in their ways as well. If anything, OSS maintainers tend to be some of the most ethical people around…

    The WordPress community continues to be one of the most glaring examples of fraudulent endorsements and pay-to-play agreements between various players. Besides this, the hipster donation platforms like Patreon and Open Collective have begun banning and censoring random users based on political bias and so forth. Microsoft is arguably one of the more ethical Big Tech corporations currently, and many of their recent moves are refreshing to say the least.

    One more reason to move your plugins off WordPress.org and onto a neutral U.S. Section 230 platform that empowers the authors.


  3. Ted Clayton

    GitHub Sponsors will probably work pretty well for better-developed Developers, Teams and established Projects. It looks like part of an plan to draw-in more-successful initiatives and use them to buff the image & status of the organizing entity (GitHub, and Microsoft). Actually, GitHub was doing this, and creating features to achieve the same goals, before the buyout.

    The cost here, both with the old GitHub and with the Sponsors facility, is that it is not as effective with/for the ‘less-developed’, would-be, wannabe Developer … and the more free-floating creativity they tend to bring to the culture. Instead of chasing something because it’s a keen idea, folks find themselves asking, ‘Will it work on Sponsors’?

    Open Source benefits from a relatively larger pool of less-successful and inefficient … dabblers. When this element is thinned/weeded out, and the culture is composed of ‘with-it’ operators competing for slots in a proper ‘orbit’, the value & strength of open source declines.

    Make no mistake: what we have watched with the GitHub dynamic, both before and emphatically now after the sale, is very old business strategy & tactics. IBM was doing this in the Mainframe world, when Bill Gates was a tyke. Bill learned his lessons well, and Social Media have adapted the methodologies to their context.

    MaBell refined these practices for the emerging Tech/Info world, when our great-grandparents were the with-it crowd. I don’t think it’s evil; we have benefited as a country, in enterprise and technical progress, but this system does not need or want larger numbers of less-accomplished or (thus-far) unproductive participants.

    But Open Source, does.


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