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Future of FlashDevelop and funding the project 

How the project could be funded better?
Use ads 14%  14%  [ 32 ]
Get a sponsor 22%  22%  [ 52 ]
Start selling something 22%  22%  [ 52 ]
Keep using donations 34%  34%  [ 80 ]
Other, what? 7%  7%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 232

Future of FlashDevelop and funding the project 
Author Message
Admin

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:14 pm
Posts: 2796
Location: Finland
We have plans to improve the support and the development speed and quality of FlashDevelop but money has started to be more of an issue than before. We have been getting some donations and we all want to thank all of you who have donated their well earned money for the project. But still to be able to provide more, we are looking ways to improve our funding situation. Previously we didn't have that much expences but if we want to keep improving we need to start buying software licences, operating system licences, certificates, etc.. and that takes a whole lot of money. For this we are asking your opinions how this issue could be tackled. Give a vote and share your thoughts!


Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:44 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:58 am
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Location: Israel
FlashDevelop has helped me so much and I've earned good mony using it. So donationg is the best option for me.

But sadly I won't be able to do it in the near future... (I wish I could) :(


If the ads will be textual and nice then it's not a bad idea...

Good luck guys :)

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:19 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:14 pm
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Location: Finland
Donations are by far the best method for us too but we just don't get them often. We have monthly around 45000 unique visitors and probably we get 5 donations, if that. Maybe a some sort of club would motivate users to donate money. Like if you donate, lets say 20$ or more you get a supporter status plus some extra content like demos or libraries. TweenMax uses this kind of method.


Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:32 am
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yeah club sounds cool ...
maybe also supporter stuff .. if there were a flashdevelop t-shirt i would definitely buy it ... 8)
you know, just the big logo and underneath some stupid catchy phrase ... and a mug with the same thing ... :)

also maybe a book, introducing the ide, explaining how it works with the different integrated tools ... giving new users and potential plugin developers pointers ... showing workflows, best practices and interesting approaches ... maybe also share some of you flash knowledge where it fits ...
i admit this is rather hard (since writing a book is quite more, than just sharing some libraries and some wisdom in blog entries), and i am not too sure whether it makes 100% sense ... but the haXe book seems to sell quite well for example (bad comparison, because it's 3rd party and has quite a different subject) ...

ads? well i don't know ... why not? but the only things that would interest me, would be flash related ... i always follow any links, but to be honest, i practically never spend money there ... i always download trials, use them 1 or 2 times in the evaluation period being totaly deceived and happily sticking to FD ... but you can give it a try ...

i was personally thinking, that getting sponsors might be quite a good idea ... maybe adobe? maybe google?
i heard mozilla is getting awful amounts of money from the latter ... but can't find any numbers right now ...

and also you may consider running fund raisings ... like simply showing a short message on the start page, or even some popup, for 1 or 2 weeks, every 3 months or so ... and also maybe having other payment methods than paypal would be cool ... you can only have one paypal account per bank account (they don't let me create a 2nd account) and i somehow succeeded in locking up mine, so i always have to ask a friend (otherwise i would donate any time i drink beer while coding, i think ... :D), since i am a little to lazy to get on their stupid hotline ...
and also you should consider getting donation links in better places ... just a simple "support the project" on the start page and on the forum index may help already ...


Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:20 pm
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:36 pm
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Eliciting more & bigger donations may still be viable if the marketing is adjusted...

Marketing's crux is letting people know your product or service exists. The balance to maximize how the word get is put out vs alienate consumers can be thin. (e.g., Just a few weeks ago marketing spam from a competing IDE was sent to many FlashDevelop users. I only hope they lost sales from that.)

Right now I see FlashDevelop as having a lot room it can push in terms of letting users know it's a donated funded project. Some examples:

  1. No where on the forum front page is a link to donate
  2. On the about (wiki) page, the donations link is tucked away in the side bar; a one paragraph description with an image button to the donations page would make it more prominent
  3. End users don't know how much money has been contributed the last year or in total to the project... this should be in an easy to view place (wouldn't even mind if it's a line in the forums footer.)
  4. An option to have a contributers page online and/or in the "Help" / "About" portion of the EXE may enstill pride in those who've donated. Perhaps tier contributions (Platnium +$1000 usd, gold +$100 usd, silver +$50 usd, bronze +$20 usd, nickle +$0.05 usd)

As for items to sell a quick one may be t-shirts or polo (collared) shirts.

I love the idea of a book... either on FlashDevelop or tackling a common problem Flash developers have and utilizing FlashDevelop to solve it. (e.g., Game Development, web-services, intro to Flash for the poor student who cannot afford an IDE, etc...)

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:14 pm
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Location: Finland
Well the ideal situation would be that we would get enough donations or sponsored funds to get all things that we need (OS's, programs, certificates etc..) and some compensation for us. We don't want to be too pushy about the donations and also we all hate ads so if we need to add them, it's quite disappointing.

You all have given us good ideas how promote the donation possibility and reward those who have donated. Thanks!


Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:06 pm
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 7:29 am
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Location: Berlin
I can imagine a Support FlashDevelop page with two sides: what needs to be paid, and how much money has been received. The first would be like a shopping list:
salary for x, nnnn€
license of program a, nnnn€
license of program b, nnnn€

Then the totals should be shown: required 3000€, received 450€, total -2550€.

The goal is to have some feedback when a donation is done. We would see the numbers change, and we would know which part we contributed. Listing the achievements would also be good feedback: we got license a, or x has been paid.

Without that kind of feedback we may wonder "if I send 20€ they can just go for a beer once, but that does not change much". With such feedback we may have a stronger sense of community, of building something with other people.

Another idea for feedback would be to represent it like this 1 pixel = 1$ thing (million pixel page? can't remember the name), so those who donate have bought some pixels in the FlashDevelop page, and you could roll over your few pixels to see your name there.

Am I talking nonsense? :)


Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:44 pm
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Just sharing the experience from conceptart.org: They have a yearly addition of their members' best works (paintings, designs and such), sort of calender... So, they encourage members to submit their works to be published in the calender (it's actually a honor to be the one who's paintings are in that calender :) ). Actually, I'd buy one if I could get to Australia just for that =)
I'm not sure about how this can be relevant... but, may be, if you could think of something where members could contribute in a way, they don't have to transfer money, (I honestly hate our banking system, not to mention insane rates on small transfers) + 99% of my work are educational projects... like, may be tutorials / useful code snippets... that may be published and sold?

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:57 pm
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Digital Audio Workstation software Ardour, for Linux, (at ardour.org) does a good job of tracking donations. Also, it might be a good idea to get FD working with Linux .NET compat packs - The Linux community tends to be a more generous community than the Windows community - this coming from a Windows user.

If the software were to contain in-application advertising, I think the version released before the advertising would be the most installed version and later versions would be avoided.

I like FlashDevelop, to the extent that despite having Flex3 at work, I use it instead. With ads, that would quickly change.

Edit: I can't believe I accidentally wrote extends where extent was meant to go.

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:42 am
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well ... it's not that i like ads a lot ...
but i mean you could find creative ways of showing them, when the users sits around waiting anyway ... like during compilation or such ... (you'd just preload and render a few when FD is rather idle and display them, when it's occupated (or the compiler is)) ...
or pop up google adwords instead of autocompletion ... :lol:

i do like the idea of having a platform to share FD based projects and snippets and the like ... it'd be better than a forum to show how powerfull FD is ... and it would also be a good place to show ads to a reasonable extent ...

greetz
back2dos


Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:18 am
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Well we didn't meant to put ads in the app itself but on the site. Ad in an app would make me to quit using it right away. :)


Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:20 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:14 pm
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I think we will continue with donations and just try to motivate users to do so. This is the easiest way to run the community. Maybe we get a sponsor someday.. :) If we start selling something or start to raise money otherways we then need to start a company or a real registered organization which then will bring more costs and paperwork. We don't want that.


Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:42 am
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IAP wrote:
FlashDevelop has helped me so much and I've earned good mony using it. So donationg is the best option for me.

But sadly I won't be able to do it in the near future... (I wish I could) :(


I'm afraid this is the typical reaction of some users ... Although they do not intend to be in fact its an egoistic reaction ...
I'm afraid the only way is to sell your product. Its a decent tool so people will buy it if the price is not too high.
If you can earn good money with it you can even give better support and create better features, although you guys are doing a *very* good job already.
Although our company donated already I just did the same personally.

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Last edited by Gert on Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:42 am
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One option is to license the product free for personal/home/educational use, and charge a small premium for a business license.

Serious businesses wouldn't mind forking over $10 or even $50 to use this product especially since it

A) means they may not have to purchase Adobe CS3
B) Is FAR superior to the Adobe CS3 Actionscript IDE
C) Much cheaper than other solutions (FDT for example)

We have two people where I work using the program exclusively and would have no problems convincing management to purchase licenses if need be.


Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:59 pm
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A thought I've had a few times before now comes bubbling to the top of my head, which indirectly affects what I'm thinking is the best advice in terms of bringing in some revenue from FlashDevelop...

Mika & Philippe: What do you do full-time?
Are you college students or in software industry working on this in your spare time?
And are you two in proximity of each other or have you two never met and just work together really well remotely?

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:20 pm
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