Donation Link: Formal Proposal

Axel Grude (Axel) axel.grude at
Mon Dec 2 12:15:35 UTC 2013

On 02/12/2013 10:25, Mark Banner wrote:
> On 30/11/2013 05:38, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>> 2. The idea of steering the feature development by the funds. We've
>> discussed this at length, but summary is: A donation gives you a vote
>> for features, but with the clear statement that this is just
>> expressing a wish and direction and the funds will go into a general
>> pool. We would still cover needed expenses first and make that clear.
> I think you'd need to be very clear how that wish would be used, but
> really I think you should totally decouple the two.
> Voting for features, as we know from Bugzilla, really doesn't work very
> well. I don't think donations should necessarily have preferential
> treatment or expectations. You're basically asking a the group of
> "people willing to donate" rather than "people who want something and
> have signed up to bugzilla to try and get it".
I think in Bugzilla voting doesn't work so well because it is a very wide net spanning 
lots of bugs - there is simply not the manpower to look at everything. I would imagine 
if we had proper funds / user management it should be possible to carry out polls 
based on a number of preselected bugs (say 10 at a time) and asking the users to 
prioritize them, via a poll. This could be a good way to gauge and honor what is 
important to the users. The point is that a management structure needs to preselect 
some suitable candidates first, and that is the tricky part.

> I think if you really want some extra feedback, then you could have a
> survey available after people have donated, but I wouldn't couple that
> to the donation itself.
I think so too - but the problem with surveys is that they are usually not coupled to 
a  commitment to a certain action. If I had a survey saying we will commit to fix one 
(or three) of the following, please choose the one most important to you, this would 
send a stronger message on how Thunderbird is different from closed source competitors.

I would also like more focus on *marketing *to gain more users, especially in features 
where Thunderbird is superior to the usual suspects. For instance it still appears to 
be a lot easier and reliable to find "filed away" emails using Thunderbird as opposed 
to Outlook. Same with the "Tabbed Mail" feature, I use this constantly to pin emails 
for later reading without affecting their actual status (e.g. flag etc).

IMO there should be some funds to advertise and market things like these and this 
would be a worthwhile use for some of the possible (donation?) funds.

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