$500 Donated and Issue With The Donor Badges

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Blog entry by Martin Sojka posted 10-19-2007 01:02 AM 1695 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, let me say THANK YOU! I didn’t expect this kind of response to my donations request (or rather I should say my notice about the new donations feature). Here I’m staring at my PayPal account – yes, you have donated $500 together. Unbelievable… once again thanks for your support, it means a lot to me.

Now we must think of how to spend this fund wisely ;) I’d like to buy some advertising space on other sites (newsletters) to promote our Save the Children event. Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Let’s talk about the donor status now. It consists of the donor badge as well as of the listing on the Donors page right now. The donor status is automatically assigned to you when you return from the PayPal but you may then decide to become silent benefactor by simply clicking on the provided link.

The donor badge started some controversy… So what was the main idea behind adding the badge? It was promotion of the donations, NOT putting the pressure on those who didn’t donated. But the truth is that I was not 100% positive about adding this badge. Usually I feel positive or negative about the possible new features but in this case I was not sure. I expected this kind of controversy.

The compromise means having the Donors page and removing the Donor badges. I don’t want the Donor badge to be the main motivator to make a donation. The site and community itself should be the main reason. On the other hand I also want to (at least) have a page that says “Thank You”.

Let’s try it this way for now… and I’m expecting your feedback on this issue.

21 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3965 days

#1 posted 10-19-2007 01:08 AM

Hey! Where’s my donor badge? ;-)

A fair compromise.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 10-19-2007 01:10 AM


I think the solution that you have come up with is a good one. I for one agreed with Thos. Angle as it related to the badge on the icon. I don’t believe that anyone who had the badge felt any better of themselves than anybody else on the site. I am glad that I was able to support the site in some fashion…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 10-19-2007 01:21 AM

How is anyone supposed to know I’m willing to donate any digits I accidentally chop off without my donor badge? Fine by me, but I still think you know who was being absolutely ridiculous.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View A.W. "Pappy" Ford's profile

A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 3908 days

#4 posted 10-19-2007 01:35 AM

Personally, I think a little peer pressure doesn’t hurt if it’s unobtrusive. I flogged myself severely with wet noodles and some steamed vegetables when I started seeing the donor badges pop up under people’s names. I wanted to be one of the cool kids. What will make me do the right thing now that they’re gone? :)

Seriously, I would hope no mature person would really be offended if those who helped support the site got some credit for doing so. My donation isn’t in (yet) but I appreciate the extra effort those who have donated have gone to on my behalf, and will miss their donor badges. To me it was a reminder that, oh yeah, I still haven’t got my PayPal account fixed yet, and to hurry up and get it done.

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--

View newguy's profile


59 posts in 3952 days

#5 posted 10-19-2007 03:13 AM

I agree with the peer pressure. Then again I think the solution is a good one. I buy magazines all the time and enjoy the read. I come to this site often and enjoy it as much if not more than the magazines, doesn’t hurt to pay a little to help out. No one forced me to donate I think we all understand it cost to run a site and some help to keep it alive is the least we can do.

-- Fred, Parker, Colorado

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4062 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 03:48 AM

We had donor badges? :)

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4005 days

#7 posted 10-19-2007 04:22 AM

Yeah Mot;

There’s a line to get in, but they’ll only take a quart! Oh wait, that’s red cross. Never mind.

I really don’t think that anyone who has donated, did so to have a little badge under their name. I believe we all did it in the same spirit that had us agreeing we would like to help support , at least my favorite website.

I also believe that some of us will donate as it becomes possible, if we choose. It’s not a contest, it’s a cause.

I’m fine with whatever way it goes, regarding badges, my concern is that Martin be able to continue his devotion the site, which after all is to all our benifits.

I can’t imagine the amount of time he has donated to create this site, but I do feel he’s entitled to cover his costs, and ARE YOU READYFOR THIS, even make some money from his creation. None of us would go to work for free, but that is what he’s been doing.

Just my point of view.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 04:38 AM

I’m with newguy – I pay for subscriptions to magazines and the FWW online features, that surely I’ve used and will continue to use, but probably not as much as this site.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4353 days

#9 posted 10-19-2007 06:36 AM

I think it’s good to see them gone, so we can get back to what we all do best. This site has seen a few threads like the recent discussions, but by and large we’re still able to remain a friendly group and remain respectful of our differences and spend as little time as possible on our soapboxes. This is Martins party, and we are so lucky to have such an accomodating host. I’m so used to the comraderie here, that I’m occasionally shocked to see the responses at other sites from members as well as the site admins.

I think a Thank you page is fine – it’s more discreet, and there’s nothing wrong with giving a little credit where credit is due. Another alternative… another sort of graphic like the thermometers they’ll use at fundraising events so we can all see how the donations are coming in, and can look to ourselves when/if we can contribute.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4090 days

#10 posted 10-19-2007 06:56 AM

Just let us know what you need to keep up the site Martin. I would have though little about there even being a controversy, and like Pappy, the donor designation motivated me scootch forward off my big butt and grab my wallet.

Scott’s idea is very savvy in terms of being a motivating agent, which I think is important.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4120 days

#11 posted 10-19-2007 07:04 AM

All I gotta say is, “I’m glad to be here and I’m not leavin’ unless you gimme the heave ho.” Thanks, Martin.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View 's profile

593 posts in 3998 days

#12 posted 10-19-2007 07:34 AM

My heart is divided on this subject.

On one side I don’t think anybody should donate for the fear of being left behind and singled out. Methinks we all agree that we must pay for the services we are given and enjoy so thoroughly. I mean, let’s face it, we are all adults and more or less mature here and I ask the one who hasn’t get an “Eureka!” moment of inspiration thanks to this site to cast the first stone. Probably more than one has sold a beautiful piece for big bucks… and the inspiration came watching some other Jock’s work. Doesn’t this deserve to be paid for? Doesn’t Martin’s hundreds—if not thousands—of man-hours work deserve some kind of help (that doesn’t even cover costs)? Maybe he has a tattoo that reads “Mother Theresa” in his forefront and I haven’t seen it yet.

But—and this is a big but (with a single “t”! ;o) )—not everybody has Martin as a buddy and receives his post notifications. I do and I acknowledged about all this in this way. Many others don’t (as I didn’t a month ago) and, if it wasn’t for the badges, they have no way to know what’s going on. Things happen fast here and, even if the last posts appear on the front page, if you are away from the computer for a few hours, that decisive post has already vanished when you are back on business. I actually saw the badges before the announcement post.

And yes, some may need a slight amount of peer pressure to grab their wallet but, if they eventually do it, I guess is that their inner self knows it must be done after all, so what’s wrong with this?

I would add a big bright button/badge on one of the top corners of the main page. Maybe even something like those “turn/peel off the page” corners you can see in some other sites that when you mouse over they curl down to “show the next page” with the promotion/offer/etc. Something that leads you to the donations page easier than the bar on the bottom.

Bottom line is you musn’t be ashamed to ask for what is fair—after all, nobody is forced to do it—and it sure will increase the knowledge. I, for one, rarely have time to go to the fora so I seldom drift down towards the bottom of the pages where the pulse resides and thus see the donations bar.

I am for giving the choice to each one to show or hide their status so everybody could reach the inner peace after having donated… or not.

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4498 days

#13 posted 10-19-2007 12:19 PM

Hey, I think I’ve found the right balance. I’ve added the Donor badge only to the profile pages. This way “it’s not in your face” on each page. But if you decide to use it, it is proudly displayed right on your personal LJ home page. Hope you like this.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#14 posted 10-19-2007 12:22 PM

That’s very nice of you, Martin, to respond so quickly to people’s perspective of things.
I agree, this is a nice balance/compromise.

people can choose to use it nor not and they shouldn’t feel that they are being reminded that they haven’t participated or feel that there is an elite group.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4325 days

#15 posted 10-19-2007 01:00 PM

I respect your honesty in reporting the amount you’ve received so far. I never anticipated that you’d have to do this.

I think the Thank You page is a good idea.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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