trip logs / gnuovla

Trip Log 2013-02-17 h10 -- Poor State Of Motto Slavishness

As mentioned in the last post, in this post I explain the motivation behind listing all the projects and activities I've been involved in for the last six months or so.  The world-wise can probably guess immediately: funding.  Before getting into details, I'd like to mention that, in the interim, GNU Serveez was finally released (after a multi-year hiatus), and add some other activities to the list: 

OK, enough plugs; let the servile begging begin!  (Or, at least, let it continue!)  Actually, that noise is not so welcome.  Rather, I'd like to discuss the funding efforts so far, the results of those efforts, and the new thrust. 

First, the funding efforts so far (and the results).  Very straightforward: the patronage page has been up since early 2012, but as you can see (if you visit it), there has been no response.  Similarly, the software-funding page was written in 2008 and linked to from the software page (as ‘please’ prior to its current target), with a likewise flat response. 

Both of these efforts suffer from poor marketing and administration, and a value proposition that fails to surpass people's apathy threshold.  In a word, unprofessional. 

So that leads us to the new thrust, namely the injection of some professionalism into the process.  One way is to learn how professional funding campaigns are done, and apply that learning to improve the current effort.  Another way is drop all pretension of being able to do everything in-house, and seek the services of external professionals. 

I usually like to learn, and moreover to learn by doing.  (For a while, back in the glug days, my motto was “live to play, play to learn, learn to live” — catchy, no?)  Although this attitude (generally, mode of living) has mostly positive components (which I will not discuss), the negative ones, as manifested in my life (YMMV), cannot be discounted.  The chief downside is that Things Do Not Get Done.  At best, when they do get done, they either do not get done well, or they require an inordinate number of iterations. 

For some areas of endeavor, such as non-critical software, this is not so bad, and is in fact part of the charm.  Funding infrastructure and administration, as it turns out, is not one of those areas.  Here, failure to execute well (enough) on a timely (enough) basis basically leads to starvation, a situation I am grateful to be far from but nonetheless fearful of, given my unsophisticated tastes in all things “web”.  (Not convinced?  Just take a look at these posts and in general.  Then, recall the big fat zero yielded by past and current funding endeavors.) 

So, recognizing my limitations, I have decided to look outward.  In the next post, I will outline desired criteria and start the research in earnest. 

Copyright (C) 2013 Thien-Thi Nguyen