Clint Lalonde’s Supporting What I Use post has me reflecting on how I support (and don’t support) the free apps and services I make use of on a regular basis. I don’t do it enough. It’s likely you don’t either. So, like Clint, I’m going to make a point of contributing–in one way or another–to some of the applications I use most, particularly the less common ones. On my list:
- iTerm 2
- Kid3 ID 3 Tagger
- MultiMarkdown Composer
“Contributing” means many different things. Simple monetary support is easy and makes sense. But there are other ways to support your favorites as well:
- Give something back by connecting and supporting other users: you might make an effort to direct people to those sites and services explicitly or–better yet–implicitly by sharing how you use them and giving tips to help other users.
- Contribute directly to the app or service in whatever way your technical skills allow: add or edit code, post and respond to issues in discussion forums or support threads or “issues” lists.
- Contribute content: editing a Wikipedia page, sharing something openly using the system, commenting, making suggestions…all of these are valuable.
- Even sending a simple note of thanks can really mean something to those who spend significant parts of their time making the things you use at no cost.
I should be giving back more than I do year-round, but better once a year than none!