GitTip and the Perl Community

GitTip is a site providing "sustainable crowdfunding". The idea is that instead of a one-time sum people give very modest contribution but on a regular, weekly base.

At first I was a bit suspicious about the whole idea, but on the other hand for a long time I have been looking for something like this.

I just did not understood it when I first saw it.

In a nutshell, people can commit to give a weekly sum as low as 0.01 USD (yes, 1 cent) and as high as 100 USD to one or more people or teams. The website provides the escrow functionality - it charges the money from the "givers" and sends the money to the "receivers".

It provides a platform to generate a reasonable, and relatively risk-free, income to individuals. It is relatively risk-free because the money comes from many sources and it is very unlikely that everyone at the same time will stop giving money. (Unlike an employer.)

GitTip and the Perl Community

It started by Peter Rabbitson telling how he bought a weekly round for his friends, in fact he has been the biggest "giver" in the Perl community of GitTip currently distributing $64 a week.

Neil Bowers quickly followed by a call to add your GitTip id to your MetaCPAN account. If I am not mistaken this query lists the MetaCPAN accounts with GitTip id. (This is the JSON output. Look for "total". It currently says 84 people. It allows you to find the people who work on the modules you use and contribute to them. (Oh and then there is the CPAN-tip page Neil hosts where you can see the list of CPAN authors who have added their GitTip profile to MetaCPAN.

This was followed by the call of Curtis "Ovid" Poe to Join Gittip. His main point was to have people join the Perl Community on GitTip so this community will be listed among the top communities. This worked quite well, and the "Perl community" is on the 9th-10th place, but unfortunately most of the people took him really seriously and has not started to give money. This means that the sums people in the "perl community" receive are quite low, compared to the other communities.

A few weeks later David Golden has also joined GitTip. His point was that by giving small amounts of money you can reinforce the positive behavior of the open source contributors.

I think Perl users can do more

According to the numbers I see there were 425,000 visitors to search.cpan.org in the last 30 days. If each one of them gave only 1 cent a week there would be a weekly sum of $4250. That amount of money would be enough for several people to work full time developing perl, improving CPAN modules, writing documentation, or doing some other tasks that can make a different for the Perl world.

Of course most of those people visiting search.cpan.org have a lot of other things in their mind.

So what about blogs.perl.org? The numbers show that there were 39,000 visitors in the last 30 day. Those people reading blogs.perl.org are more than likely care about the well being of Perl. Many of those people live in countries where a lunch cost 10-20 USD or even more and Perl allows them to pay for that lunch. Can they spare the sum of one lunch per week to give it to someone in the perl community on GitTip.

What if each one of those 39,000 people gave just 1 USD/week?

Looking at the "top givers" of the Perl community, many of the faces are familiar. Many of those people are the same people who also contribute a lot of their time. What if the other few thousand people who don't have the time to contribute, would contribute money?

And where are you in all this?

Published on 2014-04-29 by Gabor Szabo

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