Contributions update

The Amazon wish list is now effectively done. A couple generous donors bought me some new hardware and I purchased a new mid-range Android phone using donated funds. I’ve taken off the smaller things I can buy myself easier as well as the larger tablet (I don’t need two tablets). Their system is less then ideal, as it doesn’t even provide a way to be notified of use. I literally had to remember what I put on the list and check it to see if something was missing. No log; no email. One person bought me a two-pack of little flash drives and it just showed up in my mailbox without so much as a name. Yeah, not great, but thank you nonetheless. 🙂

Only one person sent me an Amazon gift card, possibly because people may have been confused with Amazon’s system. I’ve decided that I need to turn off their system because the UX is crap. The one person that sent me Amazon-money did so by emailing the general feedback email address, so I highly suspect that someone might’ve bought a gift card through Amazon’s system for themself instead of as a gift accidentally. It’s also possible that because Amazon is a bit grandiose in its labeling and has $100 in its thumbnail, some people might have thought you could only send large amounts. There’s a lot of issues with their site, I think.

As a replacement secondary donation route, I’ve started using Gyft. (Update: Gyft no longer used) You can send various different gift cards, including Amazon, with no fees and even a points system to get minor discounts on future card purchases. I found them when I was looking for a good way to buy some things off of Amazon with PayPal money, which Amazon refuses to accept in an anti-competitive maneuver to try and push their Amazon payments system. Gyft even accepts Bitcoin. I purchased a small cart of little things I needed with a combination of a directly gifted Amazon gift card code, an Amazon gift card purchased from Gyft with Bitcoin, and another Amazon gift card purchased from Gyft with Paypal (and some Gyft points from the Bitcoin purchase). All digital and quick. We’re living in the future. Though, it’s a convoluted overly-complicated future.

Multiple people have also requested a mailing address to send me a physical paper check. I think I may need to do this, however I’ll need to get a PO box first. Not that I explicitly distrust anyone asking, but I’m not giving my home address to strangers on the Internet. It’s effectively impossible to develop software used by a million people and not have at least one legitimately crazy user who I need to worry about.

I will also note that I’ve had 3 or so people request I accept Bitcoin but only one person actually follow through with a Bitcoin donation. I get the feeling that some people just like the idea of Bitcoin, but don’t really want to use it. An address to donate to me is sitting in the sidebar on the right. I can now convert it to gift cards with Gyft to use it instead of having to deal with an exchange, which is a surprisingly efficient and user-friendly route.

I’ve taken down the Gyft page as apparently nobody wants to use it and the survey indicates that it’s not as popular as I had thought. Instead, using Amazon’s basic gift card via email system works fine. You can send it to my public email address for Flagfox or my private one if you have it.