Honesty Issues Dog Anonymous Donations Poll
Sunday March 9th, 2003
As part of our ongoing campaign to part our readers from their money, our last poll tackled the subject of donations to MozillaZine. 1,538 people responded with 87% admitting that they donated nothing. Zip. Nada. Squat. Not that we're bitter. A small number of you claimed to have donated less than $5 (0%), with slightly more owning up to between $5 and $9.99 (1%). 2% of respondents claimed to have donated between $10 and $19.99, with about half that number answering $20 to $49.99 (1%). A couple of people claim to have pledged $50 to $99.99 (0%) with a surprisingly high 1% insisting they gave $100 or more. 5% of you preferred not to say.
Of course, the burning question is how do these numbers match up to reality? The answer is... not very well. You don't have to be a genius to work out that most of the 26 people who claim to have donated $100 or more are exaggerating (in reality it was a handful). We would be extremely interested to know what the motivation is for lying on an anonymous poll. Anyway, once again we'd like to thank everyone who donated to MozillaZine. We really can't stress how much we appreciate it.
As most of you are aware, mozilla.org's Phoenix project has to change its name for legal reasons. A new name has now been selected and will be publicly announced soon. In the intervening months, many people have suggested possible replacement names, some of them really bad. So for our next poll, we'd like you to tell us which suggestion you think is the absolute worst. Choose wisely and watch the latest results to see what others think.
Sunday March 9th, 2003 7:38 PM
Perhaps some people voted twice, on different machines or browsers.
Sunday March 9th, 2003 7:58 PM
...maybe people were indicating the total of their MozillaZine purchases at cafepress.com.
I'm one of the people who voted "between $5-$10" - because I made a ~$60 purchase at cafepress.com, and the profit that went to MZ came to about 8-9 bucks.
But it's possible some folks bought $50 worth of stuff at cafepress.com and indicated a $50 donation on the poll.
Sunday March 9th, 2003 8:24 PM
I think they were people that had a desire for MozillaZine to receive big donations, and lied so that others would follow their presumed precedent and actually donate large amounts of money.
#4 who cares
Sunday March 9th, 2003 8:47 PM
Who cares? Quite frankly, I do not.
#5 It's very simple ...
Sunday March 9th, 2003 9:06 PM
There are people out there who like to screw around with others, and purposefully inflating a poll to reflect a result they want it to reflect is just one of the many things they do to get their kicks. It can easily be fixed by using cookie technology. But, alas, the powers that be don't want to use it. Se la ve ...
#9 Re: It's very simple ...
Monday March 10th, 2003 1:12 AM
se la ve? c'est la vie?
#36 Umm ... yeah?
Monday March 10th, 2003 9:29 PM
1) Somebody needs to really work on that. The last thing we all need is somebody doing this kind of stuff again.
2) Who cares? It's french, and I just couldn't resist getting a jab in at those pansies. They suck!!! I just LOVE purposefully screwing up a language for a purpose. ;-) Their women need to shave those arm pits of their's. And take more showers, too. ;-)
Monday March 10th, 2003 1:26 PM
Cookies would work, but the same person could simply go to another computer or use a different web browser.
And yeah don't steal other language's saying and screw them up.
#6 Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Sunday March 9th, 2003 9:15 PM
First Chimera, then Phoenix? Jeez!! The next thing you know, some legal puke from Microsoft's scummy lawyer division will pop up and claim that they own the rights to the words Gecko and Mozilla and try to force a name change, or "something else" ... like a shut down. And people wonder why Intel stopped labeling their processors with numbers? You can't make this stuff up, folks.
#12 Re: Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Monday March 10th, 2003 3:53 AM
Well, netscape owns mozilla (the word, although some would claim the project too), and presumably gecko also. I find it highly doubtful that Netscape wouldn't make their lawyers verify that those names were indeed free to use.
Anyway, I find the very idea of trademarks laughable. Owning words as if they're property is just plain silly. Who cares for consumer confusion? Trademarks have themselves probably done more damage to the market than the absence of them would ever have been able to.
#13 Re: Re: Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Monday March 10th, 2003 5:03 AM
Looking at the USTPO office website, you can find that the words, "Mozilla", mozilla.org", and "Gecko" are Netscape trademarks. If you go to thw USTPO site at http://www.uspto.gov/. The numbers you need to view Netscape's TMs are:
75558938 MOZILLA.ORG 75605466 GECKO 74698316 MOZILLA
#14 Re: Re: Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Monday March 10th, 2003 5:16 AM
"Anyway, I find the very idea of trademarks laughable. Owning words as if they're property is just plain silly. Who cares for consumer confusion? Trademarks have themselves probably done more damage to the market than the absence of them would ever have been able to."
OK. Imagine you start making your own cola, called jsebrechCola. You make your cola using a secret recipe with all the best ingredients. Soon it becomes the most popular cola on the market. Everybody's buying it.
Then I start to make my own cola. I don't care for quality so I make it with cheap ingredients and a recipe that basically amounts to mixing caramelised suagr with carbonated water. Because there's no trademarks in your world, I call my cola jsebrechCola too. I make my packaging identical to yours.
Now Joe Public goes to his local supermarket and goes straight to the cola aisle. He sees his favourite jsebrechCola and picks up a six-pack. Then he gets home, grabs a glass, gets some ice, a slice of lemon and pours himself a long drink of jsebrechCola. He lifts the glass to his lips, takes a sip and swallows. Ugh! This cola is hideous! That's because he bought my jsebrechCola, not yours. But he doesn't realise this and vows never to buy jsebrechCola again. He tells all his friends not to as well and you go out of business.
And there's nothing you can do about it.
#18 Re: Re: Re: Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Monday March 10th, 2003 8:18 AM
That's not the point. If you have a product and *create* a *name* for it or use your own *name*, trademarks may be useful. It's a completely other thing with commonplace names or even *words*. Why should anyone have rights for the term 'door' just because he happens to be the first to attach to a 'chair'? 'Phoenix' is a figure of legends, as is 'chimera'. Even 'windows' are known for centuries!
#30 Re: Re: Re: Re: Again with this legal stuff???!!!
Monday March 10th, 2003 5:38 PM
It wouldn't be an issue if we wanted to ship a Chimera toaster or a Chimera automobile, the confusion is that there are now two Chimera web browsers and the other guy got there first. This is the point of the jsbreachCola story and is exactly analogous to our situation.
There are billions of people on this planet and lots of them make things, it's inevitable that most of the common words and names will already have been appropriated for products.
Sunday March 9th, 2003 10:56 PM
I heard about how a BIOS company which might be doing browser related stuff wanted Phoenix to change its name, but what was the reason behind Chimera? Who was the company asking for the change?
#8 Re: Chimera?
Sunday March 9th, 2003 11:13 PM
#10 1% is in the noise for polls
Monday March 10th, 2003 1:41 AM
A small percentage of people (probably more than 1%) will lie on any poll just for kicks. Think about your friends (or perhaps they're not really friends, but just people you know) - I'm sure you know one or two would just click whatever for no particular reason - just to annoy somebody.
So anything where you get just a couple of percent giving a certain answer is suspect.
#11 Why I didn't donate
Monday March 10th, 2003 3:32 AM
I don't trust Paypal. It's that simple.
#45 buy stickers
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 2:21 PM
Duh, neither does half the planet.
Buy stickers here: http://www.cafeshops.com/cp/store.aspx?s=mozillazine#autogoods
According to the MZ admin, the prices are mostly markup: http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=2909&message=69#69
#15 It's obvious
Monday March 10th, 2003 7:06 AM
Those who posted inflated donation claims must simply be Arthur-Anderson clients.
#16 Renaming Phoenix
Monday March 10th, 2003 7:28 AM
The poll on donations seemed useless to me. Perhaps that's why it was not taken seriously. You must have your own record of amounts contributed.
The latest poll on the worst suggestions for a Phoenix rename is brutal and unhelpful. What is to be gained by holding them up to ridicule?
#33 Re: Renaming Phoenix
Monday March 10th, 2003 7:39 PM
What should polls on webpages be used for in your opinion?
#38 Renaming Phoenix
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 7:09 AM
Polls should provide useful information. For example, MozillaZine could present a list of, say, 10 suitable names for Phoenix and poll readers for their top choice.
#39 Renaming Phoenix
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 7:10 AM
Polls should provide useful information. For example, MozillaZine could present a list of, say, 10 suitable names for Phoenix and poll readers for their top choice.
#17 Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 8:02 AM
You guys (the Mozillazine editors) collected the money, so why did you have the poll in the first place? Surely you must know the true results already, and you can post them on the site. You can't expect such an unscientific poll to produce correct results. For that reason, I suspect your poll was only an attempt to "shame" those who have not donated money. Although I have not donated, I have contributed in other ways, such as posting news stories and answering questions in the forums. (For instance, I was the first to report on the Xft-enabled builds, which became a news story here on Mozillazine.) If you guys are having trouble making ends meet, perhaps you should consider advertising, or just close the site altogether. I can always go to Mozillanews (http://www.mozillanews.org/). This increasing whine about lack of donations makes me want to stop coming here anyway.
#19 Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 9:33 AM
Why not shame those who have not donated money. I'm ashamed that I haven't sent them money, beyond one cafepress purchase, and I haven't been reading the site regularly for months. So I probably will send them some money soon.
#21 Re: Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 10:22 AM
"I'm ashamed that I haven't sent them money, beyond one cafepress purchase, and I haven't been reading the site regularly for months."
You shouldn't be. Just by coming here you're doing more than we ever expected of you.
#20 Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 10:21 AM
"You guys (the Mozillazine editors) collected the money, so why did you have the poll in the first place?"
Polls are fun!
"I suspect your poll was only an attempt to 'shame' those who have not donated money."
I assure you it wasn't. Nobody should feel like they are expected to donate money to the site. If someone is donating money for any reason other than because they want to, their motives are wrong.
"Although I have not donated, I have contributed in other ways, such as posting news stories and answering questions in the forums. (For instance, I was the first to report on the Xft-enabled builds, which became a news story here on Mozillazine.)"
That would be this story http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=2580 right? I remember it. Thanks for that. The site wouldn't be able to continue if it wasn't for contributors like you.
"If you guys are having trouble making ends meet..."
MozillaZine isn't run to make a profit. It's run as a service to the Mozilla community. Any funds raised are put back into the site.
"...perhaps you should consider advertising..."
Several people have mentioned we should carry ads. And I don't understand why. It's like they think there's something wrong with donations and that ads are in some way better. I don't see it like that. Donations are a direct, straight-up and honest way to get money. And, in our experience, they work. Ads are a far more indirect system, which basically amounts to getting your money by persuading you to buy products from companies who then pay us in return for being able to run promotions on the site.
"...or just close the site altogether."
There are currently no plans to close the site. It's not going to happen unless the site's visitor numbers dramatically decrease, there's a major slowdown in the Mozilla project or we have trouble covering our expenses.
"I can always go to Mozillanews"
I know you can. You probably go there already. That's great. But I think the Mozilla community would be poorer without MozillaZine. Maybe that's arrogance. Maybe that's naiveity. Or maybe, just maybe, some of the people who come here agree.
"This increasing whine about lack of donations makes me want to stop coming here anyway."
I promise that donations will not be mentioned until we next need money (probably at least a year away).
#26 Re: Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 3:33 PM
"Polls are fun!"
I dunno; it sounds like you didn't have much fun with this last poll.
"MozillaZine isn't run to make a profit."
I know; when I said "making ends meet", I meant being able to pay for the costs of Mozillazine.
"It's like they think there's something wrong with donations and that ads are in some way better."
Ads don't change the balance of my bank account. They seem to work well for other sites, like Slashdot, for instance.
"I promise that donations will not be mentioned until we next need money (probably at least a year away)."
I don't have a problem with appeals for donations, and I understand that web hosting costs money. I just think that the donation issue is off-topic for news stories on Mozillazine. A story about honesty in a poll about donations is even more off-topic.
Monday March 10th, 2003 6:42 PM
I'm willing to bet that Slashdot's ads are, to a great extent, inserted annoyances to attempt to get people to subscribe. Net advertising rates are really low these days for clicks and extremely low for page views, and though Slashdot probably does better than a lot of other people because it tries to target its ads towards its viewerbase, I doubt the ads bring in a lot of dough.
I think Mozillazine might do better with ads- but it's a bother to get to the point where you have targeted ads and don't end up with any terrible huge flash and java ads, so I understand where the admins are coming from. Nobody wants to load Mozillazine and see one of those "punch the monkey" ads ever again.
#35 Re: Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 8:28 PM
I'm with the guy you're replying to. If Polls are such fun, and you weren't out to shame the people who haven't contributed, why are you shaming the people who lied in your "fun" poll ? If you don't take the poll seriously, why are you worried about why people lied?
I don't vote in the polls... I never scroll that far down, but I can't say that the kind of attitude that I read in the story to which this comment is a reply really leaves me not wanting to return here, despite the excellent quality of news posting you've maintained.
#27 Re: Unscientific poll
Monday March 10th, 2003 4:47 PM
vocaro: "or just close the site altogether"
I for one wouldn't want to see that happen. MozillaZine has been around for several years, longer than any Mozilla site other than mozilla.org, that I can think of. It's a great resource, and a good community center.
vocaro: "I can always go to Mozillanews"
Ok, while I'm all for folks visiting MozillaNews (plug http://www.mozillanews.org/ plug), One thing we don't have that MozillaZine does is the wider community. We get, on average, about as much visitor-traffic as MozillaZine, but we don't seem to get the same level of community feedback in the comments section. And while we lagged on getting a forum section open, MozillaZine opened their forums, and it's exploded in popularity, and probably is the reason for their increased hosting costs. And MozillaZine helps keep us at MozNews on our toes. It's not easy to be number one. ;)
#28 no thanks.
Monday March 10th, 2003 5:02 PM
ads ruin websites. i'm *just fine* with mozillazine asking us for donatoins to keep this sucka ad free.
#32 Re: no thanks.
Monday March 10th, 2003 6:45 PM
I disagree. Targeted banner ads without flash or java can be unobtrusive and even occasionally interesting. Ads don't ruin websites- bad ways of doing ads (popups, big java applets, lots of flash, etc, etc) do.
#43 true, to a very limited extent :)
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 11:50 AM
i can only think of google and kuro5hin.org that do ads in a tasteful way, i'd be fine with text ads on mozzine, but as soon as you let advertisers put animated images on the site you distract the viewer from the story.
#47 an example of how bad web ads are
Thursday March 13th, 2003 1:50 AM
yes, i saw this ad "in the wild" ... i was completely unable to read the page until i literally covered it up with my hand. web ads suck:
#22 names, splash screens
Monday March 10th, 2003 10:28 AM
I get the sense that moz.org spends most of its energy changing names and creating splash screens. 4.5 years in and we don't have a name for the product? Does each platform get its own name so as to prevent anything moz-related from ever gaining any momentum whatsoever? Why are Moz browsers the only ones with splash screens (besides the slow launch performance)?
#23 ??? Not quite informed...
Monday March 10th, 2003 11:46 AM
1.) The name Mozilla did never change and isn't about to since there is an arrangement with godzilla copyright owners.
2.) The only ones who spent energy creating splash screens are the ones who do not know enough about programming but more or less about artwork and so they did offer their knowledge - and no programming power was lost. There are others who spent much energy whining in the corresponding bug just because, but I don't think there was much precious working power lost either.
3.) What is "the product" of mozilla.org if not Mozilla?? What do you mean with "we have no name for the product"??
4.) Each (supported) platform has "Mozilla". What do you mean by "each gets his own name"?? There are platform specific browsers like Chimera/Camino that uses the Gecko engine, but *not* XUL UI (used by Mozilla) because it can be faster by using platform specifig UI widgets. There are others like Phoenix that use Gecko *and* XUL to be more or less cross platform - but they try to be slim and e.g. do not include a mail client. So they are clearly different. Now you want to tell us they should all be named "Mozilla" or what?? Why not call MS "Word" "Notepad" (or vice versa)? After all it also is used to type text...
5.) AFAIK Opera has a splash screen although it is supposed to start faster than Mozilla. Older Netscape versions since 3.0 also had splash screens. Excel, StarOffice, Visual Studio,... all major software packages have splash screens. Maybe with the exception of current IE versions and lynx. So why do you tell us that Mozilla is the only browser? I'm not opposed to removing the splash screen, but I don't see the problem you see.
Actually, the biggest problem some people had in the splash screen debate was that they felt mozilla.org did *not* care enough about how the splash screen looked like. Mozilla.org didn't care about the look and you now say they spent too much energy on it...
Sorry, but it's been a long time since I read a post with similarly useless content.
#29 move along. nothing to see.. dont feed the trolls.
Monday March 10th, 2003 5:04 PM
this is by far the most empty, uninformed troll from you yet. congratulations!
Monday March 10th, 2003 1:29 PM
Say, why is Mangelo writing Mozillazine headlines now?
#34 Time Frame
Monday March 10th, 2003 8:22 PM
The poll didn't specify when the person donated.
#37 I voted twice
Monday March 10th, 2003 9:46 PM
Both false, just for the hell of it. OMG, someone gave phony poll data... Geez. Doesn't change the amount of money raised. What a stupid poll, anyways... What was it supposed to prove?
#40 No Paypal please
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 8:41 AM
Paypal locked my account for some unknown reason and wants a lot of personal information to unlock it. After doing that to me and then hearing all the horror stories about Paypal from other users, I'd rather not use them. It's rather unamusing that you'd write a few paragraphs on dishonesty but require donations to go through a company that has a track record for dishonesty. Offer us an alternative.
#41 Alternatives to Paypal
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 8:44 AM
Here is a list of alternatives to Paypal: http://www.paypalwarning.com/Alternatives/Default.htm
c2it looks good as it's backed by a real bank.
#44 Re: No Paypal please
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 11:58 AM
I tried to donate $10.00, but I Paypal wouldn't verify my address. I'll happily send you a check instead if you post a mailing address.
#42 IT'S ALREADY DONE!
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 11:16 AM
and i quote"A new name has now been selected and will be publicly announced soon."
and then you turn around and ask for a poll on new names??????????????
should you then wonder when people say, i haven't or won't give.
Tuesday March 11th, 2003 7:31 PM
Hi. My name's Bob, I'll be your server this evening. Our specials tonight are "Please read the article before replying" and "please wait at last 30 minutes after smoking crack before posting messages".
To quote that which you missed: "So for our next poll, we'd like you to tell us which suggestion you think is <b>the absolute worst."
Note how that says to vote which you think was worst, not what you think should be the new one.
Thank you, please drive through. :)
Thursday March 13th, 2003 1:53 AM
"please wait at last 30 minutes after smoking crack before posting messages"
i really, honestly, truely think that MZ needs this in big letters above the response box. please, will one of the admins hear my pleas?!? :)