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,'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.

#20 Re: Unscientific poll

by AlexBishop <>

Monday March 10th, 2003 10:21 AM

You are replying to this message

"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.or…alkback.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).