I had an open call with Chad Whitacre last Friday and he asked me "How can I make the Gittip experience better for you?" (as a corporate patron). At the time I was under the impression that users on Gittip where informed who was giving to them. So my answer was basically nothing the service is perfect. It wasn't until I talked to my friend Nick after the call that I realized this wasn't the case. He had no idea who was giving him $24 a week.
I then sent an email to Chad and attached the conversation (with Nick's permission) and I believe that is what prompted this tweet:
What if Gittip made it public who you give to and receive from?— Chad Whitacre (@whit537) June 4, 2013
The responses have been mixed. Both sides bring up good points, but I will make my case here since Twitter only allows 140 characters at a time. So here it is:
The reason the company I work for allows me to
spend tip $200+ dollars a week is because we get it. We understand the sacrifice open source developers/contributors give everyday to make sure billions of people can enjoy their favorite web services such as Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Youtube, Instagram, etc. We also understand that we are able to build a profitable business that can compete with 800 pound gorillas on commodity hardware and FOSS. As a test, I decided to show the world who we donate to. I got great responses and a lot of "thank you's" e.g.:
No, Thank You. Thank you John for putting blood, sweat and tears into jQuery. Thank you Mark and Jacob for spending nights (after your day job) and weekends working on Bootstrap. Thank you Chad for creating a simple, open platform where individuals and organizations can give small weekly cash gifts to people we love, are inspired by and give back to the FOSS community. Last but not least thank You. Yes, you reading this right now. I am sure you have made some contribution to an open source project, so thanks.
In closing I would recommend every company who uses open source software to get on Gittip and give back to those who allow you to run your business.