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ADMIN: Update on donations...

From: Bruce Bergman <>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 17:38:44 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Hi again everyone...

Jared and I are both truly honored and bowled over with the response that has been generated to this call for help! You folks are a generous and caring group of people, and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you've offered your help. There are literally almost a hundred responses to this issue, and Jared and I have a big task ahead of us of totalling up everything and sorting through the list traffic. I wish I could respond to everyone personally, but at this point it is quite overwhelming. I WILL get back to each and every one of you over the weekend or perhaps next week. Please know that you have my heartfelt thanks for every message, and I will personally respond to each message. It just takes a bit to get back to everyone. :-)

Many of you suggested the idea of having a way for list members to contribute on a yearly or monthly basis to keep the list afloat. Jared and I have discussed this in depth, and we both feel very strongly about keeping the list free of any kind of yearly or monthly charges. Don't get me wrong
-- I appreciate the idea! It's just a very complicated management problem.
I've been down this road before and know the route intimately. A few years back, one of my lists wanted to do exactly the same thing, and started to work out a mechanism for accomplishing that. I agreed to help out. Within two months, it literally became a nightmare of sorting through contributions, educating new members, dealing with unhappy members that wanted to leave the list and get their money back, hundreds of checks and cash, international money issues, feelings of preferential treatment, etc. And that list was only 250 subscribers! We dropped it after only four months, and everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. It's a super idea, but just very hard to implement in practice. Someone else on the list posted essentially the same comment, and they are entirely correct. The Amazon donation idea is closest to something that could work, but even then there are a lot of questions and coordination issues to work out.

Regardless, Jared and I both want this list to remain free. And I think that's only fair, given how you folks are contributing and giving of your own pocket to make sure it remains available to people. Now if, say a year from now, there is a compelling reason to ask for monthly or yearly contributions, we will reconsider it (I don't expect that though). The best thing that can help us right now is either one-time contributions or a monthly contribution for five months. The vast majority of you are coming up with one-time contributions, which is just great. A couple people have signed up for web hosting, which is even better. No matter how the contributions come in, they will definitely help. Again, thanks for the suggestions, however. For now, the ORACLE-L list will remain a free and public list that anyone can join and use.

Several people have asked me to tell them how much to contribute. I'm not comfortable with that, because I don't know your situation personally, and I would much rather have you decide what you can afford. Don't be worried about feeling like you are below or above the average. I am not keeping tabs on individuals. This is quite akin to me just passing the hat around the circle and seeing what ends up in the hat. I don't have any set expectations or ideas for anyone.

I plan on posting a "results" message on Friday (tomorrow) outlining what my decision is. At that time I will give you details about where you can send checks or cash, or how you can use PayPal to use credit cards. I don't want to collect ANY funds from anyone until I am sure this can work. I appreciate everyone who wants to send money now, but it really wouldn't be fair to you if I accepted your money before everything has been cast in concrete. Please stay tuned.

I will talk to you all tomorrow, then!

thanks much,

Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:

Author: Bruce Bergman

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