Well, I’m sure Marc would love to pay everyone $1,000 (and I know I would LOVE to get it) but the reality is that the income from xDev has to feed Marc and his family, pay for insurance, pension contributions, etc.
If you consider the size of the Xojo community then you quickly realize that the $50 that are being paid for each column is a token of appreciation, but has little relation to the effort going into each column.
For example I spend about three DAYS on each of my “Tips&Tricks” columns, a total of about 25-30 hours. That involves searching for tips, testing, writing it up, proof-reading, re-writing, re-writing again, etc. I might be a bit slow or maybe I’m a perfectionist, but it is a lot of time to spend on it for very little dosh. But then it is more a labour of love and an effort to contribute to the community anyway.
You might think that the “We are Xojo” column is easy, that I have hardly anything to do. Actually the “We are Xojo” column is not just more work, it is work that is “out of my hands”. With Tips&Tricks I’m in control, I know what I have and when I have it. With “We are Xojo” I ask for contributions here, I email people directly, and while I have a “pool” of people who expressed an interest most of them are too busy to find the time
and you don’t want to pester them too often. In the end you might get a contribution two weeks before the deadline or a day after, or none at all, which is a bit nerve racking. Out of a dozen people I correspond with I might get one contribution. When you do have one then proof-reading begins, not just for errors or grammar but understandability and flow of the story as well (you know what you want to say, but that’s not always what is being understood by someone else reading it). So the story can go back and forth a few times, each time with another round of proof-reading. I find it important to keep the feel of the storytelling. For example we had some great French contributors, and while their English was not perfect, it had a charme that I did not want to loose, so it is important to correct mistakes but not to “over-edit”.
What do contributors get out of it? For one, exposure, as has been said. Everyone knows Christian and Bob and what they do. It isn’t even necessary to mention their family names. But while I know some other names here (like yours) from their posts I don’t have a clue about what they do or why.
But my motivation for this column was a different one. Xojo is used by many who are NOT professional programmers, who have not studied IT. They are called “hobbyists” to distinguish them from the serious programmers. But these “hobbyists” are people who have a successful career, who are (often very accomplished) professionals in their own field, or people who have done many different things and done them quite sucessfully. I wanted to show how Xojo is used in real life, to solve real problems, by people who might not “get” the finer points of programming (yet) and who might ask beginners question
but don’t underestimate them, because they are not “hobbyists”. They are not professional programmers, but they were able to teach themselves enough Xojo to solve real problems. And do it in their spare time.
And boy, have we got some great contributions there. People with multiple degrees, people who taught themselves an instrument and play in a professional orchestra, oil workers, Scientists, etc. If anyone still thinks of them as “hobbyists” then go and read the column in the back issues.
Another aspect of the column is that Xojo is a small community, in many respects more like a family than other communities. I thought it would be good to get to know those other family members. Like those distant cousins that you meet at a wedding or funeral. And like those family gatherings it builds a sense of community.
@Richard: you say your “services are only appropriate to business owners”. Perfect. It is always great to get different experiences and points of view to broaden ones own horizon, to become aware of the different approaches and demands of each situation. So I’m sure people would be interested in your story.