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A very 21st century weekend
Bar Harbor
Saturday was the annual 21st Century Party. Most of it featured playing of Artemis, which Tom had requested I get set up in the living room. It's a great multiplayer co-op computer game, where each player takes on the role of a bridge officer on the starship Enterprise Artemis. It's an impressive achievement, and really captures the core fantasy quite well. There are still some bugs and kinks to work out, but it's already great fun, and still under active development.

Sunday morning, I did some final polish on my Sandman paper, and got it uploaded. If you read the last version, you'll be happy to know that it now has a Version History at the end that lists new stuff since last time.

After some thought, I decided that, rather than try and sell it in a traditional fashion, i would make it freely available, and just put a Paypal button on it. After all, I could never have completed it in the first place if lots of other people hadn't freely put the efforts of *their* scholarship on-line.

That said, I figured it was worth publicizing a bit, so I sent out announcements to a bunch of major geek news sites, in the hopes that they will link to it. No posts, as such, yet, but Neil himself has tweeted it, calling it "Astonishingly well-researched". That got me some readers, one typo correction, and (so far) two small donations. From this small sample, I infer that French speakers are generous, as one of them came from France, and the other from Quebec. This sort of cross-continental interaction seems *very* 21st century to me!

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Did you remove the Paypal button? I'm not seeing it at that URL...

(does an on-page search) oh. It's 90% of the way down, sandwiched between bits of content. While this does mean footnote-followers may see it, that may not be the time they think to contribute.

You might do yourself a favor by having it in a box at the top, or bottom? Or depending on your html skills, in a callout box floating to the right hand side at the top...possibly including your note about the scholarship of it.

Re: Unsolicited advice

I mostly want people to contribute IFF they've read the whole thing. My html skills are weak, but I might eventually improve them. "possibly including your note about the scholarship of it." Ambiguous reference; please unpack?

Re: Unsolicited advice

I understand that you want to catch the ones who've read the whole thing, even if I don't actually understand why. (What if I read 65% of it and thought that part was awesome? Should I not give you money? Should I give you less? Dunno.)

The challenge is that the 'reading-it' task and the 'paying-for-it' task are distinct in most people's minds, and may even be done at different times.

Often I'll get partway down something, think it useful, and interrupt my reading to find out if there's a way to...well, to do more with this person, whether that's buy their book, subscribe to their feed, or so forth. If I happened to have gone by a discreet tip jar at the top, that'll be in my mind as possible ways to further engage with them.

Then I'll jump back up to the top--or bottom--both areas that are easy to get to, and therefore are good places to put interaction elements. (A variant of Fitts's law applying to scrolling, perhaps?)

Currently your interaction element is hiding in the GUI equivalent of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory.

Ambiguous ref: "I do this scholarship primarily for its own sake, but if you feel like sending a small donation my way, I would appreciate it." I could see the sidebar-thing also including some of the first paragraph of Appendix 3.

Re: Unsolicited advice

Thanks for the insights. I will consider them once I have enough round tuits to be prettying up that page.

Re: Unsolicited advice

Just as supporting evidence: I'm still only about halfway through it, intentionally. (You inspired me to re-read the series, and I'm trying to stay about ten issues ahead in your notes.) But I'm long past the point where I would have tip-jar'red if I'd realized I was there.

In other words: thank you. Awfully neat bundle of info, and more detailed than even I would have remembered...

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