A lot of people (as in 99%) come to this site, consume the content, download the software and leave. I’ve always been a little annoyed by this behavior. If someone handed you a 5 dollar bill, wouldn’t you say Thank You?
The other day I spotted a free workbench top (a very nice one at that) on a forum in my local area. I emailed the guy and we agreed on a pickup time. When I arrived, he helped me load the top (it weighed in at about 200lbs) and thanked me for helping him dispose of it since it was too big to burn or put in the trash.
In return, I thanked him by giving him uninterruptible power supply (UPS). I recycle used ones from where I work. It was a simple thing but it really put an exclamation on the transaction and made us both feel good.
The point here is not to impress you with my actions but to suggest that little things can go a long way to building better relationships. And while a UPS might be a bit unusual, just about anything would do. A plate of cookies or homemade jam would have been equally nice. Some where in our rush to “get ahead” we forgot that it’s important to give a little and to just plain be nice once in while.
Call me crazy, but when I visit a blog or other Web site with good content or software that I use, I click the ads! Why? Because it’s a nice way to pay back the author of the site for their efforts. It only takes a moment of my time and on occasion I even discover a new product or service.
I mentioned this to a colleague the other day and it was something of a revelation to him. I think like most people, it never occurred to him that he was actually rewarding the content author by checking out a few sponsors.
So am I encouraging you to click ads wildly where ever you go? Of course not. A donation, or lending a helping hand (localizing an app for instance), even a simple email saying “Thank you” is more than adequate. The important thing is to treat people kindly and with fairness and respect. It feels nice to be nice.