Anonymous pledges and premiums

An ungluer writes:

Where can I comment on the general principles of how unglue.it functions?

We’ll open a discussion thread on this blog. After this.

I ask because I did not find a comment section on the FAQ or any FAQ entry on how various sizes of donations are acknowledged.

I know that many people are motivated to donate by that their donations are acknowledged by name and by that the (major) donors get some special memento. However, at the moment the wording of the “Support” field (to the right on each book’s page -> ->) gives the impression that a donator *must* accept both the publishing of their name and, in case of larger donations, a printed book, regardless of whether they personally happen to love or abhor either type of acknowledgement.

I happen to be seriously DEmotivated by the supporter perks as they are currently worded. I absolutely do not want my name published in a manner that pretty exactly reveals how much or little I have donated for each book project (I’m a privacy nut concerning my finances and likely to remain so, seeing as I’m soon to be 50). And I definitely do not want any more dead trees in my home unless I am forced to get one that is not available as a (preferably DRM-free) e-book, due to study or business reasons (I have been actively getting rid of paper books and exchanging them to e-book versions whenever possible since 2008).

Therefore, solely due to the appearance/tone of the Support perks, any donations above 24 USD are totally out of the question for me now.

Surely this was not an intended effect of the Support column, even if this particular effect would concern only a minority of potential donators?

Surely a way can be found for a donator to stay completely anonymous? Surely a way can also be found for an anonymous or a named donator to politely refuse a printed book – e.g. to donate that particular copy to a lottery that benefits unglue.it?

I hope a solution will be found. Unglue.it is a wonderful initiative and deserves to attract every possible donator, regardless of their attitudes about privacy, ethical and/or religious convictions regarding public philanthropy, willingness and/or ability to designate physical space for paper books, or whether they happen to be egregiously extroverted or excruciatingly shy (just to name a few dimensions along which people who find Unglue.it a worthy cause can vary).

There are a couple of answers, as there are many aspects to anononymity.

First of all, you don’t have to select a “premium” (perks) at all- just click the “support” button and fill in an amount.

Second, it seems we lost our “anonymous pledge” checkbox. Since our launch, the premium selection UI is the one thing we’ve been struggling to improve, as it’s created more support issues than anything else. Somewhere along the way, the UI lost our “anonymous pledge” checkbox. Our transaction database has a column for it, but it has no effect, because it’s part of functionality that we haven’t exercised yet- our first unglued book is still on the way. We’ll post here when we update this.

Third, as you point out, there can be a conflict between a request to make a pledge anonymous and a request for a premium. So for example, if the premium requires shipping, the rights holder will need a shipping address. Our terms and conditions require rights holders to use this information only for the purpose of shipping the premium, but that’s not quite the same as remaining anonymous.

Fourth, we built the site so that you don’t have to make your identity publicly known. Your username, (not your real name) is what gets listed in an acknowledgement section. (I’m looking at the Premium descriptions and it looks like we need to make them consistent with that reality!)

Thanks for supporting us and for helping is to make Unglue.it better.

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