I’m on the product design team for GitHub’s core workflow, and been thinking a lot about this since it came up via Coraline’s tweet and some responses a few weeks ago. Helping project maintainers feel their work is valued and appreciated is really important, and appreciate your article here underscoring it’s value.
In the GitHub context, the challenge is that we already have a social cue for propping a project (Stars), but definitely there’s more we could do to specifically facilitate this type of gratitude from project users to project maintainers.
It’s on our minds as we are working toward stronger maintainer/community interactions via GitHub repos. Open source maintainers are giving of themselves to the community, and that generosity deserves to be explicitly appreciated.