The First Year of Liberapay
Today we celebrate the first anniversary of Liberapay’s launch! For the occasion we’ve made visual improvements to the platform and compiled a retrospective of its first year.
A lot has happened during our first year!
Let’s start with the bad: just 3 months after we launched we started getting complaints about controversial people using our platform. We found no legal basis to kick them out, but our payment processor doesn’t care about that, so eventually they ordered us to ban the most problematic user, who was our biggest one at the time, and to refund all the money he had received. Of course we weren’t ready for that, our accounting system didn’t even have the concept of a “refund”. By the end of the summer all the payments had been refunded, but this whole ordeal cost us weeks of work and affected morale for a while.
Fortunately many positive things happened too.
Firstly, the launch of Liberapay went well and our user base has been growing slowly but steadily since the beginning (if we ignore the bump generated by the controversial user and his fans). Moreover, we’ve received contributions from quite a few people: a lot of translations, a little code, a nice logo, some good ideas, etc.
On the fun side there are the two events where Liberapay was represented. The first one was a gathering in Lille where I (Charly C.) met Chad Whitacre, Xavier Damman, Lionel Dricot, and many other interesting people.
The second one was in November: we presented Liberapay on stage for the first time, in Toulouse. Many thanks to the organizers of Capitole du Libre for this opportunity. If you understand French you can watch the video or read the slides.
Aside from all that we’ve also made quite a few improvements to the Liberapay service, of course, although not as many as we’d hoped. Here’s a list of tweets from us announcing new features, in chronological order:
(Note that this list isn’t complete, and of course it doesn’t mention features that we implemented before the launch.)
In 2017 we’re going to keep improving Liberapay. We have no shortage of things to do! The next big feature will probably be newsletters (part of the work is already done). Other big things on the horizon include: a total giving amount, multiple funding goals, improving our terms of service, SEPA direct debits. The biggest undertaking would probably be to add support for multiple currencies, I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it this year.
Don’t hesitate to tell us which features you care most about, we sometimes pick what to work on next based on feedback. However, please remember that implementing new features is a lot of work, so if you want it to happen you should also help pay for it.
Have a good year everyone!
by the author.