There is of course a ton of stuff you can do every day to spread some good in the world, share your gratitude, help others, and no lack of opportunities to support good causes. And you can’t do everything. Still, here are some additional Open Source options to consider to add to what you already do; they all take very little time and are fun, I promise. Also, Open Source really means people, many of which work on the open source code for free in their spare time. They do appreciate some appreciation 🙂 On top, open source is an important driver for innovation and economic growth, and thus can benefit everyone again. These options come mostly free and are fun.
Nominate three GitHub stars 🤩
Easy: If you code or develop, the chances that you use and thus benefit from free open source code are pretty high. Nominating three maintainers of GitHub repos literally takes no more than 5 minutes. Even though it is a bit unclear how the stars are chosen, if one of your stars is chosen to become an official “GitHub star” he / she at least get recognition for his / her free work and contribution to the open source community. Also: Doesn’t it feel good to nominate people for good work they share for free?
Start sponsoring a repo on GitHub 💰
Of course, this one is not free, but if you use open source, why not consider giving something monetary back to the maintainers, so they have an easier time keeping up their good work. Many of the GitHub repos are maintained by single individuals that put all their free time into the source code. Unfortunately, the last two years have seen some very legal but still not very nice behaviour from big corporates that took away business model opportunities from open source repos. GitHub started Sponsorships to give users an easy way to support the open source repos they use.
Share a tweet, a LinkedIn message, a review, a star ⭐
We’ve seen more open discussions about fatigue and burnout among open source maintainers. In her book, after interviewing many open source maintainers, Nadia Eghbal notes an important point is missing recognition and appraisal. From experience, I can say that you have to deal with a lot of demand and impatience as an open source maintainer. So, any nice comment is much appreciated. But what is really hard to get, even if your open source code is used in big apps, from large companies, in well-known projects, is a public recommendation. And that really helps… BTW: Backlinks are still a thing, so make sure to include a link.