The creative professional community is full of independents. And the best content, apps, and services are increasingly coming from independent writers, developers, and entrepreneurs. I want this quality to increase — especially amongst my favorite developers, writers, et al.
Which is why I give my money to a handful of websites, services, and content producers whom I love. For example: I buy everything Shaun Inman creates. In part because it’s worth it, but also because I want him to keep building and creating. It’s also why I have a subscription to 5by5 and Instapaper. It’s why I buy people’s eBooks. And it’s why I buy the software I use, even if there is a free version that works just fine for me.
Obviously I can’t afford do give my money to support every website I read and for every cool app that I come across. And so, when I can’t afford to pay for something then I spread the word about their product using Twitter or my website. Or, for some apps, I try to give as much of my time as I can by helping them test and improve their software.
For the handful of my most-favorite websites and apps which I continually find value from, supporting them is a win for both of us. It’s a way to thank them and it helps them keep building and creating for the long run.