I received the following email today:
My name is John D. [name edited to protect privacy] and I am a tutor in the School of Engineering and Computing at Blackpool & Fylde College in England. I found one of your tutorials on the internet and find it to be superior to the material I currently use when teaching my students this aspect of spreadsheets. I would like to ask your permission to use the content for the purpose of a student excersize. In this regard, I have taken the liberty of creating a PDF from your content, and editing as I felt was appropriate for the students (adverts etc.). In addition, I have accredited yourself as the creator of the document. I have attached the PDF for your inspection. If you would be so kind as to allow me to use your material, I would be grateful. If not, I will of course delete the PDF and it will not be used.
So yes, I have ads on my blog, and yes, I do make money from them, but it’s really emails like these that always make me feel good about the time it takes to do all these Excel function tutorials, which require screen captures and writing detailed steps. (I’ve been meaning to write a simple one on pivot tables, but having a 3-month old to take care of has delayed this.)
I’m also pleasantly surprised that there are still people out there on the Internet who do the right thing and take time to ask for permission first before using other people’s work.
I sometimes get requests to work on actual spreadsheet problems people are dealing with for their business or job. I’ve honored a couple of these, usually asking them to just make a donation to a local charity. I’m considering setting up a donation button on this site for things like that, or when people find the information on here useful enough to donate a small amount, which I’d then collect and donate to a different charity each month. Any opinions on this?