crowdfunding plugins

i recall that previously some plugin ideas were shared in the community for crowdfunding. although i prefer not to use 'money' at all in my life, if possible - i also acknowledge that there are some services i could use which would help my project, which presently are most easily accessed by use of money.

so i am considering a crowdfunding process for my own website, to support some of what will help the site to expand. while thinking about the types of 'perks' i can offer, i realised that i have put so much time into coding unreleased elgg plugins recently that they are the most attractive 'perks' that i currently have available. so i am thinking of offering them as crowdfunding perks for low amounts of 'money'.

i do not see any conflict here since donations are supported in the community for plugins and ultimately crowdfunding is a form of donation. the reality is that out of 1000s of downloads, i have only received 2 donations and they were from ones i consider friends here, who i spoke with directly... so the donation function is not effective, in my experience - without having more than just a single community link that does not draw the attention at all. alternatively, i may create a free version of the plugins and 'special editions' with extra features that are only available through the crowdfunding/donation process.

does anyone have any comment on this approach?

  • I am with you on this. Donations are not effective if you seek compensation for your time. 

    U am leaning towards a model, where I only do so much unpaid work to get a plugin to a usable state. From there on, I only do further development if there is interest and at least partial funding (if I can get at least 25% of my time paid for, that would be a good start). 

    Further I have decided to not release any work that can be used for monetization as open source. Those will have a set price or subscription based model.

    I love creating new plugins, but at the end of the day is too much hassle. The community is overly demanding, providing next to no support, making no code or money contributions (aside from a couple of "friends")

    Another model I was considering is working with projects that have potential profits, by making my plugins available to them in exchange for commitment to contribute in future, once their projects start bringing in revenue.

    It's hard to find the golden middle.

  • I agree too with, and first of all thanks to all plugin developers and the members who are willing to download them and test and give back their feedback to plugin developers. I think most of us will like to code more plugins for free but day by day chores always pull us away from coding or updating the current plugins. By most plugin developers releasing most of our plugins for free is a sign that we are not driven by money. If you ask most of the elgg users who have downloaded the plugin from the community-- if they can give any little money towards further development of the plugins they have downloaded, almost all of them will say YES. Next, if you ask them the second question about what is the least amount you will like to donate towards any plugin that you have downloaded in the community? Almost all of them will raise their right hands without hesitating and tell you that the least amount they will give will be 5 Dollars! To be honest if all downloads would generate 5 dollars, most of the plugin developers will be in a good position to pay some little bills in their lives and concentrate or spend more time on improving and even designing new state of art plugins for elgg community.

    I think most of us "plugin downloading users - me included" have become lazy to do stuff. I mean, leave alone even clicking the donation button... most of the users will click download button for plugin download and then when they come back the second time and they like the plugin, they are not able to look at or even click recommend button which is just next to download button.

    I hope I am not misunderstood. I love giving or helping others with my time and resources without asking for compensation or money. However, most plugin developers will in a better position to continue doing what they love best if the users who download the plugins can give something small towards plugin development.

    Elgg Plugin Crowd-funding is just like when you go to a restaurant; there is a choice for a customer at the restaurant after getting regular meal “Free Elgg engine” to order for a dessert just to spice things up…

    So, I think crowd-funding can be the best way to go for most plugin developers. This way, people like me who have become lazy to click donation button can give something small toward the development of the new and better tools for the future generations. No wander most of the old version plugins for previous elgg versions have been left for Sooooo long without any new updates.

    I am not trying to write a book, allow me to stop at this line and wait for other’s thoughts on this nice topic.


  • maybe adding a section to the community for crowdfunding of plugins would be a helpful addition..
    just a list of currently active 'plugins in development' and crowdfunding options.
    this way, the activity of the coding community is more well known and there is more motivation / inspiration for supporting coders.

    maybe all that's needed is a new mode for the communty's plugin mod, to support unreleased / crowdfunded plugins.

  • I agree with you guys. I mean, having a crowd funding plugin for donating to plugin dvelopers would be so fine. I am up for it considering that elgg offers what even some paid platforms cannot match.

  • There is definitely something to say for this idea of cowdfunding, but there are also some thoughts we need to think through. Like it seems really unfair to the core team, who are providing a free platform so plugin developers could make some money.

    Secondly there is a risk that developers are not willing to provide free plugins and all ideas must be crowd funded.

    The biggest benefit I see is where there is a demand for a plugin and no developer is taking up the challenge because of other priorities.

    So in principle I back the idea, if we are sure that it will not backfire on us or the Elgg project.

  • as far as i am aware, the core team all profit financially from elgg in some way, via custom projects for clients using elgg etc.
    so that 'unfairness' is a moot point.

    also, i am not suggesting to use elgg as a profit making platform.. i honestly hate money with a passion, so i would rather not do anything than turn elgg into a money platform. however, while the corporate world dominates the hardware of the internet at least.. and while people work in biscuit factories to pay taxes to fund dodgy wars etc. - money remains useful in some senses.

    the idea of the crowdfunding a plugin is that once the plugin is funded, it is free for the whole community to use. so the risk of 'all ideas must be crowd funded' is also not so relevant, since we are really only saying that if the free will of the coder is to get paid, if only to buy food, then they should have that potential available. if the option is not available, then the potential will never be real-eyesed. the option to release a plugin totally for free will continue regardless.

    i have just pretty much coded solidly for a month here, doing not much else.. to create plugins which would greatly expand elgg and really should be in the core. while i benefit from all the many other free plugins that others upload, for which i am greatful - the fact remains that many are getting paid as a result of all of this coding.. and i/we are not. this is not a way to support balanced community.

  • For me it would not make much of a difference. I make my plugins because I am interested in it for myself and share them as my contribution to open source, the Elgg core team and my co-developers who are also sharing their code. That way the project is getting stronger and there is a drive to move forward.

    I am pretty sure I am not doing it for the users, who are only downloading and complain incomprehensible and never give back or even take the time to recommend or other way of showing some way of appreciation.

    I will probably not start developing plugins where I have not interest in, because there is money involved unless it would be really a lot of money :-)

    I probably would be investing in crowdfunded plugins to save some time, or if I could not develop it myself because of the complexity involved.

  • as far as i am aware, the core team all profit financially from elgg in some way, via custom projects for clients using elgg etc.

    This is not true. Elgg is a volunteer project. I am the only freelancer on the core team, and only one of my clients has me actively working on Elgg an project, and almost all of that work involves integrating 3rd party systems into Elgg, so it has nothing to do with core or bundled plugins. Please don't spread this sort of misinformation.

    I know ColdTrick tried crowd funding with their plugins with no great success. I don't think crowdfunding is a viable system for the Elgg community because it simply isn't large enough.

    Part of the confusion is how Elgg is viewed--Are you expecting an out of the box solution or a rapid development framework? This POV significantly changes what you expect the plugin ecosystem to be. For example, as an out of the box solution, WordPress has some success with crowdfunding in their much larger ecosystem. On the other side, as a framework, jQuery has no crowdfunded plugins--even thinking about that is weird.

    The animosity about income from commercial uses of open source is kind of silly. Elgg is a framework, and working within that framework is an investment in a skill. 

  • as far as i am aware, matt produces and supports elgg sites for paying clients.. and i thought steve has experience of that too. i began with 'as far as i am aware' and thus, my words are not mis-information, the words were accurate, based upon my awareness of what is not openly spoken of much.

    I don't think crowdfunding is a viable system for the Elgg community because it simply isn't large enough.

    my position on this is that there are many funded groups who use elgg and the more elgg is improved, the more support elgg will have. so the increased rate of creation of quality plugins will increase the amount of support exponentially. there are many sites running on alternative platforms to elgg, which are paid services - so increasing elgg's share would bring in more who are already expecting to pay to us the software anyway. giving them access to a free equivalent where the only (optional) fees are to support new features that they specifically desire, is a valid approach.

    the difference between jquery and elgg is that elgg is not just a framework - jquery is only useful to coders, whereas elgg/wordpress are targeted at both coders and non-coders.

    The animosity about income from commercial uses of open source is kind of silly

    as i already said many times, i do not have animosity about involving commerce with elgg per se, as long as money is being used on the planet, then escaping it (especially while focussed on coding skills) is not an insignificant challenge. the issue is simply that integrating crowdfunding in some way (even just as a miniscule enhancement to the plugin library, where users are pointed to a crowdfunding page on another website) would increase the potential for balance and expansion for those who are not in any way involved in commercial/funded elgg projects and who desire to meet the demand for new plugins. the homepage to includes several relatively well funded groups/agencies, so i am sure there are others who use elgg and who rarely if ever offer any direct support to the community of coders here - at least in a way that the community can even notice.

    regardless of alllll this though, my original post is about the idea of me offering finished plugins as perks to a crowdfunding process for my own website, as opposed to crowdfunding the creation of new plugins.. so there are multiple options available and discussing them in general is helpful to me.
    when i look at the list of members of this elgg community, there are over 70,000 listed. i am sure that most of them are inactive.. however, that is still plenty of scope for supporting of crowdfunding.
    maybe the use of a community digest function would improve the community here and also the general growth support of elgg as a platform?