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?

  • 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

    i just real-eyes-ed here, that is the monetized version of elgg software - so surely someone, somewhere is being paid directly from elgg software.

    i see from that the directors of thematic networks are identified as a group of banking oriented individuals located at 'the area commonly known as britain'. do they then employ their own programmers to support and maintain the platform?

  • "" IS NOT EQUAL ""!!! is owned by a company names "Thematic Networks" who bought it from Curverider Ltd. in 2010.

    For reference:

    The free, open-source version of Elgg we are dealing with here on the Elgg Community site is managed by the not-for-profit Elgg Foundation ( As far as I know NOBODY is paid by the Elgg Foundation for working on Elgg. Hosting of the Elgg community site is done by the Open Source Lab ( - very likely for free (or it's paid by donations made to the Elgg Foundation) and I could imagine that they would not be happy or maybe even disallow building up a commercial section to pay for plugins here on the Elgg Community site.

    If you think that crowdfunding of plugins might work for you, nobody will stop you from trying. But does it have to be via the Elgg Community site? I don't see anyone who offers paid development work (plugin development) or paid Elgg support (installation, hosting, server maintenance etc.) to carry out their business via the community site. The only place to bring professional developers and people who seek help by them together is the Professional services group. But I guess the actual dealings are done not here but via email or the sites of these developers afterwards.

    Asking for the Elgg Community site to offer a way for crowdfunding of plugins seems to me a bit like saying "Give me the money and you deal with the problems." Who will be made responsible if something goes wrong - either money not getting paid or the promised plugin not getting delivered (or full with bugs, incomplete or too late)? It will be the Elgg Community who will get blamed and their reputation will get damaged.

    As Brett already said, the Elgg community / number of users might also be too small to gain enough interest for a crowdfunding project. The more specific interests a plugin will aim for, the less people will need it and would be willing to pay for its development. Nonetheless, feel free to try it. Maybe it will be very successful.

  • to be clear, there was a typing error in my message. i intended to write:

    'so increasing elgg's share would bring in more who are already expecting to pay to use the software anyway'.

    my ONLY suggestion is to add a facility to provide a way for uncoded plugins/ideas to be listed on the site, with links to crowdfunding pages - such that they can be supported if desired. maybe that would fail, i don't know.. it's just a suggestion. i am NOT suggesting to build a crowdfunding facility into this community, i am suggesting coders could use one of the many pre-existing crowdfunding platforms and then just link to them from their page here.

    plus i am also wanting to know if the operators of the website here would consider letting the community know about a crowdfunded elgg plugin to be 'advertising' and thus then block any conversation about it here.

  • For the record, yes I build Elgg plugins commercially.

    Speaking for myself (not necessarily the opinion of the core team) regarding listing crowdfunding campaigns - I'd be in favor of allowing it.

    There's not much risk in the idea as long as it's properly structured such that the core team/elgg foundation has no liability (unless they actively run a campaign I guess).

    There's a big potential reward if it takes off and funds a more thriving plugin development ecosystem.

    A few caveats would need to be in place - eg. it would need to be explicitly stated who was responsible for/running the campaign, and that a campaign is independent of the elgg community, therefore any conflict resolution would not include the core team, elgg foundation, or the community.  You'd basically be on your own.

    That said, I agree with Brett that I don't think it would work based on the size of the active community, and the portion of the community that's willing to pay for such work.  I've been wrong before though :)

  • @iionly i found following in footer :

    Elgg is an Elgg Foundation project.

    "Elgg" and the Elgg logo are registered trademarks of Curverider Limited

    And found following in footer

    ©2012 the Elgg Foundation
    Elgg is a registered trademark of Thematic Networks.
    Domain policy.

  • @Liang: see last post by Cash in

    The exact details about who owns the trademark is beyond my knowledge. Maybe Thematic Networks and the Elgg Foundation share the trademarks. Most likely Brett or Cash would be able to answer this much better, with more details and correctly.

  • 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.


    I definately agree with that model.
    Not for myself, since I am not developing well enough yet to really contribute something meaningful, I do try to help wherever I can though.

    But speaking for the community I am making now for so long,...
    I'm pretty sure the thing I am making will work, be used and be active. I have no budget at all at the moment, but I try to donate whatever I can when I use a plugin, but I am strugling as a graphic freelancer atm as well, and things are not going well in my branch/area.

    My plan was: When my site gets finished finally and gets launched I will try to make a little revenue, since it really has potential, but just enough to pay the servers and to fund the plugins I'm using, since this stays a hobby for me, and I do am grateful towards the authors of the few plugins I am using.

    So basicly, the second model Ismayil was sugesting was my plan all the way to pay back the plugins I am using.
    The problem is just the fact that you need money before you can pay.
    So I am 100% with that model.

  • @ura soul

    my ONLY suggestion is to add a facility to provide a way for uncoded plugins/ideas to be listed on the site, with links to crowdfunding pages - such that they can be supported if desired.


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

    I've looked into crowdfunding a bunch and think you are both correct. Crowdfunding will likely only work if good plugin ideas/enhancements are proposed, not available, and the Elgg community may not be large enough to support it. However, if there are plugin ideas that could benefit many developers, then a crowdfunding platform could be used to draw attention to the idea, elicit coding collaboration by some, and receive a few bucks from one or more others to help make it happen. I know that I would rather take a chance on donating a few dollars toward a useful plugin than spending a lot more to build one by myself. While I have made a few donations in thanks for useful plugins, I haven't done that as often as I would like. More often, I add pull requests for enhancements to the plugins I use, which is another form of contribution.

    The benefits to starting a new crowdfunding site is often not equal to using an existing one. The serendipitous exposure on an existing site is the real benefit to crowdfunding platforms. Otherwise, you might as well use Paypal and save yourself the extra fees for a middle man. Also, there is risk involved in donating to something that is just an idea and an art to requesting money from strangers, no matter how good the cause.

    That said, I've been looking into a crowdfunding platform with an API that could be integrated with Elgg. I only found a couple. The one that does not have topic restrictions and looks most promising is Crowdtilt. If someone wanted to spend time integrating Crowdtilt or another crowdfunding API into Elgg, then I would be interested donating to that effort. This is one example of how crowdfunding could be used to benefit the Elgg community of developers and it could result in a crowdfunding platform for Elgg as well.

  • @Ed - that is an interesting possibility, yes. though crowdtilt is only for us & canada presently.

  • well, wordpress received 160million dollars.. i'd say that would be enough for at least 3 million dollars each per elgg developer, if elgg received that.. lol ;)