Has anyone thought about employing a different business model than the one currently available?

I am a massive OpenSource fan but often feel that OpenSource does not protect itself to those outside a projects community. Often a few hardcore developers and minds give all to what is essentially a majority of leachers.

I have been a fan of contribution based licensing for several years now and have been perplexed why this model hasn't received adoption.

For me it would seem the focus of OpenSource is of a code repository and strangely the community often takes a back seat. The community can often contribute with many methods and it is not just a few developers who have worth to the community.
Documentation, Idea's, plugins, core, help all have worth to the community and there are many ways to contribute and make contribution easy and beneficial to the community.

I have a head full of idea's on the needs and rational of collaboration contribution networks, where I am eagerly awaiting the release of Ellg 2.0. My interest is in advocacy and digital assemblies but have always seen strong parallels to the OpenSource community itself.

We don't have to break any of the ideals of OpenSource by returning to a fiscal commercial operation as we can trade merit, we have earned in the community. We don't need to exclude those who may need the support of fiscal methods, so they can continue a level of contribution.

The project can offer all contribution on a trial period, that allows merit to be earned to gain a contribution licence. If you don't want to contribute and be one of those horrid leachers :) subscriptions could provide alternative revenue to help maintain a community and allow it to flourish.

Simply, contribution licencing is a different business model that sits between "Free as beer" and "Commercial" and is a bridge between the two, so that one model is not excluded from the other.

Anyway just a thought and like I say, I am perplexed to why it isn't employed as many of the methods are already contained especially in a "Social Network" such as Ellg.


[migrated from a comment.]

  • I like what Michelle wrote as its the paradox of Stallmans "Free as beer" mode, in that he seems to believe he has somelevel of ownership to it and now charges consultation fee's.
    I am not a fan of Stallman to be honest or in my opinion of the alternative world domination idea's that use relative innocuous words that translate into the dangerous words of dictate and control.
    But each to there own, accept diversity, but cut the righteousness and religious like zeal of what is purely opinion.

    Huh? I may misunderstood but who is charging consultation fees?

    Also, but I don't want to go off topic, I am more than sure that the real problem in the world is not money which is a mere tool for exchanging products and services but who (central, private, banks) and why creates it (dominate). But I really don't want to go in this deeper as I recall this was correctly considered off topic in this community.

    those projects have been a success because of efficiency and not anything to do with being free or licensing model.  

    Back to the main topic, I disagree on this statement. The main reason why the majority of people started using Wordpress was and is because it's free. Early versions were not efficient neither so user-friendly at all but they did provide a starting point to start writing your blog at basically no cost...until you realize it is poor, not really engaging and hard to be found on the web so that you hire devs and designers etc..

    But that's only my opinion of course :)


  • Yeah, forgot the Stallman and money thing as to be honest I do not want to go there either really.

    It was just an interesting topic that is all and there is always the interest in that somehow software provision seems to infringe on some sort of belief system. But yeah maybe we should leave that behind for now, I will always discuss it and and if the community has voices maybe make a group called the lounge we more general chats can take place.
    I hope there isn't any censorship or dictate to topic as for me personally that is a fundamental belief, there is no right or wrong, just the opinion of a community in terms of worth at anyone time.

    I am 47 now but 17 years ago I would of considered myself to be able able to hold my own in Microsoft RAD (Rapid application Development). I am a DB guy really, who would use VB, Access and ASP as a front end.
    RAD was quite funny as anything from E commerce to a portal of some type would take anything from months to years depending on the resources of the dev group. RAD Pfff, to be honest the Access run time was the only thing that could create relatively complex apps in a couple of days at that time.

    Free offerings did exist but to be honest it was ease and speed of creation that was the predominant form of success for the likes of Joomla & Wordpress. Being free helped and nothing works in isolation and success is often a number of factors.
    Again if I have expressed a wrong choice of words then apologies once more, ease and speed in my opinion can be termed as efficiency. Free that needs time, has cost.
    I was more of a Joomla person, I will admit but both in a free form could in an extremely quick, bang, bosh be up and running in what I call a 80-20 rule. Again my wordage is crap, but the base of 20% would cover 80% of the functionality needs and for many it was enough.
    Dev's and designers for many are extremely expensive and as a Dev it is sometimes very hard to justify against packages such as EasySocial as the will even install it for 149$.
    It does cost but like guys with the amount of work needed irrespective of the evils of money, what could you provide for $149 and sometimes that is when "Free" isn't efficient and maybe not a success.
    Its all economies of scale and how efficient you can knock up something fit for purpose and irrespective of belief we all have to work from those constraints.

    Going back to the main topic, is that my point of view is that contributor licencing is an extension of the free model. Its not like Easy Social where it is purely commercial, but allows a commercial model and also promotes community contribution to enhance economies of scale.

    If "Free" with developer time is vastly more expensive than "Free" with commercial products, which is the most efficient and best choice for the customer who has your trust?
    I have often thought there might be better ways than the two polar camps of "Free" and "Commercial" where you could have both based on your choice of interaction with the project.

    How about a "Free" model that negates money and encourages contribution, whilst still returning revenue streams from those who choose otherwise?                

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