Subject: Re: The Pledge model -- K5 generates 6 mos income in three days
From: "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 00:45:41 -0700
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 00:45:41 -0700
on Tue, Jun 25, 2002, Morhous, John (morhous@teri.org) wrote:
> >===== Original Message From Simon Cozens <simon@netthink.co.uk> =====
> >Karsten M. Self:
> >> Interesting addition to the modes of "how do I support my free software
> >> project".
> >
> >Perl appears to be moving towards a pledge model, and got sponsorship
> >for Damian Conway last year through community donations. I'm not sure
> >it's a viable long-term strategy for FSBs or FS projects, as the cash
> >appears to be harder to come by this year, and I suspect that next
> >year around people will get tired of being hit upon for cash. We'll
> >see.
> 
> Also keep in mind that the pledge model K5 is using has the simple
> goal of paying administrator salary, and is not being used to pay for
> infrastructure (as it is provided to them at zero-cost).
> 
> This is definately not the norm, and for heavy resource (servers,
> bandwidth, floorspace, etc) using sites like K5, the  monthly  cost to
> procure and keep the equipment running is probably higher than all the
> money they will be able to raise with this initiative.

Admittedly, K5's costs are low, and the core costs are largely those of
keeping Rusty, Bret, and cats fed.  The donated bandwidth, hosting, and
hardware can be looked at as a corporate underwriting, also not unheard
of in the public broadcasting model.  Distributed development also
distributes development costs, accountble as donated time, as a teaching
tool (several key developers are students), and as sysadminly duties
underwritten by an employer, otherwise a deadweight loss in a
proprietary software model.

The positive spin I see is that a minimal core investment keeps both the
development and community site alive.  I'd be happier seeing commercial
sales/support based on Scoop myself, but having tried that route in an
earlier life (and somewhat living it presently), I'm aware of the
pitfalls of this model as well.  Support is hard.

Answering Keith:  I'm impressed by Sleepycat's model.  The right license
is certainly key to this, and from a commercial perspective, berkeleydb
is an undeniable success.  Not raging, money-mint success (unless you're
not telling us something).  But y'all seem to keep largely quietly busy
over there.

Then again, isn't there a little Blanche Dubois in all of us?

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Hollings:  bought, paid for, but couldn't deliver the CBDTPA:
     http://www.politechbot.com/docs/cbdtpa/hollings.s2048.032102.html


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