'Monetizing' 'content'


(Stuart Langridge) #21

“Free Software appears to me to systemically wipe out the chance to make a fortunesustainable income from a good idea. It moves software to a model where only your skilled labour can be sold.”

:slight_smile:


(Andy Wootton) #22

@sil I take your point but No. You are fine with an OK idea that you make an adequate job of and has a small market so you can scrape a living. It isn’t worth any potential competitor trying to take half your customers. As soon as you do better than average for someone of your ability, THEN you’re screwed.


(Stuart Langridge) #23

Mmm… not sure about that. The advantage of having a small market is that the world is a big place. If you can build a business which is sustainable with, say, 20,000 users, then there is plenty of space for someone else to build a competitor which sustains itself on a different 20,000 users, by having a very slightly altered value proposition. This doesn’t work if you’re Facebook, because you want everyone on earth to use your thing, but if you want to compete with someone narrowly targeted then “do the same thing but pointed at a slightly different but equally narrow target” seems like it’d work pretty well. Small business competition doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, which is where it differs from large business competition.


(Matt Machell) #24

The concept of 1000 true fans seems relevant to @sil’s point. I’ve seen that work for small content creators in music and RPGs.


(Andy Wootton) #25

What proportion of Wikipedia’s running expenses should be paid from UK taxes? I feel it is now more important to the survival of Western culture than a nuclear deterrent.


(Daniel Hollands) #26

I think a lot of university students would suffer from a lack of wikipedia :grimacing:


(Andy Wootton) #27

I would. I often find it is the best resource for the kind of 1 paragraph summary I depend on to run my life.

I think it’s precisely the kind of non-EU but global infrastructure Chancellor Hammond should be backing.


(Steve Jalim) #28

(Stuart Langridge) #29

I should note that I disagree with Walli on at least some of that (I’m one of the “trusted advisors” alluded to :)) but it’s nonetheless interesting.


(Steve Jalim) #30

Yeah - it was posted more for discussion/interest than ‘This nails it’.


(Stuart Langridge) #31

I do think it’s interesting. What I said to Steve at the time was this:

[quote]By my reading what you said was that “the engineering economics of liberally licensed, collaboratively developed software” is the only reason is compelling. That ethics, values, a desire to improve things, they don’t enter into it, and anyone who does it for that reason is naïve and delusional.
An awful lot of people who currently think they’re doing open source because it’s a valuable contribution to the world will read that and go, what, we’re supposed to be doing this just because it puts another penny on the bloody dividend? The hell with that. I might as well go and work for frigging Oracle if that’s supposed to be the point."
It’s saying "hey, you people who think you’re doing open source stuff to improve the world, and the money is just there to make sure you can continue? Nope. The money’s the point. It’s all about grubby commercialism and your high-falutin’ ideals are just you deluding yourselves. Wake up and smell the realism. You’re just as much slaves to Mammon as the rest of us. Your noble cause is not relevant."
I’m quite prepared to admit that it’s probably true. But it’s not at all pleasant to hear. [/quote]

Walli said: that’s not what I meant (this is what prompted the prologue :)) and it’s really about how the engineering, economics, makes-business-sense side of open source is so compelling that we must share good software by any means possible. Which is, I think, true.


(Andy Wootton) #32

Can I get some context sorted out please, before I read that post carefully? Is the phrase ‘Open Source’ being used as if synonymous with ‘Free Software’?

I’m fairly sure the difference is almost entirely their different business models; or maybe one has a business model and the other has a social model that very few people have ever taken any notice of. The difference is why ‘Open Source’ exists - a political split between the socialist and libertarian camps of Freedom. I never understood why it was given such a misleading name, as I understand commercial software that gives read-access to source code does not meet the definition, because ‘open’ really means ‘free’ (to do with as you wish with it.)

If RMS had been given (really) Open access to a printer driver’s source code, he could have backward engineered the spec and replaced it by his own version that he cold hack on, none of this need ever have happened :slight_smile: Yes, I’m ignoring software patents, in order to hold onto the last threads of sanity but Copyright vs Copyleftish co-operative software teams could have happened within the capitalist system; preventing over-charging, by allowing competitive development. We only actually needed published specs for all commercial software to prevent monopolies, with access to code when anything was unclear. Commercial software companies that only charged what the effort of producing their products was worth, would have been safe.

I think we must conclude that RMS wanted something else and he’s a very clever strategic politician.


(Etewiah) #33

Ha ha - interesting to see this conversation. I have just recently decided to open source a project I’ve spent months working on. There are a lot of factors go into the decision to open source but for me a big part was that I had already written most of the code and that would probably have gone to waste if I didn’t open source it.