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Lussumo Insider

edited August 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I was thinking it'd be good to have some sort of subscription type service for Lussumo. Pay a certain amount per year and you get special access to the subscriber area where you can get versions of the software quicker then the public. Or something like that.

Give some sort of incentive (other then of course supporting your hard work Mark) to the whole donation system, though of course this will be a yearly (or X amount of months) type of thing.

Simple Machines do it (they've dubbed it Charter Members) which they get Advanced Betas, Installation, Upgrades, Support and access to a private discussion area.

Just an idea, no doubt you've already thought about it.


  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited April 2006
    That's a really good idea, and I honestly hadn't thought of it. Right now it's not really feasable because I always give out things as soon as they're done. Making things "workable" for an insider community would take up too much time (which I don't have right now).

    I do have plans to start something else within a few weeks of Vanilla 1 coming out that will *hopefully* make money. It all depends on demand for the service. Luckily, all of the hard work is already finished with the completion of Vanilla 1. So there's your insider information for the day, free of charge :)
  • You could try a forum hosting service if you know a good host.
  • Interesting idea! I was thinking it could be a nightmare to babysit a support forum for something like that, but it would probably look after itself after a few weeks.
  • Yeah Support would work it out itself.. mainly because most of the people who'd support Mark would no doubt be long time users so some of them would know they're way around pretty easily and could provide help.

    Mark: Sure that sounds great! Can't wait to see what you do. Make sure you come back to this idea later on ;)
  • I don't like the idea of paying for the release earlier. It reminds me of the model that PHP-NUKE took, and was ultimately the reason I decided to go with PostNuke ...

    I don't think Mark would be as harsh as the phpnuke author, but it's hard to accept user contributions if the general public only has access to a few week old version. (meaning svn lockdown).

    It would be more complex to try to manage "security" patches if there were any, if you have to do the "priviledged" version and the "commoner" version :)
  • It'd be more that the Insiders would be the beta team and would get to beta test Vanilla before it gets out to the public. It wouldn't be ideal to postpone Vanilla on a stable release just so Insiders get it first.
  • But if you limit the beta test to only people who are going to pay. Doesn't that limit your testers somewhat? The test would take longer to do.
  • I guess you could have stages.. Insiders get it first to test out.. enough bugs get discovered then it goes to the Public for a pre-release beta and then the normal standard stable release.
  • Why are we arguing over the fine details of a plan that may very well not exist?
  • Because just in case it does get done it's good to think ahead.
  • I demand skittles!
  • 3stripe3stripe ✭✭
    edited April 2006
    Hmmm what about paying to be a pro user... or summat... normal users can only post 50k of comments a month... hmm even my enthusiam for this idea is waning as I get further into the sentence, better stop right n-
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    50K comments a month seems a bit excessive to say the least, I know I don't even post 50 per week, hell, from the start, I hardly even have 4k replies, although I'm nearly tied with mark in terms of visiting/usage. As for the "insider" idea, I think this would be best described as a form of "special technical support" wouldn't it? Kind of like redhat, you can have it for free, but if you want commercial or any extra special support you'd have to pay for it. Would that be a correct interpretation of what this is about? I feel it's a bit silly to have oss go behind closed doors to only reveal things to those paying for it before the rest of the world gets a chance, it just doesn't feel right then.
  • It's a delicate balance between paying user privelages and fucking the non-paying ones in the ass, for one, you don't want to fuck the non-paying users, but on the otherhand you don't want the paying ones to pay for nothing.

    Good luck :D
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    ahh, but Kosmo, the exchange rate is hand-in-hand then, if you lose your non-paying ones, you're essentially killing any chance for returns on gaining paying ones :D
  • lech: Yeah that's pretty much it, just special tech support there.

    But we could have extra benefits and remember it doesn't just tie in with Vanilla, it can include all Lussumo products.
  • Paying customers can post html whereas non paying are stuck with text?
  • giginger: We actually tried that over at ars. Worked pretty good, though non-paying users were allowed to use bbcode still.
  • Why would I fork out cash so I can post in HTML? Seems pointless to me.

    This is a hard subject to manage. You would be basically taking away features/functions from the normal (free) user and giving it to people that pay. I'd imagine you would lose a lot of people, and prospective users.

    And then what, would you ban people from posting tech support questions in a general forum? And what would be a good price range?
  • I too think you're going to lose users that way and turn help into opportunism. Also paying for something places an onus on 'delivering a satisfactory solution' as well as things like 'this questions going to be a lot of work', 'ah, that's an easy one'...

    What would help in general is a culture of donating for open-source software. If it's helped you out, saved you time, made something a whole lot easier for you, brought together people in a community that wouldn't have happened otherwise, then click that donate button 'cause it was worth it. If there was this culture the donations wouldn't need to be much, either. I know it's a little blue-eyed, but I try and do things that way.

    Most people do that in an offline context. Someone helps you out, or you ask someone for help, you borrow something or whatever and you buy them a beer, give them a bottle of wine, box of chocolates, bunch of flowers, or you help them out in return...

    Some other/related ideas that might make the idea easier:
    • have a "thanks" button, which people can click when a topic/comment has been of use. It could conceivably be linked directly to a paypal account etc., i.e. make it easy for to 'buy someone else a beer'.
    • coupled with that: active users, developers, troubleshooters, Mark etc. have an online "wish list" at amazon etc. with enough small-scale stuff for people to make physical rather than monetary donations. It's always difficult to know what the right amount to donate is ... perhaps 20$, perhaps 50$ ... is 50$ what you'd pay for software/shareware with support, does 20$ make a difference to the recipient? Buy someone a book or CD or DVD they've been wanting and you know you've given them something they wanted and may appreciate. Plus wish lists sometimes make interesting reading :-)
    • On the textpattern forum some particularly complex or 'highly-desirable' plug-ins where the development is extensive use a "ransom" for its release. The developer says, okay when 50$ or whatever has been raised the extension goes on general release to anyone who wants to download it. It happens not all that often, so it hasn't shifted the balance in the forum, and in general the ransom is raised in 2-3 days at the most.

This discussion has been closed.