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  1. #1
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    Open Source Vs. Paid - Your Expert Comments?

    I am the developer of SiteManPro Software (sitemanpro.com). Recently, one of the customers started a discussion about making the SMP free open source.

    ==> sitemanpro.com/forums/index.php?/topic/38-free-open-source-smp-option/

    Since then I have been thinking hard about whether to go open source or not.

    There are both pros and cons about this option and so..I decided to take some feedback from the developers here who might have gone through the same dilemma.

    The PROs in my list are:
    1. Huge instant audience
    2. Huge developer support
    3. New revenue sources - Premium themes, Premium support, Site Setups, Training / Webinars..etc etc

    Also - what kind of open source license would be best? I am thinking of this type of license:

    ==> simplemachines.org/about/license.php

    What is your take on this? Do you suggest such a software go open source?

    If yes, why? If no..why?

    TIA
    Deep

  2. #2
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Open Source does not equal free...nor does it even have to be free. Open Source only means the source code is available and is visible. Under no obligation are you required to give free access to the application. The model ActiveState uses for there Komodo platform, is an Open Source application but some parts of it are closed, which is perfectly accessible. ActiveState offers both a paid and free version, the paid version having more features of course. That model may be more suited for your needs/wants.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    with a product as in-depth as yours, making it open source (as in free) may acutally do good for your platform, your product seems extensive enough and mature that you could charge for support, training, perhaps even build a social platform to extend its reach to other fields and with its maturity you may reach new audiances, have you thought about selling managed / hosted solutions to help with the costs too? I think in your case the benefits would outweigh the costs as you clearly have something that people are willing to invest time and money in, so branching it to open source may be just the boost you need to find a whole new audiance of people who will give it added exposure

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    with a product as in-depth as yours, making it open source (as in free) may acutally do good for your platform, your product seems extensive enough and mature that you could charge for support, training, perhaps even build a social platform to extend its reach to other fields and with its maturity you may reach new audiances, have you thought about selling managed / hosted solutions to help with the costs too? I think in your case the benefits would outweigh the costs as you clearly have something that people are willing to invest time and money in, so branching it to open source may be just the boost you need to find a whole new audiance of people who will give it added exposure
    Hi Alex - Thanks for taking time to go through the site and understanding more about the product.

    Let me add more information to the case..

    The biggest problem I have got into now is the perception of the product..LOL

    For some reason people have started comparing it with popular platforms like wordpress and joomla. I agree that SMP does offer the content management like WP, but it is more inclined towards running commercial membership sites. Though you can run blogs like WP, but the USP for this product is CENTRALIZATION of your business.

    For example - the next version (1.5) has a module of invoicing (like freshbooks), so you can see the difference in the approach.

    It doesn't ask you to switch away from Wordpress as it offers out of box integration with WP and let you continue doing what you are doing, but it offers a bigger advantage of centralization..

    So...

    I discussed with few of my customers during last week. They posted some more suggestions:

    1. Make the current version as free open source. Every new module that is developed can be sold as an add on. The biggest benefit is instant huge audience of both users and developers. Developers can write new themes, or create new modules to enhance the functionality.

    2. Make it a hosted service of let's say - $10 or $15 a month. But this still requires me to keep developing and it will be hard to recruit developers. If I work only on my resources, it will take a year or two to develop what I have currently in mind. Forget about the new features that will come to my mind in next six months..LOL

    3. Give away the encoded version for free and let people pay for open source version. Good, but still have something missing that i am not able to identify.

    ...coming to my aim/mission for this product: provide a business centralization solution that grows at a rapid pace, so people don't have to install/integrate hundreds of other software..at a price which is best.

    So what's your/everyone else opinion about this?

    Or let me ask you this way: Would you switch to SMP if it's FREE?

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzdeep View Post
    1. Make the current version as free open source. Every new module that is developed can be sold as an add on. The biggest benefit is instant huge audience of both users and developers. Developers can write new themes, or create new modules to enhance the functionality.
    See that was the kind of thing I was hinting towards, you can have premium support and a social framework which allows people to bolt on packages for a price, it allows you to expand but keep the framework open source so that developers can rapidly expand the raw power of the service

  6. #6
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    It is now available for FREE

    Try it out and let me know your feedback...
    ==> sitemanpro . com


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