Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Sep 2006 20:32 UTC, submitted by Max Barkly
GNU, GPL, Open Source This is a collection of methods and strategies to make income from an Open Source project while keeping it thriving and freely available. The methods take into account project brand strength, and the real opportunities available while owning your project's web space, building up its community, and exploring non-restrictive means of monetizing your efforts.
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by tristan on Mon 18th Sep 2006 21:25 UTC
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I couldn't be arsed to get to the end of it, but is one of the tips "unnecessarily spread your article over two dozen pages to maximise Google ad revenue"?

Reply Score: 5

Shame on me
by DonQ on Mon 18th Sep 2006 22:46 UTC
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I'm really sorry, but all mentioned [in article] great ad companies are already on my browsers blocked content list.

If this is helpful, please consider contributing...

Reply Score: 1

Short summary
by RandomGuy on Mon 18th Sep 2006 22:48 UTC
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#Making it closed source and charging for copies will get you nowhere.
#Get a decent domain and webspace.
#Make a decent website with forum, wiki, blog, ...
#promote your project, make shure it's easy to find and search engine friendly
#protect your brand
#realize making money is not evil
#how to make money: ads, donations, selling stuff - just look at any successful project like for example Gentoo
#google is good but don't rely on just one form of advertising
#ads work best when they blend with site content
#passive earning (ads) is better than actice earning (selling things)

I would like to add one point:
#Make shure nobody writes a concise and ad-free summary ;)

Reply Score: 4

I'm not convinced ...
by WorknMan on Tue 19th Sep 2006 00:51 UTC
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I haven't seen any instancees where you can make money selling open source software ... or at least under a license that respects the 4 freedoms. In the case of this article, they don't sell software .. they sell CDs and USB keychain drives. Other sell services/suppprt or other types of hardware. But none I know of actually sell software. At least not of the COTS variety.
Apparently, according to the article, the most you can hope for is to make just enough money to quit your day job. Though I would certainly consider open sourcing an app I wrote if I didn't plan to profit off of it, I would definitely have to look elsewhere otherwise.

Also, I noticed this guy was big on advertising as a way to make money. Anybody big on open source software probably uses Firefox and knows what adblock is, so how smart is to think that the majority of your client-base using ad blocking software is going to click on any of your ads? Personally, in terms of 'evilness', I'd say a website crammed with ads is more evil than closed source apps ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm not convinced ...
by ma_d on Tue 19th Sep 2006 02:34 UTC in reply to "I'm not convinced ..."
ma_d Member since:

A large percentage of the people who use adblock don't block google ads.

Besides that, the people who block ads never click them. Realistically, contextual advertising stands little to lose from things like adblock (unless it became so popular everyone used it, and I mean everyone).
And impression advertising stands to gain a lot: Saves some bandwidth, and you only pay for impressions of people who don't hate the ads enough to block them.

But those, like OSNews, who have sold their soul to Satan lose from adblock + impression advertising. Just kidding guys ;) .

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm not convinced ...
by jmansion on Tue 19th Sep 2006 08:47 UTC in reply to "I'm not convinced ..."
jmansion Member since:

>Also, I noticed this guy was big on advertising
>as a way to make money

I couldn't help feeling that if you get that good at the community, advertisement management, and shop front stuff, then probably you'd be much better off financially using your skills to sell Rampant Rabbits anyway, rather than CDs and USB keys who'se only 'vaue add' is based on laziness or selling to the decreasing number of bandwidth-poor geeks.

Overall, I felt that its bad news for OSS as a business, rather than hobby. I do agree that more case studies etc would be very valuable, because there's been a lot of hype.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm not convinced ...
by jessta on Tue 19th Sep 2006 10:26 UTC in reply to "I'm not convinced ..."
jessta Member since:

*Richard Stallman used to sell copies of Emacs for $300.
*I've seen less major distros of BSD selling their software still under the BSD licence.
*Firefox makes huge amount of money from google for having the google search box.
*Redhat sells free software.
*Many projects sell their software under a less free licence so it could be included in a commerical application.
*Selling support is great, email, phone etc.
*Selling integration services

There is plenty of money to be made from free software as long as you make useful popular code.

Reply Score: 1

Why do people hate ads ?
by jbalmer on Tue 19th Sep 2006 05:14 UTC
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I sometimes feel if there is not some hypocracy when people say they hate ads on websites. I mean do you close your eyes while drive your car when you see a billboard besides a highway ? No, you enjoy viewing the ad on the billboard and welcome it as a part of the scenery. Ads have their own place in this world and no amount of wishing will do it away - unless of course you live in a controlled society where decisions are taken for you by others such as in North Korea for instance.

I believe that if the website which you are visiting has good content and you gain by reading an article, there is no harm in putting up with some ads as that will be enough incentive for the author of the article to write more such articles.

Take OSNews for instance, it plays an important role in facilitating people with similar tastes to come together to discuss about current news without being distracted with flames and spam. And when a site brings so much value, why not see a couple of ads on the site and help the site (and who ever is running it) to make some money?

I think the article in question is honestly written and Damn Small Linux is an excellent project.

Edited 2006-09-19 05:17

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why do people hate ads ?
by hobgoblin on Tue 19th Sep 2006 10:35 UTC in reply to "Why do people hate ads ?"
hobgoblin Member since:

i dont block all adds, just those shockwave ones that eat up all my resources and makes the act of changing tabs a pain (kinda old computer).

i do not have a problem with animated gifs, simple google ad links and similar.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why do people hate ads ?
by Sparrowhawk on Tue 19th Sep 2006 10:45 UTC in reply to "Why do people hate ads ?"
Sparrowhawk Member since:

"I sometimes feel if there is not some hypocracy when people say they hate ads on websites. I mean do you close your eyes while drive your car when you see a billboard besides a highway ? No, you enjoy viewing the ad on the billboard and welcome it as a part of the scenery."

Well, speak for yourself. ;-)
Personally, I loathe advertsising hoardings that I feel are a blight on the countryside and buidlings.

Anyone who has driven across (eg) France will know what an eye-sore billboards are: endless crass adverts for furniture, MacDonalds, theme parks etc. Contrast this to driving across the UK where static billboards are not permitted in rural areas. A far more pleasant experience (imo). Although more and more billboards on the back of trailers are appearing, which is something I utterly detest.

And yes, I do switch over when adverts come on when I'm watching telly!

Just my personal opinion of course.

EDIT: Corrected typo

Edited 2006-09-19 10:46

Reply Score: 3

Independent developers making (some) money
by dimosd on Tue 19th Sep 2006 07:05 UTC
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More articles on this subject would be appreciated.

Reply Score: 1

In summary...
by pcummins on Tue 19th Sep 2006 11:00 UTC
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You probably make the most money from services and not the software. Another way to make money that wasn't listed from OSS software besides media sales, consulting or services is to sell it with a non-OSS license to businesses that cannot use OSS software for a variety of reasons (ie, the GPL is too restrictive for them), or value add non-OSS parts to an existing OSS product (ie, polishing it up, making it more compatible etc) such as Transgaming's Cedega/Cider vs Wine. Obviously, not all options are available to developers at times.

Reply Score: 1