Monetizing Open Technology and Content

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  • provide support
  • advertising is difficult (though WikiHow does it!)
  • premium content
  • improved content (more links, references, etc)?
  • micropayments
  • "species diversity" is important! The value of a product is how difficult it is to replace it
  • you can make a living, but probably won't become a millionaire :(
  • for content: can we have an "information barter economy"?
  • patron system


Making money from open-source software

Lots of ways to do it - diversification is key

  • getting paid to fix bugs and add features (= awesome)
  • customization
  • setup
  • support
  • hosting
  • enterprise integration
  • training
  • closed-source, for-sale plugins
  • dual license
  • "certified version" (bug fixes guaranteed)
  • re-packaging as software for profit (defends on license - not GPL)
  • selling documentation and training materials
  • selling merchandise
  • hosted add-on services (like WordPress Akismet)

Other thoughts about open-source software

  • mentoring new developers is important
  • salaries can be lower, because quality of life is higher
  • even proprietary software probably won't make you super-rich! :((

Making money from open-source content

  • advertising - targeted advertising (based on content) is great!
  • freemium
    • examples: eliminate advertising, make reading easier, make printing easier, additional content, "pay for last chapter", higher quality (for audio/video)
  • donations/fundraising drives
    • services exist to ensure that author's claims of income are accurate
    • charge the authors
  • merchandise - includes hard-copy versions of content
  • sponsorship of content
  • access to author(s), work-in-progress
  • for fiction - inclusion w/ in content (naming of characters, product placement)
  • personalized prints
  • student tuitions/grants (universities are big generators of open content)

Other thoughts about open-source content

  • volunteer contributors can get subscriber status (no ads)

How to convince people/companies to make their content open (published via Creative Commons and the like)?

  • Quorum's founders were thinking they would make it open content but didn't... why? Because initially they had no terms of use, and no one cared
    • Yeah, a legal friend of mine was saying that people don't understand the copyright situation
  • Instructable (?)
  • Radiohead's "pay as much as you like" album, "In Rainbows"
    • but.. particular situation
    • a way of "sticking it to the man"
    • they already had "fans"
  • see also: Sita sings the blues


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