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Update from the Author

  • Avatar of MrMaz
    MrMaz
    Participant

    @mrmaz

    I have been very busy for the past few months with a new addition to our family. Now that my wife is back to work, and the kids back in day care I will have more time to spend on BP Links.

    One of my clients has been generous enough to donate 2 hours worth of my consulting time to this project to fix any serious bugs that have appeared since the release of WP 3, and the latest BP releases.

    My time is not unlimited of course, so if some of the serious users of BP Links want to put their heads together and compile a prioritized list of the most important fixes that are needed, that would be huge.

    Beyond updating the code to work 100% with newer WP/BP versions it is going to be hard to support this plugin with newer features, etc, as I have received less than $100 worth of donations for the hundreds of hours of free time that I have put into this project. It is nowhere near a total loss, since I have learned a lot, made many new friends, and some great clients. However, the reality is that I need to make money, so projects that pay are going to be a priority.

    If anyone has any ideas how this project could be better monetized, and generate some kind of revenue stream, it would benefit everybody. In other words, what do you want out of this project that you would be willing to pay for?

    I look forward to working with the BP Links fans that want to see it succeed.

    Marshall

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)
  • Avatar of Travel-Junkie
    Boris
    Participant

    @travel-junkie

    Hey MrMaz,

    good to see you back. I found that I cannot rely on donations for plugins, so I switched to asking a small price for the plugins I create. In other open-source communities, like Magento for example, it’s normal to pay for an extension. In some cases that might be just EUR 10 and sometimes that means forking over a couple hundreds.

    Of course it’s a bit problematic to suddenly ask money for something that has up till now been for free (I probably wouldn’t do it), so that won’t work for BP Links.

    What you could do is write little extensions for BP Links and charge a small amount for those. Say, the basic version is for free and it comes with support for YouTube and Flickr. Then you charge EUR 5 for an extension that adds Vimeo support and so on. You could also charge for support.

    I’ve been using various external plugins, including BP Links, in a recent project and I’ll intend to donate some money to the authors of these plugins once the first paycheck comes in. Thinking back on it, I reckon that 80% of the donations I have ever received were from other developers who used my stuff on a client website.

    Boris

    Avatar of pcwriter
    pcwriter
    Participant

    @pcwriter

    @MrMaz

    I am grateful to you and the rest of the community for all the contributions that are made free of charge. This is extremely important to help startups get going, and it’s one of the elements that make WP/BP such a popular, successful and powerful combination.

    However, I do believe a paycheck is eventually due the creators of open-source work. Either in the form of up-front donations, donations when the aforementioned startup begins to generate revenue (that’s my plan, btw), premium versions, addons, support fees, etc.

    I donate what small amounts I can afford when I can afford them (which, unfortunately, isn’t really as often as I’d like). I also sympathize with those in the donate dilemma, having received 1 donation after almost 1500 downloads of my first plugin. So, my current project will include a basic free version, and a for-a-fee premium version with more goodies. :-)

    For BP-Links, I think @travel-junkie has the right idea: paid addons or support through paid membership would likely generate much more revenue than hoping for donations.

    Avatar of Zigzag McQuack
    Zigzag McQuack
    Participant

    @zigzagmcquack

    Hi @MrMaz!

    Good to see you back again. I have many ideas to improve BP Links. Imho @Travel-Junkie‘s idea about premium version is very good. I think that this method of monetization will encourage users to pay.

    And i personnaly want to buy premium version, if they will be somethime in the future and will cost 10-30$. But you must provide a choice of payment method for users from ex-USSR for example. Because we have big problem to pay with PayPal.

    I hope you find the right method of monetization of the project and he will again be actively developed.

    Avatar of GUAP
    GUAP
    Participant

    @gearupandplay

    I love buddypress links and glad to see you back. I also think that a pro version is good idea as long as its not a monthly subscription fee. I don’t mind paying a 1 time flat fee for a pro version upgrade but I tend to shy away from monthly fees.

    Avatar of Zigzag McQuack
    Zigzag McQuack
    Participant

    @zigzagmcquack

    Every upgrade of pro version can cost 1$ for example.

    Avatar of bmtrnavsky
    bmtrnavsky
    Member

    @bmtrnavsky

    I’d be totally happy to buy a pro version so long as it will allow importing of all my current links and fixes a few navigation and taxonomy issues.

    Avatar of Kevin Murray
    Kevin Murray
    Participant

    @kitezh

    I’d be willing to pay a small price, but need to have confidence that it works well. For some reason, the widget doesn’t show up on my sidebar. When I place it there, the widget fills with code, so something obviously is going wrong. I wonder if this is a common experience. It’s happened on two sites.

    Avatar of Geet Jacobs
    Geet Jacobs
    Participant

    @geetjacobs

    New to your group and hoping this plugin can have features added in the future. I purchased Boris’s buddyvents and am so happy with my purchase. Knowing that BP links would improve and be updated, I would happily buy a premium version.

    Avatar of Selu Vega
    Selu Vega
    Participant

    @bluelf

    Actually if you get links rendered straight from activity stream!!! I will pay also for a premium version.

    I will sponsor for an import function if you can supply costs and timescales I can make the payment immediately

    I second the above. I’d gladly pay for a working version of this plugin if it allows users to edit their links and the links’ privacy settings.

    It’s such a pity this plugin has died. It was looking great.

    I’ll donate $20 or more if you throw in a tagging/tag cloud feature.

    I would be happy to pay for a paid version. I don’t believe there is anything else like this in the market right now…at least for BuddyPress. I say, come out with the new release and charge people for it. With nearly 20,000 downloads, a number of them are sure to upgrade. I don’t think there is any problem with charging people for your time/effort. I look forward to further development and would be willing to pay upto $100 to see some of the functionality that’s been discussed. Otherwise, I would like to know what you would charge to get some functions added directly to my project.

    Avatar of 4ella
    4ella
    Participant

    @4ella

    I would pay gladly if video and group links fetching work again

    Avatar of enderandrew
    enderandrew
    Member

    @enderandrew

    Developers certainly deserve to get paid for their work. However, there are many people who use WordPress/Buddypress precisely because it is free. If someone is just putting together a small personal blog, or a site for their hobby, they may not have a budget for plugins for their website. I know I was planning to only use free plugins if I could because the two websites I’m working on are for hobbies. People have a disconnect between what they’re willing to pay for A and B, even if they provide the same value, based upon what they think is the expected cost.

    That is why people react very differently, calling a $5 iPhone game very expensive, even if it provides the same hours of entertainment as a $60 XBox game.

    If you did want to monetize this plugin, you either charge for the next version, or you find a way to solicit more donations. I think so long as you got the message out that you need donations to make it worth your while to continue development (a message in the plugin settings page perhaps?) then you’d see more donations.

    I’d also consider opening up the plugin under an open-source license like the GPL. That makes it easier for others to contribute and help maintain it for future WP/BP changes.

    Avatar of Micheal Kennedy
    Micheal Kennedy
    Participant

    @intermike

    At least don’t let it die and become incompatibility for BP 1.5 :( I’d pay for it, but it’d have to really be worth it.

    Avatar of probandocosas
    probandocosas
    Member

    @probandocosas

    Hi @MrMaz.

    I agree with other people. It would be very interesting to have a pro ‘buddypress links’ version with extra functionalities and pay for it. Buddypress links is an extremely useful plugin for a buddypress community (IMHO it is the best plugin to extend the functionality of buddypress) and it would be very sad if it was not available for BP 1.5.

    Thanks for buddypress links and for your valuable time.

    Avatar of Quint
    Quint
    Participant

    @qrahaman

    Once the flag is flipped; that is, charging for a plugin, a business has just been started. With a free plugin, downloaders are interested in the features knowing that rock-solid, never ending support is utopia. The risk that an author disappear from the face of the Earth is a very real possibility. All downloaders of free plugins know this even if some may not want to admit it.

    But charge for a plugin, and the whole landscape changes. Now you have people who want solid relationships with the author. They are now clients, not customers. if this is what you want, then go for it. I’d pay for your plugin.

    Avatar of Gwyneth Llewelyn
    Gwyneth Llewelyn
    Participant

    @gwynethllewelyn

    I’m fine with a donate-to-support-this-plugin approach. It seems to work well for some “freemium” plugins.

    The most crucial thing right now is making sure that BuddyPress Links works with BuddyPress 1.5 at all. I got it working by replacing the is_site_admin() function with is_super_admin() (see http://codex.wordpress.org/WPMU_Functions/is_site_admin). This at least enabled the plugin to get activated and do its job, although it still breaks the new method of creating Pages for active components…

    Avatar of Vernon Fowler
    Vernon Fowler
    Participant

    @vernonfowler

    Thanks so much Gwyneth Llewelyn. That is change of admin() is important for so many plugins. For those wanting to fix the extraneous nav bar item (created for 1.2.x versions of BuddyPress) you’ll probably also want to comment out from bp-links-dtheme.php the following (about line 60):

    `/* this function and action is not welcome in BuddyPress 1.5
    function bp_links_dtheme_header_nav_setup() {
    global $bp;

    if ( !bp_links_is_default_theme() )
    return false;

    $selected = ( bp_is_page( BP_LINKS_SLUG ) ) ? ‘ class=”selected”‘ : ”;
    $title = __( ‘Links’, ‘buddypress-links’ );

    echo sprintf(‘

  • %s
  • ‘, $selected, get_option(‘home’), BP_LINKS_SLUG, $title, $title );
    }
    add_action( ‘bp_nav_items’, ‘bp_links_dtheme_header_nav_setup’);*/`

Any links where I use a fetched thumbnail lost their thumbnails when I upgraded BP to 1.5. And any new links that use a fetched thumbnail lose their thumbnails once the link is submitted.
Uploaded thumbnails are still working.

Cannot delete or edit links. Cannot leave comments for links.

Avatar of Vernon Fowler
Vernon Fowler
Participant

@vernonfowler

Same as Barmy Blue Man, I cannot edit/delete new links and cannot comment on links. Will need to look into this soon.

Actually, it seems I can’t even upload new thumbnails anymore.

Actually, it seems I can’t even upload new thumbnails anymore.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)

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