April 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm #1202
Symbiostock is doing just fine and clipping along at a slow but steady pace but I think it is primed for something great and it may not reach maturity in time. In other words I think Symbio may miss its window of opportunity. The problem is that Symbiostock cannot continue to be developed for free. It just doesn’t work for the developers. Leo has rightfully changed his focus to actual paying jobs with Symbio as something he works on when he is not trying to feed his family and pay his bills. Obviously Leo would be our first choice but if he is to busy working on things that actually make him money I have contacts that would be capable of making changes to the theme. But they won’t work for free. So I am going to ask this question at the risk of getting tarred and feathered.
Who is willing to pay?
Lets say a $10 per month subscription to continue getting free upgrades and 1 new plugin – or $30 for 2 upgrades per year.
$1500 to $2000 per month would add a lot of rocket fuel to this project and would probably give everyone what they want in less than 12 months. $120 for a spotless theme that does exactly what it should seems very reasonable to me.
We could create a committee to manage the money and make it so that at least two people have to sign off on spending. This wouldn’t be that hard to manage.
Ok let the flogging begin.April 29, 2014 at 5:04 pm #10847
You’ll get no flogging from me.
I would pay $10 a month for professional maintenance and upgrades, assuming enough others did so too, to assure our ability to hire a qualified and committed developer. Handling the money would be the biggest trick, but it should be doable, IMO.April 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm #10848
Duplicate post deletedApril 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm #10850
stevehParticipantApril 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm #10851
It would be helpful to find some agreement on new plugins or directions for Symbiostock
http://cascoly.com/symbio/progress.asp has a list of suggestions — it hasn’t been updated in awhile. some are simple cosmetic changes, others will take more time. if we let people prioritize these (and new suggestions) we can then see what needs to be done — new plugins may be the way for features that not everyone needs; or new features could be added to the PRO plugin; or changes could be made to the theme itself – but this latter would require the most testing to insure that previous features aren’t affected
our Turkey trip starts May 12, so I won’t be able to do a lot until mid JuneApril 30, 2014 at 1:09 am #10853
I frankly don’t care much about new plugins, although they might be helpful to some. However, it would be wonderful to have a professional on retainer, “watching over” Symbiostock and “on call” when problems arise. Maybe when you get back from Turkey, we can seriously address this need.
Like Steve Heap, I’m in this for the long run. I’ve put a ton of time and effort into my site. I believe in this kind of cooperative/community effort, and I’m willing to invest to make it work. But unless others are equally committed, it will likely die a slow death, and that would be a shame.April 30, 2014 at 1:37 am #10854
I’m certainly keeping going. I’ve already started separating my images into general microstock and macrostock (RM) – the latter is the more interesting photos, out of the way and specific locations and obviously images with property or people without releases. All my images go on my Symbio site and increasingly people will only find my images on Symbio, Alamy or Corbis. I’ll have to think about how to modify pricing going forward, but for now I’m happy to get a bit more exposure and a few sales.
I got a new sale today for $20 so things are still moving forward!
SteveApril 30, 2014 at 3:05 am #10855
I got a new sale today for $20 so things are still moving forward!
Bully for you, Steve. I’m happy to know you! 😀April 30, 2014 at 3:11 am #10856
I’m confused on what is being suggested and how it would affect anyone with a site now that doesn’t want to participate with additional spending. Those of us that have been on board for the past year have basically been Beta testers. What happens when some of us will spend to take it to the next level and others want to stay with what they have? Could be challenging and bring some bad commentary if those with sites now feel abandoned or coerced to into subscribing to keep their site going (Adobe got a lot of negative feedback for their Creative Cloud service) so it’s worth considering and managing through that so we minimize negative feedback on that.
Are you suggesting the Basic theme continue as is and the Premium theme changes to a subscription if we want to continue? I’m not opposed to some spending but not keen on the idea that I would have to participate with a monthly subscription. I’d rather see a one-time fee to support the upgrades with ongoing basic support funded by the purchases of new themes and plug ins (more like when you purchase a theme at Envato – WP compatibility and other basic upgrades are included with the initial purchase price).
Perhaps, as you suggest, it’s time to take it to the next level. My thoughts on that are:
No more free theme – beta testing is over. Charge a nominal fee of perhaps $35 for the basic theme with support consisting of compatibility with WP upgrades and fixing any bugs that effect basic functionality like registration, image uploads and shopping cart. If the basic theme needs some changes in this initial phase offer a discount to anyone with a current site.
Enhance the Premium theme. Offer a discounted price to anyone with a current premium theme that wants to pre-order the upgrade in order to fund the changes. Have a clear and concise overview of that the enhancements will offer with a targeted launch date.
Ideally, new purchases would fund the small bug fixes and compatibility with WP upgrades in the future. A small annual fee to fund this might be necessary if purchases don’t cover costs, but hopefully things will grow so it’s not necessary. Plug ins could also help in creating an income stream, as long as there are not so many little plug ins needed that it feels like you’re nickel and dimed to death with small expenses. Enhanced support levels with a fee schedule could be offered too.April 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm #10849
I absolutely agree the developer(s) need to be compensated for their work.
However, how would you get people to pay? I ask because some people here have volunteered to do a lot of work…even if that work was “just” being helpful on the forums when other people ran into issues—and my fear is that those same people will now agree to pay to keep the momentum going, while the large majority of people who didn’t help much (not that they were required to) will refuse to pay or just drop out.
It could backfire and lead to a mass exodus.
We could make paying voluntary, but I can name in my head who would volunteer…the same good and helpful folks who’ve been volunteering all along.
I’m not knocking the idea, because as I said I think the developer(s) should be paid. Just raising questions.April 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm #10846
I think the free period of Symbiostock should end. Some of the people who will go name lsss have given Leo nothing but grief. I would be more than happy to pay a yearly license top use this software.April 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm #10844
What if Leo were to offer a version that would be maintained but collected a 10% commission on sales? A free version could still be downloaded but eventually it would become obsolete because only the paid version was maintained. The core problem here is that any time spent on Symbiostock from a development standpoint is wasted and unpaid. It just doesn’t make sense. There is not a single person here who would have done what Leo did so far in building Symbiostock.
10% commission might just about get it done and that would keep the theme essentially free. You only pay if you are making money. Who would have an issue paying $2.00 to be able to keep $18? At Istock right now we are paying $18 to keep $2.
Thoughts?April 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm #10845
First, Most of current users don’t participate here, and we rarely see a poll that has more than 1/3 of the sites participating, and that’s fine — to keep growing the basic theme has to be free. now that Leo has this forum as a buffer, he doesn’t need to deal directly with any problem, and te admin & moderators have thus far been able to maintain control without a lot of hassles
that said, I’d support a project where developers would offer a premium, paid plugin (linked with Leo’s if possible) while continuing to support the basic theme for free when bugs are found. I don’t think there are enough changes asked for to support a monthly fee, and it would be unfair to rely on the small percentage of sites that would contribute
There are examples of orphaned open source projects that have been unsupported for years and still function — many GALLERY sites never moved on to GALLERY2, and I added a timeline module to my chronos project even though the software was no longer supported
I’m also working on a possible kickstarter project that would use Symbiostock as a base and offer expanded non-stock features.May 1, 2014 at 2:35 am #10843
I actually suggested a kickstarter thing when I first got here but was met with mucho hostility…and someone pointed out you can’t use it for websites? Anyway, if you could use it, I think it might be a way to raise funds for development and marketing.
Right now, how about a heartfelt email to all Symbiostockers requesting donations to move the project forward and for all the work Leo et al have done? We could come up with a suggested donation amount. Maybe even offer a free Symbiostock logo t-shirt or something to a winner chosen at random. The donate button’s already there. Could be a quick stopgap measure.May 1, 2014 at 6:37 am #10842
I think we need to have clearer ideas and proposals for development so people understand what they’re donating to
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