I thought it might be time to have a constructive discussion about the upcoming changes. We are four months from Plings being activated. What are your thoughts? (Please don’t be flamy/destructive). What are your hopes?
These are some facts:
- Plings were introduced in May 2017
- “Like it Pling it” was introduced in May 2018 as inactive Beta with a one year trial
- Not anybody can Pling a product, only supporters can
- There are now 48 supporters, including some staff members
- As of this article it’s January 2019, this means we are 8 months into the trial
- Content creators who get real value for their work invest a good deal of real time to maintain it and make it better
- Some products generate quite some income to live from
- Nobody, except possibly some staff members of opendesktop, knows or understands where this money comes from
- 48 one-time/year supporters sure are not backing this up
- As a community we see little will from opendesktop to give public statements/opinions/experience in a transparent manner on the subject (of course this is not the job of a moderator or a web dev and this is an assumption based on my feelings, but reading others opinions I suppose this to be consense)
So…I personally feel lucky that I could contribute to this platform, and in the end to the linux community, at a time when I would in return get some money for my work to keep me encouraged to push out more themes/plugins/gimmicks/whatever for people to enjoy them. For me personally this was not a lot, but living in a country with a rather poor currency it definitely helped me buy some quality fair trade coffee from time to time.
I say this because I think it is very understandable that the current payout is unsustainable as it is. There are products which get hundreds or even a thousand of downloads every day resulting in monetary loss in the thousands each month for opendesktop, and as I said, nobody really knows where this money comes from.
The search for a more sustainable model is a logical consequence and I guess necessary. Still so the onboarding process has not been worked on. After 8 months only 48 people have donated money back to the system that wanted to invest in the creation of digital linux content. A good amount of these people are content creators who give back to whom supported them in the first place. The idea was to win peoples donations to keep up this investment but the platform has shown very little effort in focussing on this matter.
The site has seen some minor make ups in the headers, forums and mobile support which is OK I guess, but it’s really not the bigger picture. After all Linux users are desktop and will be so for another good amount of years if phone OS development keeps the way it is now.
Starting with May, whoever owns opendesktop, will feel a great relief. On the other hand lots of content creators will cease to support their products.
We all know how we people go haywire when one takes away our comforts even if those were a product of some support towards us.
The “Like it Pling it” concept just plain doesn’t work as intended. Products that get hundreds of downloads daily have high rates of upvotes and likes (as in hearts) but all of them have one thing in common: the two or three Plings they got. I talk, among others, about programs that have already become included in some major Linux distros…These people deserve to get more than $1.28 for their work…
With just less than 50 people holding the only power over how much money a product would generate there is guarenteed frustration waiting for us. I actually also blame this heavily on us content creators, as usually we are more strict than a regular user when qualifying others work because we would have very different opinions on what quality work should be like in the first place.
This makes me pling way fewer prodcuts than in reality actually needed the support.
Hoping for more people to onboard and increase the counters is an illusion and may work only over a period of decades, but by that time some of us will already have deceased from this planet to see any real benefit. Transparency, user onboarding and content creation are the big key words in business today. Opendesktop is king in content creation but fails completely on the first two.
So my main worries are still that there is no transparent progress on this whole matter. You may tell me that this is not true and that the community is just not very verbose, but the fact that the blog article about the “Like it Pling it” system was deleted from public is a reflection of my argument. The owners, the team and their representatives prefer to not mention anything and just wait until the storm arrived. This is typical human behavior so I don’t blame nobody. But I do think there could be more effort shown in the programming part of the opendesktop platform to generate income. Maybe some maths could be established to balance between downloads, upvotes, likes and plings. Plings could be made more attractive to those who hold the power to give them. The onboarding process is still underdelevoped. Sponsors or partners could be searched for. The platform could go open source and hope for input to their site and API (that’s linux after all…)
I mean I think there are actually ways to improve this situation and not have a lot of people hate opendesktop for something that was a really nice idea to begin with. We just have to team up. Having this said I would love to see some honest, transparent and productive discussion/feedback on this and hope that any cold blooded flame will get deleted right away.