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Subscription Passport for 'warez - your thoughts greatly appreciated!

I've been asked how I am planning to "market" Project: Yellowcake and Project: Zephyr - both of which are coming along quite nicely (thanks for asking!), and I wanted to be as up front and honest with everyone here, and ask for your feedback, thoughts, suggestions, and even your flames (I can take'em).

As I see it - I have two real options here:

  1. I can release these applications as open source solutions/free ware.
  2. I can charge a small fee for each application or create a subscription service.

Each one of these options has their merit, quite frankly. And in the spirit of being open about such a decision...

If I were to do both of these solutions - which I think absolutely rock (but I could be a little biased) - as well as any other solutions as open sourced free-ware, I can all-but-guarentee that it'll be a v1.0 release-and-done type of thing. It's not that I don't think there will be bugs to fix, enhancements to make, etc. but rather that I don't think I'll be able to logistically invest the time required to create documentation, field the occasional question, fix the occasional bug reported from someone, or to expand the solution further with a vN.n release(s). And I've done this in. the. past.

I want these two solutions - as well as a few others that I have in the pipeline - to reach their target audiences (both Administrators and Developers) - and be able to provide them with both support of the current "releases" as well as support via updates and code-fixes/enhancements.

So I'll pose this question: would you be interested in such a subscription service?

Here's what I've thought up so far: There will be two different subscription levels, individual or subscription.

  • Individual
    • $25/Year
    • Access to individual product, and it's releases/updates.
    • Access to the individual product discussion forum.
    • Access to support via forum.
  • Subscription
    • $50/Year
    • Access to all products, and their releases/updates.
    • Access to all product discussion fora.
    • Access to support via forum.

I think that these prices are reasonable really - allowing both individuals and corporate-backed developers and administrators the chance to get their hands on the given products. But I need your feedback on this (hence this blog). Am I being unreasonable in asking for financial reimbursement for such a time investment? Am I being clear on what's my intentions are here? Who knows... maybe I'm still in that morning haze?!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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