Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by johnsinden on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:41 pm

Has anybody ever thought of using their website as an advertising platform? We promote each others' websites through links, so why not promote a company or its products and get paid for doing so. They do in the US of A. I've not looked into the mechanics of it, it's just an idea at this stage. Any thoughts?

John
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:45 pm

I have tried the Google AdSense, but it got blocked by my host. Many of such adverts don't earn anything, the visitor has to click the link... my experience.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:46 pm

Dexter wrote:
phileakins wrote:Yes, that's got me confused. Shocked

Phil

What exactly, Phil?

The sudden change of identity - I was used to your old one! Very Happy

Up to now this thread has been about remuneration of one sort or another, but there is another side to this.

Paid for content has copyright and contractual implications - although if developers had paid something for the right to use someone else's material, and proper (ie written) contracts entered into, the last blow-up might well have have been prevented.

The contract will necessarily tie the purchaser into fair dealing with the route/object/software and refrain from unauthorised copying. There is the problem - the developer has to be prepared to take legal action in the case of a breach of his/her conditions to protect what remains his/her property.

There is a plus side, Open Source contracts allow unlimited dealing, including the sale of the software (under very limited conditions) which would be prevented by some sort of paid for contract as the commercial rights remain with the developer.

And - another thing, I seem to recall a lot of discussion about the terms of licences back in the early days of Derr .. er ... Dexter's site.

Just some thoughts.

Phil

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:46 pm

@ John I don't want to carry advertising on my site. It degrades the site and a lot of the product placements are inappropriate for a variety of reasons.

On the subject of accepting payment. There's no question of any compulsion to charge, or indeed to buy. What has emerged from John Sinden's original allusion to avarice on the part of some consumers and expense incurred by all providers is turning into a legitimate debate on assisting to maintain services to a decent standard. If a provider cannot afford to maintain sites and hosting then it disappears. That benefits nobody. If a provider can afford to subsidise it all without assistance then the question need not arise.

From my point of view I imagine a great many who download a lot of my material have considerably more disposable income than I do.
The concept of providing an "extra" for payment is an old doctrine, sometimes known as "patronage" It was familiar in olden times to poets, artists and musicians who received such help. This was repaid by the offering of a suitable work by the maker.

I find the thought of "universal charging" untenable, but I could sleep at nights with the concept of some fine additions for the better off and the bills for hosting, domains and bandwidth stamped "paid".
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:47 pm

"Thanks" to GoogleAds the incomes are marginal today; but indeed, it should be enough for running the homepage, at least on bigger sites like BrnoBVE or CTS. Together with a donation system like Dexter's it could make a decent cost refund (remember there are other costs than the homepage, as I wrote above)
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:51 pm

One could think about creating a hosting platform for addon sites... I'd be willing to do so; also one central host would probably have greater chances of getting their running costs back through donations. However - I'd host free stuff only then. And this doesn't mean having free addons getting hosted by the central platform, while hosting paid addons on own space.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:59 pm

Quork wrote:One could think about creating a hosting platform for addon sites... I'd be willing to do so; also one central host would probably have greater chances of getting their running costs back through donations. However - I'd host free stuff only then. And this doesn't mean having free addons getting hosted by the central platform, while hosting paid addons on own space.

OK, but if you have many people sharing one DONATED server, how do you split the eventual income? Do you keep it "for future hosting costs", or do you give away as a small compensation for the time used by developers?
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by thehoviskid on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:01 pm

It's a difficult one, but are developers developing for the purposes of releasing specifically, or for their own employments/use with releasing a side effect? I think one thing that draws a lot of people to BVE/oBVE is that it's free and open, with no charge even for the bickering!

If it comes to charging, then it depends on what's available otherwise. If there's plenty of free stuff of reasonable quality or better, you may struggle. Like a lot of people i have a house, a cat, two children and 'er indoors to consider, and shelling out on things like this is a luxury that I'd have to consider carefully- updated HST or cake with tomorrows lunch? Cake please!

I think, if you're "developing for BVE/oBVE" then it needs to be free, if you're developing chargeable stuff in general and have stuff for BVE/oBVE available then it's up to the developers conscience, but it does seen rather against the spirit in which the platform itself is provided. And, as has been mentioned, many developers are happy for others to incorporate their work- suitably credited- but may not be so happy if the other part profits from it.

That said, I've no objection to a "Donations" button to contribute, if a user so wishes, to the upkeep of a site. Maybe sites could specify the monthly cost, and how much of that has been donated? I've seen that. What do do with the surplus though, if there is one, is a conundrum. Keg of the black stuff for Graymac, maybe?
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:05 pm

It is not difficult to provide payment stats and monthly costs, of course. Then it is up to visitors, whether they decide to contribute. If this system (with voluntary contributions) is working, I will happily use it. I don't even need the full price to be covered, I will happily share. This is just to help us developers to actually not be losing money. Smile
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:08 pm

We need the poll in place for the whole ten day placement to give enough users an opportunity to vote. Most of the comment has been from one side so far, with mainly producers making points. The consumers who have responded have made fair comments.
If there is widespread opposition or signs that any actual transactions are an abomination then it won't happen. I'm still opined to think "something for something" on a minority item rather than "donate, full stop". It's a way of showing gratitude for the payment.
You could phrase it as a gift for a donation, if you like.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:13 pm

Well, the polls will run as long as we let them, so we will hopefully be able to see more answers. There are more options, more opinions and the conclusion should be as fair as possible to all parties. Not mention that this is just a debate, not ordering anyone to do anything.
Everyone is entitled to do independent decisions.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:18 pm

On a donated server, I'd suggest keeping up to 3 monthly costs in reserve, while passing the rest on to a charity selected together.

Gotta go
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:24 pm

Quork wrote:On a donated server, I'd suggest keeping up to 3 monthly costs in reserve, while passing the rest on to a charity selected together.
Gotta go

That's what I would do if I received donations that overrun my needs. Generally, I have to say I am against a centralized server. Here's why: people have different opinions about designs, everyone has put a lot of effort into his site. I cannot imagine the bandwidth needed for a server containing all addons. And another strong argument: We have all seen what it does when all information is in one place and this place fails. We survived, but I, for one, don't want this to happen again...
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:07 pm

The central server proposal reminds me of the proverb concerning "putting all your eggs in one basket". I'm sure the analogy exists in other languages too.
A central server also reduces traffic to the maker's site, if the files are dual-hosted. If the maker wants visitor to his site to attract advert payment or other incidental commerce he will lose out if his files are available elsewhere. It is better to encourage individual content distribution sites. If one of them closes it is a pity, some work is lost. If the central server closes ALL is lost.
The only justification for a central repository would be as a home or archive for material after the creator's site was closed, in order to maintain availability and with that maker's agreement.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by thehoviskid on Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:29 pm

In which case another developer will often ask.be asked to host it.

More like putting all your ells in someone else's basket.....
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:37 pm

thehoviskid wrote:In which case another developer will often ask.be asked to host it.

More like putting all your ells in someone else's basket.....

Well, in case you only use the donations for running the site, it does not make any difference. The host pays for the service which the hosted author uses as well. Over-donations are sent to agreed beneficent account. Sounds fair enough.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:29 am

A centralized server doesn't mean the end of individual homepages.
- the homepages could continue to be hosted on their individual servers and the central server be a pure file hoster; in this case, the individual sites would have donation links toward the central server's donation data. This way the dev stays his own boss on his own page while reducing bandwith and thus cost, possibly to a zero
or
- the individual homepages could be hosted on the central server using the central server as a free all-inclusive host
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mikey1984 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:51 am

For Omsi Bus simulator there is a very good website
http://aussiex.org/forum/index.php?/forum/118-omsi-addon-forum/
where you can upload maps, re-paints etc.
Could you have something similar for BVE content?
And then you could have people either paying a subscription fee to contribute towards the cost or having it donation based.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by spara on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:52 am

It would be relatively easy to build a web application to put on Amazon Web Services so that users can have accounts, their own homepages and downloads, and have management over their area.

I wouldn't be able to do anything for a while though - I'm far too busy saving the people of London Very Happy

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:01 am

OK, but what would happen to our current websites? It took me so much time to get it where it is that I just don't wish it to be cancelled you know. Very Happy Not to mention this forum also took some time to be built...
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by spara on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:07 am

People can have their own websites and forums if they want. It wouldn't replace that. This would just allow developers to upload their content, have to free to download, or paid for through a payment gateway. Content would also be catalogued and searchable.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:21 am

Ah, OK. So it would basicallly allow categorization to "basic" (free) content, and "premium" aka paid content. I think I get the point now. The question still remains though, whether this is the way to go.
speaking about that server, I think my host also allows me to set up an "eshop", which would be similar to this. Somehow I just still don't feel like producing things that need to be paid for... even though it would be nice to have an extra income. You know, I never created stuff for the sim primarily for money. That's why I am testing the voluntary donations on my web. Voluntary because I don't want to go strictly commercial, but then again, I don't want to be loosing money on producing something for other people. Damn, this is a tough one.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mikey1984 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:45 am

I think it's important that it isn't for commercial reasons, but to cover costs such as hosting fees etc.
The donation route is fairer in my opinion and truer to the 'mantra' of Open BVE- it is just a case of whether people would actually donate.
I don't know if I'm coming across as contradicting myself; but then I think I'm debating the issue with myself as much as with any one else Smile
There's a lot to think about and consider and it's a case of trying to get your head around it all.

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Consultancy..

Post by alex_farlie on Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:19 am

I would have concerns about taking the simulation itself directly commercial.

However, I would like to point out something that's not yet been raised.

Simsig exists in two versions. The desktop version which is available for free - the Simsig everyone knows, and a professional level 'serious money' signalling simulator for the rail industry itself called TRESIM. TRESIM consultancy seems to make money for Simsig to continue development (although for conflict of interest reasons there are some areas Simsig can't cover.)

Is there any reason why some form of consultancy group can't be formed within the OpenBVE community to do consultancy for the rail industry? The revenue stream from this consultancy work could then be used to fund the 'free' stuff.

It's a shame that the heratige sector does not have the budgets to afford consultancy work though. Smile





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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by rick1984 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:52 pm

I would welcome a central depository but I understand the concerns with such a set up.

As for paying for content; while some of the content is certainly quality enough to justify paying; I'm not sure OpenBVE is at a high enough level yet to warrant it? If it were at the level of the fabled OpenBVE 2 then I would say it would warrant payable content.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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