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What would you pay for? #633

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balupton opened this Issue · 19 comments

6 participants

@balupton
Owner

If we could whip up some premium services, or features, or bounties, or anything within the month. What would you put your money down for?

Perhaps on one of these?

  • Premium/priority support
  • Plugin development
  • DocPad customisation
  • Training
  • New Documentation
  • Prioritized issues

Or something else? If so, any ideas how much and what for?


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@greduan

The training because you are spending time on 1 person teaching him all about DocPad that you would have otherwise spent on something a little more productive. I suggest something like $10/hour or something like that. Technically he's paying for your time, since you would offer the expertise anyway. :)

The priority support... Personally I would prefer for this to not be paid. I mean most users are developers so even if you do offer priority support you won't be wasting much time. Besides I ain't got the money for it. :stuck_out_tongue:

And DocPad customization stands for customizing your DocPad to fit your needs I imagine. This I think shouldn't even be a service. If the user wants something custom then he should do it himself or hire a freelancer or something.

@balupton
Owner

Cool, let's run with that training idea. Can you suggest a topic that you'd happily pay for, or would you want that to be one on one helping time? As perhaps we could do it as a group hangout perhaps? As a way to make more financially rewarding while at the same time remaining beneficial for everyone involved.

@greduan

I'd like to learn more about the query engine. Seeing how it can be very powerful that's something I would pay for. Of course in the future I'll also probably need the one-on-one time just asking questions etc.

Google Hangouts sounds like a good idea. We can do several experiments on the amount of people so that we can see how much you can manage. We can also share the cost of your time just every person pays an equal amount or something like that.

The problem with that I think would be timezones and availability. Because I for example am not available for something like voice chat all the time, it's usually when I'm alone in the house so as to not bother anyone, but I am available all day but not night since I'm a day person, and I'm in the Mexico City timezone, so really the most challenging thing about the group thing is putting it all together so that everyone can attend at comfortable times.

@greduan

One thing I just came up with. Would these reunions be recorded? If yes, would they be available on YouTube as a free thing?

Perhaps recorded but make them unlisted so that only users that attended get a link to it, to have it as a sort of reference for example.

@balupton
Owner

Sweet, I've made https://github.com/bevry/trainings for the trainings idea :) Hopefully we can make that work!

@greduan

Cool! A repo may not get enough attention but let's roll with it for now. If it isn't enough we can just put some kind of notice on the Bevry website I guess. :)

@w33ble

What about doing paid training videos, ala Pluralsight or Nettuts? You may even be able to submit videos on either of those platforms for people to purchase (not sure, I don't know how they work specifically).

A lot of the basic stuff you can find pretty easily on Youtube, but having an actual course for using Docpad and surrounding tooling (like query-engine) would be valuable. Seems like something you should be able to put together within the month, no?

Also, I think there's room for creating a clean web UI to build, generate and download/deploy a static site. There are some existing solutions for this already, and it might take more than a month to build, but it could generate some revenue. A small fee to build a site, and paid addons for doing things like one button deploying to AWS/Azure/Heroku/FTP/etc and pushing updates on an interval.

@greduan

That would be something I would have more inclination to do, since I started doing that (for free). But I don't mind if Ben goes that way.

@permadesign

I would happily pay for a comprehensive training video going through setting up a Docpad site for a 'typical' client site. With a lot of open-source tools it seems there's a bit of a gulf between 'hello world' documentation and actual training to enable me to use it on a client's site, which is understandable. Something like the videos DevTips did for their Jekyll site, and it would be great for it to be available as an .epub or .mobi as well.

A video showing how to setup, integrate a framework like Bootstrap/Foundation/Polymer, and integrate the inlineGUI would be immensely helpful.

When I get that workflow going smoothly I will talk at meetups in Bristol about using DocPad for client sites.

@mikeumus
Owner

Awesome @permadesign. A friend and I we're actually considering doing a Udemy for DocPad. This is something I've been wanting to do. I'm sure some of the team can get together and do some Google Hangouts on Air and release those.

@Greduan, @balupton, @balupton, @ahdinosaur, @RobLoach ! :smile:

@permadesign

Sounds great!

@mikeumus
Owner

It does! :notes::ear:

@permadesign, if you don't mind me asking, what brought you to DocPad? :smiley:

@permadesign

Well I was wrangling with WordPress, bumped into all of the standard frustrations there. I've used the Squarespace developer's platform a fair bit and liked that JS templating/Git is supported, but it is only available on their midrange price plan, which means that my clients then have to pay fairly high hosting on which I make no profit. They also have arbitrary limits on the amount of pages/store items you can have before going into a higher payment bracket. My clients really loved the simple admin interface though, way more so than WordPress, which distracted/intimidated them.

I started looking into static site generators, trying to find something which matched the following criteria (this bit is from a blog post I haven't yet finished!):

  • an open-source stack with an enthusiatic and active community around it.
  • the ability to manage hosting of sites myself, giving no monthly profit to a CMS provider (as is the case with the Squarespace Developer Platform, which I use mainly for its client-friendly admin panel).
  • version control being simple to integrate.
  • the ability to develop locally with tools like Gulp, File Optimizer, Stylus and Prepros.
  • there should be no code-bloat in the CMS, no collossal learning-curve in developing with the CMS, and it should be easily customisable for the needs of each client.
  • total control over the optimisation and concatenation of the files which are delivered from server to client.
  • a minimal, beautiful admin interface for non-technical clients. I have spent countless un-billable hours training and re-training clients in using WordPress to update their blog, or change a simple line of text on their site. I often receive calls from clients asking whether they need to worry about popups telling them to contact the system administrator about an update, or fixing clients' sites when they've inadvertently added inline styles to a blog post after copying and pasting from Word to WordPress. Ideally, clients should be able to log in, click on the text on the front-end of their site and change it right there.

I was just searching for static site generators and specifically ones using node. To be honest I was more drawn to Wintersmith and CMSs using MongoDB like Apostrophe2 or Buckets, but that was just because I liked the design of their site more than DocPad's. I also liked Roots.cx as it fit my workflow well, but then I kept hearing about DocPad in my searches and looked more into it. I like the vision for it and it has a strong community, and the InlineGUI was the missing part of the puzzle, so I really want to invest time into it.

I found Development Seed's articles about Prose.io and Jekyll very inspiring but I'm just not into Ruby, and the community around DocPad seems more my kind of thing.

@permadesign

More concisely, maybe if you guys put some time into step-by-step video tutorials showing specific use-cases and how it could make people's life way easier than WordPress, and then charge for those tutorials, that might be a good way to make money from it? Like a basic Team Treehouse but just for DocPad.

@mikeumus
Owner

Thanks for that full response. I actually had an almost identical path to DocPad. Was in the trenches delivering Wordpress websites to small business clients.

Charging for the videos wouldn't benefit the community in my opinion. A DocPad PaaS or a successful DocPad consultancy that contributes back are the ideal ways to monetize DocPad from my perspective (or ideally, both).

@SteveMcArthur

I'm with @mikeumus, charging for videos wouldn't benefit the community. We don't want to make it difficult for developers to adopt DocPad. I think the key is enterprise organisations and getting them to either pay a licence fee (maybe controversial) or premium support. A lot of enterprise organisations will not adopt a technology unless they have a formal (and paid for) arrangement of some sort. It just doesn't fit into their buying practices.

@mikeumus
Owner

Good idea Steve. Anybody have any such connections? I've avoided the enterprise world as much as I could during my career so I only have a handful technically.

@balupton
Owner

So we've had our premium support page up for a while - I think I've been contacted 5 times since DocPad was created, and 3/5 of those followed through to something - there's been more, but we've forwarded them onto our partners.

As it stands, premium support so far isn't cutting it - 2014 saw no revenue from DocPad at all to Bevry besides donations which are about $50/month. Maybe that's an issue with our current marketing, or perhaps it's an issue with a tiny market.

@SteveMcArthur

@balupton What I was really thinking was charging a licence fee for commercial organisations (part of which would be premium support). $5,000 per year might not be an unusual amount. If you had 10 clients worldwide that would maybe pay for someone to work on docpad full time. If you have 50 clients worldwide then you have a good business. But I'm thinking of docpad as a CMS rather than a blog engine. I'm not sure if there are any enterprise businesses using docpad.

I've been in the situation in a enterprise organisation where we have had to buy a propriety CMS when there where better open source solutions only because the propriety solution has a formal buying arrangement that the organisation can understand.

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