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A Non-traditional Open and Cooperative Business Proposition

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memenode's picture
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Your idea Taco is beginning

Your idea Taco is beginning to sound very juicy. I totally agree about creating something unique and a useful combination of text, images (maybe even sound?) and software could be what we need. We just have to make sure that it is something a large number of people/companies/organizations (depending on who our target market are) would actually need and want it.

In a world of increasing adoption of Free Software where abundance of choice reigns, having an unique means of presenting these various choices that are more than just a review, more than just a screenshots gallery and more than just a podcast could indeed fly well.

Now the question is, do we have enough skillful people with time and dedication enough to work on this? It's not exactly a piece of cake considering that we need to make these "presentation programs" often and that every of those requires good deal of work to get produced

I could handle the design stuff (as well as Pascal Klein if he joins), and help with writing texts. Someone good at programming should handle creating the actual self-extracting program with elements provided and it would also be good to have someone with good writing skills and knowledge of what we would write about to specialize on that.

Though making a product is not all that this cooperative would have to think of, of course. We need to think of marketing and promotion, legal issues, organization and book keeping etc.

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
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alternate ideas?

Making the article/program archives is easy.
Creating the software that reads them is a one time task, but not a tiny one.
You're right we might be lacking a good technical writer.

I'd like to hear some different detailed product ideas.

libervisco wrote:

Though making a product is not all that this cooperative would have to think of, of course. We need to think of marketing and promotion, legal issues, organization and book keeping etc.

Let's talk about those, then. I'm listening.

memenode's picture
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tbuitenh wrote: Let's talk
tbuitenh wrote:

Let's talk about those, then. I'm listening.

It's not that I want to rush into it. It's good to talk about actual business ideas and models first which is, afterall, the meat of the project.

For marketing and legal issues it might be better to open separate threads.

As for some other alternate ideas I have had one for a while for which I'm not sure would be viable here, but I'll reveal it anyway.

It's about creating an internet music distribution service which would distribute only music licensed under CC-BY-SA and similar licenses, but would allow both the music creator and us as the distribution service to make money. The way it would do that is by searching for sponsors for each track (or possibly albums of tracks) and putting small audio commercials at the end of the track. Pricing of this advertisement would depend on the expected number of downloads of the given track.

So the track is free and libre to the listeners and even remixers and DJs while creator and the distributor still gets a chance to earn money.

I might have mentioned this idea somewhere earlier, but here's it again. If nothing it might stir some thoughts and possibly generate other similar ideas that may be more viable.

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So listening to your song

So listening to your song collection will sound like
song - ad - song - ad - song - ad?
Well that's something that I, for one, wouldn't like to use. I think it would be better to let users pay a few cents per MB of downloaded music.

memenode's picture
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Worse than a commercial

Worse than a commercial radio station eh? Sticking out tongue OK, maybe that idea needs revising. The basic model is using advertising to get the money instead of licensing music under restrictive terms.

Payed downloads would be OK too as far as I'm concerned (and as long as I can pay via moneybookers and not only PayPal, and that option is offered to others too). The problem is, however, that not every kid from the block knows what PayPal is, let alone moneybookers, and sure not everyone has a credit card. Another problem with paid downloads is that the song or at least the artist has to first become really really popular for anyone to be interested in buying, and that's much harder when you don't offer it for free.

There's a way though.

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Another option is to have

Another option is to have both an ad supported version and a paid version. So you can listen to any song for free, but if you don't want to hear ads all the time, you have to pay.

A completely different solution would be to create a player that shows ads instead of making you listen to them. It would be allowed to export music files from the player, but you can only download them using that particular player. Of course the music should stop playing when the player is minimized or hidden behind another window. This kind of kinda-like-DRM software is rather hard to implement in free software, though...

I think it shows selling something free is rather hard. What you need is added value. Allow anyone to download the songs, but make them pay to get access to daily (or weekly?) podcasts with reviews of the songs, latest news from the free music scene, etc etc. Podcasts on friday (or the first day of the month?) are free. You let them pay for your service of telling them the news and what to listen to Smiling . Or perhaps you can put ads in the podcasts. Then the structure would be as follows (with | meaning a border between files):

you talk | song | ad, you talk | song | ad, you talk....

memenode's picture
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tbuitenh wrote: Another
tbuitenh wrote:

Another option is to have both an ad supported version and a paid version. So you can listen to any song for free, but if you don't want to hear ads all the time, you have to pay.

Yes, a friend who makes music also proposed that. User would be able to choose at the beginning what to do, either download a version with an ad or buy a download.

tbuitenh wrote:

A completely different solution would be to create a player that shows ads instead of making you listen to them. It would be allowed to export music files from the player, but you can only download them using that particular player.

That might already be start of some unwelcome restrictions. People like being able to just get the actual file and listen it however and wherever they can. I know by myself. I even rarely use that last.fm player simply because it's easier to just use xmms to tune into a station or listen to a file from my hard drive. Smiling

Quote:

I think it shows selling something free is rather hard. What you need is added value.

Yes, because digital music doesn't have actual tangible value. Artificially pretending that it does leads to restrictions Free Culture movement tries to contend. So yes we need an added value if we want reward higher than the song itself and a potential payment for the copies we can sell. Advertising is one form of value, where we provide advertisers with value they are willing to pay for. Your idea about a podcast is another where listeners may be willing to pay for that.. I'm just not sure, though, that in a forest of podcasts and abundance of information including music news, they would pay for our podcast. We'd need more than that. Smiling

Supporting a podcast with advertising seems more viable though, but only if we make it popular enough, and for that we again need something unique and cool.

Another issue with this whole free music business is getting enough artists willing to participate and also finding a way to easily and without losses pay artists what they're due to get our of our system..

But it's at least an idea to ponder about. So far your idea about presentation programs for software seems better to me. Smiling

Any other ideas?

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monserrat's picture
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Organizing ideas and next steps

This discussion is already a very good start. I'm now a bit busy to read more carefully all ideas above (Tuesday is my worst day), but I'll do it soon.

We are just 4 guys. We need more people to join us in this project. I think the next step would be to announce the initiative more widely to get a critical mass, I mean something around 10 people. Maybe a bit more, but I think more than 20 may become a rather difficult to manage ourselves.

So, we could write a public invitation for our cooperative project to an non traditional for-profit business in the form of a small article, just one page or so. You know better than me where to publish it in online sites and portals of Free Software and Free Culture. Meanwhile we continue to discuss the selling product of our proto-organisation.

What about?

Monserrat.

monserrat's picture
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A possible name

What about TechLiber? There is no such name in Internet

Monserrat.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
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My idea even before reading

My idea even before reading this was libermedia. Or maybe something random that sounds good: "sevenmonkeytheta", only less silly Laughing out loud .

I think we need to get a few more libervis and nuxified members into the discussion before getting more public attention. We need to discuss more ideas and then decide on one. If you try to recruit project members now, you get as many different opinions on where to go as you get recruits. Also, when we have a more clear idea to show, it will be more easy to get people, and to get the right people.

I think saying we are just four guys is an overstatement. You, monserrat, appear to be very busy, I will be extremely busy for the next year, so maybe we should say we are two guys plus two guys talking Sticking out tongue .

So far, we seem to be interested in media, free software, and advertising. There are many more possibilities with combinations of those three.

In the past we have talked about an "ethical advertising business", basically an adspace reselling company that follows the libervis advertising policy, with optional extra rules like "suitable for children". It's a good idea, provided that we have a member who can understand money stuff (hint: not me) who lives in a country with paypal, as that is a very common payment method on the net these days.

Another option is to be an advertising agency (both designing ad campaigns and getting them onto websites) with a free twist... don't ask me what that would be in practice.

Maybe we should literally think outside the box, that is computer. Is there something we can do offline? It seems it's easier to make money outside the net, even in this day and age.

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