[Ardour-Users] subscription support down, your ideas sought

Mark Greenwood fatgerman at ntlworld.com
Sat May 17 04:10:45 PDT 2008

Paypal issues aside, I was thinking about what has made me subscribe to software in the past. I came up with a few things, in order of precedence for me personally.

1) Nag screens. A window where I have to press 'OK' before the program will start, which I can get rid of by subscribing (ie I pay and get a code which I enter and which makes the nag go away). The OK button should wait no more than 3 seconds before becoming enabled. Longer than that gets annoying and stops me using the program at all, but no delay makes it too easy to ignore the window. If I use the program a lot and I think it's good, that nag will get to my conscience eventually. Now I know, with Ardour being open-source, that this kind of thing is easy to circumvent *but* of all the people who use it, I reckon a great many use a package from their distro and have neither the time, inclination, or knowledge to alter the source and build it to remove this screen. Added to that, the people who use packages may not ever visit the website and are therefore unaware of the fact they can subscribe.

2) An explanation of what the money is used for. This might sound like a strange request but... this is free software, it's open source. Paul is committed to giving the software away for free. So, if I subscribe, am I just giving him extra beer money? How does my money contribute to faster or better development of Ardour? I know this might seem like a rude, cheeky, or downright arsey question to those who already know the answer but to those who don't know the answer, who don't understand the real picture, it is a genuine concern. It'd be good to have, on the website and linked to from the nag screen, a brief explanation of *how* and *why* a subscription will improve Ardour. Basically, people want to know what they're getting for their money, and if they can get the software for free that really isn't obvious. Something like '10 dollars pays for one guy to spend x hours a month on Ardour that he would otherwise spend cleaning toilets' or something like that.

And to be honest, that's it. I've subscribed to a lot of stuff over the years when it nagged me and I thought it was worth it. If it hadn't been for the nags, I wouldn't even have known I could subscribe.


On Friday 16 May 2008 20:54:06 Paul Davis wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-05-16 at 06:15 +0000, John Emmas wrote:
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Paul Symons" <ardour at iove.org>
> > Sent: 16 May 2008 04:00
> > Subject: Re: [Ardour-Users] subscription support down, your ideas sought
> > >
> > > If we are talking survival and subsistence of the existing pace of ardour
> > > development, I reckon bringing in new ideas and developers, to write more
> > > open source code is a better long term plan than raising subscription
> > > numbers.
> > >
> > I don't want to be putting words into Paul's mouth but I think the problem
> > here is that one won't come without the other.
> hah! john probably knows that he and i often don't see precisely
> eye-to-eye on quite a few things. but for once, everything he has said
> in this post is pretty much word for word a precise indication of my
> perspective. thanks!
> > II've read some great suggestions during the past few days but in truth,
> > none of them on it's own, has the potential to deliver that magnitude of
> > increase.  In fact, it's doubtful that this problem has any 'magic bullet'
> > solution ,  What's probably needed is a collection of different initiatives,
> > all contributing in their own small way.  And a spread of income would be
> > inherently more stable anyway.
> > 
> > It's just another consideration to add to the pot but Ardour's current
> > financial problems most probably stem from its reliance on too small a
> > number of initiatives.  I strongly believe that in the longer term,  the
> > most sustainable solution will be found by favouring a wider variety of
> > income raising measures.
> Indeed. The central problem there is the tension between the:
> 	* work needed to develop ardour itself
> 	* work needed to develop income-encouraging initiatives
> 	* who would be doing which work
> 	* who would benefit
> There have been some great ideas floated here in the last week or so,
> but very few of them represent less than several days of dedicated
> attention, and quite a few would need weeks of effort. 
> Thanks to everyone for all the input so far.
> --p
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