1. Clayton

    Thanks for highlighting this problem and providing possible solutions. It is a big problem no doubt. I hope that GitHub Sponsors is only the start of something much larger.

    If you are new to GitHub Sponsors or know about it but don’t know who to back, I suggest these 4 people. You have surely come across their work in the WP ecosystem. Remember that any amount makes a difference.






  2. Leonardo Losoviz

    I’ve learnt about Caleb Porzio’s sponsorware model as a way to fund an open source project. The idea is to release a new feature only to the funders and, once you got X new funders, only then the new feature becomes open source, available to everyone.

    But I haven’t seen much success with this strategy yet to fund my open source plugin. The reason is clear: Sponsorware initially worked for Caleb because he asked the 10.000 subscribers on his newsletter for support, from which 75 agreed to be part of it. But I do not have 10.000 subscribers or followers or users, and building such a list takes time.

    Caleb’s second strategy seems much more promising: He also started selling access to tutorials on using the software. He says this strategy has been incredibly successful: as I’m writing this, he’s surpassed 1100 sponsors!

    The quest for learning appears to be a strong motivator to fund a project.

    I’ve been delaying implementing this strategy, though, because it takes effort to:

    Build the website to check if the user is sponsoring me on GitHub, and only then grant him/her access to the private video in Vimeo
    Create professional videos

    The day has only 24 hs, and I’m working alone on my project, so there’s only so much I can do. I’ve so far decided to prioritize improving the plugin first, adding all the minimal basic features that I would love to have as a user, and only then start producing tutorial videos.

    I’ve actually been lucky: just a few days ago, site spatie.be (based on Laravel) was open sourced, making available the code implementing several of the required features:

    Validating users through GitHub login
    Giving access to private Vimeo videos to paying users

    So building the site is now within my reach. I just need to work on creating the videos.

    Hopefully next article about this topic, I’ll be able to comment if selling tutorial videos can succeed in funding the open source plugin.


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