[wp-edu] Akismet pricing

Jim Groom jimgroom at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 18:37:30 UTC 2011

And thank you Matt Gold. You are, indeed, gold for WP in Education.


On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 3:51 AM, Matthew K. Gold <matt.lists at gmail.com>wrote:

> Thank you, Pete. It has been great to talk to you as you've worked through
> this process, and like D'Arcy and Jim, I'm happy with the result. I do
> wonder how many thousands of calls are going to be generated by a single
> CUNY-wide Askimet license . . . . but I guess we'll soon see, since I've
> already put in the request to purchase one!
> Best,
> Matt
> --
> Matthew K. Gold, Ph.D.
> Advisor to the Provost for Master's Programs & Digital Initiatives, CUNY
> Graduate Center
> Assistant Professor of English, City Tech | Interactive Technology &
> Pedagogy Program, CUNY Graduate Center
> Director, CUNY Academic Commons | mkgold.net | @mkgold
> On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM, Pete Davies <pete at automattic.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I work with the Akismet team at Automattic, and given that the topic
>> of Akismet pricing came up earlier on a different thread, it reminded
>> me that it's long overdue that I let you know what we've tried to do
>> for educational institutions and pricing.
>> First, a little background: long before spammers started getting as
>> sophisticated as they are now (and Akismet didn't cost us much to run)
>> Matt and Toni would offer academic institutions free use of Akismet in
>> return for a link promoting Akismet in the footer of every page that
>> it was used on. We did this pretty much on trust, and we had no
>> resources (or inclination) to enforce it. But it's been clear that the
>> informality of the arrangement hasn't stood the test of time: API keys
>> have been lent to non-academic projects, re-designs have abandoned the
>> footer and perhaps critically (for us) supporting the weight of spam
>> on .edu sites has become pretty expensive.
>> As we gave Akismet more resources, we also revisited the signup and
>> subscription processes. We tried to simplify and make clearer to those
>> that get real value from Akismet that they should actually pay for the
>> service. We had an Enterprise plan that was based around the number of
>> sites, and an API plan that was based around the number of API calls
>> (basically the number of comments submitted). Allowing users to pick
>> between the two meant that almost all of our users could find a price
>> point at which they were able to use Akismet, while contributing to
>> the costs of running it. With one glaring exception...
>> Academic WordPress installs do tend to be unique because they spawn
>> huge numbers of individual sites, many of which are used for specific
>> projects and are then abandoned (attracting lots of spam). This means
>> that these installs tend to have (a) a lot of sites and (b) a lot of
>> API calls.. making Akismet prohibitively expensive. But the
>> misconception has been that we don't care about this: it's really not
>> true, we just struggled to figure out a good solution for a while.
>> In fact, the Enterprise (site-based) pricing didn't seem to work as
>> well as we'd hoped for some companies too. Thinking about the
>> edu/multisite problem and also the issues that some companies were
>> having, we decided to simplify the plan altogether and said that for
>> the Enterprise plan ($50/month) customers could now use Akismet on as
>> many sites as they liked, but with a limit of 80,000 comments per
>> month.
>> So here's the exception: for .edu domains (only) using Akismet, we're
>> waiving the comment limit restriction. So you can use one API key for
>> a many sites as you like on your TLD, for $50/mo or $550/yr. So you
>> can have as many sites using Akismet as you like, so long as they're
>> hosted on either a subdomain or directory of [yourdomain].edu. There's
>> one small caveat: we simply don't have the resources to manage
>> invoicing, checks and Accounts Payable departments for this kind of
>> price: so we ask that you/someone pays by credit card or electronic
>> check. (You could also help my closing comments on unused sites.)
>> So -- that's the situation as it is now, and hopefully goes some way
>> to setting the record straight. It saddens me when I hear that Akismet
>> is unaffordable for academic institutions and they've had to move to
>> Typekit Antispam (if the age of their homepage and that Arrington
>> quote is anything to go by, it's not getting a lot of love these days)
>> or, worse, Captchas. Hopefully $50 a month makes it considerably
>> easier than it used to be. I know that it won't work for everybody,
>> but it might at least allow more of you to use the service.
>> Happy to answer any questions and hear your feedback.
>> Best,
>> Pete.
>> --
>> [ Pete Davies | Automattic Inc. | http://about.me/petedavies |
>> pete at automattic.com | (415) 475-8007 ]
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