[wp-hackers] Developer portal

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Dec 14 23:54:26 UTC 2009

On Dec 14, 2009, at 6:47 PM, Nathan Rice wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 6:32 PM, Mike Schinkel
> <mikeschinkel at newclarity.net>wrote:
>> To Nathan's point, Nathan writes because it gets him exposure which
>> ultimately helps him pay his bills.  For entrepreneurs (vs. employees of
>> some organization) that exposure *allows* them to continue contributing to
>> the WordPress community.  Automattic, OTOH, is making money from all this so
>> they don't feel the pain.
> For the record, I don't have a dog in this race. I rarely write tutorials on
> my blog. It's a LOT of work to write a quality tutorial, and I honestly
> don't have that much time, nor do I need the traffic (or the money the
> traffic might generate).

My bad, I assumed wrongly.

>> I have zero qualms about Automattic making money, it should, I just want
>> everyone to realize that free help to WordPress grows Automatic's revenue
>> but does absolutely nothing for those individuals whose bills are paid by
>> the ability to get paying work because of their *visible* contribution. Not
>> acknowledging that and not considering how to make it easier for those
>> people to get business who have contributed seems very disingenuous to me.
> You make a decent point, though I'm not sure how a central documentation
> site makes Automattic any money.

Growing WordPress grows Automattic's influence and potential market.  It's indirect, but straightforward.

> But it does stand to reason that if you want to encourage participation, it
> seems likely that some sort of perceivable personal benefit might do the
> trick better than high hopes will.

My favorite book ever is Kevin Kelley's 1998  "New Rules for the New Economy."  One of it's many lessons is that if you want to grow something, help other people make money by contributing to your growth.  Open-source ethos is *great* and foundational; we can't do without it. But at a certain point w/o economic incentive too you can only go so far.  And it doesn't have to be an either/or scenario.

> That said, WP.org is Matt's site and he can do whatever he thinks is best
> with it. I'm just trying to make the case that he'll catch more flies with
> honey than nothing. I could be wrong, though.

Agree 100%.


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