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Old 08 Dec 2005, 03:58
Wayne Luke's Avatar
Wayne Luke Wayne Luke is offline
 
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Real name: Wayne
Proposal: The vBulletin.org Commercial Services and Addons Directory.

Over time, websites evolve to serve their members. Lately there has been a lot of heated discussion about commercial hacks and addons for vBulletin and this site. Currently they are not allowed in the forums but a good portion of the membership would like to see them here according to recent polls. What I would like to propose is an equitable solution that hopefully addresses the major issues.

Several solutions have been proposed from new sites, commercial forums, advertising on different pages and a directory. After discussion with the Jelsoft Staff, we have decided that a Directory is probably the best course of action. This satisfies two things. First, the forums on this site will be reserved for free and colloborative development. Second, the directory will be self-contained within vBulletin.org and use its permission system as well as the vBulletin Licensing system. This means we can deny complete access to non-licensed members and those advertisers would be known vBulletin users.

The Directory will allow people to advertise their commercial add-ons and hacks to the tens of thousands of vBulletin customers. It will give those same customers a centralized location to find these resources. In addition, links can be purchased by style designers, webmasters, and other service providers so people can have easy access to the resources they need for the best community sites on the Internet.

This will be a main section of the site and any customer will be able to participate. The links will be purchased for a moderate fee but that has not been determined yet. The directory will be moderated by myself and vBulletin.org staff and there will be guidelines for submission. I also want to institute ways for people to get links in the directory through community involvement on this site. Things that would allow this would be free of charge addon releases and template/style modifications released.

This however is not going to be implemented roughshod over the community. We want your feedback. We want to make a solution that everyone can live with and support as part of the community. In order to do that, I want to hear your concerns and comments. For that purpose I open this up for townhall discussion. In this discussion, you will be able to address the proposal directly according to the following rules:

Proposal Discussion Rules:

  1. You may post one reply to address the proposal. If I update the proposal or post within the thread, then the count starts over.
  2. You may not address other community members at this time. Keep it on topic and directed to the proposal.
  3. Any multiple posts will be deleted.
  4. You are to remain civil at all times.
  5. There will be no deviation from these rules.
Let me hear your comments.. Make sure they are thought out and clear, you only get one chance at this. This thread will remain open until January 1st, 2006. That gives you about 3 weeks to make your comments.
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Last edited by Wayne Luke; 08 Dec 2005 at 04:03.
  #2  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 04:27
TruthElixirX's Avatar
TruthElixirX TruthElixirX is offline
 
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I'm glad the staff is doing something official and listening to us.

As for me I'm for it. This will not discourage free hacks as many people just starting out will release hacks for free. Also since the hacks are paid for you wil lbe getting priority support or the hack won't survive. Overall the end user wins. We'll see paid modificatins get better so they can survive sicne people are now more aware of other paid scripts.

People who do this for a hobby will still do it for free s othey aren't bound by legialities and such when they don't feel like helping.



There, first post sicne everyone seems to be scared to break the ice. And yes I sort of wrote this from the perspective that it is now in effect, however, I know it is not.


EDIT:: @Wayne, for clarity, I see you have edited your post since I posted (though I have nothing else to add. Just speaking hypothetically) am I allowed to post again?

EDIT 2:: Ignore first edit, I misread the times. But anyways, I suppose an official answer should stil lbe given to keep it fro mgetting used in the future for either side, though I'm pretty sure the common sense answer will be "no, it does not count".

Last edited by TruthElixirX; 08 Dec 2005 at 04:38.
  #3  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 05:56
Corriewf's Avatar
Corriewf Corriewf is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
!

I think it sounds really great BUT.

I would advise you all run this by your lawyers if you have not already. The fact that revenue will be made off these listings may cause a liability on the end of Jelsoft for the content of those listings. Although I would personally never hold anyone here responsible for any damage caused by an outside vendor found in your listings, this world has people in it that would. Nothing wrong with playing it safe.

Who would of thought someone would need to be warned that Mcdonald's coffee is served hot..... :ermm:

With that said I cant wait to see this implemented. I know there has to be some mods out there I dont know about that I could use.

Thanks!
  #4  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 07:44
Keyser Söze's Avatar
Keyser Söze Keyser Söze is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
i agree with what this guy said, you would have a problem if say, a hack came out for $30 bucks for v 3.5.2

everythings fine til 3.5.4 when the hack stops working and the creator has left the building you know, i mean people leave, people die, people just whatever

once you sart dealing with money, and these are not donations, these are cash on the barel for product, you have a responsibility i doubt you want to have

specially since jelsoft isnt the one being paid

---------

i think donations are better, cuz you are not buying the product you are just making a donation to the cause, also what realy happens to any good hack sbeing made, they will all become retail, yes some newer hack-makers will release free, but the good ones will most likly all go retail
  #5  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 08:20
Reeve of shinra's Avatar
Reeve of shinra Reeve of shinra is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
I think that the proposal seems fair and seems to address many of the key points I've read during various discussions on the topic.

Now on a seperate but somewhat related topic, I remember reading about a new "hack repository" being introduced here on vb.org to help organize the many hacks and styles that have been released here. Can you elaborate on how this might tie into the above "link directory"?

While I am not sure how the directory will work, I know that I as a consumer would like the option of seeing whats available both for free and commerically (or either or given a users specific preference).
  #6  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 12:44
Floris Floris is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
About the liability.

One could imagine that besides a set of rules for submission, there will also be a set of rules for participation/download. vBulletin.org is a directory, listing the resources in exchange for a fee. If you use a resource this is not in relation to the web site at all. The author is responsible for his resource and I think people can agree upon the recommendation to always make a backup prior to making changes to their community. And are open to accept that vBulletin.org can not be held responsible for any damage to or data loss off ..

If I find through Google, and download a word document that has a macro virus in it, and my system gets screwed up, surely I can't hold Google responsible.

Anyway, I think we can assume there will be a paragraph stating that we're only responsible for displaying the links. And how we will handle disputes.

I can imagine the reviewers of the links will have the rights to modify, move or delete any links at any time for any reason. As they're the owners of the site. This to protect vBulletin.org in case of disputes, or if we find out someone posted resources that cause damage (like a hack backdoor).

(Am I making any sense here? haha) (back to my coffee)
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  #7  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 12:57
Lizard King's Avatar
Lizard King Lizard King is offline
 
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Real name: Mert
This is great news actually. Till i saw the first discussion i wanted something like this to happen because as a customer i would like to see all paid additions on one site. This may help us to choose which hack to purchase or not. I just ask couple suggestions.
If there will be a link directory then ,
* Members may be able to rate the scripts.
* Members may be able to reply to scripts threads about their opinions.
* No support post shall be allowed within the threads.
* In order to purchase a link from directory the coder must release some number of free hacks to vb.org . It might be any version for vbulletin but the main point is the coder actually helped vb.org previously.
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  #8  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 14:43
Daniel's Avatar
Daniel Daniel is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Real name: Daniel
Don't like the idea...

Intead of releasing hacks to the public that are free, they will turn into ones that you have to purchase.
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  #9  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 14:45
Princeton's Avatar
Princeton Princeton is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Real name: Joe Velez
First, I want to thank you for keeping us within the "loop". I'm just speaking for myself but it makes me feel more of an "insider" than an "outsider". (I hope this continues.)

Second, I think you made the best choice. I always said a DIRECTORY would be the best solution.

  1. It will increase traffic especially if the section is SEO.
    1. Will increase sales
    2. Will increase membership
    3. Will increase participation
    4. Will increase free available addons
  2. It decreases liability.
  3. Less man-power vs. the other mentioned solutions
  4. It offers MORE to all vBulletin owners.
Regarding Submissions

  • Allow submission of logo - great for branding (ADVERTISEMENT)
  • Payments should be on an annual basis.
    1. Ensures dead businesses are removed
    2. Increases revenue
  • Offer per link (ala kart) and membership (no limit on links)
  • Price wise - it should be high enough so that it discourages submissions from EVERYONE; but, low enough to be competitive.
  • It would be great if customers could sort links via (state/country) ... eg. used as a risk factor (some people would rather do business within a specific area)
  • Allow dynamic urls for tracking purpose
  • Display POPULAR/HOT based on hits
  • Display a RATING - based on a 1-5 stars rating
  • Do NOT allow commenting - that could get ugly; and, it may require man-power
With that said..

Free addons will never decline..

  • A good business person will continue adding free addons
    • It's the best way to advertise a business.
    • It's the best way to create good karma.
    • It's the best way to build a reputation.
Businesses come and go..
The business environment is very competitive. At any time, a business could close down ... no one can control the success of a business.

  • It's the customer's responsibilities to "shop" for the best business.

Create a usable interface...

Get feedback from a handful of people to ensure it's success. PLEASE PLEASE ... DO NOT HAVE ONLY STAFF/CODERS REVIEWING THE INTERFACE.
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  #10  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 15:02
Wayne Luke's Avatar
Wayne Luke Wayne Luke is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Real name: Wayne
Clarify some things here:

1) There is no liability. We will not be hosting these commercial addons on this site. The links will be links to the Author's webpage. There is no more liability for a dead link than there is for Google or Yahoo having dead links in their directory.

2) Fees will be available on a monthly and yearly basis. The exact fees haven't been determined yet. All income earned will go to benefit this site, either for additional software needed over the long term or to support the staff.

3) There is no proof that commercial software will eliminate free of charge addons. In fact software markets suggest the exact opposite is happening in the world. Commercial Offerings are becoming scarcer as companies merge or drop products while free of charge software is becoming more prevalent. This is not a trend but something that can be traced over the last 20 years. There is a place for both, even addons in both commercial and free of charge that do the same thing by different authors. Look at phpBB. It is successful and was originally released after vBulletin. Not to mention other free forum systems out there.

And this resets the comments.
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  #11  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 15:24
sabret00the's Avatar
sabret00the sabret00the is offline
 
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Real name: sabe
You mention the license system? does this mean that only registered members will be able to see?

Ok my opinion on addition to the directory should be a level of community involvement, i.e they must be a regular poster and must have released at least one hack for three for the current vBulletin version. i like your idea about discounts for more active hackers, that could perhaps be reduced if they're a master coder or something.

all in all it's great news, thank you

what wouldn't have been a bad idea thinking about it would've been to run the directory on a third party site and add that to the links at the bottom of the forum index and depending on how much traffic that directory got, integrate it here.
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Last edited by sabret00the; 08 Dec 2005 at 15:26.
  #12  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 15:59
KW802's Avatar
KW802 KW802 is offline
 
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Good to see this thread! As soon as the rates are listed I'll be putting it into the advertisting budget.

The only suggestion I would have is to *not* do a rating type system. If one is done what will happen is that it'll turn into a mess with people trashing products they don't like (because they prefer something else) or even competitors trying to make their competition look bad. Taking a cue from Microsoft & other companies that list 3rd party vendors they simply provide a listing and let the customers decide on their own.
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  #13  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 16:59
noppid noppid is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Why would someone pay to be in a closed directory that only vBulletin owners can see and on a resource that not all vBulletin users access?

Why would the directory be closed? Does Jelsoft not think that quality add-ons could increase sales? But if the add-ons are secret, how would perspective customers know of the things they can do to enhance their vB forums?

This is the most rediculous attempt to take advertising money I've ever heard.

BTW, What's in it for those of us that release and fix hacks at or above the rate of some moderators? I'm not knocking moderators, I'm bringing up the so called rewards that come with being an active helpful member. I've heard them mentioned many many times, but have not seen this reward. Am I supposed to have a good feeling in my belly or something?
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Last edited by noppid; 08 Dec 2005 at 17:21.
  #14  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 17:24
The Geek's Avatar
The Geek The Geek is offline
 
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Fantastic to see this thread and its contents. The proposal so far seems very logical, fair and balanced.

I would prefer some type of rating system, however I easily concede that unless thought through it could be possibly twisted. However Ratings help one to get an insight into whether the product is well supported, decent value, etc... and can be used as a very constructive tool for customers. That said, I do agree that comments can get messy and ugly.

I think the directory would be best categorized by functionality. Each author can submit where applicable. A log would be good, product name, description and a link, however if the person viewing is not a licensed vB user, redirect them to a permission denied page.

I also think that having the author be able to update the version number a last updated information could be useful (could be really useful to keep a browsable history of this information). Not a big deal - just thinking aloud

I hope that custom programmers and style makers will also contribute to the directory, thereby making it an easy resource for customers to find the people they are after.
  #15  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 18:00
joeychgo's Avatar
joeychgo joeychgo is offline
 
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Real name: Joey
Not sure I like the fee part.

Personally - and I know this wont be popular with some of you, but i think there should be a free 'lite' version of the software before being allowed to advertise it.

-or-

Make it free for everyone to post a vB related product or service -


What about the little guy who just makes a few skins? I dont know what you plan to charge but maybe they cant afford it. They wold be closed out of the loop entirely.

Where do lines get drawn? What about signatures? Would The Geek not be allowed to advertise in his sig? or only if he bought an ad? What if he's advertising his vB forum, which is only for pupose of support of his product? If he is allowed to have his ad in his sig, then why buy the ad?

Would this be only for vB hacks? What about a hack that doesnt require vb to operate such as photopost (before they got vbgallery) - What about custom coders? would they have to pay to advertise too? If they're allowed, what about people offering to install vb for less then jelsoft charges?

Seems to me there are ALOT of questions.

Why not JUST do this --

Leave things as they are - except - make a forum where anyone can post anything about a vb related product or service they're offering. Just like the regular hacks. One thread per product / service. List in the description of the forum that vB and vB.org do not endorse anything listed there, and then call it a day.

I dont sell anything, so This doesnt really apply to me. Just pointing out a few thoughts.....

.
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