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8:39 am on Jun 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Thank you for the interest. The software is not available for sale at this time. I have no target date in mind for selling of the software. Yes, it is actively being worked on for that purpose, but I'm in no position time wise to promise a delivery date. You'll read about it here, if and when that becomes a reality. The interest shown has been highly encouraging.
6:14 pm on June 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I bet half of the members would buy it. Just don't make it outragious like $999.
3:44 pm on July 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Considering that the highest cost item of such software is the support, it has to be fairly high, just to cover the support expenses.
12:25 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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But if you make it free software, then you can build a community which will manage its own support, and even help with further development...
12:28 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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But if you make it free software, then you can build a community which will manage its own support

And tell me again how Brett will make a living by giving it away...??? :)

12:32 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I can appreciate your need to make some cash. You have been basically a nonprofit webmaster support person now for some years. But If you make it a couple hundred you will have more people who buy it. You should charge for support or have the option of purchasing it without support, but access to read the support forum.
12:36 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>free

I would give lots of things away free, but since physical space and downloads cost $, it would never happen :)

The software is worth money anyways....you could probably break down the coding here and use it elsewhere for different things (the site search/library/stickymail features etc)

I think the reason it is not available is because BT wants to perfect it IMO- and in light of that, perfection costs money ;) and anyone who wants a good forum board will know that money is a good way of expressing your interest for something :)

12:38 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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But the majority of people who would buy it, i.e. me, would use it for non-profit purposes. In which case, they wouldn't have $1000 to throw about. It has to be reasonably priced otherwise people will go for the free option of EZBoards etc.
12:41 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I can't speak for Brett, but here we go anyway:

- Nothing in this world is completely free
- You are not a good businessman if you give everything away for free
- IMO, you can't compare WebmasterWorld and EZboards or other forums out there.

>>>>non-profit purposes.

Try to write it off.

12:42 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I guess we're taking this thread off topic by changing it to "How to Value Your Product." :) Maybe that's a topic for another thread? Don't want to hijack this one...

<added> wow - four posts while I was writing that - I guess it's an interesting topic to more than just me...</added>

12:46 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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No, not as a non-profit business, as a personal hobby.
12:47 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I agree it should cost something. I think maybe you can get a version with WebmasterWorld branding or something for a lower more reasonale price for some of us slum lords.
12:56 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What's the market? What would be the anticipated number of copies sold at $1,000? At $500? At $100?

Balance those projected revenues against the cost of sales and the cost of support. Fewer sales at higher prices mean more profit and lower ongoing support costs.

What would be the potential market for this kind of software?

12:59 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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are there legal issues regarding the sale of the fdse site search facility?
1:24 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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incywincy if I remember correctly I think Brett said somewhere in the past he was going to make a new site search. (This is purely by memory and its possible it was in one of my many dreams about WW)

I would buy this software at a resonable price, but I am not sure 1000 or 500 is swingable. Just like Backus I would use it on hobby sites (actually have one right now that would work great for) so the cost would deffinatly way heavy on my purchase of it. I also am not holding my breath for the release of it, I think Brett is trying to makeit *perfect* before he releases it and I am not to sure he will ever view it as that. Much like most of us never view any of our coding as perfect.

2:25 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to continue the off-topic direction, but I don't think making the product freeware would be a great idea either from Brett's viewpoint or for effective user support.

One approach that Discusware seems to use effectively is a free version that lacks key features (auto registration, e-mail notification, etc.), and a paid version that includes them.

Another approach used by some software vendors is a timed free demo - includes all features, but times out after 30 days. People really expect software to be "try before you buy" these days. WebmasterWorld members would have enough comfort with the product to not need that assurance, but the typical web surfer looking for software expects some kind of free download.

Establishing the price point is tricky, too. I'd go with a low intro price for a limited time to get adoption going. When the software was fairly bullet-proof and had numerous operating sites, eliminate the intro offer.

2:30 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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typical web surfer looking for software expects some kind of free download.

No argument there. :) But is that the target market?

2:43 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I misspoke... I meant the "typical webmaster looking for software" (who has no previous knowledge of WebmasterWorld). I know that when I'm investigating a new software category, I'll start by getting a list of some players (through WebmasterWorld, dmoz, Google, or some other resource), and visit each site quickly. I'll evaluate the quality of the author's site and implementation of the software. If that one is bad, I'll move on immediately. If I'm still interested after seeing the product in action, I'll visit a few "reference" sites. If they look OK, I'll download the software trial and move on to the next one... Ultimately, I'll probably do quick installs of the top two or three just to see what the user interface is like and how difficult the product will be to fully configure.

If I have a winner, I'll round out the implementation and see how it works. If I like what I see, I'll pay for the upgrade to the full version.

I just did this with an ad rotation program. I ran it for 20 days, it served up hundreds of thousands of ads without a hiccup, so I gladly pulled out my credit card when it started to remind me that my software would expire in a few days.

2:53 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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my view is that I have a budget...I use it to buy things that are reliable, secure and make the site work more effectively than anything available for free...on those grounds if it were priced competitively I'd buy it like a shot
3:05 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Certainly one selling point is that BestBBS is search-engine-ready. Most of the customization hours I put into Discus were on SEO-type issues: generating custom page titles and meta tags, dealing with spiderability, and fixing the handling of direct SE referrals to unframed content. Most software authors seem to think search engines don't exist, or have a VERY limited understanding of how they work.
4:48 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>Just don't make it outragious like $999.

Though I have no financial ties to BestBBS whatsoever, if Brett sells it that cheaply I'll fly over to where he lives (Podunk, USA) and bean him. Even without the fact that it was coded, recoded, and re-recoded to make it sugar-coated spider bait, from a member/moderator/admin perspective it is the best piece of board coding out there. You should see the management power tools available, it fairly bristles with them. BestBBS is Fortune 1000 enterprise grade, and that's where I expect to see it go first --my bet will be part and parcel of a massive intranet project. If I had it, it'd be licensed annually, not sold.

6:09 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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BestBBS is Fortune 1000 enterprise grade,

I think that is the target market.

1:26 am on Aug 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Any plans in the future for avatars?
1:30 am on Aug 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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develclint welcome to WebmasterWorld! My best suggestion would be to read this topic Suggestion: Please add a poll option to a thread [webmasterworld.com] it will most likely give you your answer. My guess is probably not, but it probably has the ability.
10:56 am on Sept 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Just an observation Brett: if your looking for beta testers who would use it on non-commercial sites, you've got the right audience here.
11:38 am on Sept 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks rfgdxm1 - might take you up on that in the not-too-distant-future. The back end is finally done! I've got one more major set of adjustments to the current setup to do.

>avatars

Show me a way to do it in a secure fashion, and I'll consider it. As it is now, there is no way I will put a gapping security threat known as "file upload" in to this software. That's all I have to say about that for security sake.

11:52 am on Sept 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>avatars

My experience is that this also leaves you open to all kinds of copyright violations. I've lost count of the number of people I know who have had their work ripped off and used as an avatar. A lot of the time the pictures were distributed and redistributed until the person using them had no idea they were originally stolen. I know the members here aren't the type to be involved in this kind of thing but why even risk it?

1:48 pm on Sept 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Count me in as a buyer, now to start a little part-time job :)
5:00 pm on Sept 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I agree with rogerd: there are so few forum scripts producing plain html pages around (the only one I can think of is WebBBS, but it doesn't have 1/10th of the features of BestBBS --not quite sure if UBBS has that feature, too), that I believe the core value of this software would be its unmatched spider-friendliness. So, Brett, when you decide to make it available, make sure you position it on the SE's using the keyphrase "spider friendly forum"! ;)

BTW, one thing that I've always wanted to ask is: does the current version actually write .htm files, or are those just mod_rewritten URLs? Also, is the backend a MySQL db or still a flat ASCII file?

Keep up the great work and please add me to your list of potential customers.

5:05 pm on Sept 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I think it's still flat files for the backend...
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