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