As the web grows users are getting better at tuning out obvious ads. So ads will get more insidious, and more and more businesses will be built off a missing features and shadow brand built on the back of the goodwill from sharing and open source.
One guy got angry at me claiming that I was providing conflicting information, because he read the blogger's guide to seo and saw that I recommended using Wordpress but also recommended avoiding using Wordpress.com. I am not the one who created that shadow brand, but I do realize that is has the potential to be enormously profitable.
Pligg, an open source software program similar to Digg, recently went up for sale but did not sell. Now Pligg is has some plug ins available from the official Pligg pro store. One of them is a list of known spamming domains.
As software licensing costs fall, the keys to selling software are to:
- create an open source core that does your marketing and builds a large userbase
- have some dynamic updating data service
- lack essential features that people can buy as a bolt on (this is essentially your software licensing fee, but it is cloaked)
- lock in user data (though this is short term - the smartest users will refuse to use it)
- provide an easy to use for dummies version that makes it easier to charge people for easily automated services
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