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I'm not a hobbyist...

edited May 2012 in Feedback

Have you noticed lately, when you click on the Vanilla download link, you're presented with two options:

Hobbyists: Download Now Big Communities: See Plans and Pricing

I support a community of more than 15,000 members sending hundreds of thousands of messages per month. This is not a hobby.

Vanilla's paid plans look like a great option for an organization that does not have the in-house staff to integrate and manage a robust forum solution, and I would probably consider one of them if our integration and security requirements were less complicated.

Does Vanilla really look at me as a "Hobbyist", someone who is tinkering with this software for fun? I've devoted hundreds of hours to learning this software, made several useful posts on Vanilla's developer forums (and some not so useful, like this one), and made a commitment to helping improve an excellent Open Source platform.

Basically, I'm doing Vanilla's R&D for free.

So, am I the only professional developer building a large, internally hosted community, who is slightly insulted by Vanilla's new "marketing strategy"?

I want them to make pot loads of money from their hosted platform, but calling me a "hobbyist" makes me leery of referring less technically savvy clients to them for a turn-key solution. It also makes me question the support I'm giving their open source efforts.

Vanilla, please change your marketing of your Open Source download compared to your paid services. You're insulting your developer community and devaluing your Open Source efforts.

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Comments

  • seriously??

    grep is your friend.

  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff

    People see "free" and think "oh sweet I can do that!" and they get themselves into a heap of trouble and come back asking for help again. This is especially true of non-technical business owners. That seemed the best terminology to communicate to those people that downloading forum software is not a quick DIY project.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

  • I should put (php) developers and leave it at that.

    grep is your friend.

  • @Lincoln, I think you're missing an opportunity here. When they get themselves in a heap trouble and come back to you for help, either direct them to your paid service, or pass them off to a Vanilla Solutions Provider (i.e., those of us who aren't hobbyists).

  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff

    First off, we've been using the hobbyist wording for I think over two years now. You're the only person that I know whose taken offense to that.

    Second off, it is not our intent to offend people with that wording, especially people like you that want to contribute to the project.

    As @lincoln has said though, most of the people that come here don't have any ability to code. This makes sense to me as most people that use the Internet don't have the ability to code. They are hobbyists (or whatever).

    Please know that we aren't a giant company with a marketing team picking over the language we use after focus-grouping every page we write. We are guys that are working hard every day to improve the software we love building. We are developers first, marketers second.

    UnderDog
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Hobbyist is an acronym for.

    Hosted on big boxes yielding independant server technology

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    I think switching the term to developers would be fine. Might even turn away a few of the people the really ought to opt for a hosted solution.

    That said, I wasn't offended. I'm just glad it didn't say "free loading hack programmers - click here"

    UnderDog
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    your 'click here' link isn't working LOL !

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

    UnderDog
  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    peregrine said: You requested a mod here it is 422.

    cut and paste this into your console and execute it. You should get your click :)

    jQuery(document).ready(function($) {
    $('p:contains(hack)').replaceWith('<a href="http://vanillawiki.homebrewforums.net/index.php/Main_Page">free loading hack programmers - click here </a>');
    });
    

    both funny and informative. i learned something, thanks.

    peregrine422UnderDogcandyman
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited May 2012

    If it weren't for you and your wiki - I probably wouldn't even be posting. I would have given up months ago.

    Monetary Donations will be appreciated if you use my plugins. Thanks in Advance.
    As a waiter gets a tip for a good meal, tips for successful solutions appreciated as well. Peregrine

  • I'm not a basket weaver.

    grep is your friend.

    Kasper
  • @Todd, I understand that you guys are focusing on development. I just want to make sure that, when I present Vanilla Forums to a client, the client doesn't come back to me the next day and say: "Why are you trying to sell me this cookie-cutter hobbyist (insert you favorite expletive)? Give me a professional-grade solution, like vBulletin or PHPBB. If you think my business is a hobby, I'll take it elsewhere."

    Oops.

    I appreciate you considering making the change, even if I'm the only person to complain. If you'd like some more "open source" marketing advise, I'm happy to share.

    aery
  • I understand that you guys are focusing on development. I just want to make sure that, when I present Vanilla Forums to a client, the client doesn't come back to me the next day and say: "Why are you trying to sell me this cookie-cutter hobbyist (insert you favorite expletive)? Give me a professional-grade solution, like vBulletin or PHPBB. If you think my business is a hobby, I'll take it elsewhere."

    I completely agree. If Vanilla is released as open source software, it should be treated as such.

    aery
  • x00x00 MVP
    edited May 2012

    sorry but what is not open source about hobbies?.

    Balderdash. OS is everything from rank amateur, to highly professional.

    Many os stuff is for the hobbyist and by extension professional for example Processing and Arduino.

    I hate people who try to pigeonhole OS (yes that includes GPL extremists).

    I have never really had a client make that complaint, and I've heard it all. I tend not sell a software in that way, you need to explain why it is useful to them. If it isn't don't use it.

    grep is your friend.

  • edited May 2012

    Yes, you can use open source tools for your hobbies.

    But you can use them for professional reasons too.

    At the end of the day, it might not be a big issue. But the fact remains that the word "hobbyist" doesn't give the impression (at least to me) that you are downloading a complete and powerful tool, ready to be used in professional situations.

    P. S. I am Lorenzo, the same person who wrote the previous comment. By mistake I logged in with another google account.

  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Next you will be arguing if it should be called a board not a forum, fgs you guys have too much time on your hands.

    To say your clients woudnt be impressed is bullshit.

    If your clients saw the word hobbyist, says little for your abilities as so called developers.

    Get over it and move on !

    P.s. Is badges being released !

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    422 said:

    P.s. Is badges being released !

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

  • UnderDogUnderDog Moderator

    422 said: P.s. Is badges being released !

    ooh... ooh... maybe we should have a weekly new topic about that in the discussion forum, to keep the topic 'alive'...

    We already have a trigger installed that once a topic about 'badges' get started or bumped to the top, a text message gets sent to 422 in the middle of his night... ( LOL )

    422
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Thats wot that ding ding noise is every five minutes!

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

    peregrineUnderDog
  • I wonder if 422 got the latest text message http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/20297/are-badges-included-in-the-self-hosted-version#latest

    underdog - is there anyway you could add "questiions about wordpress installation problems" also to the text messaging system to 422 That was all supposed to be included in the 1000 badge, i thought. Must be a glitch, probably should make a pull request.

    Monetary Donations will be appreciated if you use my plugins. Thanks in Advance.
    As a waiter gets a tip for a good meal, tips for successful solutions appreciated as well. Peregrine

    qwenty422UnderDog
  • 422422 Developer MVP

    Was wondering if you would E X P L O D E if i hit the abuse boooooton lol

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff

    I can see the community now has a full fledged peanut gallery. And by the looks of it we give out points for corny jokes.

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    Todd said: I can see the community now has a full fledged peanut gallery. And by the looks of it we give out points for corny jokes.

    welcome to forum gamification.

    UnderDog
  • 422 said: Next you will be arguing if it should be called a board not a forum, fgs you guys have too much time on your hands.

    To say your clients woudnt be impressed is bullshit.

    If your clients saw the word hobbyist, says little for your abilities as so called developers.

    Get over it and move on !

    @422, I have a lot of respect for the work you do with Vanilla and the information you share on this forum, but profanity and name-calling are unprofessional and counter-productive.

    My stakeholders may not always be technical, but they are savvy enough to ask questions and perform due diligence in any software acquisition, particularly when the product is open source, which (depending upon the licensing model) could have serious intellectual property ramifications.

    I never hide that I'm using open source software, and I encourage project sponsors to support organizations developing open source software by donating funds equal to the value earned from using that software. It's hard to get a CFO to put up enterprise class dollars for open source software on any day, but it's an even bigger challenge when that software (based on marketing) appears to be built for amateurs.

    No matter how great a developer I am, or how slick a salesman I am, it's a real challenge to overcome the stigma of "Hobbyist" software. Based on my experience with my current Vanilla project, when a stakeholder brought up the "Hobbyist" question, it resulted in several more hours of non-productive (and non-billable) back-and-forth competitive product comparison and alternative demonstrations to justify my original recommendation of Vanilla.

    Ultimately, the decision comes down to my reputation and the project sponsor's trust in my ability to deliver a professional-grade solution. I don't consider my reputation to be BS, and I don't consider Vanilla Forums to be BS.

    leafmonster
  • Ok time to bury the hatchet I think.

    Savy or not client don't always get it right, it is up to you to explain it to them. If it not that they pick up on it is something else.

    grep is your friend.

  • 422422 Developer MVP

    @curtisoden

    My comments were not merely directed at you, and they werent intended to be personal.

    I was being generic and ironic.

    Whilst i still dont get it, i stand firm.

    The word hobbyist has absolutely no merit as a stumbling block.

    Its like the word DIY

    I am sure the many millions of ultra qualified builders that use diy stores at one time or another look down on the amateur minions and revolt at they themselves being pidgeon holed as mere diy'ers.

    But its a term, not a title. Time to move on.

    My question is it could have been termed, Gardner. As the software is riddled with reference to garden.

    422 Real Estate Australia , now open Check it out

  • AoleeAolee Hobbyist & Coder ✭✭

    I'm a developer+hobbyist :)

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