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Re: [tlug] kickstarter for open source...

Edward Middleton writes:

 > To be honest, what I see as being mostly ignored in all this is the 
 > effort involved in finding the couple of thousand people willing to 
 > spend a couple of dollars.

That's exactly the hoped-for value in Kickstarter, of course: reducing
that cost.  My main points are that

(1) looking at Kickstarter itself, I don't see it as being a very good
    way to communicate the existence of a project to people who don't
    already know about it, and

(2) even as a way of allowing kuchikomi to snowball into funding as
    friends tell friends about Kickstarter projects, as crowdfunding
    becomes more popular there will be more projects chasing more or
    less the same amount of money.

 > For your mailman example above, the question would be, how many
 > people actually use mailman in a way where a better spam filter
 > would be worth $1 in saved effort.

No, although that is an interesting question, that's really not the
question I wanted to answer.  If it were I'd have been using different
examples.  In fact, I am sure that there are plenty of people who
would find more than $1 worth paying.  And if the Mailman developers
wanted money more than a project to be proud of[1], I'm sure we could
get a couple $K pledged for 2/3 as much investment.  The point here is
entirely rate of return, which will not come close to 10 to 1.

The reason why it's not plausible that a one-hour investment could get
a bunch of downloads in the Mailman case is simple.  Mailman already
has simple regexps for filtering, and there's an easily available
add-on to allow Mailman to invoke SpamAssassin from Mailman.  The
complaints are that these aren't good enough or simple enough.

[1]  Adding better spamfiltering to Mailman is very much like adding
virus checkers to Windows.  It reduces performance of the main
software, and there are better ways of accomplishing the same goal
that should be implemented first.

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