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jimdango2

Request to add a sub forum for paid services solicitations

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I am quite happy to have been proved wrong. Thanks Harald.

 

Regards

Jim

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not sure how this 'commercial support' or 'channel' or 'sub-forum' (or whatever fancy word one may come up with) means. i shall wait and see. does this 'commercial support' only open to the currently a handful of 'community sponsors'? some of whom look very much like purely online business owners who have no interest or expertise in technical support be it either 'commercial' or 'free'.

 

Ken

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Hi Ken..

 

Any forum member can post their commercial enquiry in the new channels, whether it be a small job to have something fixed urgently or to help develop a new shop with customizations.

 

Forum members will only see their own topics in the channel. Other topics from other members are hidden.

 

Only Community Sponsors and Corporate Sponsors are able to see every topic from every member and can contact them to offer their services.

 

Not all Community Sponsors are developers - those that are, are more than capable of providing direct technical support.

 

Our users now have the following options to receive commercial support:

  • Corporate Sponsors
  • Commercial Support forum channels
  • Live Chat

Kind regards,

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I am just suprised that has been sorted so quick. It took months and months of complaints just to get a but of text to say version 3 was for developers only. Lets hope that the newest version of oscommerce comes along just as quick. Usually things take years to get moving.

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Hello Harald

 

thank you for the reply. it now seems i understand it quite correctly, ie, this 'commercial support channel' ONLY opens to community sponsors (and the other kind of sponsors most of whom would not have much interest) with regard to offerinng/accepting job openings/requests. eg, a member John Doe wants to hire someone to do a bit of work on his webshop and he posts a fee-paying request/enquiry, then only John Doe and *community sponsors* can see John Doe's request. other 99.9% of members are irrelevant and will always see the 'commercial support' with zero topic and zero replies despite now at least John Doe has posted an enquiry, because they are neither John Doe nor 'community sponsors'. or i am missing something?

 

the relevant pages of this website seem to have the need to revise to reflect the unique privilege/advantage of being a sponsor.

 

....wonder why some are so keen to have this channel on...

Ken

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...

 

To give more choice to the community.

 

Users of osCommerce can now find the professional help they need, if they wish to do so, via this forum (the best place to find an expert in osC) rather than have to go to some external site and pick up a developer who has no clue what they are doing.

 

It's all about choice. There is nothing stopping people from doing what they have already done, and going to "lance" type sites.

 

What this new channel will cut down on is people who ask for professional help being spammed via PM. Those who don't have the required privileges to view the forum need to pay a few euros per month to be able to do so, and that small cost goes towards whatever Harald wants to put it to, be that site costs or beer or cake. Everyone is a winner, other than those developers who choose not to spend 10 euros per month to view the topics.

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well, not sure this 'commercial channel' forum would be the best place to find an expert in osC. i reckon 99% of those who have the expertise and have proved themselves to be among the best osc experts through the years on all the traditional 'channels' albeit not sponsors.

pitty it only costs a few £s to be a sponsor. imho, an insult to the community/receiver. had it be 10 folds plus of that money, i could consider to be a sponsor. :D

yep, one could choose to pay more but is it fair? no.

 

Ken

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I do wonder at this commercialization at this stage when it is very evident to me coming back here after my long absence how much quieter the forum is.

 

As it is reading the replies of some they're effectively saying here's a little snippet, pay me and I`ll give the whole story.

 

Too much commercialization could be the final straw to osC.

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i suspect 'community sponsors' would find them compete with people from the east, who would soon register as a 'sponsor@ (while its still cheap!), and then bid for the jobs on offer with the lowest fee yet reasonable coding skills (yes there are no shortage of good developers from that part of world - you know where IT/software jobs have been 'outsourced' to dont you?). abused is the word coming to mind.

 

Ken

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These new forums should be extended for hosting services etc as well.

 

In regards to the certification of developers, well what will make a developer certified? A test? Previous experience with osC? Education? Code development (even if done poorly)?

 

Certification is an interesting idea, but unless you have a set of controls, on going skills upgrades and liability issues (if Harald certifies a firm, does thsat make him liable as well?) this idea really is a non starter.

 

The idea of members posting requests in these new forums has been an idea talked about for 10 years (imagine I have been around that long now, wow). I see two sides to this, as Harald should attain something for this (he is working on the project and I do not see others offering to cover his wages), and to ensure it is of service to the community at large.

 

Yes users can go to other places, but these other places generally mean you will not find an osC coder who really specializes in osC and related technologies. Coming here is the logical choice for finding developers who really specialize in osC. I used to be here daily, but my life has been pretty busy lately and I have found less time here (and maybe facebook had an impact too) but I know where my roots are from and always like to come in when I can and offer an opinion or two on interesting topics.

 

So, I am glad Harald has decided to create these two new forums, I think it will bring balance and help to those who need it and those who do support osC. I also think Harald should monatize the service as he is offering something to these shop owners and they are the direct recipients of his work, his generousity and the community at large.

 

cheers :)

burt likes this

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Too much commercialization could be the final straw to osC.

 

Actually, this is the evolution of open source software. Other carts have already changed thier structures to generate income from the software that help them with the development of the software amoung other things. I would predict that this is just the first step in the climb towards a more commercial osCommerce project.

 

 

 

Chris

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I agree with Chris, and at the end of the day, this can only be good for oscommerce. If it takes money to get oscommerce up to date, why shouldnt the people who are binifitting from this new forum pay. The community sponser program prices are far too cheap for someone who will easily make the cost of sponsership back on the first job they get. Surely a percentage of the finished price would be better.

 

My other comment would have t p be what rating system is in place to allow a person asking for help to make a correct choice. I do hope there is something in place, if not the other forums will be full of 'do not use this person' type posts.

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i suspect 'community sponsors' would find them compete with people from the east, who would soon register as a 'sponsor@ (while its still cheap!), and then bid for the jobs on offer with the lowest fee yet reasonable coding skills (yes there are no shortage of good developers from that part of world - you know where IT/software jobs have been 'outsourced' to dont you?). abused is the word coming to mind.

 

Ken

 

This is precisely why I wanted some type of certification.

 

Even if that certification was as simple as; you have 500 posts of which 50% are helpful to others...now you can pay £$x and access the commercial forum

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.....'community sponsors', some of whom look very much like purely online business owners who have no interest or expertise in technical support be it either 'commercial' or 'free'.

 

Ken

 

community sponsorship is open to everyone, as stated here. Being a developer is not a prerequisite. I have been a community sponsor for quite some time as that's my way of saying thank you for all the help I've been getting here and for meeting some fantastic people.

 

Do I have expertise in technical support? no, I don't, but I do have interest in it being available, not so much for myself as I have found a terrific developer with whom I will stay, but for others who have not yet found the help they need.

It makes complete sense, in my view, to come to the official oscommerce forum and be able to ask for technical support.

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It will be interesting to see if the number of corporate sponsors increase now, as there are many capable people out there, some forum members, who are not currently listed. All that is missing now is some reliable system of reviews and ratings of sponsors.

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All that is missing now is some reliable system of reviews and ratings of sponsors.

 

I don't think that another system is required. The post counts and reputation system are two avenues that can be used to seek out reliable help.

 

This is precisely why I wanted some type of certification.

 

Although I don't think an elaborate system should be created, a minimum post count or minimum membership length might be a means to ensure some osCommerce knowledge is present before being able to 'quote' on members needs.

 

 

 

Chris

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i believe i certainly am not ignorant and surely know 'community sponsorship is open to everyone' BUT to my huge surprise, theres (currently at least) much fewer webshop owners sponsors than would be developer sponsors. webshop owners benefit directly the most from open source oscommerce software with minimum cost to own an onlineshop, whereas developers do not neccesarily need to be sponsors who make money by offering their time & expertise, as well as offering helps in these forums for nothing (sometimes dont even get appreciated by way of thankyou or feedback).

i would expect much more webshop owners (take the live shops, eg) to be community sponsors, and do not see much point for developers paying a few £s to be sponsors - dont get me wrong, you are still welcome to be a sponsor,and its 'legal' to be one. :)

 

Ken

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I think that the right to see and respond to commercial enquiries should not be connected to the "community sponsor" status. A community sponsor is just somebody who wants to support osCommerce with a small amount per month, not more not less.

 

Connecting this with the right to see commercial posts, follow the assumption that each one who is a community sponsor has a commercial interest in osCommerce it self. And that is not the case always

 

I think that it would be better to sell this right, to view and respond to commercial posts, separately, maybe as a new section of "commercial sponsors", it don't need even to be called a "sponsorship", because it's not in this case.

 

Regarding certifications or qualification indicators: This can be a very complicated thing, so I would suggest not to use any and leave the decision, like in any market, at the buyers and any criteria they want to use.

 

Indicators like post count and the so called "reputation" don't mean much in my eyes. What does the post count mean? Just that somebody made the x amount of posts. Does it say anything about the quality of the posts? No. The "reputation", the problematic part here is that it is called "reputation", it's in fact just a counter about how many "likes" somebody got. I personally got a "like" for a post asking "what version do you use" and not any for a post where I wrote a half tutorial. Does this make any sense?

 

An other point: If accepting post count and "reputation" points as quality indicators, what is the plan then to handle complains?

 

I remember that recently somebody was hunting after a forum member here, requesting his money back. I don't know about the issue and can't judge it, result was anyway, that all his posts got removed.

 

That was al right at that time, because the forum had nothing to do with any commercial agreements, but how will it be for agreements made through and because of this new commercial section?

 

All in all, I think this commercial system is a good idea. Lets not forget it is still a forum section and not a market place. It is about letting people post their commercial enquiries instead of telling them "go away".

 

Have a nice day all, leaning for Easter holidays, we are one week later in Greece

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A small suggestion...

 

Add a disclaimer on the new forum channels to the effect that the osCommerce team are not involved or in any way liable and that any job posted and agreed upon is a mater solely between the person posting the request and then one he/she chooses to perform the wanted tasks.

Biancoblu likes this

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