Disclaimer: this is a bit of a shiny object for me. It’s a side project that I threw up in an hour last Friday and since then it picked up some traction within my community (Magento developers), and I’ve iterated on it a bit since then.
So you probably shouldn’t encourage me too much to spend time on this
So basically I initially threw it up as a listing of developers with the ability to upvote other developers. In the Magento community we have a bit of a problem with undersupply of quality developers and there are a lot of shady ones out there that end up getting work. Which I’m sure is the case for most if not all technologies / platforms out there.
A few features later, I’m seeing this as being the dribbble for the Magento developer community. (more info here if you’re curious: https://github.com/kalenjordan/magehero/issues/33).
I’ve been starting to think a little bit about monetization, and thought it would be interested to see if you guys had any ideas.
Couple of constraints on monetization.
I wouldn’t want to charge money for it and just straight up take the money myself benefiting off the backs of the developers (many of them friends / acquaintenances of mine) who volunteered their information to be listed in the directory. If at some point in the future I could take a little percentage or something and everyones wins that would be great.
I literally said on my podcast that came out the other day (when describing it a day after I launched it): “I’m not planning to make any money on this, it’s just an open source community project”.
Since then I got a little bit excited about potential monetization b/c of the traction that it got but I still want any monetization to be in the spirit of benefiting the whole community.
So for example, I had one person interested in sponsoring it already. Probably not much money but what I’ll probably do is put that money in an account and keep all the transactions public so everything is transparent (is that possible with bitcoin?)
And then I was thinking of putting 100% of that money towards an SEO campaign for “magento developer”. This is something that would be in the best interest of everyone in the communiy as it would help to surface up quality developers (as well as their own profiles) to people searching for devs.
Currently, odesk shows up as basically the top result and that’s not something that we as a community are in love with.
The project is also open source and I’ve begun to get contributions from people.
One thing that might be neat would be a Clarity-style situation where clients could pay through the site to book developers.
But another constraint is that the majority of the developers listed on the site are not actually available for work. Finding a good Magento developer with any kind of availability is pretty much like finding a unicorn (although I think MageHero may help with that! Already have a nice little listing of upvoted available devs: http://magehero.com/available).
So most people won’t actually want new work. But I’m thinking that if there were a way to help them filter / qualify incoming leads and basically make their life easier, that could provide some value even for very in-demand developers.
If you guys have any thoughts on other monetization models, would be interested to hear!
By the way, there is a designer in the community that has a sweet design (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B0-GpjrIQAAsTDr.png:large) in the works. Because this was just a side project for fun, I specifically didn’t spend any time trying to make it pretty myself.
p.s. I’m in @coreysnipes 's mastermind and I’m sure he will give me a talking-to about shiny objects