Open source business models, part one: Remove paid links

31. August 2007

Mark, the creator of a popular open source forum script named Vanilla, implanted three paid links into his product. Shady links to PPC sites, to be precise.

Matt was embarrassed, and after a few days of back-and-forth Mark removed those links. Matt was pleased and donated one thousand dollars to fund the development of Vanilla.

Which opens a whole new range of business opportunities for open source projects.

You could find me wagging my head this whole day, desperately trying to come up with a method which would save me from all the hassles that come bundled with the need for a link-and-unlink arrangement with the owners of three spammy sites, and let me proceed right through to the final step: Collect 1,000 dollars from Matt for not including paid links into the next Textpattern release. Still thinking…

By the way, does anybody know of a channel where I could report this issue of “money changed hands to influence the search engine rankings” to Google? The only thing close to that requirement is Google’s paid links reporting form – but how am I supposed to report payments for non-links?

(Image: McBeth)