Open Source Marketplace: SourceForge’s Long Tail and Blueprints

Savio Rodriguez in response to my post about the post about the SourceForge’s initiative, said that, being SourceForge the place where to look for if interested in OSS products, the idea of making a marketplace out of it sounds quite natural. Rodriguez addressed also other interesting issues.

For emerging projects or for projects with a small development team/community, a majority of the 144,548 projects on SF (i.e. Longtail projects), getting included in the Marketplace would make a lot of sense. [..]
Experience tells me that customers are cautious when it comes to spending money. When they do, they want to spend with vendors that have a strong future. So, for longtail projects on SF, I’m not sure that the SF Marketplace will change much of this customer behaviour.

I just received SourceForge Update: 2007-03-30 Edition email, and in the top 25 projects’ list there is about no trace of large projects who already have support & services business attached. I know that is not easy to turn a user in a customer, but many are downloading packages that do need some work to be setup in a working environment.

Blueprint Blueprint by sweetsexything

Alex Fletcher commenting Savio’s post come out with some examples of the diversity of use cases for open source, showing how an open source package can be a key component within customized solutions, regardless if are developed in house or otherwise.

Commenting the examples Alex wrote:

The associated process involved much more than downloading and running an executable version, but did not entail the purchase of a commercial version or indemnification protection from a vendor. [..] This is exactly what needs to be standardized for open source products across the board.

I do totally agree, but the construction of open implementation standards could be highly expensive. SMEs, creating and supporting most of the commercial open source products in the “long tail” are not going to do that, because too busy with daily activities. In this respect the previously mentioned Observatory of European SMEs finded that:

Small firms have a short-term perspective and expect quick and concrete results.

Could eventually SF help them to get paid to produce vertical, clear, good blueprints?

Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, SourceForge, Marketplace, blueprint