Developer Diary 16: How Do I Plan To Monetize The Open Mic?

Money.

The root of all evil they call it.

Rightfully so, I guess.

We live in the world where every single thing has been commercialized or designed to generate profit.

Sports? Commercialized.

Art? Commercialized.

Science? Commercialized.

Medicine? Commercialized.

We build and create beautiful things with one single goal — make a profit.

Ok, maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I think every artist, every creator would admit that money is always one of the major factors that stimulate people. Along with fame, recognition and desire to change the world.

And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In our society, good intentions and altruism can go hand in hand with a desire to make a decent living or do what you love while being paid for that.

As long as everyone is happy.

So… what about The Open Mic? Was it designed to generate profit?

I’m not going to lie to you.

I thought about it. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking about it all the time.

And it’s a normal. If you’re a business owner you’ll understand me.

Because no matter how altruistic this platform is, now matter how good my intentions are, at the end of the day, I have a family to feed.

And it’s really hard to do when you’re investing 100% of your time into building and managing something that is designed to be free for all.

So I thought about monetizing The Open Mic. I thought long. I thought hard.

And I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?

Right?

When I look at all those platforms, websites and apps that use the word “Free” in their marketing, I always know something’s up.

Because I know that nothing is free. Someone always has to pay.

And as a user of many free services I always leave disappointed.

Because there’s always a catch.

There are always limitations.

There are always paywalls.

When I see something “Free” I always spend at least 10 minutes until I find the Pricing Plan hidden somewhere.

I think I’m not the only one who does that.

People are not stupid, you know.

They understand that no matter how epic the platform is, sooner or later they’ll have to pay.

They’ll have to pay when they need to use extra features, or when they’ll run out of free plan’s limits.

And as a user I know that these kinds of business models suck.

They work, they bring profit, but they suck.

They suck because they lack honesty and transparency. They trick you into believing that something magical can happen for free and then they crush your dreams.

And maybe you don’t really mind paying those 5, 10, 20 bucks a month for something you really like, but there’s always that bitter aftertaste in your mouth.

Because of how the whole relationship with this brand, service or product was built on a lie.

A white lie, maybe, but a lie nevertheless.

I don’t want that for The Open Mic.

That’s why I’m writing this post. I want to start a new trend in the translation industry.

A trend of honesty and transparency.

Because we need this. This is the only thing that can make this whole venture successful.

Honesty and transparency.

The Open Mic is free for everyone to join. We don’t have paid membership. We don’t charge our members for promoting their profiles and content.

You can share your articles, you can create profiles, you can communicate with your clients and colleagues on The Open Mic for free.

We don’t ask you to pay for your stories to be featured, we don’t ask you to buy a membership in order to promote your profiles to clients.

All new features that will be introduced or developed in the future will be available to all members at no charge.

I want to make The Open Mic the only community on the web that takes care of its members without trying to set limits or rip them off.

This probably doesn’t make any sense from a business perspective.

But I want to give it a shot. I think we can build something magical together.

So… How Do You Plan To Monetize The Open Mic?

I still didn’t answer that question, didn’t I?

Truth is… building and managing The Open Mic costs money.

Hosting, development, support, adding new features — all of those things need some serious financial investments.

For the time being I cover all of the expenses myself and I have every intention to keep doing this for as long as it takes.

But I have to admit that this cannot last forever.

You probably understand that too.

That’s why I’ll need your help. I’ll need your help in the future.

The fate of The Open Mic will be entirely in your hands.

I’ll be running annual or semi-annual fundraising campaigns. Where you’ll be able to show your support.

I know that some of my more skeptical readers would argue that this idea won’t yield any results.

But I want to try this.

I’m a believer.

I believe that translation community is actually very kind and caring.

We love supporting each other and we love helping other people.

And that’s what The Open Mic is about: spreading great knowledge and helping other people.

It’s a great cause and people would appreciate our efforts.

The fate of The Open Mic will be entirely in your hands.

But something tells me it’s in good hands.

This post was originally published on The Open Mic — the most inspiring community for translators and interpreters.

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