Project SOS -- Support Open Source
Project SOS (Support Open Source) is all about supporting free and open source software developers and projects. This project started with SEO Company putting aside a budget of $5,000 to donate to open source developers.
Other companies started expressing an interest in making donations and it was quickly realized that this was a service that the free and open source software community needed.
My aim for this project is to help raise $500,000 to $1,000,000 USD for free and open source software developers and projects. SEO Company has increased its budget to $10,000 and is personally making a donation of $50 or more to each project on the list of free and open source software projects that it is currently compiling.
The scope of Project SOS is to have 100 to 200 companies donate $50 to 100 different FOSS projects. I am putting together a list of 200 projects so each project on the list will get 50 to 100 donation of $50 each if I meet the projected target of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in donations (100 to 200 donors giving $5000 each). As of May 30th I have commitments from 4 companies to give $5000 each and I have made a commitment to give $10,000 over the next 3 or 4 months (this is noted below in Project SOS History).
SEO Company will not be accepting any donations directly but will be generating a PayPal Mass Pay file for the companies wanting to make donations. Donors will import the Mass Pay file into their PayPal account using the "Make a Mass Payment" option and then make a batch payment. It will be fast simple and safe!
The PayPal Mass Pay file will include an entry for each project with the developers' or projects' PayPal email, the donation amount, and the acknowledgement text that will be placed acknowledging the company making the donation.
I have purchased the PSOS.CA domain and it will be pointed at this page so it will be easier for you to find your way back here. PSOS stands for Project Support Open Source.
If you have a free and open source software project and you want it to be added to the list of Open Source projects needing donations contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be putting up a form shortly where free and open source software developers can submit projects that need support. The only requirements are a PayPal account and a Website with a page where you can post a donation acknowledgment to the company donating.
If you have any questions about this project you can contact me at email@example.com or +1-519-636-6636.
Requirements To Get On The Project SOS List
- The project must have a website.
- You must place an acknowledgment of each donation on your site.
- Your project must be currently active and have produced a software product.
- Your software product must be released under a free open source software license and this must be stated somewhere on your site.
- You must have a PayPal address or PayPal service that donations can be sent to.
Questions Asked When You Apply To Get On The Project SOS List
- Will you be able to place an acknowledgement of each donation on your website?
- What page would you be putting the acknowledgement on?
- What is your PayPal account email?
- What license is your software project released under (GPL, BSD, GNU, or what ever) and what is the URL of the page where the license information is posted?
- What was the date of the first version of your software?
- How many different versions of the projects software have been released?
- Is your project currently active?
Project SOS History
- 06-01-06: I got behind on a number of my SEM consulting projects so I haven't worked on Project SOS for the last week. I think I have one more donor coming online sometime this week. I put out a spec for the registry and backend tracking of donations. If you are a quality PHP/MySQL coder and use an MVC templating system this would be a nice small project for you. Those of you that have sent in emails expressing a desire to be placed on the Project SOS donation list please be patient, I will be getting to you shortly. Currently I have approved 65 projects and have personally donated $3450.
- 05-25-06: I am working on a spec for the Project SOS backend. I will be recording stats on the FOSS projects that are being supported. The type of license of their project, date started, how many versions have been released, people working on the project, and how many downloads. I am also working on getting a donation gauge that will show the progress of donation commitments and donations sent out. I am looking for a full time coder/marketing person to help me with this project. My other work is currently suffering and I was up all night last night answering the backlog of over 300 emails. Help!
- 05-25-06: Just received a commitment from another firm to make $5000 in donations over 2.5 months (10 donations per week). That's $30,000USD raised in commitments so far.
- 05-25-06: My company is a small company of 4 full time people and number of other personal that are part time or on contract. This project is taking up quite a bit of my time. I need to build some PHP/MySQL submission forms and tracking forms for this Project. If some one that uses Smarty, Fast Templating or a MVC templating system is looking for some work or wants to donate some help let me know.
- 05-25-06: 61 projects are now receiving support from Project SOS. I have sent out $3,250 of my $10,000 budget. That 32.5% of the budget in the first month. I have commitments from 3 companies for $5000 each. So $25,000 in commitments in the first month. I am very happy with the progress!
- 05-24-06: I shared this project with one of the top marketing people in the SEM industry last week and they told me my requirement for an acknowledgment was sleazy. I am seriously considering dropping this requirement. Most project leaders that I have talked to were happy to give an acknowledgment. One of the reasons why I have made it a requirement is so I can tell donors that they will get an acknowledgment with every site they make a donation to.
- 05-24-06: I have come up with list of requirements for a FOSS project to be accepted. I also have posted a list of questions that I will be asking each project to answer. They have been posted at the top of this dated information.
- 05-24-06: Received my 3rd commitment of $5000 today. The first company has started making donations already and is doing 10 per week, the 2nd company has started making donations today with 10 donations a month, and 3rd company is waiting until I have 100 FOSS projects on my list and has committed to donate $5000 in one batch. That's $25,000 USD raised in commitments so far. For those that have responded to the form emails Chris has sent out please be patient. I will get to you soon.
- 05-20-06: I changed the content of the email that we were sending out and I am now swamped with over 100 requests to be put on the project list. Projects are starting to find the Project SOS page and applying to be put on the list. I will be answering all requests with a form letter shortly which allow me to answer all enquires.
- 05-15-06: Chris contacted another 188 FOSS projects last week.
- 05-11-06: Received my 2nd commitment for a $5000 donation (10 sites or $500 a month). Again I help the client prepare the PayPal Mass Pay file and they import it into their PayPal account and make the donations via batch. That is $20,000 USD in commitments and the project is less that 3 weeks old.
- 05-10-06: Received the first commitment of a $5000 donation today (10 sites or $500 a week). I am currently talking with 3 other companies for a $5000 donation each.
- 05-09-06: The issue of whether this is a link sell came up on digg. I make it clear that donations will be made whether the open source project gives a link or not. Also make it clear that Chris is not selecting the sites we are donating to based on their Pagerank value. I told Chris to leave the Pagerank bar off!
- 05-08-06: One of the developers SEO Company sent a donation to posted this project on digg.com.
- 05-08-06: Made a decision not to accept donations directly. I will provide a customized PayPal Mass Pay file to each company that wants to make a donation. This file can be used to make a batch payment.
- 05-08-06: Looking over 232 open source projects was fun. It is amazing the projects that are out there.
- 05-08-06: Getting good response! Have donated $1000 to 16 projects so far.
- 05-07-06: Made $50 the minimum donation and re-donated to projects that got below that amount.
- 05-06-06: Bob day dreams about this project getting slash dotted :)
- 05-06-06: SEO Company increases their donation budget to $10,000 for 2006.
- 05-06-06: Chris sent out 181 requests this week.
- 05-05-06: Put up this page and purchased PSOS.CA to point at this page (easier to find).
- 05-04-06: Came up with the name Project SOS.
- 04-29-06: Chris sent out 51 requests this week.
- 04-25-06: SEO Company approves budget of $5,000 to donate to Open Source Projects.
- 04-24-06: SEO Company makes first donation.
- 04-24-06: Hired Chris full time to contact Open Source projects.
- 04-23-06: Project SOS started in Bob's brain.
Project SOS Q&A
--A: I spent a lot of time from 1999 and 2003 working on Linux in my home office lab. I worked with Daniel Robins for a short time after he had left Stampede to develop Enoch Linux. Together we came up with the name Gentoo, registered gentoo.org in 2002 and I had some minor input into the ports type package system Robin's developed.
I hosted a few domains on my own Redhat server that ran bind, qmail, and apache behind a Cisco 1720 with a /29 network on a DSL connection. I keep up with Redhat, Debian, Mandrake, SUSE, and FreeBSD distributions (I had an install of each of them going) and spend a lot of time on the OpenProject IRC network before it was rename Freenode (hi Rob).
I moved on from my Open Source hobby and have developed a successful $250,000/year Internet business of Websites that are all running on Free and Open Source Software. I think it's only fair that I put something back into the open source community that has given my business so much and encourage others to do the same. Besides, think of all the problems I would be having if I had to run my business Websites on M$ Windows hosting :)
--Q: Where will you get the companies that will make the donations?
--A: As an Internet marketer I have lots of contacts in the industry. From the response I have received already from current clients and my marketing peers I don't think there is going to be much of a problem for me to find companies that would like to contribute to the list of Free and Open Source Software projects. --Q: How does the open source community know this is not a scam and you are just doing a rip on the back of Free and Open Source Software?
--A: No one has asked this question but I thought I should bring it up. Seeing as the amount of donations may exceed $500,000 I can see where this might be a question in people's minds. The answer is very simple. I am not going to be asking any companies to send me donation money, nor will I accept any donations for Free and Open Source Software projects. I will provide a PayPal Mass Pay file for the companies that want to make donations. The Mass Pay option in PayPal allows for batch payments to be made. The files will contain the donors' PayPal account email, donation amount, currency, item number, and the acknowledgment the donor wants (left blank if no acknowledgment is requested). This way everyone involved will be protected and all I will really be doing is providing the donators with a list of projects they can quickly and easily make a contribution to. --Q: Are you charging the Free and Open Source Software projects to get on this list?
--A: No! In fact SEO Company is contributing $50 to each Free and Open Source Software project on the list. Originally I was just planning to make contributions for SEO Company. The idea of providing my list to others and asking them to make contributions was an afterthought. --Q: So what is in this for you?
--A: 1) All my Websites are hosted on open source Linux distributions. My hosting accounts use MySQL, Apache, Zend, PHP, Awstats, different MTA's, and cpanel to name a few open source products. So I get to support these products I have been using for years.
2) I personally have reviewed all the Websites of the free and open source software projects that we have contacted to offer a donation to. It is amazing to see all the projects that are out there. I have touched bases with most of the project leaders and have had some good IM chats and emails back and forth. I am meeting a lot of very talented and giving people and am expecting to develop lots of fruitful business relationships.
3) I will get good exposure on the Internet, some traffic to the my Website, and I will be charging a fee to put together the PayPal Mass Pay files for the companies that are wanting to make donations.