Hey, this is great, thanks!
I saw the Patreon gets about $27/month. I’m also a freelance dev, and a portion of that wouldn’t honor much of my time. I did an OS Project that I eventually abandoned because I couldn’t pay my rent. It was a hard choice, and I wanted something more sustainable for OS devs.
I wouldn’t suggest replacing the forums with premium support. Forums and community support have alot to offer. This would be adding additional support. I can’t speak for other people, but if I was helping someone and found a documentation issue or a bug, I’m way more likely to fix it then, compared to a forum post, or milking it for cash.
Actually, Google Helpouts was the inspiration. They shut it down, and honestly, they did it wrong. Not everything benefits from search, a marketplace, and a strong core brand. They are smart people, but not everything needs a hammer.
Re: teams and competing devs. I pictured a team-based platform. There would be one landing page where people made requests. Then a team of devs work together to help people when they can.
Would a team-based platform be interesting? Do you think you’d be able to attract more core contributors if they could support that work?
TBH, I already built a platform for this and would be happy to share if you’re interested. I think there’s a place in the world for independent full-time open source developers. Premium support is the best I could come up with. My goal is to reduce the friction.
Choosing a framework or engine is a long-term relationship. I’d honestly be more likely to pick one if it offered a way to get support from the devs, w/o an enterprise support contract.
What would be the obstacles to trying it?