SoFoBoMo and the World of Commerce
As I type this, there are 272 people registered to participate in SoFoBoMo 2009. Just a few more days, and we’ll have more than twice as many folks registered for this year as we had last year. That’s good news, I think.
Not surprisingly the commercial world has taken notice. I’ve already gotten email from one business that wants to offer some sort of deal to SoFoBoMo participants. I’ll hold off on what they want to give away and what company it is for a bit, because I’m interested in hearing from participants about what they see about the potential upside and potential pitfalls of having companies connect with, support, and profit from SoFoBoMo, and I want to have that discussion without discussing specific companies. It’s a lot easier to discuss policy when things are generalized rather than discussing a specific instance.
Right now what I have in mind is that companies that want to make special offers to SoFoBoMo might get a bit of space on a ‘special offers’ page on the website, with it made clear that it’s a space where any company can get a special deal they offer lsited, but that listings there don’t imply some sort of endorsement by SoFoBoMo.
And in fact, it’s not like there’s some formal organization that could endorse things. That’s both a strength and a weakness.
It seems likely that we’ll get more than three times as many participants this year as we had last year. If that sort of growth occurs a few years in a row, then it’s not long before it becomes a really big thing. Bernie and I have been sort of winging it on the web hosting and domain costs, but things can only grow to a certain size and still work that way, so eventually we’ll need to secure some sort of funding stream. That can come from private contributions, from fees charged to participants (an idea I don’t much like for various reasons), or from corporate supporters.
Anyway, I’d be interested in reading the thoughts you all have on this. Please take a moment to think about it, and then please post a comment and let me know what you think, both pro and con. Point out the potential gains and the potential pitfalls.