Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 139

Thread: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    6

    askubuntu.com - taking and not giving?

    So what do people think about askubuntu.com?

    For those who don't know, this is (as far as I am aware) a for-profit ubuntu questions+answers site, created by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood. The way askubuntu.com works is people contribute their free labor to the site by answering and posing questions; and the owners make money from advertising revenues.

    As far as I am aware, no profits from the revenues raised from askubuntu.com are directed back into linux or open-source software...

    I've heard Atwood & Spolsky say they want to "become a part of the fabric of the web" with their ever-growing number of q+a sites. My translation of that, is this: they want to hoover up a whole bunch of people who were previously donating their efforts to non-profit community-based efforts, and harness the efforts of these folk in order to make themselves a nice chunk of $$change$$. In the process, the world will somehow benefit, because what the world needs is more q+a sites...

    It makes me kind of sad thinking that revenues raised from a site like askubuntu.com flow entirely into private hands, and nothing gets paid back to open-source projects. Of course, Canonical is a for-profit organization, and I am not suggesting they deserve or need donations. But why not donate a portion of the profits to e.g., Debian, or any number of other worthy open source projects in need of funding.

    I'm curious to hear what people think. If I'm completely wrong in my perception of this situation, I'll be interested to hear it.

    edit: I guess what creeps me out the most about askubuntu.com is the way they use feel-good phrases like "community driven" to describe their site... you could just as accurately describe the site as "profit driven" - but they'd never put a description like that on their site! They are draping their profit-based corporation in the language of open source and free software... hoping that the vague, feel good connotations of the phrases they are using will trick people into somehow believing that contributing to their sites represents some kind of social or moral good...

    And as MooPi and PaulW2U point out below, they also seem to be using the "offical" ubuntu colors, and have incorporated the word "ubuntu" into their domain name. Then again, maybe they have Canonical's blessing..?
    Last edited by SZVSZ; October 10th, 2010 at 06:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Las Vegas, Nevada
    Beans
    743
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    It's a threat to the Ubuntu Forums monopoly and must be crushed.

  3. #3
    pwnst*r is offline Gee! These Aren't Roasted!
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    I liek monies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Beans
    544
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    so far so good.
    Intel i5 Ivy Bridge 2.8Ghz (3.4Ghz Turbo), 64bit user, AMD GPU 7700 series

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    If someone provides a product or service that people are willing to pay for then they should get paid for it.

    Why would that make you sad?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Beans
    249
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    People have free will. They can choose to use a pay-for service which may or may not be better than a free alternative. Most askubuntu users probably know that Ubuntu Forums exists. If they want to go elsewhere, more power to them. The creators of the website are not evil, nor are they being monopolistic, they are simply being capitalistic. They also have no obligation to give any money back.

    Ubuntu Forums is one of the most frequented Linux forums on the web. We have nothing to fear from askubuntu.com. In fact, some of the askubuntu members direct people here. Take this post for example: http://askubuntu.com/questions/5433 Note that the highest ranked answer sends the asker to this site.

    If people want to pay to ask questions about a free operating system, that's fine. In many ways, it's little different from someone going around selling Ubuntu LiveCDs for $20 a piece and pocketing the profit. I don't think that's so bad.
    My Laptop: Gateway T-6330u, 2.0 GHz Pentium Dual-Core, 3 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD - Ubuntu 14.04
    My Desktop: Lenovo IdeaCentre K450, 3.2 GHz Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 2.5 TB HDD - Windows 8.1, Ubuntu 14.04 in VM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Beans
    544
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Speck View Post
    It's a threat to the Ubuntu Forums monopoly and must be crushed.
    Intel i5 Ivy Bridge 2.8Ghz (3.4Ghz Turbo), 64bit user, AMD GPU 7700 series

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    6

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by mobilediesel View Post
    If someone provides a product or service that people are willing to pay for then they should get paid for it.

    Why would that make you sad?
    I guess what creeps me out the most about askubuntu.com is the way they use feel-good phrases like "community driven" to describe their site... you could just as accurately describe the site as "profit driven" - but they'd never put a description like that on their site! They are draping their profit-based corporation in the language of open source and free software... hoping that the vague, feel good connotations of the phrases they are using will trick people into somehow believing that contributing to these sites represents some kind of social or moral good... it's not like they are the only company doing this, for example Google does it all the time with their Android product.

    It's not illegal, and maybe it's not even a bad thing. I just hope people understand what they are contributing to.
    Last edited by SZVSZ; October 10th, 2010 at 03:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by SZVSZ View Post
    I guess what creeps me out about askubuntu.com is the way they use feel-good "double speak" like "community driven" to describe their site... you could just as accurately describe the site as "profit motivated" - but they'd never put a description like that on their site! They are draping their profit-based corporation in the feel-good language of open source... hoping that the vague, feel good connotations of the phrases they are using will trick people into somehow believing that contributing to these sites represents some kind of social or moral good... it's not like they are the only company doing this, Google does it all the time for example with their Android product.

    The way it works is people contribute their free labor to the site by answering and posing questions; and the owners make money from advertising revenues. No $$$ flows back to open source projects.

    It's not illegal, and maybe it's not even a bad thing. I just hope people understand what they are contributing to.
    From the About and FAQ pages on the entire Stack Exchange network makes it pretty clear how things work. I see nothing deceptive anywhere. BAnner ads at the top of the page aren't likely to make any of them loads of profit. They'll be lucky to break even and pay for the servers and bandwidth.

    As for what people are contributing to: Once a clear answer to a question is posted, everyone gets to benefit from the answer whether they participated or not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Beans
    18
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: askubuntu.com - what do you think?

    This is a discussion forum.
    That is a questions and answers site.

    Here, replies are sorted chronologically.
    There, replies are sorted by votes.

    Here, discussion is allowed.
    There, comments are a second class citizen.

    Here, "what do you think" questions like this are allowed.
    There, they are not because there can be no one accepted answer. Indeed, this discussion wouldn't have started there to begin with (example).

    Q&A sites are worse at polls and chit chat.
    Q&A sites are better at solving practical problems and giving objective answers.

    Finally the only "ads" being served currently are for the site's chat.

    I hope that helps you understand the differences, so next time you can use the best tool for the job.

    By the way, the content there is released under a open license and data dumps are made available on a monthly basis via BitTorrent to ensure no evil corporation can take over the content and put a paywall on it.

    Tangentially, you may be interested in this.

    (Full disclosure, I am a regular user of the StackExchange network. I have no financial stake in it, however.)
    Last edited by badp; October 10th, 2010 at 01:04 PM.

Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •