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free software help directory: good idea?

Yes
100% (11 votes)
No
0% (0 votes)
Only if... / other (please comment)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 11

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linux help directory?

Hey, here's an idea: We could create a directory in which you can look up people and companies that provide linux/free software help/helpdesks/install parties/user groups/distribution specific help forums etc etc.
Use the yellow pages principle: listing is free, but if you want a more beautiful entry (small graphical ad, bigger text, that kind of stuff), you have to pay for it.
Nuxified forums are global and general, the people/companies/sites in the directory are localized and/or specialized.

How does that sound? It sounds like money to me. Which is something Danijel, eh, I mean the libervis network could use quite well Wink .

I think that's a pretty good idea. It would probably be slow to start with as we'd first have to add alot of good links ourselves and categorize them properly and then grow its popularity and traffic before any money can be charged for premium entries.

But it's a good idea indeed. I'll consider it. Smiling

Thank you for the suggestion and of course, others are free to comment too. Smiling

Well, simply install some link categorizing/addressbook thingy that allows free html or bbcode in the link descriptions. I'll be happy to insert and categorize the support things that I know of (and look up what exists in the netherlands), and I guess it's no prob for the other members to do the same.
I think we can have something useful up and running within two weeks at most. Let's have a press release two weeks after beginning of implementation. Another two weeks after the press release, we'll start contacting the listed entities that are businesses. That means first revenue after maybe five weeks!

Of course we need to keep it cheap. I don't know what are normal prices for this kind of advertisements... Anyone? My own guess is 10$/year for bigger font, 20$ for bigger font and an image... but those are just very wild guesses. Prices can go up as the directory becomes popular.

Damn, I think this is better than my own top secret business idea Laughing .

I think there are some ready made directory software for purposes like this so I'd say putting it up shouldn't be a problem.

As for prices of links on Libervis.com one small yearly link on the good spot of the page costed $165, but since this directory still wouldn't have much traffic at the beginning and it is primarily a directory with lots of links price should indeed be much lower. $20 sounds reasonable. However, after a year or so it can go higher.

how about this set of packages?

Quote:

basic listing - free
bigger font - 5$/year
bigger font, image and more text - 20$/year
advertising on entire libervis network (but not on every single pageview, the spot is shared with other advertisers), advertisement must fit libervis advertising policy - 300$/year

Prices might grow, buy for a few years NOW Wink

how do we organize the directory? First by country, then by service?

That looks good.

Organization should be something flexible. Maybe it would even be best for surfers to decide how are they gonna approach it, will they search by country and then by service or first by service and then by country. One way it could be set up like this is by using tags and then allowing searching by them.

Of course, we could set up a default. Maybe service first would be better and then under it first displaying international sites and resources and then the local ones we could find listed by language or country.

hmmm... tags. Or perhaps something like this:

Quote:

Pick a country, then pick a service:
international, australia, ...list of countries... (more...)

-OR-

Pick a service (in all countries):
help desk, help forums, user groups, education, ... (more...)

Of course one can be used to implement the other.

Yep.. well.. I will look for software available for this and see what it can or can't do and then we'll see what will look and feel the best.

Agreed. I just happen to be in "oracle mode" today. And some thought before looking for software actually helps finding the right software :-)

Of course. We ought to know what we're looking for before looking.

But here I looked for some general web directory software to start with and so far these two seem the best:

PHP Link Directory - demo

and

SkaLinks - demo

Both look really nice and might have features that could be used for what we need. I'll have to look into them further and actually try them out before. I'm not sure what's the license for SkaLinks though. It doesn't specify it, but it seems to be Free Software.

EDIT: Actually, SkyLinks requires a link back to be kept in their software and charges for its removal. It also sells professional support service. That however doesn't actually go against Free Software conditions (AKA four freedoms).

I don't see much difference between those. PHPLD is GPL'ed and it has a sponsored links feature (trough paypal, though, which is not available to you right?), so I would go with that one. Also, I'd feel more comfortable modifying the code and sharing those modifications of something GPL'ed than of something with an unspecified license. Maybe we can get it to work with MoneyBookers... I'd have to have a better look at both PHPLD and MB though...

If it can't be made to work with moneybookers I can just disable paypal feature, (which should be possible without disabling actual sponsored links) and make a page with an offer, prices and payment information and simple instructions so they can pay manually. It's not really anything hard and since selling premium spots would mostly go directly through webmaster forums or email it should be OK. So it doesn't absolutely require an automated payment service.

True, that was just some free hacking spirit showing trough :smt040

Interesting; I had almost this exact idea awhile back. I even registered a domain to use for it, but never got around to implementing it.

Anyway, let me know once you're ready to go. I'd like to list my company with it. My only concern is, that could to be a very large directory considering the global scale of it!

"dotmil" wrote:

Anyway, let me know once you're ready to go. I'd like to list my company with it.

Sure. Smiling

"dotmil" wrote:

My only concern is, that could to be a very large directory considering the global scale of it!

Well, maybe so, but since people will be able to submit things into it themselves and companies and other web present businesses would be able to pay for inclusion things are pretty much set to operate on a near-automated basis. Only thing we would do is approve submissions.

Once it grows to a certain level we wont even need to scout for links that actively as we should at the beginning because people would then know about it and submit themselves.

This actually sounds like a pretty good idea.
I hope it gets implemented one day as it would be quite useful.

I know Ubuntu has their marketplace. Maybe it will help give you some ideas?

"dotmil" wrote:

I know Ubuntu has their marketplace. Maybe it will help give you some ideas?

I'll take a closer look at it. The idea here, though, was simply a directory that would be categorized in such a way to allow people to browse not only per category, but per locale as well..

But of course, it's not written in stone. If it turns out it may be better to have it in some other form (as in not directory) then that's how it'll be done. Smiling

I think we should simply link to things like ubuntu marketplace. If someone is doing a subset of what we plan to do, well, let them do that part of the work, right?

I can see the benefit of linking to an existing marketplace, but I don't think that really covers the whole idea of featured ads and such right?

Yes, that kind of contradicts the featured "payed for" listings idea except if we could find a way to get around it somehow.

On the other hand maybe it's just better to do it all ourselves, but do it better. That ubuntu marketplace site looks like just a wiki listing some links and text. We should have something searchable and maybe presented in a better way. Link to ubuntu marketplace would however be good as a link to one of the reasources for ubuntu distro category among many other resources we can find for the same category.

I think there has to be somethign out there that can generate the yellow-page type directory listings. IIRC, the software that runs Dmoz.org is Free/free; maybe that would be a possibility?

BTW, is this going to be integrated into the existing Libveris network. or a seperate venture/domain?

Well, there is a free directory software available that we talked about above: PHP Link Directory which I probably am gonna try.

"dotmil" wrote:

BTW, is this going to be integrated into the existing Libveris network. or a seperate venture/domain?

I think there wouldn't be much point in not having it part of the Libervis Network since this networking can only help. Actually, everything that I started or will start is going to be part of Libervis Network or anything that I may acquire in the future (for example I would like to buy some sites some time and reform them to better serve free culture) if possible as well. Smiling

Of course, this idea didn't come from me, but from Taco above and anyway.. if you have anyone has a good reason not to include it in the network feel free to say so. Smiling

Oh no, I see no reason not to include it. I was just curious and didn't see it specifically mentioned anywhere, that's all.

I have just installed a php links directory software on http://www.nuxified.org/directory/

There's no categories at the moment, but I've taken a look into its admin area, of course, to see what can or can't it do and set some basic settings..

From what I see I think that PLD will be a good choice for what we need, or at least probably better than any other choices available. Besides normal categories it also supports symbolic category links which may enable us to categorize everything both per topic and per country.

I haven't yet fiddled with actually creating categories, but I'll do a mock up soon just to see how it all works.

Feel free to suggest categories and the way we should organize them.

Thanks

Okay, I did some categorization. The basic starting idea is to have international stuff categorized normally under top categories much like seen now and have a separate "local resources" category for local areas.

So, if anyone just wants to look for international support sites just go to any of the top directory, but if you want to search for something from your specific locality go to "local resources".

One obstacle is that not all of us know all languages so for example if we have russian local subcategory and noone knows russian then what we do?

One possible solution is to just have all even local submissions in english. The other, tougher one would be to have editors from all major countries. Smiling

Anyway, what do you think?

Looking good... Only that "submit link" form looks like it's going to cause some problems. I think those captcha images are too difficult, I don't have a clue what code to enter.

I'm not sure if we should use english or multiple languages. For now, it seems impossible to manage many languages. Maybe we should introduce that feature later.

EDIT: It looks like I simply had bad luck and got two confusing images. The third reload gave me a readable one.

"tbuitenh" wrote:

Looking good... Only that "submit link" form looks like it's going to cause some problems. I think those captcha images are too difficult, I don't have a clue what code to enter.

Well, that can be turned off, but then it's a possible risk of having bots crowd the admin area with spam links.. So maybe it's better to keep them on anyway.. not all will be as hard to read as some.

"tbuitenh" wrote:

I'm not sure if we should use english or multiple languages. For now, it seems impossible to manage many languages. Maybe we should introduce that feature later.

Probably. Either that or have them all in english. But we ought to start somewhere and focusing on international links first should be alright. It's easy to add a local resources category later.

"tbuitenh" wrote:

I think those captcha images are too difficult, I don't have a clue what code to enter.
(...)
EDIT: It looks like I simply had bad luck and got two confusing images. The third reload gave me a readable one.

It wasn't bad luck, captchas are becoming increasingly difficult to solve, because algorithm was found that solves simple captchas in most cases. I guess that spammers started implementing it.

To get back on topic, we shouldn't bother at all with multiple languages for some time - this is a forum in english language, so I doubt that we will have visitors that don't speak it. And about visitors that do speak english but want to add a site in their language, these cases will be so rare that they can be treated individually without any problems. And anyway, how hard is it to tell German/Portuguese/French/... GNU/Linux site from some bogus site? And about sites in Asian languages, we have some members that we can dedicate those cases to, I'm sure they'll appreciate the learning experience :smt003.

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