I am writing you because this is a very critical moment for the future of the site for which I would greatly appreciate you time and attention.
For the last 3 years I have been developing and maintaining the PHP Classes site. Several hundred authors contributed their PHP components to share with many tens of thousands of users. However the demand for user support and further development has grown so much that it became obvious that I can only keep maintaining this site if I can dedicate full time to it.
Last November I have left my previous job as IT manager that does not really my profile which more of software development manager. Almost at the same time my first son was born. So, instead of getting a new job that would match better my profile, I took the moment to stay at home closer to my family. I am very happy with that decision but I can't stay at home for much longer without source of income.
So, I decided to invest on turning the PHP Classes the source of income that would help me to support my family while I could continue to provide proper support and further development that is necessary for the site.
Since then I have been investing a lot on increasing the site audience so more authors could come and contribute for the joy of many other users. At the same time I have been evaluating many forms of generation of income.
The advertising market pratically dried. So I decided to investigate the possibility of providing paid services online to the site users. I have polled a restricted group of users, mostly contributing authors and subscribers of the php-objects mailing list.
I listened to several suggestions for eventual paid services and so I am ready now to present a proposal for your evaluation. The proposal is actually a survey. It consists of a few items that I would appreciate if you could read a fill according to your interests.
In the first items you are asked about your interest for each of several services that may eventually be provided by the site to paying subscribers. These are potential new services that are currently not being provided in any form.
Do not worry, existing free services will continue to be provided for free as before. If all goes well more free services will also be made available to everybody besides the paid services.
The descriptions of the proposed services are available in the survey page in the form of links that lead to the service description pages. In those pages you may find detailed descriptions that you should read before you make any decisions. There are also explanations of what could be the motivation for you to find the service interesting and also justifications on why such services can not be provided for free.
Depending on the demand for the proposed services, each one may be implemented or not. So, in the survey page you need rate each service according to your interest in see them being provided or otherwise tell that you are not interested.
In the subsequent pages you will be able to answer to questions regarding services pricing modalities, subscription periods, payment method options and when you would be willing to become subscriber.
If for some reason you do not see any interest on becoming a paid subscriber, please do not proceed filling the survey. Only responses from interested subscribers are useful to me.
If you would be interested to become a subscribers if some things would be different than what is being proposed or other services would be provided, please write your thoughts in the last survey item where you can provide further comments. I would be most interested to read each of your comments with attention.
Keep in mind that this is just a proposal. Depending on the outcome of the survey I will figure if it is viable to advance and start offering these or other services.
If the demand is insufficient I would have to give up. That would mean that I would eventually have to close the site. To be absolutely realistic, I must not ignore this possibility, although I am confident that I can provide valuable services that would motivate enough users to make this venture viable. Still I need to have clear evidence of that. So, it is up to you to demonstrate it if you care for the future of the site.
So, for please take your time and fill the survey that is made available in this page. Your responses are confidencial. You will need to login in the page with your site access name and password. After you submit the survey you can change your responses later accessing the same page if you would like that.
If you would like to discuss any details with me feel free to mail me at email@example.com .
If you prefer to discuss the subject on a public forum with other people, you may do it in the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list or in the forums page in the PHP Developers network site. There is a forum in there especially dedicated to the PHP Classes site. Currently forums are offline but they will be back online real soon now.
Thank you for your time and attention, Manuel Lemos