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An Open Source Business Plan? A Globally Syndicated Market for Content & Commerce?

P: n/a
I've written up a free "Open Source" business plan which can be
downloaded from . Please contact me at
mc****** if you would like to discuss this further, or
discuss here! Heck, if you'd like to work on something like this,
send your resume, or if you'd like to fund it, that'd be cool too!

Build Your Own Media Conglomerate With Open Source Software:

The business model of centralized conglomerates marketing the digital
rights of a handful of artists is outdated. Both consumers and
creators have become disenchanted. A new model, consisting of a
distributed network of thousands of creators hosting their content on
Open Source CMS and syndicating it to trusted archives and
marketplaces, is emerging. In order to build a trusted network of
marketplaces supporting common standards for syndicated commerce, the
business plan should be shared openly. The transparency provided by
Open Source will foster the adoption of open standards for DRM and
syndicated commerce. 22surf encourages artist-hackers to download our
business plan for building profitable archives and marketplaces with
Open Source CMS, change and build on it, and join in the following
revenue streams: 1) sell keyword advertising throughout free OSCMS
hosting services (blogs, galleries, etc.), 2) sell advanced hosting
options/extra disk space, 3) charge 5% on content marketplace
transactions, 4) charge 5% on Open Source Arts services marketplace
transactions, 5) manage/host media assets of large businesses (record
labels/movie studios/etc.), 6) a friendster/FOAF (friend-of-a-friend)
network, 7) a mobile FOAF service which alerts people when friends are
in close proximity. All of these revenue streams may be realized with
a small team leveraging Open Source CMS such as vvgallery, oscommerce,
cafelog, postnuke, and gallery. With common standards for syndication
based on RSS/RDF, bands, writers, photographers, and friends will be
able to enjoy syndication across multiple archives and marketplaces.
Working together, trusted marketplaces utilizing open standards for
syndication will prosper. Surf's up!

Not long after I presented Authena at the Harvard OSCOM conference, I
got to thinking the only way one could build a network or marketplaces
supporting syndicated commerce would be to Open Source the business
plan itself. Here's the vision: a writer signs up for a free blog at (powered by cafelog), or a band signs up for a free
postnuke site taylored for bands at (powered by postnuke or
phpnuke), or a photographer signs up for a photo gallery or a
vvgallery stock photography shop at (powered by gallery),
or somebody new in town signs up for a friend-finding/dating FOAF site
at Whoever they are, they're immediately given a master
account at 22surf, which allows them to activate a gallery, blog, or
personals profile with a single click, and to syndicate their content
and information to other networks such as 33surf, or 44surf, or any
other network. And as 22surf will be Open Sourced, you'll be able to
run your own network and allow your users to syndicate their content
and information to other parallel networks, archives, and

22surf aims to leverage Open Source CMS to allow artists, writers and
musicians to run their own stock photography shops, record labels, and
publishing houses capable of syndicated commerce. 22surf aims to build
the world's largest marketplaces and archives for content. These will
be built upon the leading Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)
endowed with open standards enabling syndicated commerce across a
myriad of Open Source CMS's.

The Opportunity: Build independent content archives and marketplaces
which support syndicated commerce.
The Technology: Utilize Open Source CMS connected by open Authena
standards based on RDF/RSS and simple web services such as REST.
The Business/Revenue Streams: 1) Charge individuals for advanced
hosting options and extra disk space, 2) charge 5% on transactions in
the content marketplace, 3) charge 5% on transactions in the Open
Source Arts services marketplace, 4) charge large businesses and
institutions for managing/hosting their archives and marketplaces, 5)
sell keyword advertising throughout the free hosting services, 6)
provide a friendster/FOAF (friend-of-a-friend) network which allows
networking and personals with the help of RDF, and 7) a mobile FOAF
service which alerts people when friends are in close proximity.
The Management: Anyone who wants to collaborate with us or wishes to
join the Open Source CMS Renaissance by setting up their own 22surf
network (call it anything you want, fork it, make it work better than
anything we could have ever imagined!).
The Team: Invite programmers from leading Open Source CMS's to
participate as marketplace leaders, contractors, employees, or any
other way they see fit. Give them complete freedom, and always allow
them to Open Source all their contributions.
The Timeline: 1) Starting yesterday, build the free archive with an
RDF/RSS mechanism for the syndication of content and commerce. 2)
Build the advanced paid-hosting services. 3) Build the marketplaces
for syndicated commerce, content, personals (FOAF), and services. 4)
Open source it all, and let the independent marketplaces evolve. The
Target Audience: The world.
The Investors: Anyone who wants to fund a small team of programmers,
or any programmer who has the time to build a marketplace of their
The Need: The model of centralized conglomerates promoting and
managing the digital rights of a handful of artists and authors is no
longer proving profitable. A new model of a distributed network of
tens of thousands of artists, hosting their content on Open Source CMS
and syndicating it to various marketplaces, is emerging. Future
business models riding on Open Source will rely on a robust open
rating system, a philosophy for creating and defining parallel forms
of a digital file with varying qualities and watermarkings, and
standards for defining the rights associated with the content.
The Laws: By embracing Open source CMS and Creators' Rights, 22surf
finds itself on the right side of the laws: Metcalfe's Law, Moore's
Law, and Constitutional Law.

Not so long ago Google purchased Blogger. Blogger derives its value
from peoples' passions, and Google's fundamental philosophy is to mine
the natural democratic intelligence of the web so as to foster
high-quality searches throughout that great archive known as the WWW.
In addition to fostering a more meaningful archive described with RDF,
22surf also aims to build a network of syndicated marketplaces to
allow creators a new form of distribution.

When one ponders the sum total of passion hosted within Open Source
CMS such as postnuke, cafelog, gallery, one begins to see that Open
Source CMS could be the killer-app of the Open Source world—not by
selling the software so much as archiving the content and allowing
creators to sell it. As more bands, writers, artists, photographers,
and teachers use applications such as postnuke, tiki, gallery, xoops,
envolution, cafelog, and oscommerce to share and sell content on the
semantic web, more and more value will be found within the Open Source
applications, both from an archival and commercial standpoint.

Couple Open Source CMS with the open RDF/RSS1.0 standards and the
Dublin Core and CC Licenses, and suddenly it seems the Open Source
world has a good chance of establishing universal standards for
syndicated commerce and DRM—not by fiat, but by democratic adoption.
And as Moore's law marches on, making audio and video-on-demand a
reality, and Metcalfe's Law brings us better OSCMS each and every day,
more and more passion will be contained within Open Source CMS.

As software has often been open-sourced with great results for both
developers and end-users, we thought we'd open-source the 22surf
business plan by releasing it under a Creative Commons license. This
makes sense as our business plan does not consist of building a
central marketplace, but rather a distributed network of marketplaces
to which artists may syndicate their content. Only with thousands of
independent marketplaces can trusted standards emerge.

You can download a hardcopy of the business plan here. Feel free to
change a few names, start it yourself, and make some $$$$! Or correct
things that we're missing and send it on back. As a physicsist, I'm
used to sharing ideas regarding physical laws--well business methods
and software are also based on higher abstractions (think Plato's
forms) which are discovered rather than created, and thus it makes
sense to share this business plan--there is little that is all that
new herein, and obvious abstractions should never be patentable.

The archive of content hosted by Open Source CMS will be capable of
syndicating content to a marketplace leveraging RDF/RSS standards to
enable syndicated commerce.

If you want to help us or invest in us, contact Elliot. We're looking
for all types of programmers, system admins, and business visionaries.
You can work out of your own home somewhere around the watery globe,
or perhaps you can join us in sunny Chapel Hill NC. Well, it's sunny
right now, but there's a hurricane on the way, and hence the name

Out here in NC the surf is relentless, and it shapes the Outer Banks
regardless of how many roads we set down or barriers we build. And
while running on the beach, it reminded me of Open Source which
follows a paradigm more akin to nature's higher laws, which can be
neither copyrighted nor patented. And so it is that a network of
syndicated marketplaces built upon Open Source is inevitable.

So where do we start? As we hash out the RDF/RSS standards and the API
for the Authena (Authena was presented at the 2003 Harvard OSCOM)
modules which will sit parallel to Open Source CMSs, the best place to
begin is by building a vast content archive hosted in Open source CMS.
This can be achieved by offering free hosting with the top ten Open
Source CMSs. We've started this at (free postnuke
hosting), (free gallery hosting), and 22blog (free
blogging). Right now, due to the sites' popularity, the servers are
slow and some of the disks have filled up--I wish I had more time to
help it scale, but I should probably start looking for collaborators,
as I intend to keep expanding it with more Open Source CMSs including
tiki, phpnuke, oscommerce, and other "Greatest Hits" of the Open
Source CMS world.

And while building out the archive, we'll turn on the syndicated
commerce via Authena modules. I've hacked a bit of this together, and
it can be downloaded as the vvgallery package. Upload pictures, set
the price, and syndicate them to a marketplace. The basics work.

I've decided to brand the vertical entities of the portal with a 22 in
front of them--here's how it's shaping up, and feedback would rock!
The following free hosting services would be quickly ramped up. When a
user registers for any one of them, they will be granted accounts
across the entirety of these 22surf verticals:

22blog: powered by cafelog, pmachine, or drupal
22photo: powered by gallery
22commerce: powere by oscommerce
22friend: an Open Source friendster service
22frat: an Open Source friendster service
22video: powered by,,
22mail: free email service
22photo: powered by gallery/vvgallery
22forum: powered by phpBB or phorum
22nuke: powered by postnuke, phpnuke
22journal: powered by livejournal
22publish: book publishing engine
22book: book publishing engine
22chat: powered by jabber
22juke: music/video archive powered by netjuke
22band: band sites powered by customized postnukes with calendars,
galleries, etc.
22club: club sites powered by customized with calendars, galleries,
Jul 17 '05 #1
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