HI:Plans

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I am considering offering a number of web/internet services, either for free or on a pay-what-you-like/can basis (depending on the service).

Advantages

Obviously these services are all available elsewhere, but I'm thinking I could offer a number of improvements over the alternatives.

The following would be true for many/most of these services, so I'll use abbreviations to indicate where they apply:

  • DDN: designed as part of a distributed network, with multiple nodes inter-operating from different domains -- nobody would "own" the network
  • NOP: revenue would not support the plutonomy (or would support it a lot less than simply doing business directly with it)
  • NOA: No Anschluss -- user would be in complete control of which of their accounts to link together
  • NBP: Need-Based Pricing

All specialized code used to integrate these services would be made open source as well, so that others could set up their own nodes. I want this to be a replicable business model.

Obstacles

Although there is already open-source software for most of these services, some considerable code would need to be written to allow single-sign-on. However, since the mass automatic integration of services on Google is considered a problem by many, the lack of such integration here will probably be seen as an advantage by many as well.

Service Similar to Possible software Main Advantages Main Obstacles
cloud storage Google Drive, Dropbox ownCloud NOP, NOA, NBP for more than default capacity storage costs money (though not much)
search engine Google, Yahoo!, Bing YaCy DDN, NOP, no tracking or automatic "personalization" easy - no major modification or integration needed
social networking Google+, Facebook Friendica DDN, NOP, NOA Friendica needs work on its user interface
retail service Amazon Marketplace, Etsy, Ebay VbzCart DDN, NOP, plan to be responsive to buyer/seller needs much code remains to be written to make this a service and distributed
media hosting YouTube, Vimeo details DDN, NOP, NOA, no automatic DMCA takedowns, audio-only player integration coding
email hosting GMail, Yahoo! Mail, etc. details NOP, NOA spam filtering needs to be good; existing webmail clients all have issues
web hosting GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, etc. Virtualmin / Usermin NOP, NOA, NBP usability of existing software needs to be explored

Revenue

The revenue model Google seems to be following is that once you have someone's attention, they're more likely to buy things from you even if you don't directly ask them to (e.g. with banner ads).

Goals - long-term

  • when profits are sufficient, distribute excess on the basis of need
  • undercut hierarchical big chain model
  • undercut centralized web services
  • out-perform profit-driven services
  • create interoperable mini-economies
  • experiment with new ways of conducting economic transactions
    • participant-backed monetary system
      • sellers use stock
      • other users offer credit based on personal trust, like RipplePay
      • microcredits for any valued form of participation, e.g. writing popular post or uploading popular video

Back Burner

To be expanded on later:

  • media streaming
  • liquid agenda
  • money account tracking / contribution tracker
  • project management (like Redmine)
  • public service bounty tracker
  • wikis?
  • Minecraft server -- just because I know some people who want one
  • Kune? Going to set this up to see what it can do.