Fair trade in Web services

Co-ment® tries to develop a fair trade in Web services. For a Web service delivering the functionality of a software tool, it means of course being free software-based and open as a service. But that’s not the whole answer, what about business models? How can a web service be fair to customers and more generally the public? How can it provide a sustainable contribution to the knowledge commons?

Just like other players, Sopinspace (the company developing and operating co-ment) searches for the answer by experimenting. For one-and-a-half year, we conducted a real-life experiment with co-ment 1. The new business model of co-ment 2 is the product of our assessment of this experiment and our vision of future commons-compatible markets. The business model is based on the combination of 3 channels:

  • A free-of-charge service which is fully functional for people or groups who want to co-operate on a text (annotating, commenting, and drafting it) for a limited period of time, but that does not provide group management and perennial storage facilities nor a personalized support.
  • A for-pay PRO service, which can be obtained on a per-month basis. The price of this service is tuned to reflect both costs and the need for continued investment in co-ment. There are special offers in particular for education users.
  • Additional services for assistance to install, integration into information systems, securisation, grouped offers for large organization, development of additional functionality, etc.

This is open for comments.

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