SaaS means Software as a Service. In this model, the codebase itself can remain open source, but you offer paid services such as charging for use of a main hosted site or for handling the hosting of dedicated instances for customers. Typically, paying customers also get priority support.
You may not have heard of Discourse, but you’ve very likely used them. They are one of the most popular forum platforms used by open source communities such as Ember, Atom, Twitter, and Docker. It’s even a “One-click App” on Digital Ocean.
Back in April, the Discourse team reached out to me to help their forum communities find additional ways to generate funding. We were invited to write a plugin that integrates CodeFund’s Ethical Advertising platform into Discourse. Earlier this month, we built the integration directly into the official ads plugin.
Unlike the other ad options within the plugin, CodeFund focuses on three things:
- Unobtrusive ads (text-based)
- Relevance to the community
- NO TRACKING! This means no cookies, re-marketing, profiling, or any of the other garbage that is typical in the ad space.
Open source Discourse communities should check out @codefundio, which is now supported in the official Discourse Advertising plugin, courtesy of the fine folks at CodeFund. A very straightforward and ethical way to fund OSS!https://t.co/I6nRIzea0D— Discourse (@discourse) June 24, 2018
How to get started
If you have a Discourse forum and would like to integrate ethical advertising, fill out the form at https://codefund.app/publishers. The requirements for approval are:
- Must have at least 5,000 page views per month
- The community must be programming / open source related
To install the plugin, follow the instructions at https://github.com/discourse/discourse-adplugin.
Finally, I would like to personally thank the whole Discourse team for their incredible product and hard work to help push open source forward!