Today I had to remind myself, why I decided on a separate professional-level upgrade that would contain many add-on features. This thought came to me when I begun working on the TwitchPress Pro Extension, an improvement in how the pro files are management. I realized others may wonder why all TwitchPress work doesn’t go into the open-source plugin on WordPress.org and I seek backing for that plugin.
I wanted to blog my reasons for a pro-edition, for the record. In short, there must be a reward for backers/contributors and a clearly defined and separated road-map within development is the easiest reward I could come-up. It is also an easy reward to keep giving in the form of updates.
I also felt many of my backers would appreciate access to additional WordPress tools that aren’t accessible to the entire Twitch.tv community. I can’t realistically guess how many streamers feel a strong sense of competition but I do believe streaming is a serious enough hobby to have ambitions that require an edge. Popular streamers define themselves in a way that clearly sets them apart from others and I offer just one of many additional tools to do that. By spending additional hours on creating features only giving to those who are willing to support the project, not always with money either.
I can assure everybody that the pro-upgrade features would not be created and released within the core plugin without some level of commitment by the community to support me back. One of the most important thing I have learned over the years is where to draw the line on giving to a community especially when support is a factor, that can get messy and can be time-wasting on a monthly basis.
I have mentally-wrestled for many hours (in total) over the project-model I should use to provide all of my open-source work (not just TwitchPress), reward backers and raise funds to cover costs. Over the years I tried various approaches, but finally arrived at an open-source and crowd-funded model that suits me.
My model takes professional practices into great consideration i.e. version control, GitHub, transparency, ethics, responsibility and support. Altogether this is a massive undertaking considering I am not paid for this – any money contributed to the project barely covers my costs while managing it. My approach is a balance between open-source contribution to the WordPress community and a more restricted pro/private area within development for Twitch.tv streamers themselves, who may not be developers.