Microcosm RFQ

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  • When released how will Microcosm be sold?
    A hosted service, Cloud based or Onpremise?

    If an onpremise solution - what are system environment requirements?
    Can you give any suggested pricing at this time?

    I run the online community for south londons friendliest triathlon club
    www.windrushtri.co.uk

    I would be interested in being an early adopter on roll out

    Currently hosted on the ning platform at a pricey £16.95 a month

  • It isn't a sold product, it's a free hosted product. Much like a free blog on Tumblr, you'd get a free forum/community site on Microco.sm.

    It is entirely cloud-based, we host the storage, API, back-end and front-end. You have the choice to host your own front-end client if you want to do some deep customisation of the presentation layer, but this isn't necessary and basic theming is supported.

    We haven't determined costs, but in principle:

    • If you run a mostly public web-site, it will be 100% free.

    • If you run a mostly closed web-site, we will work out a fair rate to charge based on usage/activity (it will be very cheap, like a utility cost).

    Given that your site and forum is public, yours would be 100% free.

    Our revenue comes from affiliate fees, so if someone recommends a new chain from Wiggle, or whatever... then if that mention results in a purchase, we earn a couple of % of the transaction. What this means is that we'll earn a little money from each forum and together the volume of forums combined with us reducing the costs of running them is where we make money. So we have a good incentive to make the site really engaging and easy to use for your users... as if they don't use it we can't be earning.

    Any more questions?

  • So my site would have Contextual advertising applied to keywords?
    If I select the paid for service, can I have this turned off?
    Currently we have 600 members but with a growth of about 150 a year

    Vanity URLs - will I be able to remap the dns entries to a custom domain?
    www.windrushtri.co.uk

    T̶u̶m̶b̶l̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ through custom themes - any schnaggins like that planned?

    Basically what TS said..

  • So my site would have Contextual advertising applied to keywords?
    If I select the paid for service, can I have this turned off?

    No, I hate that stuff, that's not what we're doing.

    What we do is look for links that people put in comments/posts, and we look for smart things to do with those links.

    Examples:
    If you put a YouTube link on LFGSS, and we understand it... we'll just embed the video already.

    If you put a link to a ridewithgps.com route... we'll embed a map.

    How affiliates work, is if someone puts up a link to Chain Reaction, we change that link to tell CRC that, "Hey, this came from LFGSS". And if anyone arrives at CRC and subsequently buys stuff, then CRC knows who to give a couple of % to.

    We won't put in links if the author didn't put in links, and the links include nothing that implicitly tracks you or your users.

    An example for a Ridley frame on CRC:
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Model­s.aspx?ModelID=105407

    You see?

    Vanity URLs - will I be able to remap the dns entries to a custom domain?
    www.windrushtri.co.uk

    Yes.

    You'd get a site on our site: windrushti.microco.sm and then you can set up a DNS CNAME for www.windrushti.co.uk and use your own domain.

    T̶u̶m̶b̶l̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ through custom themes - any schnaggins like that planned?

    We plan to launch good default themes, and the ability to edit the colours and some basic CSS properties too. Of course you can change your logo without changing your theme.

    There may be a market in 3rd party themes, but it's not something we plan.

    We're not looking for ways to charge you, but we are looking for ways to give you what you want.

  • My current employer has it's own community / social network web-based platform.

    It is functionally rich - It has messaging, holiday calendars, resource management etc... - functions to support a professional services company.

    There is an in-house team that has been built up in lock-step with the platform, championing innovation and development methodology with the platform at the forefront.

    Perversely, all other business support apps are cloud-based, primarily Google, but also Peoplesoft and the like.

    My question is, how would you / could you introduce Microcosm as an alternative solution, and what other hosting solutions might be considered (asp, saas, etc...)

  • That is not our target market.

    We may pivot in the future towards that, but for the meantime we are focused on the consumer space rather than the business space.

    Yammer do what you want reasonably well, as does Google Groups + Calendar + Email.

    The SME space is good, but it would fundamentally change our business model.

    We'd need to hire a sales team with knowledge of enterprise sales, to do away with the affiliate scheme model and the concept of the brand/merchant dashboard. We'd need to re-focus our business around a SaaS play with utility and usage based pricing.

    This may be something that we consider if we struggle in the consumer space, but we believe that the consumer space is not only a bigger win, but also has the real chance to change the lives of a lot of people in a way that we care about.

    So we wouldn't seek to introduce Microcosm as an internal tool any time soon. Companies could use it that we, but we won't derail ourselves chasing it.

  • "messaging, holiday calendars, resource management" doesn't sound like microcosm. We do that though - send me your cashmonies.. no don't I don't want more work.

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Microcosm RFQ

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