Important changes coming to the Adblock Plus project · 2010-08-22 18:42 by Wladimir Palant
Note: If that post is too long for you there is an executive summary at the bottom.
As I indicated before, there is much work to be done in the Adblock Plus project to keep it relevant. How are we coming along? Well, very slowly. The main problem remains my availability, too many of the tasks still hang on me. I tried delegating work, quite successfully in some areas, but that’s not enough — and moving some other areas out of my hands (like website localization or bug reports handling) requires some work on my part first. We are currently getting into the “interesting” phase with the Adblock Plus project where we actually get a chance to influence something and I think that moving faster is essential now.
At least as far as my availability is concerned — I think I found a solution. A while ago I started talking to somebody who shares my passion for the web and agrees that the current advertising model needs fixing (no names for now, he first wants to see how things work out). We had many discussions on how to do it and on how to move Adblock Plus further. One thing that came out of this: he raised some capital, enough to let me work on Adblock Plus full-time the next two years. And there are also some ideas on how to make the project self-sustained by the time this money runs out. I agreed to that proposal and am leaving my job at Songbird by the end of August. Actually, I am already working on Adblock Plus part-time this month (which isn’t much due to vacations).
So, what changes should you expect in detail?
- I get more time to work on Adblock Plus. Given that my estimate for the current plans turned out to be 6 months of work full-time this is very much necessary. This is finally the chance to stop pushing out the hard things which has been a repeating pattern lately. If any of the volunteer contributors out there feel less appreciated now: don’t, there is still much work to be done and I need all the help I can get.
- I still have the final decision about what happens in the Adblock Plus project. However, I get help from people who have better business sense than me. This is particularly important to deal with business offers that I pretty much had to ignore so far — while some of those remain off limits (like bundling unrelated extensions with Adblock Plus or replacing ads with other ads) others might be interesting (like bundling Adblock Plus with applications that need its functionality). As mentioned above, one of the goals is to make the project self-sustained — but not at the expense of the users.
- The other goal is to bring Adblock Plus into a position where it can influence the web as a whole. There are some ideas to increase market share of Adblock Plus which will be pursued actively now. Also expect to see more discussions on specific mechanisms to influence the web in a positive way. Some of the old suggestions which were too hard to implement might turn out realistic now.
- Your Adblock Plus developer will have more time to get things done now.
- Yes, I am now making money from Adblock Plus, all the sudden my hobby project became my day job. This is a big change but I consider it an opportunity.
- No, the project hasn’t been sold — I am still in charge.
- There is significant interest in Adblock Plus from businesses — other people will help me manage this in a way that benefits all parties and doesn’t hurt Adblock Plus users.
- We want more market share. And we want to use it to fix the web.
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