/wordpress – an explanation

Every so often I get approached by someone who wants to use WP for their clients or to set up WP for people – and they want to provide support. That’s why they email me. They ask if I’d be comfortable providing support – I say yes. They ask for advice on forums, paid support vs free support, measuring support – lots and lots of stuff. And I always say what I think is the right answer – even if they are leeching information they are asking politely so I should respond the same way. While they are doing their homework on me, I am invariably googling them (and yahooing, all-the-webing, teomaing and useneting etc). Every one of these approaches has followed exactly the same format. The next question is money – they ask if I am happy to be paid on results. Now that IS a tricky one – who decides it’s a good answer ? And even if the customer does, if you are going to pay out might you move the goalposts ? So I reply No – if I am going to work then I want a set ‘fee’. They say Yes but never say an amount. And then they say the 2 important bits:
– I must either not post to the WP forums OR I must not answer any client questions that are posted.
AND
– I must withdraw my guides and hand them to the company. They tell me that such a deal will make me a lot of money.
That sort of makes me an ‘exclusive’ – and while I believe I am indeed unique and worthy of much special attention (Send me Jaffa Cakes!!! and I’ll be any name you want too ;) ) I do NOT think this is a good idea. At all. So I decline. They ask me to reconsider. I ask for money upfront (say 6 months) and I point to my track record as an indication of my reliability – and I indicate also that they have that to measure me by but I do not have the same yardstick for them. That’s why I want an expression of good faith. Two of these approaches recently have then asked to buy the guides and again for me to take them offline. I have said that I would indeed sell them, they could brand them and do what they want but I would leave mine just where they are now thankyouverymuch. They decline but again they have never given a figure. The latest one was last week. And it got boring all of a sudden – I’ll admit that I found the first aproach quite flattering in a way – so that’s why I posted what I did. Full control of everything and they make me an offer. I am fairly confident one of the ‘suitors’ reads this blog. And yet there were no offers. None. And even if there had been I doubt they would have been high enough.
The guides are there (the upgrade guide for WP2.0 is written already) and they are staying there (and much of what is there is also in Codex). And if they need adding to then I’ll do that – I enjoy it. And when the next person sends an email offering to make me money the same way I’ll point them at that post and this and wave goodbye at the same time. It was a way of calling their bluff, bring it into the open – I’m sure they all think their idea is original – and then being able to state my own position. (and just in case someone thinks this is cool, IF someone wanted to buy them and just them, and IF they offered a lot of money, of course I’d sell them. I ain’t daft! – and neither is anyone else because they’d never do that.)

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