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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


Time to move on

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Posted
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#22692 (In Topic #5488)
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The past

As of Friday August 25th 2006, I've retired from my active role as Managing Director of ocProducts. The reasons for this are two-fold:
  • we have not been able to draw enough direct sales to pay a full time salary
  • a number of key projects have been cancelled before they commenced

All the ocProducts staff have been working mostly unpaid whilst we developed ocPortal. The version 3 release is a release we all feel is very close to optimum, with all the significant stumbling blocks users have had in the past, overcome. It was our hope that this release, with proper marketing, would allow us to pick up users. Unfortunately this has not been the case, and in fact despite our high and ongoing investment in the product, sales have been virtually flat since our first version.

The main cause for flat sales is, in our view, the immense competition from other, mostly free software, projects. Regardless of the quality and scope of our product, it has been impossibly difficult to get attention when a number of high-profile products essentially saturate the market. We are not able to compete on an equal level, as we are locked out of the 'free software' advertising channels (such as opensourcecms.com) due to the fact that ocPortal is commercial. Regardless of having (in our firm opinion) a superior quality product, any growth we experienced was dampened by a constant presence of our competitors, bundled for free, and promoted in networks closed to us – this is a self-feeding effect, that we could never rival, however hard we tried.

We have come to the conclusion that the only solutions to our difficulties would be to either:
  • heavily advertise ocPortal. The problem with this approach is that we cannot afford it for the price we charge. This is due to the high development and support costs for ocPortal, due to ocPortal's large scope. In our view our users would not, based on feedback we've received, tolerate a price rise.
  • make ocPortal 'free software', in the GNU sense. We could not do this, as we could lose our investment if someone 'forked' ocPortal and marginalised our influence.
  • give up on retailing ocPortal, and instead concentrate only on projects. The problem with this is that it essentially places us on the same competitive level as pre-established companies that have no product-development overheads.

There would be other possible paths, but they are undesirable. ocPortal was always about empowering people, being low cost / freely available, providing great features for communities as well as companies, and being of high quality in all areas. Nobody at ocProducts would be comfortable with this changing, and for all of us, the ocPortal way of doing things, and our high personal and product standards, are more important than money. Unfortunately we do at the end of the day need to earn a living if we're working 9-5, which is why I have now to move on.

It's worth pointing out that there are a number of companies operating that have essentially achieved the kind of business model we set out with, more or less anyway. However these companies had the fortune of having an early buzz that essentially provided the word of mouth needed for the companies sales to rise – unfortunately we never had this.

The future

I will continue to support all current customers for the full duration of their support entitlements, so there need be no worry there.

The sales and consultancy channels are currently closed whilst the remaining ocProducts staff rework things so that they are sustainable without a full-time employee. As ocProducts cannot commit to doing reliable technical support without full-time staff, the ocPortal price will be lowered and the offer of active technical support for new sales will no longer be made. Support will remain, via the hosted forum, via bug fixing, and via documentation; this is in-line with the support offerings of most software companies (few will actually step you through the software directly like we have been doing).

A new ocPortal version is indeed being planned. I'm sure details will be given at a later date – ocPortal will go on. We all believe strongly in what we've been doing, and the ability for ocProducts to put out a far higher quality product than our more-talked-about competition is able to do.

If you are interested in joining the ocPortal team, please start a private support ticket ('Contact Us' from the menu of the main website) – positions will be unpayed, at least for the short-to-medium term, but there's a lot to be said about working for ocProducts. I personally am looking forward to seeing some of the great features that the team has planned to come to life.


Last edit: by Chris Graham


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#22699
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Honoured member

aawww this is sad to hear.. I hope you guys will keep going this cms in the future because its just rocking the rest..
I know i will keep using it for a long time..

Either way, thank you for all the support in the past guy's and i'll try to get something back in to it.

:D  Dont shoot the messenger!!  :D

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand.

Chris Graham said

I guess a warning in your line of work tends tomean 'run for cover'. Fortunately it's not so severe when it comes to computers ;).
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Posted
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#22709
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Community saint

Very sad to hear but I know how that goes.
Reminds me of when IPB went from being free to pay, they basically came across the same road at one time.
I really love OCportal an how well it is made and when I first saw this I was like O Noes my favorite portal that now has made my site 10 times more popular then it was with out it. I was about to cry tell I read it to the end and saw it will still be around.
I do hope the support though the forums stays, I use that a lot. I do agree that a lot of places do not offer direct support, even on IPB it is mostly customer to customer support, there is some other support but you have to pay for it, every year too.

If I could afford it I would Pay ocportal as much a month as I am paying for hosting.
Right now though I am on the verge of bankruptcy.


Last edit: by amichan

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#22718
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The best thing our current users (registered or not) can do is get the word out about ocPortal and help us to generate a larger user-base. Only then can we really increase our production and generate more sales. :thumbs:


Like ocPortal on Facebook:
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Posted
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#22720
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Community saint

I have been doing that I talk about ocportal on lots of sites.
I even got a friend to sign up here.
Johann signed up cuz he was looking to make a new site.
I have it in my siggy at several sites.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#22722
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Good work! :)

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Posted
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#22723
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Community saint

Thanks I will continue to spread the word.
I am even thinking of making video tatorials if you want as that might help people in understanding how to use your products.

I really want to help out cuz in my opinion there is nothing better then ocportal. I mean I tested many other system and non are as complete or as flexable as this one.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#22734
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Honoured member

I keep telling people to use it, and every time i start  a project i always look to OCP first.. When all my sites are done and to my likings i'll try to make a site for OCP that will explain everything step by step.. So i might be bugging you guys to far in the future with random stuff.. :P

:D  Dont shoot the messenger!!  :D

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand.

Chris Graham said

I guess a warning in your line of work tends tomean 'run for cover'. Fortunately it's not so severe when it comes to computers ;).
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Posted
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#22769
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Community saint

Sounds like we both have the same idea. We could do it together.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#22771
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Community saint

arrg. I hate when your trying to say good things about ocportal and some jerk says portal's suck.
Yes some do but ocportal is not a portal its a web site engine. It even does more then some cms's that I have seen.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#22777
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Honoured member

amichan said

Sounds like we both have the same idea. We could do it together.
Yeah, could be a possibility, but first i need to finish the dutch translation and my own sites tho..
But it will be a while before i can point my attention towards a new undertaking..

:D  Dont shoot the messenger!!  :D

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand.

Chris Graham said

I guess a warning in your line of work tends tomean 'run for cover'. Fortunately it's not so severe when it comes to computers ;).
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Posted
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#22918
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Well-settled

Hi Chris,

In reply to your messafe below, I'm going to pick up this message that I wrote and make it into a PT.  Frankly, that's a better idea anyway and I'm always happy to help whenever I can.  After all, everyone who uses ocPortal has an investment in helping you and the team do their best.

Thanks,
Aaron


Last edit: by PoliticalVoice

-Aaron / PoliticalVoice

"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps." - Emo Phillips

"Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My word's but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel, but I can't make you think." - From the album Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull (written by Ian Anderson)
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Posted
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#22919
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Thanks Aaron! I really appreciate that. I have studied marketing and strategic possibilities very extensively myself, but it's always great to get a fresh perspective, especially from a customer. I'd love to see what else you have – please start a PT with me about it when you have the free time.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
Back to the top
 
Posted
Rating:
#22926
Avatar

Well-settled

Leon, Amichan,

I really agree with the both of you: spreading the word is really key and its ultimately the job of loyal ocPortal users to help do just that.  Perhaps the most important single thing we can do is to lobby CMS related sites to give ocPortal a greater place or recognition in the usual roundup of CMS reviews and so on.  Whaddya think?

As a sidenote, awhile back I had started a webring for  ocPortal and WoWbb users.  This isn't really the same thing, but it is a good way for the users to support one another and, in turn, help keep our community invigorated.  Anyway, I'm going to be relaunching this webring soon and refining it quite a bit, so perhaps this could be another way to help our community.

-Aaron / PoliticalVoice

"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps." - Emo Phillips

"Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My word's but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel, but I can't make you think." - From the album Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull (written by Ian Anderson)
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Posted
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#22928
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Community saint

Ah sounds good I am slow on my new site dedicated to ocportal and IPB mainly do to many wanting my help with installing mods on thier ipb site. Not to mention I am already a staff on a ipb support site.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
Rating:
#23005
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Well-settled

Is this you?   ;)
http://www.easyipb.com/forums/index.php?s=a1948f8faf58a8e78f2fa70b8dfd4e5b&showtopic=1513&pid=7303&st=0&#entry7303

I ran across is a few minutes ago.  Wow, the person with whom you're 'debating' is quite the dumb ass.  He desperately needs his mind opened……  sorry, I just hate judgmental people like that…… errrr, ignore the paradox there.   :$

 :thumbs:  

-Aaron / PoliticalVoice

"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps." - Emo Phillips

"Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My word's but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel, but I can't make you think." - From the album Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull (written by Ian Anderson)
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Posted
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#23006
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Well-settled

Oh, and if that is you and you haven't settled on a name yet I've got a few ideas for you (and sorry that the IPB people couldn't be a bit more, well, nicer and more helpful…… I just hate people who are intolerant of others!!! O_o  ).  Anyway, here goes:

ocPassion.net or org  (I'd stick with net or org only because, in my opinion, they make it crystal clear your intention in relation to ocPortal, IMHO.)
ocPotential
OnlyChicPlease (OCP)
SupportOCP

You get the idea.  Let me know if you want anything else.

All the best!

-Aaron / PoliticalVoice

"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps." - Emo Phillips

"Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My word's but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel, but I can't make you think." - From the album Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull (written by Ian Anderson)
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Posted
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#23016
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Community saint

This below link does take you to a post made by me.

PoliticalVoice said

Is this you?   ;)
http://www.easyipb.com/forums/index.php?s=a1948f8faf58a8e78f2fa70b8dfd4e5b&showtopic=1513&pid=7303&st=0&#entry7303

I ran across is a few minutes ago.  Wow, the person with whom you're 'debating' is quite the dumb ass.  He desperately needs his mind opened……  sorry, I just hate judgmental people like that…… errrr, ignore the paradox there.   :$

 :thumbs:  

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
Rating:
#23197
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Well-settled

I am shocked to read this. :(


Vrouwen Power! | Fibsboard backgammon forum

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
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Posted
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#23545
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Fan in action

All roads lead to Rome

Gee Chris,

I'm ploughing my way through your documentation thinking, 'Wow! these guys have got a great product with many innovative features' & then I read your post.   You & your staff have put so much into this it's obvious it's been done with passion.  You must have had a big dream to get it this far.   This path you are now following is just a detour.  Keep holding that image of where you want this to go and be open to miracles.  This is too good to let go.  Forget the competition, let them compete amongst themselves, OCPortal doesn't need to compete - it's way down a track that others haven't even found the starting gate for.
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