GIMP merchandising

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GIMP merchandising

Dave Neary-2

Hi all,

As many of you know, we have an informal merchandising arrangement with
Sourcewear.com which has raise a few dollars this year (not much, though).

I would like to improve on this relationship, and I know that Federico
at sourcewear feels the same. For my part, I'd like to see better
products, and more products, as well as formalising the cut we get from
merchandising (this is currently an informal arrangement, I think that
we should get an engagement on paper).

For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the arm
(which I'm OK with), and they would like to be our official merchandiser
- that is, have a place in the sidebar on every page, and a place of
prominence on the front page.

That's why I'm writing here. Is this arrangement OK with people? I will
firm things up quickly with Federico if it is, but I didn't want to
start negociating something without running it past the communtiy that
has stuck with the GIMP.

Lazy approval is in effect - if you haven't replied in 3 days, I'll
assume everyone's happy with this.

Cheers,
Dave.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

James Cox-6
On Thu, 2005-05-19 at 13:32 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> As many of you know, we have an informal merchandising arrangement with
> Sourcewear.com which has raise a few dollars this year (not much, though).
>
> I would like to improve on this relationship, and I know that Federico
> at sourcewear feels the same. For my part, I'd like to see better
> products, and more products, as well as formalising the cut we get from
> merchandising (this is currently an informal arrangement, I think that
> we should get an engagement on paper).
>
> For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the arm
> (which I'm OK with), and they would like to be our official merchandiser
> - that is, have a place in the sidebar on every page, and a place of
> prominence on the front page.
>
> That's why I'm writing here. Is this arrangement OK with people? I will
> firm things up quickly with Federico if it is, but I didn't want to
> start negociating something without running it past the communtiy that
> has stuck with the GIMP.
>
> Lazy approval is in effect - if you haven't replied in 3 days, I'll
> assume everyone's happy with this.
>
> Cheers,
> Dave.
>

I have no objections to adding some tastefull merchandising links to the
gimp website, but I think we should be carefull about the product we
promote.

Has anyone here seen the quality of their shirts?  Are they screen
printed or heat transfered?  I prefer screen printed tshirts, but
gradients like the ones we have in the gimp logo dont usually screen
print very well.

They seem like a good company and I have no reason to doubt their
quality, but if I were making the decision I would want to know
beforehand.

Jay Cox
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Re: GIMP merchandising

Dave Neary-2

Hi,

Jay Cox a ?crit :
> Has anyone here seen the quality of their shirts?  Are they screen
> printed or heat transfered?  I prefer screen printed tshirts, but
> gradients like the ones we have in the gimp logo dont usually screen
> print very well.

I'll let Federico answer the question about whether they're screen
printed or not - I seem to recall that he told me that they are.

And there is a Wilber without gradients.

> They seem like a good company and I have no reason to doubt their
> quality, but if I were making the decision I would want to know
> beforehand.

And rightly so.

Cheers,
Dave.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Simon Budig
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2
Dave Neary ([hidden email]) wrote:
> For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the arm
> (which I'm OK with), and they would like to be our official merchandiser
> - that is, have a place in the sidebar on every page, and a place of
> prominence on the front page.

Well, I am OK, with the Logo in the arm (although It would prevent me
from buying this shirt), but I am definitely not OK with placing them on
each and every page of our site, effectively turning www.gimp.org into
a advertisement platform for sourcewear.

And what is involved with being the "official merchandiser"?
How would we handle other companies trying to sell Gimp merchandise and
want similiar exposure? Do we need an official merchandiser?

Frankly, making www.gimp.org a platform for a single merchandiser, so
that he can ship Gimp-T-Shirts which also serve as a platform for said
merchandiser does sound like a bad deal for me. Also the stuff currently
available does not catch my fancy. Assuming this holds for others as
well I don't expect much for us from this deal. I believe the hassle
which will come up when other merchandisers become aware of this deal
is not worth it.

Bye,
        Simon

PS: Full Disclosure: Good friends of me do have a small company that
also does merchandising stuff, you might remember the Gimp-Pin they
made. To my knowledge they have no interest in becoming the official
Gimp merchandiser.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Dave Neary-2

Hi Simon,

Simon Budig a ?crit :
> And what is involved with being the "official merchandiser"?
> How would we handle other companies trying to sell Gimp merchandise and
> want similiar exposure? Do we need an official merchandiser?

Essentially, this is what it comes down to ("de we need an official
merchandiser?"). Or more to the point, do we want a GIMP store. Clearly
we don't *need* anything.

Currently, there is next to no GIMP stuff, and what little there is is
not profiting the GIMP project at all.

This agreement would be a formal agreement whereby sourcewear gets
exposure from gimp.org, and in return we get money, and a variety of
other nice stuff (t-shirts printed at cost for sale at conferences, for
example). So what is involved in being the official merchandiser is that
they would be the only company with a prominent presence on gimp.org.

Other companies who want to produce GIMP merchandise can do so (with the
permission of the copyright holder on Wilber , namely tigert)
independently of gimp.org.

If the project as a whole decides that we don't want to have a
relationship like this with a merchandiser, then fine. We won't, and we
will continue not to have GIMP stuff for sale which will generate money
to pay for stuff. Right now, we're not paying for mych stuff as it is,
in spite of my recent mails on our financial situation.

But as I also said, the relationship in its current state is a
non-starter. Federico is selling almost no GIMP t-shirts, and until
there is some link bringing GIMP fans to sourcewear, that's not going to
change. Which means we continue to sit on our high horse, and people who
want to buy t-shirts don't know where to go to find them.

I would love to be able to buy GIMP stuff online, and know that for
every ?20 that I spend, the GIMP is getting ?5.

> Frankly, making www.gimp.org a platform for a single merchandiser, so
> that he can ship Gimp-T-Shirts which also serve as a platform for said
> merchandiser does sound like a bad deal for me. Also the stuff currently
> available does not catch my fancy.

We will ask to validate product lines, and I don't think Federico would
oppose printing designs which GIMP community members come up with. The
t-shirts are a very high quality, so the only issue is the designs.

The deal would be non-exclusive for GIMP goods, but would be exclusive
(with a limited lifetime) for placement on gimp.org. One requirement I'd
like Federico to satisfy is the ability to link directly to the GIMP
products rather than going through the main page.

The idea of doing things this way is that it's the path of least
resistance to getting a GIMP store. We control the product line, get
regular updates on sales (we can even consult the sales database in
real-time), and regular payments. We don't have to worry about credit
cards, deliveries, customer service, stock management or any of the
other things that make an online store hard work.

> I believe the hassle
> which will come up when other merchandisers become aware of this deal
> is not worth it.

I've talked to a few, the reason I'm suggesting Federico is that he has
already been making and selling high quality GIMP t-shirts for several
months. And why would there be hassle when other merchandisers find out?
None have even approached us to try something like this. In any case, if
it's the bother of other merchandisers you are worried about, I am
willing to be the front-man for this and take all such requests.

Cheers,
Dave.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

William Skaggs
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2

Seems okay with me, except that I think the advertising part should
be strengthened a bit:  such a prominent presence calls for a fixed
payment in addition to a cut (or a click-through payment if that can
be implemented).  I am assuming that it would show up as a text link:
if not, it needs to be made clear that the ad must be small and
unobtrusive, e.g., a text link together with a two-color logo in
GIMP's foreground and background colors.

  -- Bill



 

 
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Re: GIMP merchandising

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2
Hi,

Dave Neary <[hidden email]> writes:

> For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the
> arm (which I'm OK with)

The logo on the arm is definitely what keeps me (and probably others)
from buying this stuff. I wouldn't dare to leave home wearing one of
these shirts. It also gives me a very bad feeling about this
merchandising arrangement.

> and they would like to be our official merchandiser - that is, have
> a place in the sidebar on every page, and a place of prominence on
> the front page.

I don't think a prominent place on the front page is appropriate.
Integrating it into the sidebar might be.

> That's why I'm writing here. Is this arrangement OK with people?

What exactly does this arrangement involve? We can hardly decide
anything w/o knowing what we are talking about. Does it mean that
sourcewear will be the only official merchandiser?


Sven
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Re: GIMP merchandising

Dave Neary-2

Hi,

Sven Neumann wrote:
> Dave Neary <[hidden email]> writes:
>>For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the
>>arm (which I'm OK with)
>
> The logo on the arm is definitely what keeps me (and probably others)
> from buying this stuff. I wouldn't dare to leave home wearing one of
> these shirts. It also gives me a very bad feeling about this
> merchandising arrangement.

This seems to be a common point and I'll discuss this with Federico.

> I don't think a prominent place on the front page is appropriate.
> Integrating it into the sidebar might be.

At least announcing its existence when we add the link to the sidebar
might be nice.

> What exactly does this arrangement involve? We can hardly decide
> anything w/o knowing what we are talking about. Does it mean that
> sourcewear will be the only official merchandiser?

It would be a non-exclusive agreement to produce wilber goods, with an
agent identified for the GIMP project who would have control over
product quality and designs. Exact details need to be worked out. And
I'm not going to spend time doing that if the idea is not workable in
principle.

The only exclusive part would be that the link "Buy GIMP stuff" on
gimp.org would go to wilber merchandise on sourcewear.com. They're
getting placement - people who want to buy gimp merchandise go to
gimp.org, where we currently don't cater for them. They don't go to
sourcewear.org, so they don't sell many t-shirts, and we don't get much
money from the arrangement.

If we add a link to wgo, we are providing a service to people who want
to buy wilber stuff and don't know where to go, they get more referrals,
more sales, and we get a bigger slice of a bigger cake to spend on
things that we want - for example, paying for the publishing of the GIMP
manual (why not?) and a GIMP conference (when someone around here
decides they want to put the time into arranging one).

Cheers,
Dave.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Sven Neumann
Hi,

I've thought more about the whole thing and I would like to propose
the following solution:


We add a page about GIMP merchandising to www.gimp.org. This page
("GIMP Stuff" ?) gets linked from the sidebar and from the Donations
page and it is mentioned on the front page at the time it is added
(and perhaps every once in a while). On that page we give links to all
places where people can obtain GIMP stuff but only if the GIMP project
also gets a fair share of the bargain.


This is probably less than what Federico from sourcewear wants us to
do but I don't see why we should start to do agreements with anyone.
Let alone the fact that there's no legal entity who could make such an
agreement. If at all it would be Tigert as the author of the Wilber
drawing who could claim rights on it.

For the moment, sourcewear will probably be the only GIMP merchandiser
linked from the "GIMP stuff" page, but I hope that more nice GIMP
things will be available in the future. If that can help the GIMP
project in any way, that's a nice side-effect. If you think however
that we need to push GIMP merchandising further by having an official
GIMP merchandising shop, then we should probably first have a
discussion on what we want to spend the raised money on.  At the
moment we have more money available than we ever had and no idea
whatsoever what it should be used for.


Sven
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Re: GIMP merchandising

Dave Neary-2

Hi,

Sven Neumann wrote:
> I've thought more about the whole thing and I would like to propose
> the following solution:
>
> We add a page about GIMP merchandising to www.gimp.org. This page
> ("GIMP Stuff" ?) gets linked from the sidebar and from the Donations
> page and it is mentioned on the front page at the time it is added
> (and perhaps every once in a while). On that page we give links to all
> places where people can obtain GIMP stuff but only if the GIMP project
> also gets a fair share of the bargain.

That's grand with me. It's a fair middle line between having nothing
(current state) and having an integrated merchandising line.

This is the model that KDE use already, by the way. It's worth noting
that what KDE gets in stuff is pretty tiny - it's measured in hundreds
of euros a year.

I think this is a fair compromise between the concerns that GIMP is
selling out, and the desire to have GIMP merchandising for sale.

Unless there are objections to this, I'll figure out the details with
all concerned over the next couple of weeks.

Cheers,
Dave.

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Simon Budig
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2
Hi Dave.

First of all - because you seem to be concerned about that - I'll
readily admit, that Federicos Company is a good one. Otherwise we would
not even need to discuss this.

Second: My concerns are certainly influenced by the fact, that two of my
closest friends run a company that also does free software merchandising
and yes, I am involved in most of the designs.

Dave Neary ([hidden email]) wrote:

> Simon Budig a ?crit :
> >And what is involved with being the "official merchandiser"?
> >How would we handle other companies trying to sell Gimp merchandise and
> >want similiar exposure? Do we need an official merchandiser?
>
> Essentially, this is what it comes down to ("de we need an official
> merchandiser?"). Or more to the point, do we want a GIMP store. Clearly
> we don't *need* anything.
>
> Currently, there is next to no GIMP stuff, and what little there is is
> not profiting the GIMP project at all.

At least the second part is not exactly true. The Gimp Pin at
   http://www.kernelconcepts.de/products/fun/pins.shtml
has been available for ages and we have gotten a huge load of pins.
It actually was the first pin they did (and they grossly overestimated
the demand), cvs:gimp/docs/Wilber.svg would not exist without this pin.
At best it created a red zero for them. They still have lots available
and they don't sell. Do I need to mention that the quality is great
(silk-screened with 5 colors) and the price is very reasonable?

So now we are deciding to give an exclusive link to sourcewear on every
page and rid us of a possibility to link to other great Gimp products.
I'll admit that after your first mail I had the horror vision of a
sourcewear-logo in the sidebar and I am happy to hear that this is not
the case. However, I don't think it is OK to ignore the fact that
Federicos company is not the only good company out there.

Of course you probably did not know about Kernelconcepts. They never
approached the Gimp-Mailinglists for inclusion on gimp.org, I was very
reluctant when they asked me about it ages ago and I did never harp on
the fact that the pins have been made by them, when I handed the Pins
out freely whenever I meet Gimp-people. Maybe they should have done,
maybe I should have done. I do now, because I think they deserve to be
listed in a potential list of good gimp-merchandising makers.

> If the project as a whole decides that we don't want to have a
> relationship like this with a merchandiser, then fine. We won't, and we
> will continue not to have GIMP stuff for sale which will generate money
> to pay for stuff. Right now, we're not paying for mych stuff as it is,
> in spite of my recent mails on our financial situation.
>
> But as I also said, the relationship in its current state is a
> non-starter. Federico is selling almost no GIMP t-shirts, and until
> there is some link bringing GIMP fans to sourcewear, that's not going to
> change. Which means we continue to sit on our high horse, and people who
> want to buy t-shirts don't know where to go to find them.

How many queries for a Gimp T-Shirt have you encountered in the last few
years? I can probably count them on a single hand without fingers, and I
simply don't believe that the additional exposure would generate a lot
of requests for Federico and as a result this is probably not a big
source of revenue for the GIMP.

Federico, please correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that the
Gimp-Shirts are done on a transfer-basis, i.e. not silkscreened.

Having a shirt with silk-screened stuff needs big quantities and when
you are a small company you cannot afford to put that much money into a
product where you don't know if it sells.

If you're curious you can look at Petra's collection at
   http://www.kernelconcepts.de/products/fun/tshirts.shtml
with a selection of silk-screened or embroidered shirts for different
free software projects. Make sure to have a look at the prices as well.
This kind of stuff only works, when you know that you sell at least a
certain amount of shirts, either to the project itself (for a booth or a
conference), or by pre-orders. For the records: Petra usually has a full
disclosure politics towards the projects regarding the manufacturing
price and the projects have a big influence in the pricing of the
shirts.

[...]
> The idea of doing things this way is that it's the path of least
> resistance to getting a GIMP store. We control the product line, get
> regular updates on sales (we can even consult the sales database in
> real-time), and regular payments. We don't have to worry about credit
> cards, deliveries, customer service, stock management or any of the
> other things that make an online store hard work.

Ok, when we want a Gimp-Store this is a big plus. I however doubt that
this results in a regular stream of revenue.

> >I believe the hassle
> >which will come up when other merchandisers become aware of this deal
> >is not worth it.
>
> I've talked to a few, the reason I'm suggesting Federico is that he has
> already been making and selling high quality GIMP t-shirts for several
> months. And why would there be hassle when other merchandisers find out?
> None have even approached us to try something like this. In any case, if
> it's the bother of other merchandisers you are worried about, I am
> willing to be the front-man for this and take all such requests.

I hope I have clarified why I am concerned about this. You know for
yourself that the Gimp-Pin is really nice. And I feel bad when we are
now talking about linking to merchandise and rid ourselves of the
possibility to link to this one.

My preferred solution would be a page on www.gimp.org, maybe included as
a separate item in the menu. There we can list sourcewear as prominently
as we wish, but it would be obvious that we are in control. We would
have the possibility to link to other interesting stuff as well (which
IMHO exists!).

<commercial>
   And should we ever need a bigger amount of silkscreened shirts and we
   know in advance that a certain amount gets sold immediately, I'd like
   to suggest Petra / Kernelconcepts and I can guarantee immediate
   control over the artwork and the quality of the shirt.
   As in Me sitting in their offices.
</commercial>

Bye,
        Simon

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Carol Spears
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2
On Thu, May 19, 2005 at 01:32:29PM +0200, Dave Neary wrote:

>
> As many of you know, we have an informal merchandising arrangement with
> Sourcewear.com which has raise a few dollars this year (not much, though).
>
> I would like to improve on this relationship, and I know that Federico
> at sourcewear feels the same. For my part, I'd like to see better
> products, and more products, as well as formalising the cut we get from
> merchandising (this is currently an informal arrangement, I think that
> we should get an engagement on paper).
>
> For their part, they would like to continue having their logo on the arm
> (which I'm OK with), and they would like to be our official merchandiser
> - that is, have a place in the sidebar on every page, and a place of
> prominence on the front page.
>
it would have been interesting to see what a simple little
"advertisement" would have done to help improve the success of the
company (which does not sound very successful -- gimp has a huge user
base, i think).  simple like a once every other month mailing to the
user lists mentioned on the web site, explaining the merchandise,
providing urls and explaining the deal.

one thing that makes walmart so successful is that they put the stores
in the neighborhood of the people who they think will shop there.  (how
they did their research is another matter ....)

in my opinion, the relationship between anything with the name "source"
imbeded into its name tends to mean that an extremely leecherous
relationship with TheGIMP is already happening or just around the
corner or in developer terms "planned".


> That's why I'm writing here. Is this arrangement OK with people? I will
> firm things up quickly with Federico if it is, but I didn't want to
> start negociating something without running it past the communtiy that
> has stuck with the GIMP.
>
> Lazy approval is in effect - if you haven't replied in 3 days, I'll
> assume everyone's happy with this.
>
when i first started using this freesoftware, i thought it was really
cool and went around looking at the other projects and their
merchandise.  there was no gimp stuff there.

everything is so blurred since then -- their logo on the shirt and the
need for gimp to advertise them, i think that if Federico had been
interested in selling tee-shirts, he should have tried some email to the
user lists first or perhaps contacting gimp web site to get a mention
there.

while we are looking for "merchandisers" official and not, we should
also review how interested and successful their company has been in
promoting stuff.

for instance, i would have mentioned gimp merchandise on my web site --
no problem.  the problem apparently was in the company seeing the need
for help from gimp or is it an all or nothing attitude?

perhaps Federico could explain things himself?  too much go-between for
one person and you start to consider the go-between to perhaps be part
of the many problems.  i do not want to do this.

thanks,
carol

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Re: GIMP merchandising

Carol Spears
In reply to this post by Dave Neary-2
On Thu, May 19, 2005 at 01:32:29PM +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
>
> As many of you know, we have an informal merchandising arrangement with
> Sourcewear.com which has raise a few dollars this year (not much, though).
>
in the spirit of "open" can they make their files available?

do they have the ability to stitch? perhaps the open merchandisers could
make this information more open to this forum.

carol

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