We’re planning to support both centralized and self-hosted versions within our existing nonprofit by slowly building our new membership and community services offerings, as described in our sustainability update earlier this year. Our goal is to become deeply sustainable. Not just enough to keep the lights on, but enough to pay fair salaries and offer great benefits to our employees, to continue developing innovative features, and to build a robust rainy day fund. Unfortunately, some people in the ecosystem don’t like this approach. They see it as a false choice, and believe that focusing on making our core use-case sustainable compromises on openness. We respectfully disagree. Learning from the legions of projects that have either pivoted to serve the needs of well-funded incumbents, or simply failed when their funding ran out, we believe we are on the right path to sustainably meet the needs of an underserved set of users while maintaining our commitment to being as open as possible.
I’m right with Stein and the Knowledge Futures Group on the self-hosting question. One reason my own publishing projects have gone all in on PubPub is that they’ve made sustainability a top priority—with an ability-to-pay ethos and full-feature access for those who can’t afford memberships. PubPub’s key virtue, arguably, is its turnkey ease of setup, which—yes—rests on the team prioritizing the hosted version over self-hosting support. I’m glad that the PubPub team has medium-term plans to support self-hosting, but I’m relieved—more so, actually—to hear that they’ll continue to prioritize the central PubPub instance.