I disagree with this particular suggestion both in principle and in practice.
Paying to vote is explicitly incompatible with our current structure and rules, and our ethos of being first and foremost a free and open-source project. Please have a read through https://www.classicpress.net/democracy/ if you haven’t already.
As far as other suggestions like premium support, we are not making a decision on this yet either way. However, I can think of a few things that would be absolutely required before implementing such a program:
- Clearly defined contractual obligations on both sides. For support, what is in scope vs out of scope, etc.
- Someone to implement, execute and manage the program, including hiring, compensation, quality control, etc. Ideally this would be someone with previous experience running an online support team.
- Transparent governance that does not cause conflicts of interest with our existing goals and structures. This may be the most difficult part to do well.
Personally I’d also go for live chat support rather than email support. Our support forums already offer a much nicer support experience than anything we could do via email, and that’s free.
what would the $100/yr get you as a user?
Slightly more than $0/year would get you.
You don’t want the $100 market. You want the $100k+ market.
You want The New Yorker, BBC America, Bloomberg, Variety, Sony Music, MTV. Playstation, umpteen governments, and a bazillion celebrities that are used to WP 4.x
You don’t want a $100/year customer. You’ll have to ramp up your customer support, and they’ll cost you far more than they pay. Supported installations start at $100k per annum. Customized installations start at $500k per annum. And they are vigorously supported.
Similar to the Discourse model. Have open source that everyone is welcome to use, but support enterprises with paid options.
That way the enterprise users support the ongoing development of the open source project for everyone and Discourse can afford to hire staff to work on the project.
Edit: Link to Discourse
So similar to how ACF do it. And a lot of others. Although for ACF there is a “pay once-update forever” model … not too bad working out for them though, is it?
ps: on a side note: With “just” a plugin, its probably easier to support the “pay once” model … IDK about a complete evolving CMS environment though …