corporate gifts

I’m sorry to keep harping on about this, but… based on a remark dropped on wp-hackers about wpthemes.info, I thought I’d investigate some of the themes they currently have in use on wordpress.com. Did you know that if you download Fleur De Lys for your own install, you’ll find this little nugget in footer.php:

<?php //Please Keep the link to the original authors. Thanks ?><a href=”http://wpthemes.info/fleur-de-lys/&#8221; target=”_blank”>Fleur De Lys</a> Sponsored by <a href=”http://www.crystaloccasion.com/”>Corporate Gifts</a>

Oh dear. What to do? On principle, of course, the theme ought now to be removed from the wordpress.com presentation panel, but this would massively inconvenience all the innocent people who are already using it.

In related news, it sounds like Matt is shortly to deprive themes.wordpress.net of any official status it may or may not have:

If we have folks who would be willing to check and maintain quality of themes, maybe it’s time to resurrect the idea of a wp-themes.org repository?

I’m really, really hoping this is nothing to do with anything I’ve said. Aside from the guilt at sabotaging a user-friendly community resource that others have worked extremely hard on, and the fact that the last thing we need is yet another theme repository, I’d hate to be that important.

12 Comments »

  1. Sadish said

    I am perfectly OK with removing the link to the sponsors, if you do not like to keep it.
    It is not a MUST-TO-HAVE thing, but it is a NICE-TO-HAVE thing.

    Giving a sponsor link, helps us financially to some extent and I have already told the sponsors that the user has the right to remove it if they dont want.

    Thanks
    Sadish

  2. […] I am just trying to clarify on the issue raised at https://wank.wordpress.com/2006/09/10/corporate-gifts/ […]

  3. Matt said

    I’m pretty sure that wasn’t there when I added that theme.

    It’s unfortunate that theme authors are being driven to make ends make this way.

    wpthemes.info says its “pround sponsor” is http://rsstoblog.com/ , clearly a splog tool.

  4. It’s unfortunate that theme authors are being driven to make ends make this way.

    It’s a direct consequence of the ‘something-for-nothing’ culture surrounding WP, I’m afraid. In the past, if you went to the forums saying you wanted to pay someone to make a template for you, they’d tell you to download a theme that looked a bit like what you wanted and edit it yourself. I tried offering paid installations along with custom themes a few years back, but nobody was idiotic enough to pay for something they could get somebody else to do for free. When I did get custom work, I found it markedly harder to get the WordPress clients to pay up than the Movable Type or even the Diaryland ones; they thought that since they weren’t paying for the software they shouldn’t have to pay for anything else. (They were already forking out for hosting, of course, so I’m not sure what kind of cognitive dissonance was going on there.)

    Adsense covers most of my hosting costs; but, when you take the value of my time into account, over the years I’ve made a net loss on template-making. Which I accept because it’s a hobby, and when the money I’m losing outweighs the enjoyment I get out of it I’ll stop. Offering themes for download eats up a lot more bandwidth than your average plugin, though, and it’s unreasonable to expect all theme authors to put themselves out of pocket in order to contribute to the community. If they can’t get people to pay for the themes themselves and they can’t make enough from ads, how else are theme developers meant to stay afloat other than sponsorship?

  5. timethief said

    I don’t understand why anyone would expect a made to order professional aervice to be free of charge. Granted I’m a sort-of newbie (hmmm what umbrella does one come under after 5 months of blogging – is there another label? oops! pardon for digressing) but I don’t get why Matt or anyone else would sound apologetic for expecting designers to be paid for themes they create.

    What’s with this terminology “being driven … ” driven by whom? by what? The implication is that something has changed. When, where, and what happened?

    When I first began reading blogs a couple a few years ago there weren’t many featuring advertising and now it seems to be a given that bloggers are “driven” to have them. Who are the drivers? Help me out here please because I just don’t get the difference bewteen the “then” and “now” scenarios.😦

  6. What’s changed in the past few years is that Google’s made it easier😉 I suspect that much of the popularity of ads on blogs is down to people’s deep-seated need to fill their sidebars with random crap. No more, no less. I, however, am motivated purely by greed, which shouldn’t be discounted either.

    Seriously, though, a self-hosted blog offering themes for download costs more to run than a self-hosted blog which doesn’t. One answer is to offer themes for download only through repositories, but then you’re at the mercy of their server and the whims of whoever’s running it. It’s also much harder to keep track of support requests; people end up running to the forum and annoying the volunteers there rather than going direct to the author.

  7. Scott said

    First of all, money pays the bills. I’ve had to upgrade my account from cheapo to economy to lite (sic) just to keep up with bandwidth needs. And after Digg downed my site last month, I needed to upgrade yet again.

    The motivations for “I did this at work today” blogs slathering themselves with Adsense must be different. I’m not suggesting they don’t place Adsense, just that circumstances like mine are differentiated with ease. Which is essentially what was suggested above.

    I am redundant.

  8. In related news, it sounds like Matt is shortly to deprive themes.wordpress.net of any official status it may or may not have:

    I don’t think having wp-themes.org would obviate themes.wordpress.net

    themes.wordpress.net is a user-end tool… I think Matt was suggesting a developer-end tool, for people to contribute to themes, not download them.

    The problem with this, which has been brought up, is that people who develop themes aren’t as code savvy as plugin developers, so the whole concept of an SVN repository might prevent them from using it.

  9. It wasn’t the concept of an SVN repository which stopped me using it, it was the fact it was unusable.

    (Since that thread was posted, I’ve installed Linux and command-lines no longer hold the same terror for me, but really, what proportion of theme developers would be comfortable with them? And what on earth led Matt to believe that proportion was significant enough to justify setting up an SVN repository without any instructions on how to use it?)

  10. […] Since the official wp.org plugin list is derived from wp-plugins.org, I’m assuming the official wp.org theme download list is pulled from the largely defunct (because unusable by anyone allergic to command lines) wp-themes.org repository? […]

  11. Root said

    The thing I think is very iffy is the com themes. Now forget the fact – completely – that a com blog is free. Those Auttomatticc guys are coining in the loot. But they are riding on the backs of free themes. Now they may have been free when supplied to the *community* – do you remember the community? – but it is not really in the spirit of it to com them. And it is not professional. Which accounts for the uncertain quality. I have NEVER understood this about WP. Deep down they hate front end developers. They don’t understand them and they (Matt) make consistently bad interface choices. And dare to mention in the forum the incredulous notion that the default should have run smoothly out of the box in IE, or any similar ideas and you are treated like a nutter. And do not get me started about the theme pack at MUDEV which contains a lot of very familiar names. Very familiar.🙂

  12. Trouble is, if you try to specify non-commercial use because you don’t want other people making money off the back of your unpaid work, you fall foul of the GPL and are immediately ineligible for the official repositories.

    Plus, if the examples of 281(3) and Garland are anything to go by, Matt will blithely ignore your licence and slap it up here anyway, because he believes so strongly that all code should be free that the wishes of the original coders are basically irrelevant. I’m not personally comfortable with that position, but I can see its appeal to hardcore open-source nuts who haven’t grasped the difference between code and design.

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