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Weekly News Roundup – 08 Feb, 2013

I'm going to try and start making a weekly news roundup, there's so much happening in the world of WordPress, and while you can always take a look at our real-time News page for a quick glimpse at what's going on, the best news will be highlighted every Friday here on the roundup.

I’m going to try and start making a weekly news roundup, there’s so much happening in the world of WordPress, and while you can always take a look at our real-time News page for a quick glimpse at what’s going on, the best news will be highlighted every Friday here on the roundup.

Pressnomics v2

The Pressnomics conference will again be held this year, as announced on the Pressnomics website.

The idea of PressNomics is simple: Get the movers and shakers of the WordPress economy in the same physical place and bring in amazing business focused speakers to share their experience, add in some ample social time and see what happens.

Will you be attending this year?

Woothemes Closes Affiliate Program

Woothemes took a drastic decision to close their affiliate program. Here’s what they report on their site:

We’re sorry to say that we are discontinuing our referral program because of lack of traction for the program. Access to signup and log in has been removed for the time being.

We will be in touch with all existing affiliates prior to discontinuing the program with further details.

Thank you for your patience in this regard.

I’m sure many affiliates won’t be happy about this, but it probably makes sense for Woothemes, since they had been having a lot of problems with fraud and the whole program was a big headache to run. Woothemes is at a stage where they will sell their themes with or without affiliates, so this decision will most probably be beneficial for them as it will result in a leaner business process and more or less same number of sales.

New AdRotate Plugin Update Results in User Uproar

AdRotate is a popular banner ad management plugin, having garnered more than 400,000 downloads since its release. The plugin was available purely as a free version on WordPress.org, but this month the plugin’s author, Arnan de Gans, decided to also release a premium version.

A new update to the free version came hand in hand with the release of the premium version, and this is what caused a big user backlash. The main accusation is that the plugin author used ‘bait and switch’ tactics by removing features from the free version and putting them into the premium version, thus ‘forcing’ many users to upgrade to the paid version. Arnan replied by saying that the premium version had been announced for months, and the plans to move some features to the premium version were announced beforehand.

Still, many users, as can be seen in the reviews section, feel that this is not the right way to go about releasing a premium plugin version. The support forum also has some vehement protests going on:

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/adrotate-free-will-be-crippled

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/what-a-kick-in-the-teeth

In this particular case I find myself siding with the users, features in a free plugin version should never be suddenly moved away into a premium version. However I also feel that this is an unfortunate case of mismanagement from the plugin’s author, rather than a deliberate attempt to use bait-and-switch tactics.

What’s your opinion?

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Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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3 Responses

  1. Good to see you’re starting weekly roundups, jean.

    I never used the adrotate plugin but using bait and switch tactics to make profits – doesn’t sound like a good idea. He could have added extra or new features in the PRO version, instead of stripping existing ones out.

    1. Glad you’re interested in the news roundups.

      I agree that adding completely new features in the PRO version would be the best way to go about things. It’s an unfortunate case that will hopefully serve as a lesson to other developers.

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