A few months ago I blogged about a new site called “MonitoringForge.org“. It seemed to me to be a thinly veiled marketing attempt with little value, but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and time would tell.
Well, I was reading Coté’s blog today and read a link where they created a press release to trumpet their 2,000th registered member.
This struck me as funny because, in the same sentence, they state that there are “more than 2,000 projects” registered on the site.
So, if only one unique member of each project on their site registered, there should be more than 2,000 of them, yet they have less than that, and this is considered news? Heck, we have nearly 1300 people on the opennms discussion list and we’re just one project, but with their site running at an average of less than one person per project I guess we’re doing pretty well. And while I’m sure that 80 or so of our subscribers are directly working on OpenNMS, that still leaves about 1200 end users.
I’ll leave the similar calculation for MonitoringForge as an exercise for the reader.
Now I’m not one to beat a dead horse, but when the “Chief Marketing Officer” is willing to issue a press release on a site she calls “the epicenter of all open source projects that relate to IT monitoring” with such, in my humble opinion, lame numbers, I’m willing to stand by my original impression that this is just a marketing ploy.
Am I wrong? Can anyone comment who found the site valuable? Inquiring minds want to know.
3 thoughts on “MonitoringForge Redux”
Since you ask, I think you’re quite wrong 🙂 I really don’t understand your need to be so negative about what they are doing. Unless they are doing something evil, at worst, should you not ignore them? Your entire post has a condescending tone. Why, just because they may be doing marketing?
As far as I can see they are trying to do something constructive with their marketing dollars and create a repository for all open source monitoring software. What is wrong with that? You use SourceForge happily. Does SourceForce provide this service as charity? Would they be able to provide that service if it did not have some benefits?
Since OpenNMS is an established project with thousands of users, you clearly don’t think you need such a repository, which is fine. But there are hundreds of other projects/plugins that may need a central place where people can find the plugin or tool they need quickly, similar to what SourceForge did for many open source projects, just more focused.
Unless you know something that you’re not sharing where you suspect they have some evil plan, you should be helping them rather than attacking.
The usefulness of the site will depend on whether they can reach to a critical mass of open source monitoring tool developers and users, hence it is nothing wrong with the people who sponsored it to try to get the word out.
There is no need to presume them guilty before they commit any crime and attempting to do something good that would have marketing benefits is not a crime.
My .8 cents..
Well, the problem I have is that I do suspect them of having an alternate agenda. Groundwork has a history of using “open source” as a marketing term in order to push their commercial software. This, to me, was validated when they issued this press release.
If they felt that someplace like Sourceforge needed more focus, then by all means why not help Sourceforge create a special management section or category and avoid starting over?
As someone who has seen similar things like the Open Management Consortium (the website is apparently defunct) and The Open Solutions Alliance (founded as a marketing strategy) I am naturally skeptical of such things. I would be much more inclined to participate if a group is run by an independent non-profit foundation than the marketing arm of some company.
I wouldn’t view this as a “crime” – anyone is free to say whatever they want – and I gave them the benefit of the doubt for four months, but the fact that they claim to be the “epicenter” for open source management development cements in my mind that they are just in it to sell more of their software, which is against how I view “open source”. Heck, the one simple change of “the *goal* is to be the epicenter” would have eased my mind greatly, but they present it as a fait accompli.
It affects me. As someone who makes their living on open source software, when anyone tries to dilute the term it impacts the value that our products bring to the market, and I’ll do my best to stop it. Their press release is misleading, hence my post. Thanks for your alternative viewpoint.
I see your point. Reputation is easy to loose hard to gain back. You’re projecting from the fact that they are not truly open source and had done some bad things in the past so they must have some other agenda. May be so.
There is no evidence of that at the site. Their effort does not have to be altruistic. It can be similar to how Google promotes open web because it is good for them. They may be promoting opensource monitoring tools because simply it is good for them. They are targeting proprietary vendors so it’s not surprising to me. If it is also good for the community, great. How the site is governed is certainly something to keep an eye.
One other note, I would prefer a non-profit organization as well, however Open Management Consortium was such an effort and the website is defunct because no one is maintaining it and there were no resources to enhance the site to make it a social hub. This takes time and resources. Monitoringforge may make it because there is a corporate entity behind it, just like there is a corporate entity behind SourceForge.
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