I was lucky. TotalFinder is a pretty hot deal. I’m getting quite some emails from promo sites and bundle creators with offers to include TotalFinder. Thank you, maybe later.

Today, I woke up with a truly brilliant idea™

… I should launch yet another promo site called MacGems.org

Ok, for customers the only warm difference is that all profits would go to open-source projects. But I believe this should resonate with the developers who should pay this all and be super-happy about it :-)

Prom’o’mat - a kind of automated promo machine

Quality promo sites usually offer 50/50 split with the developer (after discount). They are basically selling developers their huge audiences built around discount promises. They spend their money on maintaining those audiences and promoting the deals.

Couldn’t it be done cheaper? Thinking about it I’ve got an idea. We as developers we have our own audiences, right? We are building great relations with our users. They trust us by using our software, installing updates or simply giving us some attention. Why not put them into work in a good way?

Let’s join and build a promo platform on top of this effort. Open, shared, automated, unobtrusive. And non-profit in the sense, that usual promo profits will go directly to selected open-source projects. Kind of a charity.

Why? Because we all use open-source libraries in our products and we should give back.

How it should work?

Imagine Sparkle-like framework implementing a component which can advertise weekly deals on Mac software using a menubar icon (see the screenshot above).

You as a developer joining this service would link it into your product - like you do with Sparkle. This would enable your users with an option to opt-in during installation or later. And opt-out anytime.

This will open a new channel to advertise the deals with almost zero costs. Every developer contributes his own audience and that will start earning him points based on subscriber counts his apps bring to the system.

Now let’s say you want to do a deal for your new app. You need to set a discount 30% or more, select open-source project and submit the app into a queue. But wait, this will be a priority queue working like the Digg. So other developers may dig it up spending their points. It is up to you to do politics, negotiate or buy “digg points” from others.

Sooner or later your app gets finally promoted, it earns some profit and you have to send 50% to selected open-source project (verifiably using Pledgie or similar way). You will then get nice badge from us to be put on your site: “Thanks to your support we were able to give back. We donated $X to the project Y (via promomat)”.

The promo machine should be automated and run without interventions. It is like a self-service.

And now go and ask yourself: could this possibly work or is it yet another April joke? :-)