[tdwg-tag] LSID business model?

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tue Apr 28 11:39:05 CEST 2009

I have no real understanding of business (as will become obvious), but  
$10 a year strikes me as a bad idea:

1. It's a tiny amount of money, which implies the service itself isn't  
worth much. Organisations are used to paying big license fees, and  
individuals will happily stump up $US99 per annum  for services such  
as Dropbox. Asking $10 makes it seem trivial (especially as, unlike  
domain name registration, there's no economy of scale for TDWG)

2. It closes the possibility of a market for these services, in the  
sense that $10 isn't an incentive to get others involved (which I  
think is ultimately what you want). If people's commercial livelihoods  
depended on this stuff, we'd stop faffing around and get solutions up  
and running.

3. Any exchange of money implies a commitment to service, which  
requires resources, which TDWG doesn't seem to have, so the cost of  
the service will have to cover that commitment.

Perhaps I've misunderstood, and the service is just the DNS SRV  
record, but it think if you're going to talk about money you want to  
think about providing more services, to take the hassle away from  
providers. There should be the option of on-site, drop in  
installation,  and help for big players, and simple, easy to use tools  
for smaller providers.



On 27 Apr 2009, at 23:25, Dave Vieglais wrote:

> I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this strategy (I'll be surprised
> if not):
> TDWG seems determined to use LSIDs for GUIDs, yet the technical issues
> for implementation are discouraging enough for some to defer
> deployment.  Perhaps TDWG could offer as a bonus for membership (or
> perhaps a small additional charge) the provision of some elements of
> the LSID infrastructure stack, overloading the tdwg.org domain?
> Then, instead of having each institution create DNS entries such as
> "mydepartment.institution.org" and deal with the SRV details, use TDWG
> as a kind of registrar and do something like
> "mycollectionid.tdwg.org".  TDWG would then be responsible for the
> appropriate DNS SRV registration, and could even operate a resolver
> and/or redirection service for that domain.
> The income would not be very much (say $10/year per org * 100
> participants = $1k), but it should be a lot less expensive for the
> entire community than the total cost for each organization operating
> their own infrastructure (perhaps $10/year DNS + $1000/year operations
> * 100 participants = $101k).
> So as not to overload the TDWG infrastructure, it would be sensible to
> encourage technically astute groups (e.g. GBIF, EoL, NCEAS) to
> contribute computing cycles and fallback DNS services to ensure
> reliability of the entire system.
> The end result could be a reliable, distributed infrastructure for
> LSID (or whatever GUID scheme is decided upon) resolution that
> conforms to the requirements / specifications derived from the TDWG
> procedures at a small cost for participation.  The low cost and
> deferral of technical overhead to a knowledgeable group would
> hopefully encourage participation by a broader audience in this piece
> of fundamental architecture.
> (It may also help reduce the endless cycles of discussion about GUIDs
> and LSIDs)
> Dave V.
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> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
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Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
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