SourceForge opens eBay-like marketplace

Open-source project hosting site takes cue from Red Hat's Exchange.

SourceForge's open-source, project-hosting Web site now has an eBay-like marketplace, where users can offer support services for sale.

The marketplace is built into and had been in beta since earlier this year. Initially, the company invited selected projects to create listings, in order to "stock the shelves," said Mike Rudolph,'s vice president.

SourceForge's approach of having users interact directly with customers differs somewhat from that of Red Hat's Exchange, an online marketplace launched earlier this year. Through the site, Red Hat sells commercial open-source business software from a finite range of vendors, as well as related support.

Rudolph said there are slightly fewer than 700 listings on SourceForge's marketplace site right now. But's sheer size -- it claims about 160,000 projects and 1.7 million registered users -- suggests there could soon be many more.

He expressed doubt that fraud and other concerns associated with online purchasing will afflict the site. "In my experience, online marketplaces tend to police themselves," said Rudolph, a former eBay employee.

It doesn't cost anything to post a listing on the marketplace, Rudolph said. Instead, SourceForge will take a commission on sales.

Rudolph said the commissions work under a tiered system, and average about 10 percent. He characterized the fees as "nominal," given the exposure and platform sellers receive.

"We are all about enabling success for the open-source development community," he said.

However, Rudolph said it's unclear precisely how the economics of open source will evolve.

"My point of view is that things are still relatively nascent," he said, adding that SourceForge is going after the proverbial long tail of the market -- smaller players and startups that may lack assets but drive innovation. "I don't think there's anyone serving the long tail right now but us," Rudolph asserted.

The marketplace represents another phase in SourceForge's evolution. The company, once called VA Software, changed its name earlier this year and said it planned to focus on its Web-based businesses, which also includes the popular tech news site Slashdot.

Rudolph would not say precisely how important the company believes this new venture will be to the bottom line. initially made its money entirely through advertising.

"This is a long-term strategic play for us," he said. "We've done some staffing up to support this. Ultimately, our hope is that it affects the economics of our business. But we are not forecasting that revenue at the moment."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?