New marketplace connects open source contractors with clients

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In any field, a major challenge can be finding the right talent. For open source projects looking for contractors, it's hard to organize possible candidates from all over the web. Flossmarket hopes to fill that void.

A platform for connecting contractors and businesses/individuals, Flossmarket allows each party to search for and find like-minded partners faster for their projects. Contractors build a profile and are able to advertise their services on their page. And, anyone who needs contract open source work done can review candidates based on criteria they set in their search.

We spoke with Łukasz Jachymczyk, co-founder and head developer of Flossmarket about how people can get started and how they hope to evolve the platform as more contractors sign up.

Tell our audience about the Flossmarket.

Flossmarket is a platform that makes it easy to establish contact between professional open source contractors and whomever the customer might be, whether business or individual. Our mission is to popularize open source solutions and support entrepreneurs who decide to implement them.

The platform represents various free software projects, systems, and components as tags. There are also categories that represent types of work (i.e. implementation, deployment, modifications, migrations). Each contractor has their own profile, like a business card that includes all of their essential data and shows their specialities with tags and categories. On the other end, those placing an order can add suitable tags and categories to the service they need, allowing us to match orders with contractors and notify them about job opportunities.

Flossmarket is a convenient tool and saves time. Posting an order is just a short form, and contractors are automatically notified about orders matching their profile.

How does an open source expert get involved as a contractor?

Contractors can be both individual freelancers or companies. In order to become contractor the process is to sign up and create a contractor's profile, specifying the area of expertise by defining corresponding tags and categories. There is an option to promote a profile as well that includes more information about the contractor, such as: portfolio, certificates, testimonials, and more.

How does an open source advocate get a potential job lead to the site?

For a potential client, I would stress the convenience and time and cost savings due to Flossmarket's contractor profiles and tag/category system. For the potential contractor, I think the market provides a new avenue of business promotion and advertising as well as direct access to orders (which will increase as the user-base grows).

Interested parties should visit our hompage: From there, they can easily sign up for an account and add an order.

Will the entire transaction around available work, bids, proposals, etc. be transparent and open source?

Right now, Flossmarket operates only as a contact platform. We match contractors and customers, and we allow them to communicate.

Orders may contain crucial information like timeframes, deadlines, and budget, from which contractors can base an offer or specify their own terms. But after the contact is initiated in Flossmarket, the deal made between the contractor and the ordering party is done outside of our site and we do not affect its conditions.

We do make publicly available who makes an offer on a certain order (details of the bid are not shown).

Will contractors be able to include proprietary solutions in their proposals?

Our terms and conditions state that orders on Flossmarket must be for open source software. So we do not exclude orders or offers which reference proprietary software as long as the main technology to be used is open source.

What's the business model for Flossmarket?

Our main goal is to promote open source software and help people willing to implement open solutions find the best professional contractor. When we succeed and become good at it, we would like to make money on promoted contractor profiles (subscription model-based) and fees for access to order details. Posting orders is and always will be free of charge.

We noticed there's a beta label on the site, what are your plans for General Availability?

We will go to GA when there is a continuous flow of high-quality orders that are valuable for contractors. Before that, we would like to introduce some important features like content ratings and feedback. Also, we would like to integrate with other tools.

We also would like to be a knowledge base for our users and a focal point for various local open source related events. Soon we are launching on our blog series of expert publications on certain open source technologies. These articles are intended to bring valuable information both for contractors as well as customers.

Also, to start, we are supporting Drupal Camp Wroctaw 2013—a Drupal conference which will take place in Wroctaw, Poland in the middle of April.

For more information on FLOSS visit our site, and for more information on open source, check out the What is open source? page on this site.

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Alanna is a senior at NC State and passionate about ways to make technology user friendly. She enjoys traveling and working through her long list of "To Read" books. Follow her on Twitter at @alanna_howard.

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