Our hosting clients have long received preferential treatment from us. Pay me something, anything, to worry about your website every month and I'm obviously going to put a star next to your email in my in-box, whatever the subject might be.

The explosive growth of c5 this year has created a lot of new challenges for us as we look at prioritizing our already limited time. We want nothing more than to be worried about the core, promotion, and best practices around c5 – making it the most popular CMS on the planet. For that to happen, we all (c5 staff and community alike) need to consider the best ways to focus our time to help the project scale. We see several groups emerging in our young community already, and we're going to provide tools to help foster their growth.

c5network – The c5network members are simply anyone who has joined concrete5.org, or any of the local user group sites. We will connect this network of sites through openID, and by joining one you will be able to contribute and benefit from them all. Attend any meeting in the world you'd like to, get promotional discounts, early notice on exciting updates, everything you'd expect and more – for nothing.

c5services – Freelancers and webshops that are providing development services to customers using c5 are encouraged to join this affordable Partnership Program. Amongst many other benefits, a private forum ensures a timely response on any post from c5 staff.

c5hosting – Companies that host websites built with concrete5 are encouraged to join our affordable c5hosting Partner Program. Membership includes Whitepapers on how to centralize the c5 code base for a shared server, and how to setup the auto-generating demos we offer at getConcrete5.com/demo. Many other benefits are included as well as private forums with a guaranteed response by c5 staff.

Please don't take the existence of the c5services and c5hosting Partner Programs as any sign that we're less open source, free, or ‘good' than we were yesterday. We could have chosen a shareware or crippleware approach with c5, but we didn't and never will. We're not requiring you join any Partner Program to sell your goods in the new Marketplace, and we remain firmly dedicated to making the world a better place. Quite simply; we have to provide the same option for preferred support to the whole community, as we do to our hosting clients on getConcrete5.com.

More to the point, these are not private one to one retainers where big pocketbooks tie the core team up on the phone all day doing their work for them. These are more akin to Unions where you have the freedom and solidarity that comes from being surrounded by a group of your actual peers, in private. The real benefit here is instead of just getting access to us, members of these Partner Programs can openly share with one another as well.

-frz,