Thank you, Ned! Referring more maintainers: a success story

TL;DR: we owe @nedbat a big thanks! After sharing a blog post and a few tweets, Ned encouraged almost 20 Python maintainers to reach out to Tidelift, allowing us to support more maintainers and provide a more valuable subscription to both existing and future subscribers :tada:

On May 17th, we brought a group of some of our most engaged lifters to Boston, MA for a day of discussion around what we’re building at Tidelift, how we’re doing, and how we can be better partners with lifters.

One important thing we learned was that we needed to better engage with and support lifters to introduce Tidelift to their communities, and to encourage other maintainers that they know to look into Tidelift as a means of supporting their open source work.

And, as it turns out, @nedbat was willing to try this right away! Just a few days after the event, Ned tweeted this (note the 23 retweets, as well!):

The best idea I’ve seen for solving open source sustainability is @tidelift: If you maintain an open source library, you should take a look. If your biz uses open source you especially should.

— Ned Batchelder (@nedbat) May 20, 2019

Ned’s tweet linked to a short blog post explaining how he views the challenge of supporting open source projects and maintainers, his involvement with Tidelift, and why he believes in the model that we’re building together at Tidelift.

Over the next few days, Ned tweeted a couple more times about Tidelift, and engaged with some folks on Twitter to answer any questions they had about his experience to pull in some more maintainers:

#pytest just joined Tidelift as well. Hopefully it will be mutually beneficial. 👍

— Bruno Oliveira (@nicoddemus) May 20, 2019

How to make open source sustainable? A hard problem but @tidelift seems on the right track: Open source maintainers should take a look. If your biz uses open source you especially should. Pay the maintainers, everyone wins.

— Ned Batchelder (@nedbat) May 20, 2019


Hey Python package maintainers! You want some money?

— Ned Batchelder (@nedbat) May 22, 2019

Since then, 19 different Python maintainers have reached out to us citing Ned’s evangelism as the reason why they finally decided to take a serious look at Tidelift and get in touch with us. Several of these maintainers have already signed up and been onboarded as lifters :ocean:

All of this is to say, thank you, Ned! :tada:

Your support and advocacy within the Python community has been incredibly uplifting to our team since we started working with you last year, and now your voice within your community is enabling us to support more maintainers who have felt burdened, burnt out, or frustrated by the realities of maintaining a popular open source project.

It’s also worth saying, this is not the first instance of a lifter advocating on behalf of Tidelift! @jodastephen hen did so on his blog, and @r.spilker and @r.zwitserloot did so in a conference talk at JavaLand. This is just the first time that we’ve consciously tracked the follow up afterwards!

Going forward, we hope to do this more and more, with all lifters!


Wow, thanks for the shout-out. At the Boston event, another of the lifters (I forget who) said they had written a blog post, and you said it had helped. I thought, “that’s weird, I have a blog, why haven’t I written a post about Tidelift?”

So I did. A few click-bait tweets later, and I guess it worked! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Glad to help!


Worth adding that this doesn’t just impact maintainers - we’re getting customer inquiries about lifted python packages, including several of the newly-lifted packages. The virtuous cycle is working :slight_smile: