The value of open source software is much talked about, both in terms of the direct and indirect returns to those that give their time to its construction and those that build composite services upon it. Really interesting things happen when we stop associating open source with lines of code.

Fred Wilson recently posted an article saying that software is media. Open media projects, such as the Mak Corp Formula 1 2007 racing mod for Sim Bin's GTR Evolution, are growing in popularity not least because their magnificence is accessible to a wider group of users. Programmers appreciate the inherent complexity, elegance of code and efficiency of say Drupal in the same way that gamers appreciate the level of detail, playability and realism of the racing mod.

Clearly without PHP, the framework that underpins Drupal, and GTR Evolution, the game that supports Mak Corp's mod, there is no magnificence. The question is how are these platforms developed and supported. PHP is itself open source whereas GTR Evolution is a commercial product, albeit one that offers an open API to facilitate mod's such as Mak Corp's.

We live in a time of mixed model ecosystems, where open source and commercial products combine seamlessly to produce user experiences, some of which are monetised and others not. This is not a new phenomenon and based on the last 10 years, it seems this is sustainable.

Given that it took me 4 months to hear about the release of this mod, and I would have been willing to pay for it, I wonder if there's a monetisation opportunity around search and discovery.