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Let's Make It Happen!

by nysus (Priest)
on Jun 28, 2001 at 06:55 UTC ( #92162=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

What if...

Community Sites Make a Comeback

New York Times
November 20, 2002
Rebecca Chase

As large companies and users continue the struggle to find value in their million-dollar internet ventures, a small but rapidly growing number of web entrepeneurs are discovering that there is real gold in the virtual hills. No one is getting rich but some are unearthing nuggets with the electronic equivalent of a pix axe and a pan---the community web site. Over the past year, there has been a resurgence in community sites, one of the oldest forms of internet communication used on the world wide web, and it seems netizens are even willing to pay for it. "We're getting back to what the internet is all about," states vroom, a software engineer and web developer who designs community site software. "The internet was built primarily to support human transactions, to help us swap ideas and thoughts with our peers. We're proud to make the technology that can help make that happen."

vroom's first site,, is seen as one of the perfectors of "peer reviewed posting" systems, where members of the community can vote on messages posted by other members. Authors of messages of great interest and value to the community gain rank and status while those who misbehave or add little to the discussion are swiftly punished. "We think our voting system is a big reason behind the success of PerlMonks," says vroom. "Like democracy, it isn't perfect but it basically works and keeps most users happy." PerlMonk's caters to programmers interested in using Perl, a programming language used mostly for internet applications and with which PerlMonk's is written.

Other sites employing such peer review systems report similar success. Indeed, many experts say it is the sole reason they've been able to thrive. To the chagrin of early internet adoptors, the popularity of the internet in the 90s brought about the demise of online communities as the signal to noise ratio of good posts to bad posts became intolerable for many users. Discussions quickly disintegrated into dehumanizing name-calling, and random ramblings of users who felt little connection to other readers. But if trends continue, online communities may once again thrive---and make a profit, too.

PerlMonks, for instance, uses a voluntary donation to help cover bandwidth costs and makes enough to keep vroom satisfied. "I haven't been able to quit my day job, but it's nice not to have to worry about overtime. The site pretty much runs itself now so it's definitely worth keeping it around."

Continued on page C3



I think we can all agree that PerlMonks is a special place. It is the best damn thing I have ever found on the internet. So as of now, I'm installing a link in my sig to take visitors directly to the Offering Plate. I encourage you to do the same (do try to be more creative). You may make vroom famous. If not, he'll at least get a couple six packs out of the deal.

$PM = "Perl Monk's";
$MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot";
$nysus = $PM . $MCF;
Click here if you love Perl Monks

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Let's Make It Happen!
by neshura (Chaplain) on Jun 28, 2001 at 07:28 UTC
    You go {non-discriminatory gender word}! What a creative way to get people's attention...
    If/when I close on the new fulltime job that I found as a result of the existence of Perl Monks, the site's going to get a chunk of money from me -- and I'm going to set up a monthly or quarterly reminder on my calendar to make sure I don't forget that the costs here are ongoing. The value of this site to me has been off the charts.

    e-mail neshura | Sure but whatsit worth to ya?

      This is all well and good. I'd love to make a donation to cover the costs. But the trouble is I am paid un a worthless non-US currency (given the current exchange rates). And PayPal is terribly US-centric. So what is a europerlmonk to do? Or a PacRim monk? or an African monk? Whatever.

      g r i n d e r
        You can make your sig one font size larger for the blind Americans! :-)

        $PM = "Perl Monk's";
        $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot";
        $nysus = $PM . $MCF;
        Click here if you love Perl Monks

        I agree, and to clarify a bit, I tried PayPal and eventually got annoyed. They make non-US residents jump through a lot of hoops, which might have been something I'd perservere with if I needed to use it for more than just one site. Giving up money is painful enough - being asked to go through a series of trials first is just too much. :( So what are the other options? I don't wear nerd clothes (actually I do, just not T-shirts), and buying books through fatbrain isn't a great option either.

        There is a large number of active EuroMonks, so it would make sense for PM to look into setting up something a lot less painful in order to get some donations from us. Even a name & address would be better than what's currently in place (in fact, I'd prefer that - no $$ wasted on middlemen).

        Give what you think is reasonable. It's going to cost you the same money to buy technical books -- think of Perlmonks as another manual.

        I find paypal is fine with a credit card, and that includes $NZ which are 0.40USD and slipping.

        "The future will be better tomorrow."

        you could always go with the older methods of support like clicking all the banner ads.. buying the t-shirts and stuff. and using links to fatbrain for buying books(see here for details. Personally whenever i am going to buy a book I create link like that on my homenode and use it to buy the book and vroom gets a cut that way.

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