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Re: Is PerlMonks economically viable?

by scottstef (Curate)
on Apr 08, 2001 at 16:50 UTC ( #70828=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Is PerlMonks economically viable?

I have mixed feelings on Perl Monks getting solvent. I am new to the monestary, however I do have to say I am a frequent visitor here. Perhaps we should look for corporate sponsorship in alternative methods. I am afraid that if we do start to get solvent, the issues that are going to arise- what do we do with the left over $? Who decides how the $ get spent? As a linux user, it amazes me the number of companies that send me free distributions- some of which I say are way over priced if paid for.
Maybe our best bet would be to get an ISP to donate the space/bandwidth (probably like it is now). Most ISP's do make charitable contributions and that is an avenue that we should look towards. Perhaps we have to put a banner up that says this site "graciosly" hosted by
Code-a-thon's were mentioned, perhaps that would be a viable way- we get some prises and the most ++ answer wins a t-shirt. Why not, runners pay to enter races, and they can on almost any other day run the same area for free.
A donation system seems plausible, IF and only if it is purely anonymous. I dread looking at posts that start with as a LARGE fiscal supporter of this site... I already think we are all Large fiscal supporters of this site, by donating time around here, that is time that we could be billing someone for.
Perhaps a series of donations from open source companies or companies that support open source?
I think the biggest obstacle in getting this support will be the fact that it is a recurring issue, it is not as simple as sun/ibm/dell donating us a server, Perhaps we do need to add a series of small banner adds (ugh I hate adds) to get the sponsorship. Perhaps we should just look for a colo facility and figure out what that would cost.

I guess this is just a little spooky- think what would Perl Monks be like if things were to change-

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Re (tilly) 2: Is PerlMonks economically viable?
by tilly (Archbishop) on Apr 08, 2001 at 18:21 UTC
    Extra dollars?

    I somehow doubt there would be a problem with that.

    Take a look at the stats. There are a few thousand users who have logins to the site. About 2000 of those with writeups, many of which may have come and gone. About a thousand registered users had a login in the last week. Judging active site participation from putting in a tag for jcwren's bot, we have a couple of hundred real users. Many of whom are students or have been hit by current economic events.

    If we are lucky we will have a few dozen people willing to support the site. Covering costs is a plausible aim. Covering costs and having enough left over to have a single full-time employee (ie vroom) working on the site would be a wonderful goal but I am dubious that it is viable. Considering how much real value is contributed to the Perl community, a corporate sponsorship might be possible. I have no idea who you would talk to about that. Various publishers perhaps?

    When it comes to individual contributions, well perhaps multiple techniques would work. Personally it is easier for me to come up with money than time. (Particularly once you realize that I already spend a lot of time trying to contribute to the Monastery.) People without steady jobs at the moment are likely to find time cheaper to give. Those two could co-exist quite easily.

    But the idea of trying to charge for services rendered, or to segregate things into paying members vs non-paying members turns my stomach. I don't know about others, but I have found at other sites that attempts to "reward" me for being there stifled conversation and made it a less rewarding experience for me. I really think that would ruin the dynamic that makes PerlMonks work.

    Ditto while I would be willing to make a financial contribution, I don't like the idea of making a big deal out of who is paying and who is not paying. As I have said many times, I dislike cliques, and I am generally against things that I think will lead to cliquish behaviour...

      To play devil's advocate, suppose we do get PM to be solvent. How do we manage the money that comes in?
      Does vroom get to make the call? No offence to vroom but some people will have an issue "donating money for upkeep to a site when the have no say in its government. (see American revolution for proof)

      Since a monarchy regardless of how well intentioned the "leader" that gets put in place, perhaps we should seek out some form of a democracy.
      1. Do we have a pure democracy? Who gets to vote? Can AM's vote on matters that affect the community? Must you be of a certain rank to vote on matters of the community? So this way we don'ty get some people that just showed up determining the fate of perl monks? How would we make decisions on this matter, make an addition to the site right below the poll- "Perl monks can't meet its obligations, we should? a)Shake down some of the monks that donate for more money, b) hack into an eccomerce site and get CC numbers, c) call the folks for money
      2. Do we have a representative democracy? How do we choose leaders? Saints and above? An election? What about AM's do we keep them involved?

      tilly brought up the point of hiring a full timer to run the site, how do we do that? Being to new around here to know the full workings of the site, I can't comment on what goes on behind the scenes. Who hires him? How do we pay for him? Do we hire someone permanent? How do we do benes? Do we incorporate so we can get a corp health plan for the person? Perhaps we should find a few college students that are willing to do internships here, usually they work much cheaper.

      I am a little scared by this idea of making PM solvent, unfortunately it does need to be discussed. I hope we stay a community through out this. I remember Red Hat Linux going IPO. Boy did that create hard feelings. The had some screwy lottery for unpaid members of the hacker community, regardless of what you had done for them you got the same chance in the lottery for pre-IPO shares. If you pointed out 100 fixes for the distro, you had the same chance of getting shares as me the person that submitted one bug.

      Perhaps someone that knows vroom can find out what the deal is with us and EDC. As tilly says, it is always better to have a plan before we all log in one morning to find EDC has decided that PM is too much of a finacial drain, and the site will be shut down tommorrow at 5:00 pm
      I seriously doubt they would EVER do that, but maybe we should start figuring out some secondary plan

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