|Do you know where your variables are?|
Not long ago I was browsing around and noticed vroom's resume. That got me to thinking. As everyone knows, this is not the best of economies. Web-based companies without visible sources of revenue are not exactly doing well. And that seems like an accurate description of PerlMonks.
Well I asked in chatter and others have similar concerns. As a back of the envelope estimate, simple bandwidth for this site probably could be done for (minimum) 6K/year. Hiring someone like vroom costs considerably more than that.
And what kind of revenue does PerlMonks make? Probably not much. We have much more of a high-quality audience than a large one, and advertising does not exactly pay much these days.
Unless I miss my guess, certainly not enough to keep going indefinitely without help.
So what would it take to keep PM going? jcwren said that he would be willing to pay $50/year for a subscription to the site, but that would reduce the size of the audience. jcwren also pointed out that he would not stick around if PM started to have intrusive ads or popups. (Neither would I.)
So far the only thing that I think could make enough cents would be a PBS type model. Where a portion of people donated money to keep the operation going. I both could and would make a donation to that end. I get enough value out of the site to justify that.
Any other thoughts? Feedback? I would prefer to have people speak up now, while it still exists than in a few months after it disappears. And given the current economy I think that disappearing is too big of a risk to just ignore...
This post is entirely based on personal doubts. I have not discussed this with vroom et al and I have no concrete evidence that PerlMonks is in any immediate danger.