the latest poll on the site is quite illuminating:http://www.donationcoder....orum/index.php?topic=1991
it shows that second to new software releases (which we should have quite a few of in the upcoming months), reviews are the next most wanted thing on the site.
This matches with my feeling that the Reviews are the single most critical aspect of DonationCoder to improve.
I think the quality of our reviews is great, and with a little tweaking, i think we can set a new standard in software reviews.
The problem, as we all know, is the frequency of the reviews. It's just a ton of work to do these reviews, pure and simple, and *most* people just aren't cut out for writing things like this. It takes some discipline and love of detail, and real self-motivation.
I've done my share of them, and they are quite satisfying to do, but also exhausting. Our arguably two best reviews have come from guest reviewers Zaine and Nudone, and both of them had to take a mental vacation afterwards
If we agree that having regular reviews on the site would be a huge difference in terms of making DonationCoder.com a useful site, which i certainly believe, it seems to me that we need to get serious about finding a good long term solution.
I would like to propose the following: I would like to put out a call for a small group of "Reviewer Elite", people who have as much love for writing good reviews as some of the coders here have of programming. I don't know if such people exist - it seems like they must but they may be rare.
If we could find 4-8 such people, each doing one review each every 1-2 months, then the site could publish a new review each week. This is an ambitious goal but i believe it can be met if we can find the right people.
This team of elite reviewers on our site would be treated as the important assets to the site that they would be. That would mean the following:
1) we would work hard to get them donations from readers and provide some monetary reward from the main donations.
3) we would give them ad revenue from generated from the reviews.
4) we would get them paid syndication in a print magazine.
5) we would get them free software, both to help their reviewing and as a reward.
In other words, we would be looking for a team of reviewers with the same donation-based spirit as the rest of this site, and recognize that their contribution to the site is as important as that of a programmer adding a program.
It's hard to say how much money a reviewer might make at this point - but when you combine the google ad money with syndicated magazine money and contributions from us and readers, and free software, we are probably talking about several hundred dollars per review, perhaps more depending on the print syndication situation which i am currently investigating.
I don't want to turn this into a bounty type situation where people are doing this just for the money - we want to find people with a love of reviewing the way we have a love of programming. But it is a recognition that these reviews are damn hard work, and deserve recognition and reward like anything else.
Thoughts welcome please - let's figure out how to make this work.