something occured to me that i thought might be worth posting about..
i was talking to a friend the other day about corruption in political systems and how you might try to fix the system to clean some of it up. and one issue that kept rearing its head is the idea of incentives towards corruption, and the idea of de-incentivizing corruption.
if you are out to make money and your revenue stream is built off of advertising money - then all of the incentives are pushing you to add content to increase advertisers.
one of the real benefits in having a user funded site - is that the incentive is to please the donators and encourage more donators, and what the donators want is useful software and honest reviews and opinion and discussion. in other words, as long as people donating to the site are the primary funding mechanism - as opposed to stock sales, advertising dollars etc., then the primary driving force on the site is to make it more useful for the donators, which means creating better software and providing a better resource for finding good software.
maybe this is just an obvious point not worth discussing - but maybe it's something to keep in mind when you think about the way sites and companies get funded.. how do the goals of the site/company match up with their sources of funding.