i think one of the major reasons to join us will be the community we are building here, both users and authors - so i'm committed to keeping everyone involved in the decision making process. it's only a success if its a success for everyone and everyone. this site will succeed only to the extend that it is a useful place for everyone.
the hardest part is trying to figure out how other authors/reviewers, will get donations..
i was so happy about my idea of having a form where users could use sliders to divide up their donations.. but as i think about it i think it's just too complicated and prone to troubles.
it would be a tax nightmare, it would require everyone trust me to divide up donations, it would require software for filling out forms, and processing donations, and calculating how to divide, and then there's the work in dividing up donations. i think it's dead in the water.
instead, i think the answer has to be for authors (and reviewers too), to have their own (paypal or whatever) donation buttons, and have users donate directly to them.
the easy stuff is that authors would of course have free hosting, forum, any software or anything else they need set up, and anything else we can help with, web design, hosting personal web space, etc. anything we can do to help them make their software.
and of course the main thing is just the visibility of being on the site, which hopefully would give them more visitors, and more visitors who would be in the mind to donate. and perhaps we can help feature authors or do other things to help people find out about their software. again a key would be having a community of users and were friendly to the idea of donating for good software and supporting authors.
as we've discussed before, we would not let just any author join. they would have to meet certain standards in terms of quality, offer more than one real program, not be selling shareware, and be willing to participate on their forum section so users could talk to them.
my current inclination is to set it up like this, and keep the main membership requirement that users make a donation to the site - money that other authors would not receive. this would be in recognition of the work that has been involved and continues to be required on a day to day basis running this site and writing software and reviews, and to pay for hosting costs, etc. but i am very open to the idea of revisiting this idea if for some reason an author brought in lots of people who donated to the site but not to the author. it's a little hard for me to see that scenario unfolding, but it's certainly not inconceivable that at the end of every year we could donate some of the money that has come in from site donations back to authors if it seems like authors are not getting a fair portion of the donations. ideally my intention would be that authors get donations in relation to their contribution to the community here - the trouble is there is no way to measure this, so we have to rely on users donating to authors they want to support. so really the key is the users taking the time to donate to authors. i don't think it needs reiterating but this site will not profit off the backs of other author's work, and if it turns out that an author is helping the site grow but is not receiving donations while the site does, then we will have to find a way to remedy that somehow.
i think we'd also have to find a better "Software/Downloads" start page, rather than our current one ( http://www.donationc.../Software/index.html
) in order to make it easier to find author's work.
maybe a nicer layout with the main authors having bigger images that make it easier to see, OR even putting authors links with pics on the main page above that 3x3 grid of icons..