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Lobste.rs is just about the only tech news site I bother with anymore. I enjoy it greatly.

However, lobste.rs is almost certainly a money-losing operation. Would the Powers That Be be interested in a Patreon for lobste.rs? Or some other mechanism to ensure that the infrastructure is paid for? I’d be willing to kick over some monthly consideration.

I know that the “flavor” of the site would be lost if it became a for-profit venture, but I suppose excess money beyond the cost of infrastructure and some buffer could be (as a suggestion) donated to free software projects/charities.

I did a quick search of old stories and I don’t see anything mentioning this sort of thing specifically. I do, though, I have a vague memory of someone suggesting it a while back so forgive me if this is a repost.


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    I prefer there not be a Patreon or other method of donation. Whenever the topic of donations come up, for me or for jcs, we’ve declined it.

    Our costs are low. @alynpost is donating hosting - I haven’t compared the current specs against the prgmr sticker prices, but I’d be surprised if we were over $100/month. The only other expense is yearly domain renewal, which is ~$35/y and currently donated by CRI Domains. Even if they weren’t currently donated, these expenses would be easy for me to cover out-of-pocket.

    A serious problem is that donors become a second class of users that are, or feel entitled to, special treatment. This is normal human nature but a second class of users is pretty lousy for most online communities. Even if mods try to avoid learning who donated or ignored, it colors every interaction with the suspicion that rules are getting enforced differently because someone did or didn’t donate.

    As long as I’m writing: nobody’s found a print-on-demand service for stickers (mentioned on /about) but I ordered 500 for myself. If you’ve contributed code to Lobsters, PM me a mailing address and I’ll throw some in an envelope for you. I plan to email everyone I’ve merged a contribution for, but it’ll take me a bit to get to the chore.

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      Huh. Excellent point.

      All right then: if you’re ever in Austin, beers are on me. It’s only fair.

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        I’m sure I’ll be down there sometime in the next couple years and will trade you some stickers for beer. :)

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        Oh, I forgot, there’s also ~$10/month for offsite backups using Tarsnap, which I pay for out of my pocket. DNS uses DNSimple and it doesn’t add anything to my pre-existing monthly bill.

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        Without going too far into it, we pass the hat around once in a while. It’s my understanding that it doesn’t cost nearly what you’d assume, being arguably a marketing expense for prgmr.