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 Darn Free-riders! 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:41 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Glendale, CA, USA
Post Darn Free-riders!
I was going to reply to this thread asking for donations... but then I realized that it's locked. So voila! Here I am.

My name is Epiphyte and I am a free-rider. Yup, I've enjoyed and benefited from this forum for a few years but I haven't once chipped in to help cover its costs.

I don't mind admitting that I'm a free-rider because I'm pretty sure that I'm the rule rather than the exception. If I was the exception, then taxation could be voluntary rather than compulsory.

It happens to be the case though that nobody in this entire world has spent nearly as much time thinking and writing about the free-rider problem as I have. Needless to say, I find this problem fascinating.

Having spent so much time thinking/writing about the free-rider problem, I've managed to come up with a potential solution that's applicable to this website.

Let me break it down like so...

This site
Has: quite a few members and visitors that are interested in plants
Wants: more money

Has: some money
Wants: more people to grow epiphytes on trees

There's potential here for a mutually beneficial trade. With this in mind, a prominent webpage could be added to this website. This page could be titled "Links" or "Resources" or "Awesome" or "Awesome Links" or something else. Well... I have some awesome links! For example...

Epiphyte Society (Facebook page)
Epiphytes and Economics (my blog)

I could give the owner of this website some money and he would add my links to the "Awesome Links" page. Am I the only person with awesome plant links? Nope. So other people might be willing to pay to have their awesome plant links added to this website's "Awesome Links" page.

A significant part of a contributor's willingness to pay would depend on the amount of traffic that the "Awesome Links" webpage would drive to their own website. For example, I could check my blog's traffic statistics to see how much traffic my blog was receiving from the "Awesome Links" webpage. The more traffic that it sent my way, the more money that I'd be willing to pay.

In theory, this website would get lots of money and have a page filled up with awesome plant links. But then there would be the wonderful issue of how to sort the links. It's a given rule of the internet that things at the top of a webpage will get more views and clicks than things at the bottom of the webpage. Kinda like plants, links are all about location. Some real estate is more desirable than other real estate. The space at the top of the page is the most desirable real estate. So everybody would prefer to have their plant links at the top of the "Awesome Links" page.

My recommendation would be to sort the links by the amount of money that's been donated for them. So Paul Spracklin and I could go back and forth in a spending war trying to get our respective links to the top of the page. This spending war between Paul and I would certainly help provide more funding for this website.

And people wouldn't have to only spend their money on their own links. Stan could say, "The MarriedToPlant's Blog is way better than Epiphyte's blog" and he'd spend his money to help place his favorite blog higher on the "Awesome Links" webpage than my own blog.

So basically, the order of the links would be determined by crowdfunding. We would see and know, at a glance, which link was most highly valued by this website's community. I'm pretty sure that it would be the link to my blog. But... I might be wrong.

How difficult would it be to implement this? It wouldn't at all be difficult to create a static webpage that was manually updated. It would just require some basic html. How much time would it take to keep the page updated? That would certainly depend on how frequently people donated money for the purpose of updating the list. Paul and I could go back and forth in a spending war with increments of a penny. Then it probably wouldn't be worth it for the owner to update the page for each donation. So perhaps there could be a minimum contribution of something like $5 dollars/update. Paul and I would then go back and forth in a spending war with increments of $5 dollars. Then it might be worth it for the owner to update the page each time. Clearly I can't know what donation amount would be worth it for the owner to update the page. Only he can know what his time is worth.

Automating the updating of the "Awesome Links" page could be accomplished with some fairly basic php programming. Then, when a donation for a link was made, the owner would simply update the info in the database.

Implementing this one system would simultaneously help accomplish three worthy goals...

1. Help fund this website
2. Create a list of plant links sorted by crowdfunding
3. Send traffic to the most valuable plant pages

In the past I have spent my own money to help promote the Orchid Society of Southern California page on Facebook. Facebook makes it stupid easy to promote pages/posts. But I'm pretty sure that Mark Zuckerbug has enough money.

Carlos - Epiphytes and Economics

Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:19 am
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