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Kuro5hin.org is the Latest Community Web Site to Ask for Donations

Earlier this week Kuro5hin.org ran an article entitled We're Broke: The Economics of a Web Community. Kuro5hin is a site that was started by a group that left the Slashdot community because it was interested in having the site's readers vote on the worthyness of submitted stories, instead of relying upon the editorial judgement of the editors.

Kuro5hin has always had a small fraction of the traffic that Slashdot has, although the stories that are run on Kuro5hin are often quite interesting. So, it's not surprising that the advertising placements that Slashdot has undertaken wouldn't generate the same revenue for Kuro5hin. This is not to say that Kuro5hin has actually tried all of the ad placements that Slashdot has. The manager of the Kuro5hin site spends most of his time in this article apologizing for the fact that the site needs to carry advertising in the first place:

I don't like this. I personally hate being a product, and I never got into this in order to lure all of you here and sell you to advertisers. I feel very strongly that one of the things one doesn't do is sell one's friends.

The idea of {Kuro5hin} is that it's a place, a community, for people to come and talk and listen to each other and be people , not products. I don't want to produce media and "package" it and ship it out to passive hordes. The world has about a million channels too much of that already. I want K5 to fulfill the promise of the internet, as a place where everyone gets a fair shot at an equal voice, and everyone gets the information they want, not what some company wants to sell you.

Most people who run news-oriented sites without carrying advertising do it because they enjoy it and are willing to finance it using proceeds from other activities. Other motivations are to demonstrate a product they make, or a service that they offer. Maybe Rusty ought to hire himself out as an Internet site architect.

Update: Looks like the Kuro5hin user community has voted with their wallets. It's nice to see that an web site community can mobilize in this fashion. We didn't appreciate the strength of the Kuro5hin community.

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