We think this is really important. A lot of trouble in online communities can be traced to the way they’re funded and the incentives the funding models create.
We should mention that we’ve benefited a lot from existing communities that use various funding models that we chose not to pursue. We don’t think that for our community to win, they need to lose. We are just choosing the path we think is right for us.
We have decided not to take sponsorship money
We made this decision because we want to avoid the bias or perceived bias this would create. We do allow brands to participate in the community, but they must follow the Industry Insider Guidelines
We have decided not to display ads
We made this decision to avoid cluttering the user experience. We also think ads could increase perceived bias.
We have decided not to use this community to promote Headphones.com
The reasons for this are obvious, but we think it’s still important to explicitly come out and say it.
We have decided to include automatic Amazon affiliate links on products
You’ll notice that some product names will automatically become Amazon links. If you want to support the community financially, just click through one of the links next time you’re going to buy something on Amazon.
The links are automatically added and evenly distributed - even on products we don’t recommend. This way there is no incentive to funnel traffic to certain threads.
For the time being, we think this is the least biased and least intrusive way to fund the community. Everyone can write about whatever they want without feeling like they need to protect a sponsor.
Note 1: We’re looking into the ability to remove these links for members that achieve a trust level of 3 or higher
Note 2: You can overwrite the link with your own link if you would rather link to something else.
We’d love your feedback on this. If you have any questions or comments fire @andrew a message.