Community norm question: brief text ad signatures

byKaj_Sotala8y11th Jul 201135 comments

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I've written several posts on this site, many of which were promoted to the front page. Some of my writings have been quite popular. Looking through the Google Analytics stats for this site showed that my writing has had at least 50 000 unique views over time. The full total is probably more, since I only looked at the stats of the 1000 most viewed Less Wrong pages.

As I have been looking for sources of side income, I was wondering whether it'd be deemed acceptable if I started signing my posts to the main section with something brief like this:

To see the novel I'm writing, click here. If you liked this post, you may also Flattr me here.

I'm currently thinking about trying to make a living on writing, and being able to do something like this would make it considerably easier to help build a personal brand. Although I wouldn't dare to claim to write as well as Eliezer or Yvain, say, I would like to think that my posts have been valuable for several people. The fact that sixteen of my articles were among the 1000 most viewed LW pages would support this. Being able to get back some of that value would only seem fair to me.

As an additional bonus, currently my LW writing has gotten sidelined as it hasn't seemed that useful for my personal goals. Being allowed to have such ads would make writing on LW more personally useful for me, incentivizing me to spend more time on writing quality posts here.

I can understand not everyone being fully enthusiastic about this, though. For one, several Internet communities are quite stringent about things that might be considered spam. Also, people might also be worried about the fact that LW is currently mostly operating as a gift economy. Letting people make money off their posts directly, such as with Flattr links, might change the community norms in an undesirable direction. Folks such as matt, who are hard at work at improving the technical side of the site, might rightfully feel that they deserve a cut.

So I figured I'd better ask first. For what it's worth, I have donated to SIAI in the past, and do intend to donate to either SIAI or FHI or both in the future. Part of any income I'd make through this site would go to fund my donations. I'm also already spending some of my time writing academically about LW-related issues. You can e.g. expect to see a full-length paper draft based on my previous conference paper before the month is over. Extra income sources would also let me spend more time doing such work.

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