Continued from an MU community post by Jaime Iniesta...
A W3CLove supporter will be a user that loves the service provided and is conscious that by making use of it, is making the server spend money. So, to keep the service alive, decides to support it with a monthly subscription.
What does the supporter get in return for this monthly fee, apart from feeling well about supporting a great service? We could impose a limitation on the available features, so only supporters would access them, but we don't want to follow a scarcity based model. We believe everyone, supporter or not, should be able to access the same features.
Instead, what I'm going to do is put a daily requests limit for everyone. This step is needed to keep the costs under control. Say, each user can make 10 site validations per day (numbers may vary). When you reach this limit, you're warned that you're requesting too much, so you can wait until tomorrow, or you can become a supporter and, thanks to the money you're investing in the platform, you're granted to make, say, 100 site validations per day. Continued from http://community.mendicantuniversity.org/articles/w3clove-beyond-charity
This model will grant everybody can use the service, and everybody is aware of the costs that their requests generate.
We also talked about a graphical redesign that my friend designer Luis Herrero is crafting. I was a little worried that if the new site looked so professional, people wouldn't donate to it. Like, you've got to look poor if you want people to give you money. But we agreed that this is a wrong mindset, that you just have to focus on building a great service, and certainly the user experience will be greatly improved with the new redesign.
Another interesting topic is the building of a REST API that will allow other developers to build some tools on top of it. Some people have already twitted about the API and their intentions to build apps around it.
I'll try to do my best to provide them with a great documentation, following the lines of the superb Github API guides. Steve Klabnik is leading me on the way to Hypermedia :) I also plan on releasing a Ruby client for the API and some little demos to give some examples.
And, we also talked about setting up a monthly newsletter with a free MailChimp account, and why this gives greater conversion than a blog: you've got the right audience because they subscribed to it, not just stumbled upon your blog.