Funding is needed to make this feature, otherwise we will only be able to make features in our spare time, which will make things much slower :(
Money contributed so far: $0
On some pages it will be possible to change the display order of topics using feedback from users. Clicking an up-arrow indicates that a given topic is more interesting than the one above it, and clicking a down-arrow indicates that it is less interesting than the one below it.
The display order for any given person will give precedence to any ranking choices they've made themselves. For anything that isn't explicitly sorted by that person, the rankings of others will be used to determine the order, with disagreements being resolved by whichever direction has more votes. (It will be slightly more complicated, because two things can be implicitly ranked by ranking them both against a third thing. Also, other developments might lead to the need to make changes, because every ranking system has flaws.)
The ranking will have no effect on the author of the post – they won't gain or lose anything because this isn't really the same as "up votes" and "down votes". The ranking will only be used to move more interesting topics to the top of some lists.
Note: The payment system charges a fee of 2.9% + $0.30, which means that if you contribute a small amount, a big portion will be subtracted. For example, $1 becomes $0.67, whereas $5 becomes $4.56.
This project is currently running on volunteered time. It doesn't have any other source of revenue, and is mostly based on over a thousand hours of unpaid time by someone who gave up other income to work on this, even when their financial situation became...tricky, to put it mildly. That is no longer an option, and for that person (the narrator of this content) to devote as much time as possible to this project (without going broke) it would need to make about $25 an hour for the time put into it. This is a pretty modest pay rate for a developer with 15 years of experience, but other people spend their whole lives below this income level, and this project is important to me, so I'd rather take a pay cut than keep it as a side project moving at a slower pace.
By releasing features as people pool enough money to pay for them, I can avoid a lot of common issues for funding a project. For example:
This method of funding is totally experimental and unproven at this point, and I'm willing to fund this project just about any way I can if it comes to that, but, until this site gets a lot of traffic, or a very generous benefactor, it may be the best option.
If you like you can imagine that I'm a guy playing a violin at a train station, but the music is this website, the violin case is Stripe's card processing system, the train station is the internet, and adding money allows you to influence what song is played next, which is really what feature is created next. Also, the violin is the computer I'm using to program the site, the bow is a keyboard and a mouse, and the strings are the files with code in them. But the tiny pang of guilt you feel when you don't toss in a few dollars is the same thing in both cases.