Been debating whether to open up GitHub Sponsorships for Jepsen. On the one hand, people keep asking to donate, and there could be, say, sponsor logos on the Jepsen web site, or rights to vote on which database Jepsen looks at in the next pro-bono analyses.

On the other hand, this presents a conflict-of-interest problem: so long as reports have a single sponsor (typically the vendor), it's easy to disclose and understand, but that's much trickier when there's a mix of a dozen ongoing sponsors.

It's also, like... Jepsen is roughly 50/50 paid vs unpaid work right now. Jepsen contract rates are high, which covers research, maintenance, and writing in between. It's hard to imagine sponsors could materially shift that balance.

Anyway, if you have strong feelings, drop em here.

@jepsen Do you think your sponsors would influence how you cover a database? I don't see a difference between a lot of separate parties sponsoring you, vs one company sponsoring a review of their product. In fact, I think the former is better.

I"d love to see more pro bono work, there's some smaller players out there for whom the cost of your work might be quite high.

@rior I'm serious about Jepsen's independence, and do my best to be rigorous regardless of funding, but there could be subconscious influences there. This is also why I don't accept equity compensation--trying to keep conflicts to a minimum. If I offer voting on "pro-bono" analyses in exchange for sponsorship, then that introduces a direct conflict.

@rior The problem is that like... when people talk about donations they usually mean $5 or 10/mo. Jepsen's standard contract rate is four orders of magnitude higher than that.

@jepsen I think that developers that generate substantial income trough Github sponsors often provide software to their sponsors that they directly benefit from. Your research is invaluable to the people actually using the databases you deliver, but the most gain is made by the company making the database. 1/2

@jepsen If $100/mo could let you do one analysis per year, you'd see a lot of people (including me) seriously consider sponsoring you, but as it stands a lot of us would feel like our contribution is insignificant compared to the amount of work needed for an analysis. 2/2


@jepsen And also consider the emotional weight of feeling like you "owe" your sponsors something. But that's personal i guess.

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