Crowd funding Pinto
Can the Perl community directly fund a major project? I think we can, and we're 15% of the way there to funding Specify module version ranges in Pinto. There are some developers who are so valuable that I think the community should step up to release them from the shackles of the day job.
I've been playing with crowd funding tools, in Perl and in other areas. I posted a note to Twitter looking for volunteers, and Jeff suggested a particular Pinto feature which he needs for Stratopan, a hosted Pinto service that manages private CPAN with exactly the versions of distros that you want. I set up on Crowdtilt, a funding platform on top of Perl's Dancer framework. Jeff made the video to introduce himself. Crowdtilt waived their fee because they love Perl.
Pinto is Jeffrey Thalhammer's private CPAN management tool. If you don't recognize the name, think "The guy who invented Perl::Critic", which he gave the world for free.
Jeff wants to do this full time. My job (for which he offered me 10% of the company he's set up to do it) was to find him enough financial breathing room that he could spend a solid month working on turning the mostly done concept into a private beta. It's a bit magical that we calculated that number to be exactly $4096. My other job is to be the immodest one with the open guitar case. All of this money goes to Jeff so he can focus on the code.
We're already 15% of the way there, with me throwing in the first bit of money. If you want Stratopan, throw in any amount. I'd rather have 512 people giving $8 than one person paying the whole thing. We want to turn this into a service for everyone, and 512 customers could be the right size to make a serious go of it.
If you don't need Stratopan or Pinto but you use Perl::Critic, a thank you donation would do quite a bit, too. Crowdtilt only gives us the money if we hit our target, but they also let us collect more than that. We aren't expecting Veronica Mars levels of funding, but we wouldn't complain about that either.
But, don't stop at giving money. Spread the word. Our secondary goal is to measure the reach of social media into Perl. Don't just retweet or link; tell your own story. Let people know how Pinto can make your life easier. Have a competition to see which Perl monger group can find the most money or the most participants.