Now before you get all antsy, let me be sure to say it would have to be completely voluntary, explained up front, and probably require a contract at some point. With a signature. It just so happens that when one brings in "real money" the law is sure to follow. So we must be prepared for that eventuality.
Anyone not entered into a contract would have their comments stripped (unless they want to leave them) before the CD is made. There would also be other rules for exclusion. Diaries, for example should be off limits (unless they want to leave them on). But, other than that section most of the page would do nicely.
Now, before we go on. As some of you might know, I am a sports fan (and missed posting that on that "secret vice" thread) and have followed the sports world for some time. Studying broadcast communication and computer science (while playing football) in school brought me a great appreciation for the Internet. Later, I learned I needed money and started looking at the communications world, the Big AOL/TW/MS/NFL/ESPN, and how they made their money. Most of the people who complain about the salaries of broadcast and entertainment professionals are those that support them by spending their waking life watching these other folks do their thing. This is not a judgement of either side, just an observation, the point is that attention breeds value. And technology has provided means to offer the same view to many, many people. However, the Internet has made this exchange rather cost effective (i.e. worthless) and the idea of scarcity is still generally needed to generate value in the information field. Especially the combative or "sports" (fighting for fun) information field. The one where K5 resides.
This is where recording stuff comes in. You can change the medium upon which a certain amount of information is naturally played upon and generate a more scarce, and therefore valuable edutainment/attention product (from the grass of the baseball field to the electrons in your TV flowing through the scarce air, from the depths of the Internet to the electrons in your Computer, through the flowing scarcity of CDs). This also allows people to "time shift" them, and appreciate them at their leisure.
What we do is press CD's monthly of the K5 database and offer it for sale, underneath that donations line. You would also get a CD with a monthly subscription. It would be completely voluntary, with various rules for archiving purposes, and would greatly increase the value of the information generated in this forum. And would provide for what is the end goal of the majority of the people who use the site, to lurk and just do some reading.
There is no absolute rule that they must be ON the Internet to get this value. The timeliness of the various discussions is also often irrelevant. One could highlight particular discussions that were interesting, and let the rest fall where they may. This would also give us an excuse to go back, revisit old discussions and rate them and perhaps clean them up a bit, but that would probably need to be the job of an (real) editor.
And if you don't think this is a good idea for K5, would it be viable in another forum? One that was built on the general idea that the site would sell your commentary on an ongoing basis? Is anyone doing this? Would you participate in such a community? What would be a good profit sharing plan to the writers (typers)? Content or Quality of Both? Do you need one?
Regardless, the value is there, the demand is there. One thing the American People especially are starved for now is variable information. In a usable, researchable, linked format. One with offshoots into various tangents most would never dream possible. One they can pop into their computer each month, log onto the Net, and cruise around for a while, like an expert. The demand is there, the supply is there. This is true "New Media" and a way to leverage the incredible power that comes together when people share information.
And finally it's a way to pull in a little scratch from our pathetic mental masturbations. A way to use recording and mass media to spread ideas and gain attention. A way to support a community simply through trading it's conversations.