Because of what has happened to most social networks and the history of Couchsurfing.org, there may be some speculation once we launch, that Voyagers World will someday be forced to allow advertising or take big investors money. With virtually everybody else relying on ads or membership to make money, some members of the tech elite are finding it hard to imagine there is any other way.
To assure that Voyagers World always remains ad-free, Voyagers World is being incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). A Public Benefit Corporation is a new kind of for-profit company in the USA that exists to produce a benefit for society as a whole — not just to make money for its investors.
A few months ago, Florida's Gov. Rick Scott signed a law allowing "Benefit Corporations", for-profit ventures that are formed to help employees, the community, the environment or others in addition to their owners. A PBC is a for-profit corporation intended to produce a public benefit and operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. The PBC is to be managed in a manner that balances stockholders' pecuniary interests, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation's conduct and the public benefit for which the PBC is formed.
The Voyagers World PBC charter makes our commitment very clear that:
In other words, Voyagers World exists for your benefit, and will never show ads on our web site or sell user data.
Read more on Public Benefit Corporations on Wikipedia and The Sun Sentinel.
Also, more recently, this article by the Florida Bar Association, and a concise analysis by the Daily Business Review.