What would happen?

First, there would clearly be fewer posts. But, would they be better?

I think that they might be. 

Here are the rules:
1. $1 to post an article/comment
2. $1 to up vote, which goes to the OP.

Charging to post increases the cost of submitting an article, and forces the less serious from creating crap content. 

Charging for up votes functions like flattr. It still allows for the best content to rise to the top, while at the same time creating a means for monetizing quality content.

Maybe Hacker News isn’t the best forum for this experiment. Perhaps it would work better on Reddit or other more generalized forums.

The general rule for online communities trying to get off the ground is to make it as easy as possible for people to create content. Content creation and sharing provide the juice that help these community grow.

But at what cost? Anyone who has ever been to the /new page on Reddit understands the vast amount of garbage that is generated in order to create the passable content on the front page.

The problem is that the market doesn’t support the cost–measured in time– required to create quality original content, so what we are left with are image mashups, rage comics, and links.  If all a content creator has to look forward to are upvotes, its difficult to imagine them spending the time to create something too time consuming.

Im considering this as my next project, but haven’t decided if the mechanics work. What are your thoughts?

What if there were a $1 fee to post to Hacker News?