Just in the last couple months there has been a huge focus in the tech press and amongst developers on application (app) monetization. I believe it started when Twitter shut off some of its APIs to some other apps as Twitter struggles to figure out how to make money. This prompted a big backlash in the developer community that were building on top of Twitter APIs (and Facebook’s too).
Then an independent developer, Dalton Caldwell, started app.net which is a Twitter-like clone with a subscription model. He raised over $800K to get it started. He was able to do this because Fred Wilson, one of the most famous VCs in the world (at Union Square Ventures) and the lead investor in Twitter, responded to Dalton’s missive on why advertising is bad. The blogging battle between David and the Goliath is what got Caldwell the publicity he needed.