OK, now I'm getting nervous. I'm logged in as AssertNull finally (hooray!). I had a temporary throwaway account, Derek_8, that I created due to the rollout snafu's. I just saw a big green "Sponsored" icon next to "Derek_8". I can't think of any reason I'd have that next to Derek_8. I haven't donated money to Daniweb, which I thought was how you got this "Sponsored" icon. Is this (I hope) a new Daniweb rollout bug?
Tried to upload a screenshot of the Daniweb main page, but was unable to do so. File spec was type jpg, size 80 KB, dimension 684x907, resolution 120 dpi, Bit depth=24. I clicked the paperclip icon, navigated to the jpg file, tried to upload, and got a 404 Not Found error on Daniweb. When I clicked the paperclip icon a second time, nothing happened (i.e. popup to navigate to the file to upload did not show up like it did the first time).
Anyway, the screenshot showed the "Sponsored" green icon next to both Derek_8 AND AssertNull. Dani, Diafol, and James Cherill had the green "Sponsored" icon too, but some users (i.e. rubberman) did not. I have not donated to the site under either AssertNull or Derek_8, so I assume that's a bug?
So when an article is "sponsored" it doesn't necessarily mean that the OP has donated to DaniWeb. It can also mean that the OP is a high profile member, and in exchange for having a lot of kudos, people can earn $ by replying to their threads the same way they can earn $ by replying to the threads of people who donate.
As far as why Derek_8 is showing as sponsored, which is what I was confused about ... my guess is it was revolving around the login bug that has since been fixed. So I'll just keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't happen again.