thefunded3.jpgVentureBeat is starting an experiment today: When we mention venture capital firms in our articles, we’ll also point to VC firms’ profiles provided by The Funded.

When we write about VC firm Draper Richards, for example, you’ll see an Ajax box pop up when you hover over that firm’s name (see how it works by hovering over the link above). The box will display comments about the firm provided by users on The Funded’s site.

By working with The Funded, we hope to promote more open, straightforward communication between entrepreneurs and VCs.

The site has been controversial in the past. Most entrepreneurs don’t receive the funding they think they deserve, so there’s a natural reason for them to be upset with VCs. In fact, we’ve previously criticized the site because some entrepreneurs have used it to anonymously and unfairly to attack VCs who we know to have high integrity.

However, over the past several months, we’ve watched TheFunded go from being “the site for VC hatchet jobs” to a more balanced community. Many VCs have joined into conversations on the site, rebutting criticisms and inviting friends — including other entrepreneurs — to provide positive reviews.

Open, opinionated community conversations are a pillar of what makes online media valuable. Social news sites like Digg, Slashdot and Y Combinator’s Hacker News, blogs and other web sites provide a wide range of independent voices that, in aggregate, reveal insights that traditional media misses.

The Funded, as long as it continues to be a forum for constructive debate, is a good fit with our mission of bringing high-quality reporting to bear on the intersection of money and tech innovation. The relationship is something we’ve been thinking about for a some time, and we’re finally taking the plunge.

That said, let us reiterate: This is an experiment in providing our readers with another source of valuable information.

If we discover that links to The Funded end up misinforming our readers or are otherwise vulgar and inappropriate, we’ll stop the experiment. We’re also sensitive to the possibility that Ajax links may strike some readers as clutter on the page, so we welcome your feedback in that regard as well.

Please let us know what you think. Leave comments below or contact us directly at venturebeat@gmail.com.

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