Ryan Lortie made a very good post on the waste of power due to timer use. In the past, I have made many similar posts about how memory is wasted. I think these types of blogs provide good insight to the developer community. It's a way to say "wow, this is really a problem". I'd like to see the process automated.
On the Google Intranet, there is a status dashboard. The dashboard is sorted by latency, slowest first. So, if your service is slow, you get highlighted on the home page, with a big red (!) next to your project. I think this is a good incentive to make services fast
I wonder if the same thing can be done for GNOME. We could gather data about which components are sucking and put it in a high profile place (the planet would be a good one). Some metrics are easy to get (modules with the most unreviewed bugs). In time, I think GNOME and distributions should build tools to get other types of data: "what applications are taking up memory", "which apps are segfaulting", "which apps are abusing timers".