I'm looking at developing an idea where Ethereum acts as a database. Essentially, the idea boils down to transactions being new data points (text-based data only, low data size) in the database. The data points in the blockchain "database" can be queried via API and data aggregated on the client-side via request criteria.
Primarily, I'm trying to determine if Ethereum is the right platform for this or are there others that I should be considering/investigating? My main objective is a distributed/decentralized database where no one "owns" the data, but where the community can contribute and self-identify as an "authority" for potential filtering by the end-user.
Yes absolutely. Depending on the needs of your service and database traffic, some chains are better than others to use. Steemit.com is a good example of blockchain, curation, filtering by users, with a built-in economy.
By definition, the blockchain is itself an immutable, distributed, and decentralized global database. So the answer is yes. Each message or transaction can contain a data field that is passed through. That said, don't think of blockchain as a traditional database, and don't try to replicate traditional database functionality.
This project sounds interesting, and the answer is certainly YES! Blockchain is used as a type of database for many applications. I would suggest you look in to the Steemit.com blockchain created by Dan Larimer, the same genius behind BitShares and EOS.