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Author Topic: So we gave up the March Ad Experiment Idea - What about a 7day mini fundraiser?  (Read 8107 times)

mouser

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What do you guys think about running a 7-day mini fundraiser for the last week of the month?


rjbull

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Is that a bit short notice?

mouser

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4 days *is* short notice, but then what would a longer notice get us?

PhilB66

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So the 'March Ad Experiment' was a fundraiser in disguise?

mouser

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hmm, well march is our normal fundraiser month, so i initially thought that we would do the ad experiment instead of having a fundraiser -- and that it would annoy people to the same degree :)

but if we're not doing the ad experiment, i was thinking we could maybe do a week of fundraiser.. or else i guess do nothing till next march.

wraith808

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Whatever you want to do is always my stance on that regard.

techidave

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I was so looking forward to the ads!  :D ::) :lol:

justice

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What's involved? Do you need sponsors or what's a fundraiser for those who haven't paid attention :D

Renegade

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I was so looking forward to the ads!  :D ::) :lol:

+1

You don't know until you try.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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I was so looking forward to the ads!  :D ::) :lol:

Oh, I haven't forgotten my little idea! I have to settle down a little, then I'll make my own mini ad page ForTehLulz and we can have at it!


40hz

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I was so looking forward to the ads!  :D ::) :lol:

+1

You don't know until you try.



True. But why bother? Show me any other place that holds a fundraiser; hits it's target halfway through; allows it to continue running through the allotted period anyway (with the encouragement and blessing of the members no less!) and ends with about double the target goal in the bank?

Know of any site running ads that can claim the same?

The problem with ads is that it doesn't work out well if you're also doing direct appeals for contributions. As PBS discovered. Most people seem to be ok with fundraisers as long as they're conducted in a reasonable manner. Or with advertising since nobody with an IQ over 60 thinks you can run something like a website with no infusions of capital.

What many people do have a problem with, however,  is fundraising plus advertisements.

At least from my experience.

My real problem with accepting ads is that there's always some loss of control. It could be something as simple as you not being able to say where somebody's ad will appear on your webpage. Or what it looks like. But it can also easily become much more intrusive, depending on the advertiser's requirements.

A fundraiser, on the other hand, deals only with the members and their expectations. If they're happy (and they usually are if they're contributing at all) you're pretty much free to continue operating your site as you best know how. Because the only people who you have to satisfy are the "customers" who are actually interested in your content.

When you have advertisers as your customers (and that's how they view themselves) they're not interested in you for what you're doing. They're interested in getting themselves in front of your content customers. Eyeballs are everything. What you offer on your site (software, a good chatroom, funny pictures, porn) is completely secondary to them - except insofar as it attracts their target demographic.

"Paid for by advertising" is what destroyed broadcast television's potential for greatness.*

And it will also do the same to the web. If it hasn't already.

Just my 2¢ 8)

-------------------

*Note: take a look at some of the writing about television when it first came out. The exuberance and hopes that were expressed for the "new medium," and the words used, have a haunting similarity to much of what was being said about the world wide web when it first came out.

Even more interesting, much of the disgust and criticism being directed at today's web sounds identical to what's been directed at television for the last decade or two.

Small surprise. When the public walked away from broadcast TV, the people responsible for wrecking it found new things to ruin on cable, satellite, and the internet.

wraith808

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^ He wrote everything I was thinking... using better words and with more patience. :)

timns

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So is it on? Do I need to do something? It's not too late for a tattoo...

cranioscopical

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It's not too late for a tattoo...
Talk like that'll get you drummed out of here!

timns

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It's not too late for a tattoo...
Talk like that'll get you drummed out of here!
Are you telling me to beat it?

40hz

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Good time of year for a fundraiser. (Hint)

The holidays are over. It's still a bit early for weddings and graduation parties. And it's tax refund season for many.

Hmm... ;)

cranioscopical

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Are you telling me to beat it?
On a sinking ship one only has to give a rat a plan...

mouser

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40hz said it all well about why we should avoid ads and stick to fundraising.



You guys know I have a hard time pulling the trigger on things..

The last fundraiser was last year and at that time the opinions seemed split whether we should hold a small fundraiser every year, or a bigger one every 2 years.

But I think I have decided we will have a two-week fundraiser for the first two-weeks in April, and try to raise a few thousand dollars.

I think in an ideal cases, we could have a yearly fundraiser that would raise about $5000 per year, which is about our yearly hosting expenses -- but I think that's a bit ambitious for this year, so perhaps we can aim for half that much.

This is also the year I really want us to move to a CMS-based system, and maybe shortly thereafter move servers again -- perhaps moving to a less expensive server setup which is every bit as fast.

I recognize that having a fundraiser every year may be just too much to tolerate.. And it may turn out to be wiser to not have it more frequently than every two years, and keep it a rare and special thing.  On the other hand, maybe there are some benefits to making it a less ambitious yearly event.

Anyway, there you have it: Small fundraiser starting on March 31 lasting for about two weeks until April 15.

If anyone has any small ideas for ways to celebrate it -- let me know!

wraith808

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Why is a fundraiser every year too much to tolerate?  You have the fundraiser because the donations are not covering the expenses, correct?  It's not to make extra money or any such thing.  So if there is a need, then have it... I'd rather have the fundraiser yearly than to suddenly find out that you keeping the site going on your funds has become untenable. 

I run a site that a lot of other people use for free for their server for pages, wiki, ventrilo, etc.  I know that it costs money to keep it up, and a lot of that end is really obfuscated from the end user.  I'm only able to keep it up without outside help because I host a few commercial sites- enough to keep it going every year.  If not, I'd have to do the same thing- its only fair that if everyone enjoys the site that the burden is shared.

All of this is JMO, but I don't think unreasonable.

mouser

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We could actually try combing the ads and run ads during the fundraiser with text saying "this ad only shown during fundraiser month".



Quote
You have the fundraiser because the donations are not covering the expenses, correct?

I need to say that this isn't quite true.  The only fixed costs the site has are the hosting costs, everything else is done on a volunteer basis.  The hosting costs for the site are large ($420 a month); BUT we raised enough from the fundraiser last year to pay for over 2 years of hosting, and we get get a little in donations every day.  So it would not be fair to say that we need to have a fundraiser to pay for our explicit expenses.  The principle we have always followed is fundraiser or not, we will always keep running -- we can always just downgrade hosting if we ever don't raise enough to cover them.

So I think the more accurate and honest way to describe the motivation for the fundraiser is that the money raised above our hosting costs helps me and the other coders who receive donations be able to spend more time working on site stuff and site projects.  I know I would give anything to be able to work on DC stuff full time -- and if DC could raise enough money to pay my bills I would do so in a heartbeat and be the happiest person in the world.  While there's no real hope of that, the donations that I do receive through DC are what makes it possible for me to spend the time I do spend.

Hopefully that's something people still feel good about supporting.. Perhaps a better way to think of it is that the fundraisers can be devoted to raising funds each year for hosting costs, and then any extra money coming in over the course of the year can go to the other site-related projects or to offset time spent working on the site.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 06:37:09 PM by mouser »

wraith808

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^ By expenses, I include your time, also. :)

TaoPhoenix

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These are all very real issues!

The Net is grappling with "second generation users" by which I mean that everyone opens up a Free As In Beer service/site, and everyone has fun with it for a year. But one of my minor specialties has been studying Durable Value on the net. Somewhere between that 1 year and up to about 3, half the site owners go looking for that quick money conversion to sell out or get out.

So once something becomes a Good Thing and builds up the fan base to start seriously costing for hosting, the strain begins to show. I just finished a study over at FreeWebSpace.net (FWS) studying the limits of free hosts. Do you feel okay giving us some quick stats on total site size and bandwidth that jumps the price up to that $420ish per month?

Just to really get everyone thinking, there's a site called Crosswinds/cWahi (different divisions) which annoyed FWS for advertising "Unlimited Bandwidth", and that's on the Free Hosting division. I know, "there's no such thing as Unlimited", but the owner has done a good job, and I haven't yet seen anyone "bust his bandwidth". So quick idea is you could cut your costs in half depending how much he would charge for a commercial account.

As for money, y'all have some nice discussions, but by itself that isn't worth $100/year to me. My current problem is that once stuff gets out of the Snack range, it drops off a cliff. While I misfired a little here and there, by now you've seen the type of custom apps I like and their approximate depth of features. I think there's a funny mindset shift between Volunteer and Working for coding. Volunteer is all about "of course I'm not making a dime, I'm doing it for the love of it all". Then when it comes time to make money, it shifts to "I want to be paid my going rate", except that goes through the roof on price.

So unfortunately, for personal niche apps, DC's competition is places like vWorker(Rentacoder) and oDesk. That's where I'm headed next for my next couple of projects, because I can't figure out how not to sound insulting here when the sweet spot price range for the value is between $50 and $100.

J-Mac

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Ack! I have been stopping in here and there for a couple weeks (been busy otherwise) and didn't even know about a fundraiser this year! It wasn’t mentioned in a newsletter, was it?

As always, I have absolutely no problem with a fundraiser for DC. (Did I really just say that?!) Money just burns holes in my pockets anyway... (Did I say that, too? Or is this just a dream?!    :-\ )

OK, kidding. I'd probably just spend my pocket money on more software - that I really, really, really don’t need - anyway.   ;)   8)   :)

Jim