Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Ning is now going to charge $20 per month to host BLF for us. Please note that we will lose the video function for this (otherwise it would be $50 per month).


Options are probably:


a) just pay the new ning fee ($20 per month) and make a net loss

b) charge flat fee for BLF ads to cover the $20 per month (not sure how I'd collect the money)

c) create revenue using GoogleAds and GoogleSense (advertisers pay to advertise using GoogleAds, GoogleSense places these ads - by keyword - in the BLF ad-banner space - like it does now - and pays BLF about half of the fee the advertisers paid - per clicked on ad - whereas at present ning get that fee). There is a potential (but not a likelihood!) that this would cover the $20 per month and could even turn a profit.  I think you can also ad your own ads (eg in BLF's case this could include subscribers who haven't paid money to GoogleAds but wish to advertise services on BLF). Note that I only think you can have GoogleSense and customised ads at the same time - but am not positive - need more info from ning - which is coming but not available at the moment. 


I've always said that BLF is not for profit. I'm thinking it would be nice if it's not for loss as well :)


Note that profit could be put back into the BLF community - e.g. events, seed saving equipment (e.g. sieves!), etc..  (NB profit is unlikely with small traffic volumes such as ours)


What do you think about these options? What would be the disadvantages to the different options?


(we need to make sure we don't do anything awful I guess)


Note that you, the members, will not have to pay anything.


Help me make a decision please.




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Nothing like a little levity to brighten up the night ... Lucifer is 'the bringer of light'; the German for bright or clean is 'hell' - I love a little philosophical and pedagogical trivia ;-).
There are problems with advertising. i have considered buying the pay for service in the past and just taking it off completely - especially when i see ads for unrelated or dodgy stuff (cosmetic surgery for example) on our site, provided by the google engine

Was worried we'd get ads for pesticides etc - glad that hasn't happened so far

Am pleased to see a lot of the ads are really relevant and worthwhile - have seen a few local products and services that i didn't know about through these. The more relevant ads we have available, the less 'cosmetic surgery for 7 year olds' ads we will see.

So, funny, now I reckon all members with products would be smart to sign up to GoogleAds (and this is not to benefit the coffers, it's because I just researched how it works! and I've got an IT qual and run a website! which means I bet lots of people don't know how it works....(yet).....)

Am tempted to create an ad for BLF now and see what it costs (lol - increasing costs, instead of reducing them) and what effect it has on membership joining rates (would need to keep the membership lockdown on if this happened for sure)

I also think advertising is a good thing for local businesses - new web paradigm and all that: e.g. for people who provide consultancy, or hay, or worm farms etc enabling advertising actually helps them to help Brisbane people through the work they do - and I think it's fine to pay them for their services (everyone needs a livelihood and this is helping the world - a good thing) and to charge them a business fee for spreading the word.

but the advertising banner does take up a lot of space, and I can't move where it appears on the page which has always irritated me...
hehe, now that you mentioned cosmetic surgery it may come up :P
I have clicked on the ads on this page and some on my gmail before... I believe it selects ads from keywords on the site/email account...

I much prefer text ads then multimedia ads.. now they really irritates me..especially those in your face ones which you have to close to see the webpage you want to see!!
Yes me too! I find pop ups and sparkles etc really annoying

As I recall GoogleSense provides text ads only - not multimedia. But again, I'll check.

Oh no! I hope not. I think the engines search for tags first (provided by web admin - e.g. I've given BLF tags like garden, local, organic, food, permaculture etc), then frequently used text words - so hopefully one mention is safe! oh dear... ;P
I am so proud of this site... and it's members!

We are all very pleased that you have asked our opinion, but not dismayed if you don't take our advice... from my experience (and feedback) it's great that we can have this sort of discussion without any repercussions.

I will start having a donation box at GV and see how we go. In the meantime Scarlett, if you ever need assistance please feel free to let me know and hopefully I will be in a position to assist :) or at least put it to the members!

This website/ forum is a fantastic idea and... to be honest I would pay any fee just to remain a member :) but I am obsessed and have already benefited!
lol, yep, maybe you should put some aside for a BLF recovery assistance scheme :)
Small thing which doesn't bug me at all... When/ if the decision is made by our BD (benevolent dictator) it would likely be helpful to members to have an alert/ email advising them the same. And including information about google advertising...

Thanks again Scarlett... I can not imagine life without BLF!
yes, good idea, I'll send one out when things firm up

and thank you! you put heaps of work in (tagging and replying) and you keep things running when i'm indisposed or slack or demented or whatever (welcoming and approving new members), but mostly your garden events and the seed savers network are a wonderful thing, created all by you!!

I think you've made a lot of people really happy and I think a lot of BLF is down to what you've done by organising these. You are a star.

I hope everyone will make you a big cake one day and put flowers in your hair and sing you songs of thanks and shower you with bizarre vegetable seeds :) I'm sure BLF cannot imagine life without you either
Down for what ever......Is there any other free site that we could set this up on? (which means alot of mucking around)
But hands in the air.....Im up for what ever the body votes heehee.
(if this means, we pay a small fee, so be it. xxxxx)
Not that i was any help on the decision. heehee, but Im with what ever you go with. xxxx (I could if everyone agree's...I could run a store at our local vege market that holds ones a month in browns plains) Im only about 6 doors down from it and i wont mind setting up a store or something? (but I wonder if this comes with a cost also...for the table or space hire??? Instead of running a table at a cost, we could just give that for the site? unless we know that we will come out with a bigger profit?)
Nessy. xxx
Markets generally charge a fee for the space, but usually minimal. Hey, but I didn't know there's a vege market at Browns plains? Pls tell me more about it!!

I am happy to help out and donate any produce I have that's in sellable condition if we do this :)
if you don't agree to either pay ning money or cap your members at 150 people and lose the facility to have groups, ning are offering to migrate all of your content onto like a holding platform, and then you have to work out what to do with it - not very attractive / i would so rather just pay the $20 ;)


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