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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I am happy to help tag content if it comes to that. :) I often get our site as the top google search, but in fairness that might be because I ask here first!
Yes that's what worries me too - and what if someone you think is OK applies to advertise but someone you think is ace doesn't - and they're competitors? etc.. could be sticky. I'd really rather stay out of it

Also I don't fancy approaching people to see if they want to advertise on the site. Too interested in pawpaws, not interested in chasing revenue :)

I don't think there would be many people who would want to advertise. Wouldn't want them to feel like obliged to stump up sponsorship dollars either. If people want to advertise they can register an ad on GoogleAd and get in not just our banner, but lots of related banners that way - probably better value for money? (I think they'd need about 400 clicks in GoogleAd banners before it cost them $20 - which is heaps!)
Yeah, after I thought it through I had the same thought. Mind you if someone offered...
Yes that sounds like what i'm thinking too - except I'm not sold on the option D thing (see comments above re putting people off - and if it's only done through face to face events it's not fair to the people who attend these - they are effectively sponsoring all the online people ). Interestingly I was listening to Radio National today about the development of wikipedia. The MIT centre for collective intelligence guy was saying that the major thing for these new Web 2.0 website thingies is thinking about the contributors as customers and maintaining a base of people who want to contribute - because they are the ones driving the website's value. So I think keeping it free for people to use is a really good thing. Down the track a sponsorship/ voluntary contribution might become like an expectation which could cause problems, or people who do contribute would feel ill used if others don't etc..

People who benefit from the traffic (but aren't getting direct value out of actually using the site) i.e. advertisers, are a much better potential revenue stream to my mind. That's sort of fair enough.

Agree unlikely to generate much - I've clicked on those banner ads about twice ever! :)

As to being admin and paying for the privilege - you know, it's funny, when I first set this up I thought I'd do it for the public good (so hard to find out what was happening in Brisbane otherwise) and then transition out of it - maybe hand it over to other people. But you know what? I really love doing this. It makes me feel really good. It's ace to be sharing my passion, and to feel like I'm helping other people and the world. It's a lovely escape from my day job, which has nothing to do with horticulture anymore (since I did my back in). I love learning from other people and documenting my efforts so I can learn from my own progress. I love it that I feel connected to the broader horticultural community again - because I still think of myself as a horticulturalist, bag of fruit office job or not. And you know, I earn enough not to worry about $5 a week. I currently contribute to a charity each week - what's the difference? I'd rather have this website than three plasma TVs :) Still, less is more as far as fees go - if google want to pay our fees that's fine with me :)

I don't know about any grants that would apply (to BLF) - I tend to think probably not. Maybe for the BSS - you need to be an incorporated community group etc for most of them - but BSS would probably fit. Check the BCC community grants website - there's stuff in there you might be able to access for BSS. Here:
I take as a mark of respect that you have asked for our opinions. In the end Scarlett, it is your call since you are the site owner. Whatever my input and opinions on advertising I will go along with the majority decision.
Thanks Elaine - and yes it is, that is why I asked - because in the end it is our site, not mine. If it changes so that no-one wants to use it anymore, will I be glad that I had the final say? No. So same - I will go along with what people are saying.

As far as governance goes, I reckon that the best model is to have someone who has the final say, but they should listen to everyone before they decide. Consensus too hard, dictatorship too foolish :)

Best way to get an informed decision - openly discuss the pros and cons. Anyway, that's my theory ;)
Benevolent Dictatorship ;-) I am still mind-boggled at the input, the great questions, the co-operative attitude and friendship which has sprung from this site :-) You have every reason to be proud of what you started.
very, very addictive :)
Already agreed, but am more than happy to agree again! We could do a LOT worse than to have you as our Benevolent Dictator! Especially considering your 'guru' status....
since when am I a guru? I couldn't stand on my head (or meditate I'm ashamed to admit) if you paid me ;)
Simce gurus don't have to stand on their heads! Guru probably means 'teacher' as does 'doctor' and rabbi'.
I read a book with this in it recently. Apparently the word guru is composed of two sanskrit syllables meaning 'darkness' and 'light', as in from darkness to light. I'm sure being able to stand on your head would help... :) ok, so this is irrelevant, i admit it


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