In the "happy to discuss" tradition of BLF, I thought I'd start a discussion about how we want to fund the site.
Originally, the site was funded through google adsense (paid adverts). From what I remember, it was pretty unobtrusive in the old days. I have an adsense account but it won't work with ning.
I thought I'd follow the same notion and had a go using Infolinks adds. They were anything but unobtrusive, so I have removed the code from the site (banished it to the bowls of hell).
This does leave the question of how we want to host the site. The current cost is $25 per month. It's not really an option to change hosts - we would lose everything. Bear in mind also that we are using their software - site design, forum software, pictures etc etc etc. They are sometimes painful to deal with, but they do pretty much manage all the background stuff well.
My aim with infolinks was to try to get something that we didn't have to even think about. I'm reluctant to try another advertising mob because they are probably all the same.
We've had a few suggestions so far:
Anyone got any other ideas? Any opinions? What? No - regardless of my naked gardening photos, I will not become a BLF stripper!
Replies are closed for this discussion.
As you say $25 is not an unreasonable cost for use of the software, hosting etc. And if you move, you will lose everything. At best you could export the data but you'd be hard pressed to find somewhere affordable to put it an make it available.
My advise to anyone putting lots of content up here is to replicate it somewhere where you control. e.g. have your own blog and post on both, or keep good, organised copies on your hard drive.
The internet evolves. One day ning will decide it's not cost-effective to host all these sites with their massive photos and it will go the way of geocities, homestead, myspace, etc. You'll wish then that you had a copy of your stuff. And nobody should be putting all their eggs in Facebook's basket either.
In the meantime, ning is providing things that we won't get elsewhere so let's make hay...
As for paying, unless there is an easy way to charge for membership of the site, donations and gold coin at GV's seem the best option.
It looks like the cost is about $300 per annum. We should try to make it as easy as possible for everyone, without everyone putting coins in a tin every GV, raffles also means work for someone.
If there were 30 willing members who were quite active on the site, they may be able to contibute $10 each family or household, I know I would be willing to do that. Cash handover to the person paying the account, might be the easiest way.
Would you still moderate the site, Andrew, or do we have others that do the job.
I'm happy to keep doing what I do Christa.
Nah Andy, no stripping - gotta keep our gardening clean ;-) Not up with the Google issue Andy - we did have Google ads which my ad-blocker blocked. Happy to go along with that if it can be organised.
OK, 12 of us put up $25 each. I can manage that - US or Aus dollars? Keen to see how many pledge over the next week.
On the whole I'm happy to stay with Ning. The hassle of moving is beyond a joke anyway. And Gayle's advice to copy anything you wouldn't want to lose is a good idea.
Australian dollars Elaine. We could do a sponsored month - for example written on the front page "Our January gardening is brought to you by Elaine."
Not for me, Andy ... happy to contribute without any fanfare.
I am happy to do the $25 contribution as well.
That amount $25 is OK with me. That is nothing compared to the pleasure that Ian and I get from this group.
I am happy to contribute $25 also - I have clearly had more than the value over the years from the site though I'm not active now. But then this is going to have to be organised again every year, right? Andy would need to find willing contributors again next year.
How about a donation of a couple of dollars from every one who wants to join/is a member? A yearly membership fee (modest amount from a lot of people would add up)?? The legal side of taking and handling money for the group may be an issue?? The issue of incorporation rears it's head again.
Great pity the ad solution didn't work out. It would have been a neat way to take care of raising money without lots of fiddling.
Yes with annual fees this has to be gone through again and again :-\
Andy I do not understand why the Google ad arrangement is no longer viable. Could you outline the issue please?
Incorporation - no. Committees and I don't get along - had my fill of those.
A separate account for Andy into which we pay our contributions?
Gayle D this is more in your area of interest than mine, if the Google ads are no longer a possibility, do you have a suggestion we haven't thought of yet?
Without incorporation Andy will be paying tax on any monies held in an account in his name.