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Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Sun 24th Jul '05 4:46PM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
Hi all

OK so bit of a setback arrived in my inbox on friday. Google ads in their infinite wisdom have decided that there has been some nafarious clicking on the ads going on and have disabled the account. They are also keeping the unpaid revenue generated thus far - a little over ?200. That would have covered next years server space with a bit left over for any upgrades (extra bandwidth, subdomains etc).
So as it stands, although I can and will cover the expenses myself we need another way of supporting this place. Any suggestions? Ideally we'd get a company that would pay for displaying ads regardless of whether they get clicked or not. Then there's no way they could accuse us of any foul play.
Not like we're in a place yet (or are ever likely to be) where we can start charging for subsriptions/custom titles/merchandise like SomethingAwful.

Spanners, he need your help.
    

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Mon 25th Jul '05 2:22PM
1673 Posts
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3rd Jun '03
Drat! The swines!

Any idea what made them reach that conclusion? Some kind of clever analysis thing? Mind you, they probably check sites randomly sometimes, so maybe they had a look and were reminded to click on the adverts...?

The hard thing about finding an advertiser, I reckon, is that they'll want evidence that thedaddy is well enough visited by the kind of people they're targeting. That, in turn, means that we have to be sure that thedaddy itself is well enough advertised, which could cost money, which leads to a chicken/egg/google/parliamentary bill situation. It's hard to see how recruiting advertisers is ever going to work until the forum is gaining enough casual visitors - which it may well in the end but I'm not sure we're there yet.

Just had a look on Google to see how linked-to the site is. If you search for "link:forum.thedaddy.org" then it should tell you everyone who links to you. The only results it came up with are smallwalls.com and this site itself. Now, I know for a fact that at least one other website - mine! - links to this, so the result obviously isn't right, but still, it's not a good indication. One thing I'd suggest is submitting it to www.dmoz.org - the human-compiled "open directory". Somebody checks every entry and, if approved (mine was), it gets added to the appropriate category. Then, as if by magic, you'll find it appearing in all sorts of other web directories that get their info from dmoz, and which themselves get indexed by Google etc - which means that if people are searching the web for "chat" or "forum" or whatever, they should find more links to it. Just a drop in the ocean, but still.

Would I be right in thinking that the only major expenses occur pretty much annually, rather than on an ongoing basis? If so, what about a plain and simple appeal to users, next time a bill comes in? Like a mass email (maybe limited to those who have posted more than 20 times, or something, so as not to scare off new types) with a paypal link inviting a donation? If a reasonable proportion of people give ?2 (I'd be happy to give more, myself) then that could cover it, and keep the forum afloat for another year - which would be time to put some serious efforts into increasing membership, or at least traffic.

Just a few thoughts, anyway.

Excuse me for mentioning it, but can I interest you in a panoramic print of York - http://www.panoramicyork.co.uk ? No? Oh well - just thought I'd ask.
   

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Mon 25th Jul '05 2:55PM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03


Malcolm was bold enough to comment:

Any idea what made them reach that conclusion? Some kind of clever analysis thing? Mind you, they probably check sites randomly sometimes, so maybe they had a look and were reminded to click on the adverts...?



Dunno, I've asked them for an explanation but they have remained silent. I doubt it's the popup thing since it appears so rarely.



Would I be right in thinking that the only major expenses occur pretty much annually, rather than on an ongoing basis?


Yep that's right.



If so, what about a plain and simple appeal to users, next time a bill comes in? Like a mass email (maybe limited to those who have posted more than 20 times, or something, so as not to scare off new types) with a paypal link inviting a donation? If a reasonable proportion of people give ?2 (I'd be happy to give more, myself) then that could cover it, and keep the forum afloat for another year - which would be time to put some serious efforts into increasing membership, or at least traffic.



Spanners, he don't work like that. I'll ask people to click on the sponsors but I'll never ask you guys for money. Flies in the face of the whole ethos of this place

Have submitted us to dmoz.
    

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Mon 25th Jul '05 3:24PM
1673 Posts
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3rd Jun '03


Spanners was bold enough to comment:
Flies in the face of the whole ethos of this place




I don't think that's necessarily true.

Or, to put it another way, I think it probably is true in the way I first suggested it (ie a mass email) - but, having thought more about it, I still think it's conceivable if it's kept to a limited number of us.

The way it is at the moment, you personally have the only financial stake in it, and therefore bear the brunt of problems such as these. But new developments/updates (not to mention tricky admin decisions) tend to be the product of careful discussion between a number of us. Certainly not all of us, but a subset who feel an affinity and a self-chosen duty to keep the place working well. (In fact, part of the motivation for this is mentioned in another thread - we have the Spanman to put in 100% of the actual hard work, which is so impressive in itself that we like to support the project by helping with the more human aspects of keeping it going.)

So, if you see it (as I do) as a kind of collective, then it's quite reasonable for we enthusiasts to try & support it financially in the same kind of collective way. In business terms you could see it as a cooperative rather than a sole trader. Why should it be only you who pays if there's a problem?

I totally understand why you wouldn't want to force, persuade or even suggest payment - but I'd be happy to do it as a voluntary act. I think there's a certain few of us who probably would too - as a statement of ethos more than anything else.

What does anyone else think?
   

Kelly*
Poke me in the knees and call me Roger
Mon 25th Jul '05 3:59PM
758 Posts
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4th Oct '03
Hmmm. I can completely see why you wouldn't want to ask people for money, and I think an email plea would maybe not be the best way, but personally I'd like to help keep the forums going, and I'd like you, Spanners, to not have to pay for it all - you do huge amounts of work keeping it working and it's a great place to come, and I'd be more than happy to contribute towards it financially - I think carefully done and on a voluntary basis it could even increase people's interest and stake in it to have the site funded that way than to have you both pay for it all and maintain it all.

Anyway. I don't know how other people would feel about that, and I don't want to attempt to say that other people would feel the same way, but I would certianly like to contribute in any way I can to keep the forums going and to not make the burden of the whole thing fall on Spanners.
   

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Mon 25th Jul '05 4:17PM
2708 Posts
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25th Aug '04
Hell, yeah, what would I do at work without TDDO? I'd go mad, that's what - other pages come and go, but only one is my homepage on all three of my computers, appears in all my links toolbars and is visited pretty much every day - sometimes three or four times!

I have absolutely no problem with putting a donation in to try and alleviate some of the costs for you! I think it'd be well worth the effort.

Hell, if you consider how much time and money I spend on TDDO and how much I spend in the cinema, and then consider the enjoyment they both give me, then I'm amazed I get this much enjoyment, for this proportion of the time for absolutely NOTHING!

Also, that I still bother going to the cinema...
   

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Mon 25th Jul '05 5:41PM
4597 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Aw you guys Still though I would rather donations be a last resort, I very much appreciate the thought but it just doesn't sit right with me.

There are another couple of options.
1 selling the forum script once I've finished my latest batch of improvements. If we can find anyone interested of course...
2 selling TDDO branded gear - bit of advertising aswell!
3 getting TDDO on the stock market!

I've got the next 6 months on the server covered anyways so there is time to think. And for now you get to enjoy a lovely ad-free forum!

Google eat babies.
    

Diziet
optical moose
Mon 25th Jul '05 6:37PM
2522 Posts
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20th Jul '05
hi

i'm currently trawling the net looking for companies who don't mind if you don't click on their banners.

just a couple of things i want ask/say:

1) can anyone give me a good starting point for searching? ie keywords, things to look out for.

2) i also see why you wouldn't want to ask people for money, but if it means the forum keeps going then my cheques in the post

3)i imagine you were joking about the TDDO branded gear but if it ever comes to this you should know that i can flog ice to eskimos.




and thus the sandwhich was born...

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 26th Jul '05 12:16AM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
If you've nothing sorted by the time the bill comes in, sign me up for 10%.



Diziet was bold enough to comment:

1) can anyone give me a good starting point for searching? ie keywords, things to look out for.




Been having a look myself today and it's a lot trickier than it sounds. So many companies out there with seemingly nothing but some pie-in-the-sky idea for magically making money out of nowhere. Personally I'm looking for stuff with testimonials from people who have actually been paid, and they seem rarer than hen's trowels
  

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Tue 26th Jul '05 2:17AM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03


Diziet was bold enough to comment:
1) can anyone give me a good starting point for searching? ie keywords, things to look out for.


Well it's payment for 'page impressions' or 'hits' we're looking for. other than that your guess is as good as mine. Have encountered a few people less than impressed with google adwords recently so will try and see if they went somewhere better.



2) i also see why you wouldn't want to ask people for money, but if it means the forum keeps going then my cheques in the post


You guys rule, but we ain't a charity, we're a community. Whatever happens this forum ain't going nowhere.



3)i imagine you were joking about the TDDO branded gear but if it ever comes to this you should know that i can flog ice to eskimos.


Well yes and no. It's a bit silly but there are an absolute load of online places that will print up t-shirts, mouse-mats, window stickers, pants etc with any logo you like. Ever since cafepress started up it seems to be big business. If we can get a decent logo going (any thoughts Dregan?) then I'd be all for some branding
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 26th Jul '05 8:01PM
4678 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
Whilst I'm not a T-shirt wearer, I'd certainly stump up for the TDDO mousemat, coaster set, lapel badge, ringtone and onion cosy. Also if you could produce some sort of device to enable me to talk to hamsters, I'd pay for a TDDO-branded one. I really want to know what they're thinking about...


Other cool ideas for merchandise: Zippo lighters, playing cards, water wings, stationery. Maybe not water wings, though.
  

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Wed 27th Jul '05 2:16PM
1673 Posts
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Member Since
3rd Jun '03


Demian was bold enough to comment:

If you've nothing sorted by the time the bill comes in, sign me up for 10%.




That sounds like a plan - we all promise not to bully Spanners into accepting donations, on the condition that he does let us help if we haven't sorted out anything else when the time comes!

I've been thinking about this issue, though, and it occurred to me that any advertising revenue would be much easier to collect if we could show that lots of people were using the site. This could suggest that a major forum advertising push would be in order. But, on the other hand, getting lots more members would increase the usage and therefore the costs - so would this be counterproductive?

In short - where should we be focusing our Save The Forum energies?

Also - re. merchandise - sounds like an entertaining idea to me. Although, of course, I'd imagine the main buyers would be the most committed members, so it'd end up not being so different from them just giving money. However, we'd get something in return I suppose. Plus if it was a T-shirt or badge or something, then it'd have the added bonus of advertising the forum.
   

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 27th Jul '05 6:05PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Ooo just seen this thread.

I happy to pay money cos like all ye others I loves me some daddy.org

We could always record a charity single.
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 27th Jul '05 6:29PM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03


Malcolm was bold enough to comment:

I've been thinking about this issue, though, and it occurred to me that any advertising revenue would be much easier to collect if we could show that lots of people were using the site. This could suggest that a major forum advertising push would be in order. But, on the other hand, getting lots more members would increase the usage and therefore the costs - so would this be counterproductive?

In short - where should we be focusing our Save The Forum energies?




We're fine for bandwidth and file space at the moment so have no issues about recruitment - we should be all about getting new members and getting this place seen by as many people as possible.
Once we got the advertising, maybe the sponsors will follow...
    

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Fri 29th Jul '05 11:01AM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04


Spanners:

If we can get a decent logo going (any thoughts Dregan?) then I'd be all for some branding


I have an idea, but I'll need to get home to work on it, and I'm no graphic designer :O

I also managed to miss this thread for three days!
    

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Sat 30th Jul '05 12:27AM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04
First idea, took half an hour to knock out [finding a good spanner image is tricksy!]



Not particularly good, but it's a start.
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Sat 30th Jul '05 12:45AM
4597 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Back to the Future stylee! Love it!
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Sat 30th Jul '05 1:54AM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Awesome! I shall attempt to resize these to fit on Avery printable labels on Monday. Unfortunately I can only do B&W
  

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Mon 1st Aug '05 4:56PM
1673 Posts
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3rd Jun '03
That's brilliant, Dregan!

Is the plan to use that as a logo, or to produce several Daddy logos in the form of various famous things?
   

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Tue 2nd Aug '05 2:03AM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04


Malcolm was bold enough to comment:

That's brilliant, Dregan!

Is the plan to use that as a logo, or to produce several Daddy logos in the form of various famous things?


Well, I intend to mash my keyboard and try and make some more, but quality is never assured. I shall have to wait on my Muse*.



*Jack Daniel's
    

Clara
Even red onions have a silver lining
Tue 2nd Aug '05 3:21PM
838 Posts
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27th Sep '04
Have only just seen this thread. Grrrrr google. I do very much like General's idea for a charity single... But I would also heartily volunteer financial help. Liking the logo!
 

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Sat 20th Aug '05 11:31AM
843 Posts
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Member Since
13th Apr '04
Made a banner-style image:



Obviously it needs something more, but there is a surprising dearth of good Spanners images to Citify, and I can't think of anything else. Any suggestions?
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Sat 20th Aug '05 2:54PM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
Wahey! That's absolutely marvellous!
If you can squeeze the name or the URL of the forum on there then it'll go straight onto the first ever batch of TheDaddy.org Forum hats.
Ooh they'd be great for prizes at the Forum meet...
    

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Sat 20th Aug '05 4:05PM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04
Quick and nasty:

    

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Tue 23rd Aug '05 12:29PM
1673 Posts
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Member Since
3rd Jun '03
I'd like to join the party with this offering:




or the enhanced version:




Excuse me for mentioning it, but can I interest you in a panoramic print of York - http://www.panoramicyork.co.uk ? No? Oh well - just thought I'd ask.
   

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Tue 23rd Aug '05 12:57PM
1673 Posts
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Member Since
3rd Jun '03


Dregan was bold enough to comment:


Obviously it needs something more, but there is a surprising dearth of good Spanners images to Citify, and I can't think of anything else. Any suggestions?



Best I could find:


Excuse me for mentioning it, but can I interest you in a panoramic print of York - http://www.panoramicyork.co.uk ? No? Oh well - just thought I'd ask.
   

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Tue 23rd Aug '05 1:54PM
4597 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
And that, my friend is immediately worthy of TheDaddy.org's front page! http://www.thedaddy.org/

And please please can that picture of me never appear in a banner. I couldn't take it!
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 23rd Aug '05 4:56PM
4678 Posts
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Member Since
7th Apr '03
Awesome work, Malcolm and Dregan

That Washington Post quote is perfect
  

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Wed 30th Nov '05 11:50AM
2708 Posts
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Member Since
25th Aug '04
I just noticed, we appear to have adverts again - was some deal reached somewhere? And should we start clicking again?

Also, I believe the six months/server payment deadline is nearly up and I've got a paypal account just itching to have some meaning in life...?
   

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Wed 30th Nov '05 11:52AM
1673 Posts
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Member Since
3rd Jun '03


Amanshu was bold enough to comment:
I just noticed, we appear to have adverts again - was some deal reached somewhere? And should we start clicking again?




I refer the honourable gentleman to the thread entitled "Corporate sponsorship" on this very same board.
   

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