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Thread: How we use contributions.

  1. #1
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    How we use contributions.

    Now that I'm starting to get a better feel for the costs associated with running this site, I want to let you guys know the current plan for contributed funds.

    Startup:

    The initial funds were used to offset some of the startup costs for vBulletin and forum hosting. The cost for the domain registration and future renewal is my expense alone.

    Hosting Services, Software and Support:

    As we grow, we may find that we need to move to a more robust server solution. Having spent some time looking around, we'll likely move to a mid-level VPS package from ServInt or Hostgator. With the required options those packages run around $50-60 per month. Contributions may be used to help cover that cost if there is insufficient revenue from other sources.

    Contributions also may be used to purchase software modifications/plug-ins that are requested by users and not available for free. We may also need some tech support outside that to which we're currently subscribed.


    Content Generation:

    This is where I want the site support funds to go. There are many opportunities here. Buying drivers for testing, purchasing additional testing equipment/software, etc.. The idea is to generate new and unique information that is of value to the community. I don't know exactly how it's all going to work, but I'd hope an example might be purchasing a pair of drivers, testing them, reporting the results in an article, then selling the drivers on the forum. The funds would then cover only whatever loss occurred between purchase and sale.


    Right now the funds are sitting in a bank account waiting for us to get the testing logistics worked out.

    What I want to make clear is that your contributions will never make their way into my pocket as profit. I'm sharing the financial information with Chad and MiniVanMan and plan to update them on a monthly basis. They are guys that I trust to help me make the right decisions for the forum with a view for the long term.


    Questions and comments are welcome.
    Last edited by Adam_MSS; 10-27-2010 at 09:15 PM.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  2. #2
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    I have a question. Do you ever sleep? I means seriously, I see you posting at 3am and then at 6am.

    On a more serious note, I like the fact that you are keeping Chad and MVM in the loop to help with decisions and ideas. By yourself I can see getting overwhelmed as things grow, but with those two helping out it will be amazing. You've done an amazing job so far and expect it to continue!

  3. #3
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daishi View Post
    I have a question. Do you ever sleep? I means seriously, I see you posting at 3am and then at 6am.
    Never been much of a sleeper. I'm up early every morning and if I wake up at night I get up and do something moderately productive for 45 min or so.

    On a more serious note, I like the fact that you are keeping Chad and MVM in the loop to help with decisions and ideas. By yourself I can see getting overwhelmed as things grow, but with those two helping out it will be amazing. You've done an amazing job so far and expect it to continue!
    Thanks. Having Chad and MVM on board certainly will keep my stress level down.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  4. #4
    gyroscopes and infrared FoxForce's Avatar
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    I seriously don't mind if my donation goes to your beer fund, man. I know what it takes to make these things work and you're way on top of it.

    It might be helpful to post the % breakdown between advertisement and donation revenue. When I see an ad, somehow my brain equates it to "paying for the site." Guess it's just some sort of e-conditioning.

    And how long will the "founding member" tag stay in effect? So like in a year from now when MSS is pretty well founded, will there still be founding members?

    I've been studying how the AVSforum operates and they kind of have cool set up in terms of restricting buying and selling and other advanced features to different levels of membership. Might be something to look into? However, that site is littered with ads and is annoying for me personally, so I'd care to venture it brings home some good $$ for the owners.

  5. #5
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Well right now the breakdown is 100% donations and 0% affiliate ads. Affiliate ads function differently than most other types of ads on the web.

    I'm thinking 4-6 months for the "Founding Member" group, then creating another with a different title but similar perks going forward. I'd like to make the perks more attractive but useful at the same time. Offering easy things like animated avatars and video sigs wouldn't feel right for this forum. I'll have to look into the structure over at AVS. I think candlepowerforum does something similar. It seems you have to have a rather large and established userbase first.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  6. #6
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    Is there any way a summary of cash flow could be available for contributing members? I ask this not for lack of trust but so I may know when the forum's resources are lacking/insufficient and contribute more particularly in these times of need. I strongly believe in the direction this forum is heading and would like to contribute on a regular basis.
    -Trevor

  7. #7
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    What if we looked at month over month expenses vs. revenue and gave an update when funds dropped below a given level that would support the forum for a certain number of months.

    So if the current cash on hand was insufficient to keep the forum above water for say, three months, we could let members know that we were running low.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  8. #8
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    Exactly, I think that would be perfect.
    -Trevor

  9. #9
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    I am down with that. I would not want to see an actual breakdown unless you and moderators started pulling a salary (not something I am opposed to down the line if the site becomes large enough).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    What if we looked at month over month expenses vs. revenue and gave an update when funds dropped below a given level that would support the forum for a certain number of months.

    So if the current cash on hand was insufficient to keep the forum above water for say, three months, we could let members know that we were running low.

    I like this idea very much.

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