How should Caudata.org be supported?

How should Caudata.org be supported?


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Jennewt

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This is a poll for input on how Caudata.org should be funded in the future. In the past, donations provided enough to cover site expenses, but donations dropped off substantially in summer 2009. It's time to either look seriously at advertising, or to find a way to re-invigorate the donor program.

If you would like to see an example of what advertising might look like, see FrogForum.net. [Please note that Frog Forum is a separate entity from Caudata.org; both are owned by John Clare, but the two sites are run differently and separately.]

Note that this poll is public; your response is linked to you. We chose this in order to exclude mischief and to get a very clear idea about future donations. In order to consider whether it's viable to keep the site ad-free, we need to know how many users are serious about donations.

If you have any questions or comments that are not captured by the poll, please post them on this thread or send a PM to Jen, Mark, or John. Confidential comments to any one of us will be kept confidential. All 3 of us are aware of site costs and are interested in seeing the site continue on solid financial ground.
 

michael

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I am willing to see advertising on Caudata.org. I will donate in 2010.
 

monkeyfrogman28

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I don't think advertisements are bad. I would like to see them as long as they are Herp related and not something random like dating websites or viagra haha. Also having advertisement areas for breeders would be cool.
 

Jennewt

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Regarding ad content, look at Frog Forum for examples. With Google ads, there is minimal control over what kinds of ads they are. Objectionable advertisers can be blocked, that's it. They would generally not be herp related.
 

Jan

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Regarding ad content, look at Frog Forum for examples. With Google ads, there is minimal control over what kinds of ads they are. Objectionable advertisers can be blocked, that's it. They would generally not be herp related.
Herein lies the 'rub' from my perspective. I appreciate the look of our site sans junky advertising - it is appealing and brings a more professional appearance. Herp related ads would be one thing - random ads lacking any pertinence would be another.

However, I would rather have this site available than not. If we are unable to continue to finance this site through contributions alone and advertising is the only viable financial option to secure the site's future - then with 'backs against the wall', one does what one has to do, preferences aside. John will have to make the call as he (and perhaps you) know(s) the volume of dollars that come in and go out for sustaining/improving the site.

We also have a desire to support AmphibianArk with grant monies derived from donations. Would it merit discussion that these donations be used for site support vs. grant funding if it boils down to using Google ads vs. these donations? The other caveat may be, however, that the level of donations may not be as high if donations were not being used for grant monies.
 

Azhael

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I was torn between the two first options. Kind of like Michael xD
 

Otterwoman

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I'd prefer it if we could keep it ad-free, though, if it needs ads to support it, I'm OK with that as choice #2. People who have problems with the donation scenario--don't need to donate.
Also, maybe there could be more regular raffles and such, to keep the donation spirit up-- say a tshirt or donations from members every couple months, chosen randomly from the donor pool?
 

freves

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I do not mind advertising but am also willing to donate.
Chip
 

Shizeric

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I have no idea what the monthly bill is to support a site like this, but seeing that caudata.org gets me through most of my days at work, I'd do my part to keep the site as enjoyable as possible.
 

Nathan050793

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I am unsure of what to vote because, like many here, I am willing to see herp related advertising, but am not keen on other types. I would definitely donate, but like so many other people, I am short on cash, so the donations would be minimal and probably negligible.
 

Mark

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I have no idea what the monthly bill is to support a site like this, but seeing that caudata.org gets me through most of my days at work, I'd do my part to keep the site as enjoyable as possible.
It costs £49.99 per month to host this site. If 60 of the 8,697 members donated just £10 a year the site fees would be paid for.

There is no guarantee adverts would pay the fees in full. It's something that could be trialled if enough members supported it.
 

Jan

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It costs £49.99 per month to host this site. If 60 of the 8,697 members donated just £10 a year the site fees would be paid for.
Mark...in US $s that would be around $75/month or around $15 each for 60 members for a year's site fee?
 

Shizeric

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It costs £49.99 per month to host this site. If 60 of the 8,697 members donated just £10 a year the site fees would be paid for.

There is no guarantee adverts would pay the fees in full. It's something that could be trialled if enough members supported it.
I think that's doable.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I vote for advertising on the site, merchandising, AND advertising the site on other sites. In addition, I feel that a venue for donations should also be in place.

I feel the FrogForum formula works very well. While Google Ads can be pretty far off base, there are other alternatives which can be abit more involved for the Admins.

Then again, there is always the option of a membership fee to gain access to advanced topics and the like. I mean, heck, 20 bucks a head for a years worth of what was formerly known as Donor Level Access seems pretty fair to me.

An additional option is to create a species cares sheet database in PDF format and make it available for sale to pet shops and educators for a fair price. ( Facetious Example: The Complete Caudata.org Newt And Salamander Reference Library 39.95 Downloaded, 49.99 CD ROM, Individual Care Sheets 99 cents each downloaded. Discounts for Educators and Non Profits)

But, that is just my slightly crazy two cents worth.:eek:
 

stablefly

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I also fall into the adds are fine but I would donate slot. I have been a member of this site for a long time but don't post much. I have picked up a tone of knowledge here and when I take into consideration the cost of a book and the amount of knowledge obtained from that book it's a no brainer really. I think it might now be the time to show my gratitude.

Anyhow, there are different add options than just google as well and I would look at options for individual advertisers to buy ad space on the site for a reasonable fee per month/year. It would be a bit more work for the admin team but I know I would advertise on here if my advert was acceptable ad content.

In addition I like SludgeMunkey's idea for the CD and PDF files.
 

Abrahm

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Then again, there is always the option of a membership fee to gain access to advanced topics and the like. I mean, heck, 20 bucks a head for a years worth of what was formerly known as Donor Level Access seems pretty fair to me.

An additional option is to create a species cares sheet database in PDF format and make it available for sale to pet shops and educators for a fair price. ( Facetious Example: The Complete Caudata.org Newt And Salamander Reference Library 39.95 Downloaded, 49.99 CD ROM, Individual Care Sheets 99 cents each downloaded. Discounts for Educators and Non Profits)
I hate, hate, hate this idea. With the passion of a thousand fiery suns.

I'd love for us to sell a book, but to close off advanced topics except to people who pay or taking all the care sheets off the net and just selling them instead is horrible. Our purpose here is to provide information to people. I feel that anytime we put obstacles in the way of that information we are doing a great disservice.

I donated $10US quarterly before my paypal account went wonky and it stopped. I would be more than willing to begin donating at this level again to ensure this place as ad free.

I wouldn't even mind advertisements, even completely random ones like those from google ads. But if the site took this hyper commercialized tack that Johnny suggests I would be appalled. In fact I want to start a whole rant right now about how stupid I think that idea.

If there is going to be any "Pay for benefits" type memberships the only one I want to see is the "pay a membership to not see the ads."
 

oceanblue

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I'm one of those people who should have donated but haven't! If the small ads by google box is enough to fund the site then fine. If the site is going to be overrun with popups send out the begging letters.

One snag with Google ads is that sometimes they are for a site which is related and you may not like.This site generally discourages purchase of wild caught animals. The ads may not.
 

xMIDNIGHTx

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...the only one I want to see is the "pay a membership to not see the ads."
I think this is a great idea (if even possible). And I also like Johnny's idea but maybe a little bit different, a large amount of caudata.org information in a neat, well put together .pdf for a price where none of the info is pulled off the web but is harder to sort through and find.

Maybe similar to places that raise money, giving simple things away at higher prices (again in the name of support) may also bring in the funds. Personally I would paid XXX% for a caudata.org wrist band, car sticker, etc. if it was part of donating. I think that some of this is already in place. The problem is that someone would obviously have to put alot of face time into planning, ordering, and organizing to make this possible.

To comment on the actually thread topic at hand. I have donated and plan to donate in the future. Like most money is tight. I will not object to having ads on the site, I feel if I do not donate substantially (certain quota if you will), I do not get a say. I think that even to give an option to the members is pretty generous as most other larger forums have many ads AND need donations as well. I would like to see a nice placement of the ads but that is about it.

As Johnny eloquently put it, just my two cents.
 
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