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Thread: Change from member supported to ad supported

  1. #1
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    Default Change from member supported to ad supported

    I had hoped that once training camp and the season started that contributions would pick up, but we have run shortfalls three of the last four months (since training camp started). The one month we didn't come up short, a member gave a $100 contribution, another gave a $50 contribution this month. Early in the offseason, one poster routinely made up the monthly shortfalls to the tune of about $1,000 over five or six months.

    In addition, there are quite a few members that month in and month out contribute to help cover the costs of BroncosForums. A great thanks to EVERYONE that has helped out, whether every month or when they can.

    I think we had all hoped that of the 400 odd registered users that login every month, we could get 50 people to contribute $5 a month, but the fact is that hasn't been happening. Most months, it is a small number of members that contribute. In November, only 11 people made contributions. In October, 12. September, 11. August, 11.

    In addition to the $185 shortfall we are showing on the cost breakdown page, there are many costs it doesn't include. It doesn't include the paypal fees (roughly 5% depending on contribution amount), the vBulletin upgrade I just had to pay for the upcoming vBulletin 4.0 ($130, because after Nov. 1 it was going to $250), the chat room (which I may get rid of since nobody has used it this year, which is around $150 a year), the backup virtual server that I use to test upgrades or any other forum changes before going live as well as being available if our main server ever had a bad crash ($30 a month), and other costs that I am not thinking of at the moment.

    All told, I am about $4,000 in the hole since I put BroncosForums up. I understand in the current economy, it is hard for people to contribute to help keep BroncosForums running. Some have lost their jobs, some have taken pay cuts, many have seen their retirement or other investments severely reduced. In the same regard, it is hard for me to keep supplementing the forum, even forgetting about recovering the $4k I have already laid out to keep BroncosForums going.

    The time has come to try a switch from member supported to ad supported. Having never done this, I have no idea if I will even come close to earning enough to covering the server costs, but I need to try. I am going to start out with a minimum ad presence, and depending on the income, may have to put up additional ads.

    Initially, I am putting one ad after the first post, and one at the end of each thread, and one at the footer of each page. That means pages will have between 1 and 3 ads, but the overall look of the site, banner area, etc. will remain fairly clean. If that isn't enough, I may have to add a few to the left side, but I am going to try and keep the site as clean as possible. At some point, possibly in the offseason, I will redesign the front page and make it more of a news/reporting site, possibly recruiting some people to help with content, along the lines of MHR, BroncoTalk, etc. A news/reporting/blog area like that should bring in additional non-forum traffic, which will create revenue from the ads on that page.

    Since BroncosForums will only get paid when ads are displayed and/or clicked, I would ask a couple favors.

    Please don't hide the ads. I know there are things you can do to block the displaying of ads, and I understand why people do that, but if you do, you will simply force me to put more ads up, which while you might not see, others will and ultimately it could hurt our forum. I am trying to strike a balance, keeping our mostly clean forum, but hopefully generating enough revenue to cover the costs.

    Second, if you see an ad that you don't think is a fit for BroncosForums, please let me know. I am supposed to be able to review ads and block specific advertisers. If possible, take a screen shot, so I can be sure to see the ad.

    At this point, this is an experiment. If the ads don't cover the costs, I am not sure what the next step will be. Maybe a hybrid, partially ad supported, partially member supported. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Also, if the ads appear to be a permanent solution and if there is interest, we can setup a 'membership' that people would buy for a monthly or annual fee, which would give them an ad-free BroncosForums.

    One final note. For the next couple days, while the ad companies are evaluating our content, the ads won't be at all content specific, but after they 'learn' our content, then it should be primarily sports/football related ads. In the meantime, it will be mostly public service announcements.

    Thanks again to everyone that has contributed over the last year, and hopefully you will understand why this was a step I had to take.

    T
    Last edited by Tned; 12-01-2009 at 09:15 PM.


  2. #2
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    DAMNIT people - Come on - I don't want to see ads on Broncos Forums, BUT I totally understand WHY Tned has to do this - $4,000 of his own money - I realize times are tough, but $5.00 from every active poster monthly is NOT going to hurt anyone, and $5.00 from every active poster would not ONLY cover monthly costs, but would also put some money back in Tned's pocket.

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  4. #3
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    Eh, the adds don't really bother me. Most other sites have them so I really don't even notice them anymore. And hey, better to have a Broncos Forums with adds than no Broncos Forums at all.

    I'd love to be able to donate myself but being a broke college student, it's just not possible at this time.

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  6. #4
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    Now see, I've already found a couple things that interest me: web hosting and watch NFL live, which seems pretty cheap.

    -----
    Though He slay me, I will trust in Him . . . (Job 13:15)


  7. #5
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    On the bright side, at least it is already displaying football related ads. I had read it could take a couple days.

  8. #6
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    Can we set it up so that when you click on the ad, it opens in a separate window? I just clicked one and it takes you away from BF and straight to the advertiser site.

  9. #7
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    Does anyone know a way to excuse a site from AdBlocker in Firefox? I wouldn't dream of living without it for other sites, but I'd like to click some ads for BroncosForums.
    Quote Originally Posted by Benetto View Post
    Orton can't single left handedly ruin everything on O.
    We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

    *****************
    "I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
    — Marilyn Monroe

    Quote Originally Posted by pnbronco View Post
    dang it go drink some Fireball and find your own dang chicken....

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEM View Post
    Can we set it up so that when you click on the ad, it opens in a separate window? I just clicked one and it takes you away from BF and straight to the advertiser site.
    Top asked the same thing, and I just researched it and it is a violation of Google Adsense terms of condition and apparently if you do it and they catch you, they kick you out of their network.

    I hate things opening in the same window and typically setup all links to open in new windows, and when I am on a site (like a search engine) that doesn't, I do a right click, open in new window/tab.

  12. #9
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    couldn't we have tried selling buff's body before resorting to this?
    “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”
    - John Elway

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfish View Post
    couldn't we have tried selling buff's body before resorting to this?
    Who wants to pay for a hippie who can't get any on his own?
    Quote Originally Posted by Benetto View Post
    Orton can't single left handedly ruin everything on O.
    We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

    *****************
    "I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
    — Marilyn Monroe

    Quote Originally Posted by pnbronco View Post
    dang it go drink some Fireball and find your own dang chicken....

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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by frauschieze View Post
    Who wants to pay for a hippie who can't get any on his own?
    okay, slick's body then. . . .
    “When we do find that guy, we’ve got to have the continuity on the offensive side to where we can train him and develop him and get him there. This is our fourth offense in probably three or four years. Quarterbacks need to be developed. You don’t find one ready-made. We got to have a solid system in place for when we do go after whatever guy it may be, a young guy or a trade or whatnot.”
    - John Elway

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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tned View Post
    Top asked the same thing, and I just researched it and it is a violation of Google Adsense terms of condition and apparently if you do it and they catch you, they kick you out of their network.

    I hate things opening in the same window and typically setup all links to open in new windows, and when I am on a site (like a search engine) that doesn't, I do a right click, open in new window/tab.
    I was about to suggest that: Do a right click, or another way is to hold down
    the <CTRL> key and click on the link, and it will open in a new tab (or window,
    if you are using an older version of a browser).

    -----
    Though He slay me, I will trust in Him . . . (Job 13:15)


  19. #13
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    Holy hell....girls, click the LadyFanatics....some badass Broncos gear for girls. Just found 3 shirts I want!!

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  21. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denver Native (Carol) View Post
    DAMNIT people - Come on - I don't want to see ads on Broncos Forums, BUT I totally understand WHY Tned has to do this - $4,000 of his own money - I realize times are tough, but $5.00 from every active poster monthly is NOT going to hurt anyone, and $5.00 from every active poster would not ONLY cover monthly costs, but would also put some money back in Tned's pocket.
    I do believe this advertising will not cover everything. Let's not let up on
    donations (I speak as a forgetful hypocrite ). I rest assured those will still
    be needed . . .

    -----
    Though He slay me, I will trust in Him . . . (Job 13:15)


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  23. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEM View Post
    Holy hell....girls, click the LadyFanatics....some badass Broncos gear for girls. Just found 3 shirts I want!!
    I looked at it but couldn't find anything that would fit me.

    Those underpants looked pretty comfortable, though . . .

    -----
    Though He slay me, I will trust in Him . . . (Job 13:15)


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