Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Shaun_C, May 9, 2006.
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Good luck Kal
While I don't visit the Allspark much anymore, I'd kick in a few bucks for an Invision Power Board license. It's only $185 for a perpetual license. That's better than shelling out $70 a year.
As far as hardware goes, they should really rent or lease a server at a reputable place instead of buying their own. That way they could get backups and if a disc fails, someone fixes and restores it for them. Yeah, this costs money but that's why they have those little ad banners all over the place.
I think all TF boards should be pay sites....come on, $1 a month. I'd gladly pay that.
Um... That's kinda hard to justify for some of us with little to no income.
And shouldn't the Allspark get some sponsors? It should save them as a whole some trouble if they get enough sponsors to put them on a good server with backups.
If THIS place needs a few dollars here or there i'd be willing to toss in a fiver or so to help..
One thing that Kal is correct about is that it isn't free to run a site like this. People think that since it's fans that run it the costs should be really low.
The fact is that web hosting for the bandwidth that we are talking about is not free. Not to mention the servers that the actual site software runs on and the software itself has a fairly serious cost of ownership. And it's not a one shot deal. You pay monthly to keep a site up.
Then people think, throw some ads up to alleviate some of the financial burden. While that may help some it really doesn't cover all the costs. And with the popularity of TF's growing, especially in the next year, the costs are going to rise up even more.
I don't know what the solution is. I wish I did. I would patent it and sell it.
My solution is patronage of the site's sponsors.
Um, 12 bucks a year is reeeeeeeally inexpensive. Hobos can afford THAT. I'd gladly pay it.
While I don't mind the prospect of throwing a few dollars to a board I use, I could easily see it as a burden rather than benefit in this fandom.
As soon as we give money to someone we seem to demand the earth from them
No it isn't free to run a website, but you reach a point where you're too big to just "do it for the fans." Running ads is an easy way to cover the cost of hosting, especially for a targeted website like the Allspark. If they charged some of the online stores $25 a month (which is a frigging deal considering the amount of traffic they have) and sprinkled in a few Google Adsense ads, they'd easily cover their costs.
As far as charging for access.. I've tried it and it doesn't work. While some will pay without thinking twice, others will bitch about it being too expensive no matter how much you charge. Most though won't pay because they think everything on the internet is and should be free.
There are some that simply disagree with this. As much as Fretburn feels he's got an open-and-shut case in saying that even Hobos could pay a dollar a month for visiting a website, it's, if nothing else, a case of conscience for me.
Why pay for one fandom site when I can visit another for free? I don't like paying to be part of a website. I never have before and I don't plan to any time soon. Do I have some self-righteous justification for it? No. That's just the way I feel. However, I don't think I'm alone.
EDIT: However, I want to clarify that if TFW...or the Allspark...ran a donation drive and donation was optional, I would be - and have been - far more helpful. I just donated $5. And no, I'm not lying.
I know I can't afford to pay to visit a website right now. And some folks would have trouble trying to make an online payment (underage). But maybe sites should hold fundraisers or something. I wish TFW2005 was a little more quicker to load up. Helping out with costs to improve the server capacity or whatever needs to get done to make this site a little quicker is a good thing in my book.
Why doesn't TFW2005 sign up with google ads. That could get them some revenue right?
They're probably getting plenty from TFSource, Stylin Online, eBay and every other store they're promoting.
They actually have a politics and religion forum there. I don't wanna see 'em tank. They're getting some of my money.
I'd certainly pay something for the upkeep of TFW.
Not saying, it should be a 'Pay up or go away' type of thing. Maybe a sort of 'incentive' could be introduced. For instance, those members who do make a contribution of $10 per year are allowed bigger avatars or signatures.
You might be suprised then. If by "plenty" you mean "enough to scrape by but not enough to upgrade the servers to keep up with demand" then I guess you are right.
Actually, maybe a semi-annual fund raiser might be in order where you can buy boombox licensed merchandise from cafe press or something.
Have it where the store is only open for 2 weeks or something like that will all proceeds going towards the web sites development.
Why not approach Hasbro for sponsorship?
Surely they can appreciate the promotion that's given their product. While by no means the ultimate marketing strategy for all segments, some larger fan sites are definitely of greater benefit to Hasbro than their own website.
Integrity and ‘favourite’ issues can be resolved.
Once Hasbro is involved in an official sense, then out the window goes stuff like posting of protos, test shots and things of that nature.
And the moment you start taking away stuff like that, fans will find the info they want elsewhere and over time just not bother going back.
We've seen similar examples of that regardless haven't we? Primus seems to come to mind.
I guess if you can afford to have that flexibility then it is definately benificial, if it where a matter of survival it may be a different story. A good community can afford to have its members take a short wander, only for them to return later.
There is alot of competition in the TF community, and the nature of the web means exclusives generally don't stay exclusives for long, so what could a membership service offer, viably, that a free service can't?
The Primus images is an isolated example. Take away all unofficial images and you run into a problem. I'm not saying the Allspark isn't a strong community (it obviously is), I'm just saying people tend to stay where they feel they get the most out of their experience.
And I never mentioned a paid membership for a message board. I'm adamantly against that for a fan run site. But I also know that Hasbro would be opening up a pandora's box of problems if they decided to throw financial aid to any one fan site.
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