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The most important Forum Post ever

21 Jun 2014 15:57 #36917 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The most important Forum Post ever

oogber wrote: if SWM does run ads, please don't run adblock :(


Okay, that's a fair point.
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21 Jun 2014 16:03 #36918 by oldHarmonyMotion
Replied by oldHarmonyMotion on topic The most important Forum Post ever
Well, if they are flash ads, I would block them. So I guess I have my limits too.
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21 Jun 2014 17:36 - 21 Jun 2014 17:39 #36919 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic The most important Forum Post ever

oogber wrote: Well, if they are flash ads, I would block them. So I guess I have my limits too.


While I never say never, I would say that ads are probably not in SWM's future, unless they are specific ads/links to pre-selected genre content (e.g. PSW, Cult Retro, AC Comics, KAK, etc) meant to help facilitate the genre

ElF
Last edit: 21 Jun 2014 17:39 by lfan.
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21 Jun 2014 18:17 #36924 by mo
Replied by mo on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I would definitely be happy to contribute although I think I'd rather avoid a regular monthly amount.

How about running a campaign with a target that funds hosting for a year and you guys can keep anything extra in the bank till next year?

Keep up the great work!
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21 Jun 2014 20:22 #36926 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I agree with suggestions for an annual contribution now that I think about it.
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21 Jun 2014 22:59 #36928 by desonray
Replied by desonray on topic The most important Forum Post ever
5 is good
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21 Jun 2014 22:59 #36929 by CDR
Replied by CDR on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I think I prefer the monthly automated billing but I'd like a small percentage of the cash to be saved for content commissioning.
That way you'd reward the contributing member from time to time.
Just an idea...
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22 Jun 2014 01:37 #36931 by Jabbrwock
Replied by Jabbrwock on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I just flat cannot afford another monthly subscription. It's not the money per se, it's the problems I'm having keeping the "It's only $5 a month" impulse subscriptions under control. Get enough of them and it's serious money.

I'm happy to add this site to the list of sites that get contributions at the end of the year when I reconcile my actual financial state with my planned budget, but I can't make it a monthly subscription. So please if you do this add an option for a one time donation of a larger lump sum for people like me who are being drowned in the huge number of recurring payments already.
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22 Jun 2014 04:09 #36932 by ericjohn25
Replied by ericjohn25 on topic The most important Forum Post ever
$3 per mouth will work.
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22 Jun 2014 18:41 #36936 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic The most important Forum Post ever
$5.00
I'm in.
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22 Jun 2014 20:11 #36939 by Kamelmann
Replied by Kamelmann on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I'm very keen to help support this site.. but.. would simply having a 'donate' option be an idea?

Then those of us that can donate each month can do so.. and those of us who can't, do so when we can..

Not sure if that's a stupid idea or not.. but it would allow all of us to contribute what we can afford, when we can afford it.. no matter how big or small.. =/
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22 Jun 2014 20:49 #36940 by Jabbrwock
Replied by Jabbrwock on topic The most important Forum Post ever

Kamelmann wrote: I'm very keen to help support this site.. but.. would simply having a 'donate' option be an idea?

Then those of us that can donate each month can do so.. and those of us who can't, do so when we can..

Not sure if that's a stupid idea or not.. but it would allow all of us to contribute what we can afford, when we can afford it.. no matter how big or small.. =/


I completely understand the desire for a subscription option for those who want it. It's a convenient way to donate regularly. I just want to make sure that for those of us having issues with too many recurring subscriptions already there is an option for a one-time donation whenever we are able.
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23 Jun 2014 21:43 #36957 by VagabondEye
Replied by VagabondEye on topic The most important Forum Post ever
Would you accept occasional donations via anonymous bit coin transfer? There is getting to be so much security hassle with PayPal lately it takes me an hour to convince their machine via scanned ass-print that I'm me and I STILL don't trust PayPal with my credentials any further than I can throw them. I've seen they have public, explicit agreements with the Feds (NSA etc), so I'm left wondering why anybody uses them for this sort of personal item.
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24 Jun 2014 01:12 #36961 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic The most important Forum Post ever
While I'm late to the party, I'm in for something. Not sure how much, but i"m in for something. ;-)

I would think it would help to let us know what the monthly/annual target is, and perhaps show a running total. And I'd not mind if the extra was used for commissioning art -- I LOVE to see new art.

I'll probably give a lump amount, I'm not a fan of ankle-biting monthly charges. I'd rather see that I have $X free TODAY, and just pay that.

And kudos for making sure that the site stays free to use, that is a good goal.
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24 Jun 2014 02:06 #36964 by fats
Replied by fats on topic The most important Forum Post ever
hi all,

An update on what has been going on.

Lfan and I welcome all the comments that have been posted in this thread, the offers to support the site has been gratifying to say the least. Lfan has been looking at how we work the money side of things and he is currently looking at Patreon as the means of collecting the donations but that might change if he finds something better to our needs.

I've been looking at the options for the server and the costs attached.

At the moment there are a number of server packages out there that will fulfil our needs, I’m working on whittling them down to the best for us, the biggest issue that we are having is most hosts have a AUP (acceptable usage policy). The AUP for most of the host would not allow our site this is due to the content of the material and I’m not talking about the nude pics that have been posted, but the stories as well, some would ban us for the violent content of the stories and others for the sexual content of them as well, so the number of hosts that I can look at is small to say the least.

The new host is going to be either a traditional VPS or a Cloud VPS. My preference would be with the Cloud VPS as it gives us a lot more bang for our buck and also it would allow us to be able to change the server specs quickly allow me to shape the server to best suit the site needs.

I'm not anticipating that we will be moving to the new server until the end of July, this is to allow me to find the best package , for Lfan to get the donation system up and running.

There is a lot going on in the background at the moment and it's important that we get this right, to rush it and go with the wrong package could be a disaster for the site and it's one that I don’t want to do.

If anyone has a host that they feel could be good for our site or have come ideas on hosting, or any questions please feel free to post them here.

Fats
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24 Jun 2014 04:51 #36966 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic The most important Forum Post ever
Patreon is a good choice.

Since I'm already using it for several "small hit" things, they hit my budget like one thing that I can keep track of and easily monitor. And it's not yet another thing I have to figure out what it is on my cc bill.

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24 Jun 2014 16:20 #36974 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic The most important Forum Post ever
As Fats said, we cannot thank everyone enough for the support and comments. Fats is looking into the technical hosting end of thing, but I thought I'd mention what we are considering from a donation standpoint and how that money will be spent:

WHERE WILL FUNDS GO?
======================
-- We are considering a considerable hosting upgrade which will hopefully relieve us of those pesky outages. Without going into details, our current host has changed their support policies internally (I have been told) which makes "recovering" from the outages much longer and far more frustrating to get their "approvals". With the new hosting package, we aim to eliminate this and have enough BW and processing power for possibly other features (e.g. IMs) that we were forced to abandon previously. Our goal is get enough contributions to fund this, which right now is looking at around $60 per month (more on this below *)
-- Some of the collected funds (overflow hopefully) will go into our reserves to use in case the contributions drop off so much they do not cover the monthly costs. I currently pay for the monthly hosting but I simply cannot pay for a higher hosting package on a regular basis. Having a reserve will help cover losses -- in the short term if the contributions dry up.
-- The rest of the contributions -- if we have a windfall -- will be used for a content bucket that I will use for prizes for "workshop winners" or "hired content". Rather than commissioning artists for the workshop winner's prize, we'll probably elect to give out cash prizes via paypal. In addition, I want to run some "themed galleries" like I did at SGI. This would require getting artists to "buy-in" and participate, and to do this, we need to make the prizes attractive. Otherwise, artists see contests as simply a ploy to get free commissions (which I understand). However, if the prize is enough (e.g. $150), it might be worth their time. My hope is we get some great ubergirl artists to participate. I've been talking with some members who regularly commission artwork (e.g. TwiceonThursday) and they they have been a great help and resource and will help (hopefully) to recruit artists via their contacts. Keep in mind, it might take months to build up the reserves enough to do this, so I see this happening maybe twice a year (subject to change though). Other content ideas we might use the money for are audio stories or maybe video content we publicly commission.
-- To reiterate, 100% of the money collected goes to the site. Whether it be hosting, software costs, commissioning, or something else. None of us are getting "paid" with money we collect for our time
-- To also reiterate, 100% of the site will be open to users whether they contribute or not. Commissioned content will be made available for everyone, not just the contributing members. We see SWM as a community and, as such, are hoping we all share the contributions and burden$ to some extent.

HOW WILL MONEY BE COLLECTED
============================
-- Based on the feedback, I think I'm gonna setup a Patreon account for monthly "contributions". It is a cool way to be a monthly supporter and will help us see what is budgeted before we have to act (again, see below *). Keep in mind, no donation is too small (or too big) and Patreon doesn't lock you in. You can cancel at anytime.
-- In addition, we will have a one-time paypal link for one-time contributions. We understand fully about people's real life situations and understand people simply cannot spend money monthly on this. Again, nothing too big or too small......

* WHAT IS YOUR BACKUP PLAN
==========================
To be honest, both Fats and I are a little nervous with the financial burden of a larger hosting commitment, and while we are encouraged by the responses, we understand things could change. As in, the contributions dry up and we are short every month on the hosting costs. As I said before, I cannot personally give more than I currently do, so we feel we need to plan for this nightmare scenario so the site doesn't have an extended outage (and we are locked out) for not paying our bills. Therefore, as part of the $60 monthly cost, we are paying for a scaled down hosting package (probably at the current host), in case we have to fall back to that. This will prevent us having to look for and hire a new host (which is a pain in the ass) if things go south.The cost of this redundancy will probably less than $10 of the $60 monthly cost. If we see after 6 months that we're basically in the clear and contributions are healthy enough per month, we'll probably be comfortable with getting rid of the backup host.

Well, that's the tentative plan, which I hope answers some questions people might have. If you have any comments, please email us or post them here. Thanks again to everyone for their understanding in this.

Peace,
ElF
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25 Jun 2014 00:17 #36981 by d_k_c
Replied by d_k_c on topic The most important Forum Post ever
What about having content that you pay for on here? Obviously stories and pics should be free. But what about videos, graphic comics, picture comics like those on super sexy heroines before it went down? People all over the world submitting content, which obviously will have to meet our standard, no peril etc etc, and swm sells it and takes a cut.....say 50%.

Also I think if you want to increase membership. Shut down content to those who are not members. I'm pretty sure I can access everything without even logging in....even vote, forums being the exception. Lock it down.
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25 Jun 2014 04:55 #36988 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I'll give whatever help I can. It also might do to before you spin up a contest, to describe it out to everyone here, and what cash you have allocated.

If it seems like contest them that someone is really interested in, they might click the paypal button, and donate some money specifically to the contest. That will enable the first prize to get bigger, and maybe make a 2nd or third prize. There are a LOT of artists who you can commission for $50. If they think there is a good chance they'll get least that much, they might enter, and take a stab at the larger prizes. (And this also could mean that they put more effort into the image than they normally would for that price.)

Plus, it will help that if after a contest, people commission them and mention their entry (no matter how it placed). If it becomes known that entering the contest here helps bring in some sales and get some exposure, then artists will be more likely to enter (and the cycle repeats itself). I'm sure a few of the artists are fans of this site (I know I was a lurker before I joined to post).

Not to mention that artists will likely post the image in their gallery, and probably mention the contest, which might bring in more users, maybe getting more $$ raised, and thus more frequent contests...

Certainly, I am a big fan of a bunch of the artists that I commission, and I love telling people about them, what it was like working with them. That's ended up sending more work to those artists (I think i'm up to 4-5 referrals now). And that's just me, in 9 months. (If anyone has questions about commissioning, feel free to ask me here, or note me on my DeviantArt account).

cerebus873.deviantart.com/
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25 Jun 2014 14:35 #36997 by fats
Replied by fats on topic The most important Forum Post ever
just a quick update, I have a paypal system in place on the site, just need for lfan to get the paypal account up and running, and I’ve got the hosts narrowed down to 3 just waiting for reply to emails that I have sent and things are looking promising.

Fats
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27 Jun 2014 14:00 - 27 Jun 2014 14:07 #37032 by fats
Replied by fats on topic The most important Forum Post ever

VagabondEye wrote: Would you accept occasional donations via anonymous bit coin transfer? There is getting to be so much security hassle with PayPal lately it takes me an hour to convince their machine via scanned ass-print that I'm me and I STILL don't trust PayPal with my credentials any further than I can throw them. I've seen they have public, explicit agreements with the Feds (NSA etc), so I'm left wondering why anybody uses them for this sort of personal item.


The idea on Bit Coins is a good one, I’m going to look in to it as a another donation option, I cant say that we are going to accept them initially but it might be something that will do after a few months.

Fats
Last edit: 27 Jun 2014 14:07 by fats.

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27 Jun 2014 14:05 #37033 by fats
Replied by fats on topic The most important Forum Post ever

d_k_c wrote: What about having content that you pay for on here? Obviously stories and pics should be free. But what about videos, graphic comics, picture comics like those on super sexy heroines before it went down? People all over the world submitting content, which obviously will have to meet our standard, no peril etc etc, and swm sells it and takes a cut.....say 50%.

Also I think if you want to increase membership. Shut down content to those who are not members. I'm pretty sure I can access everything without even logging in....even vote, forums being the exception. Lock it down.


I've now "locked the site down" so you need to be logged in to access the libraries and galleries, it was something that i need to get done for some time that has been put on the back burner.

Pay to access content is something that i can put in to place a t a moments notice (once we have moved) again like Bit Coins it might not be something that we put in place initially but it is something that we can put in place if the membership requests.

Fats

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27 Jun 2014 15:39 #37034 by castor
Replied by castor on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I would comment that i wouldn't like locking off the stories to only members.

I have contributed a fair number of stories, and i did it on the assumption they where freely available. if you had to pay to get them that violates i think the implicit contract there. I realize no ones making money here, but yeah. Frankly making them only making the available to just members in general kinds of bothers ne,

I don't mind the montly contribution idea, or even advertising just keep the stories free.
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27 Jun 2014 15:52 #37035 by fats
Replied by fats on topic The most important Forum Post ever

castor wrote: I would comment that i wouldn't like locking off the stories to only members.

I have contributed a fair number of stories, and i did it on the assumption they where freely available. if you had to pay to get them that violates i think the implicit contract there. I realize no ones making money here, but yeah. Frankly making them only making the available to just members in general kinds of bothers ne,

I don't mind the montly contribution idea, or even advertising just keep the stories free.


the libraries are free and will always be free.

the changing of the libraries being only available to members rather than being available to the public is going to be an experiment to see what impact that has on server usage and visitor count

fats

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27 Jun 2014 19:52 #37039 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The most important Forum Post ever
I can't comment on Bitcoin (never used them), but my experience with Paypal is similar to yours. I rarely use it, but when I do, it's an ordeal to get them to believe that I'm me. My original Paypal account is apparently chained up in the dungeon of some castle that apparently isn't located on planet Earth. Or so I've concluded after trying to sort it out with PayPal.

I created a new account (with another email and credit card), but it's still a pain.

I prefer direct credit card processing (I have a special low-limit card I use on the net). But if I have to make Paypal work, I suppose I can figure it out again.

Shadar

VagabondEye wrote: Would you accept occasional donations via anonymous bit coin transfer? There is getting to be so much security hassle with PayPal lately it takes me an hour to convince their machine via scanned ass-print that I'm me and I STILL don't trust PayPal with my credentials any further than I can throw them. I've seen they have public, explicit agreements with the Feds (NSA etc), so I'm left wondering why anybody uses them for this sort of personal item.

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