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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 89 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: The downage  (Read 11378 times)
Valamir
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2003, 07:39:23 PM »

Quote
Maybe paying people get their username in a different color?


I actually kind of like that idea.  

To take it even further, as much as I hate Avatars, I could get my mind around a special Forge Logo avatar that donors (of any amount) can use for a period of 1 year from the date of donation.  

It would be just like those Red Cross "I gave" stickers they hand out at blood drives.

Don't know how technologically practical such an idea is.
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Jack Aidley
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2003, 01:00:28 AM »

Quote
But there's no reason why you couldn't have something special for those willing to pay a little. Maybe some extra pay-only forums? Maybe paying people get their username in a different color? etc


"We pay, you don't and look we're better than you for it." Certainly not the intention, but that's the impression that would convey. Certainly to my mind.

One thing I would say is that The Forge hosts a lot of sub-forums for various publishers. Now, I don't know how much of the forge traffic goes to these forums, but I'd suggest that it would not be unreasonable to ask those who these forums represent to make a small contribution towards the running cost.
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- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Valamir
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2003, 04:34:51 AM »

Quote
"We pay, you don't and look we're better than you for it." Certainly not the intention, but that's the impression that would convey. Certainly to my mind.


Possibly.  Of course, IMO, the message that should be conveyed is "We get so much value from this site to enhance both our own personal gaming experience and our own design and publication efforts that we are willing to help support the site to ensure that it continues without interruption and without posing an onerous burden on its founders."

Peer pressure is an effective behavioral tool.  I see no problem myself with using it to promote a good cause.  

The first thing that should probably be tried is just making the issue and the donation button more prominant.  I would even suggest an item like those pledge counting thermometers often seen at charitable collection drives...something that shows how close to having a full year of service paid for right next to the donate button.

That way we can start by letting members own sense of responsibility and support handle things and not resort to other methods unless that proves inadequate.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2003, 04:42:52 AM »

Ralph,

The donate button (and other methods of donating, like getting web space here and whatnot) will soon be more prominent. I've put it off long enough, mainly because of personal pride.

While last week's spike, now considered malicious (thanks, Anya, for letting me know about rpg.net's similar situation), caused a lot of these problems, moving to a bigger server will let the Forge expand. (I still have not heard from my webhost whether the usage problems occured just last week, or if they were looking at monthly average data.) As is, I can't take any more hosting jobs because it would use too many resources. There's a few solutions I've found, and all should get me down in the range of $99/month, which I can handle, especially if I make donations more visible.

Ron and I did set a policy long ago about not releasing information on who donates in any form, however, so colored names and whatnot won't be happening. I am trying to think of something nice we can do, though.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2003, 05:33:49 AM »

Y'know, support does start at home...  How about this, I personally pledge to donate $50 a year to the Forge, in addition to what I'm paying Clinton to host the 1001 Designs site.  I would encourage any other designers who are or will eventually be making profits based on materials either developed on the Forge or supported/marketed here (in your own forum or otherwise) to think about doing something similar.  It's karma baby. What could make more sense than tithing some of your profits to support the community that's supporting you?

On the other hand, I think people who are simply looking for a place to talk about their ideas, who aren't at the point of publishing or making money off them, should always have a home here and shouldn't feel the need to donate at all. How's that?
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Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2003, 06:21:46 AM »

Hey Guys,

I just mostly want to chime in and say thanks to Clinton. The Forge handles outage professionally, something I can't say of a lot of very well funded sites I deal with in my work.

-Tim
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2003, 08:46:04 AM »

Hello,

I consider all public announcements of "I'm going to donate" or "I have donated" regarding the Forge to be unacceptable. The intent behind the post, however laudable, is irrelevant to this point.

Such posts are absolutely not permitted.

Best,
Ron
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LordSmerf
Member

Posts: 864


« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2003, 08:48:59 AM »

I was just curious...  Would it be possible to institute some sort of non-visible reward system for donors? (I totally agree that differentiating donors from non-donors is counterproductive publicly)  What about some sort of access to small scale PDFs?  Supplements, simple game ideas, that sort of thing.  These may be donated too...  I don't know if that's practical or not.  Regardless, i want you guys to know that i support the Forge enough to chip in some money...

Thomas
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Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2003, 08:55:19 AM »

Er, I'm going out on a limb, here, but wouldn't the 'benefit' to people who pony up a donation be that the Forge continues?

I mean, would your name in a different color (or whatever) really make  anybody more likely to donate than the realization that the Forge might go away altogether (like it did for a day, there) if we don't help Ron and Clinton defray the costs of running the place?

Yes, that would mean that some people are 'freeloading'.  But I think the whole point is that by keeping the Forge freely accessable, donors get access to the resulting conversations, interactions, and debate.

Or am I missing something?

Edit: fixed speling
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Master of the Inkstained Robes


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« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2003, 09:03:19 AM »

The best reward-style idea I've seen in here so far, imho, is the concept of a "members only" forum.  It gives people who've paid a tangible benefit (access to the forum) and is relatively/completely invisible to non-members (as hidden forums are wont to do).

Yes, donating to the forge is its own reward. But even pointless rewards like a pretty avatar can be the "cookie" encouraging people to donate.  It's silly, but it still has a psychological impact.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2003, 09:07:40 AM »

Sigh ...

Well, folks, all of the discussion is valuable, and I appreciate everyone's input so far. As a survey revealing that people have very different views, it's great.

My own views are very much in line with Dana's point (AnyatheBlue). I welcome further input to the thread, as people seem to want to provide it, but just so you know, I strongly doubt you're going to see any change in those views or in how Clinton and I are going to handle acknowledging donations.

Best,
Ron
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LordSmerf
Member

Posts: 864


« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2003, 09:13:21 AM »

Ron, thanks for the update.  Let me go ahead and state that no matter what you guys end up deciding to do i'm pretty sure that people will donate.  I know that personally i just never really thought about the cost involved, but now that it's been brought to my attention i'm perfectly willing to invest in the Forge.  The benifits i get from the Forge's existence are well worth some money.  I guess what i'm saying is that i'll be donating no matter what you guys do (unless you axe donations, it might be hard to donate then...).

Thomas
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Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
Clay
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« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2003, 09:17:20 AM »

The capitalist in me rears its ugly head:

Your revenue needs to come from your strengths. The big strengths are quality of content, game-specific forums and raw readership.  The last is driven by the previous two.

The obvious solution to me is advertising sales. Advertising doesn't have to be a spastic flashing banner at the top of the page (and God willing it won't be). You could mandate text-only ads, jpeg-only (which doesn't support animation or other spastic behavior), or just review each ad to make sure it isn't obnoxious.  You have a prime market for advertising rpg-specific items, especially for non-mainstream games. Companies that make products useful to the independent game publisher are also a good bet. Serif Software makes a publishing suite that several of us here use and recommend. Profantasy and NBOS make mapping programs that are widely used.  Contact those companies and see if they're interested in the kind of market you have to offer. They're advertising on RPG.net already, and that audience is far less targetted.

Alternately you need to sell something that people are interested in buying and generates a decent margin. I will submit that Cafe Press isn't the way to go about it, because the margins stink.  Charging for game specific forums might be the answer, especially if the game or supporting products are being sold instead of freely downloaded. Producing and selling Cafe-Press like items might be a better answer.  You can find a local company to product such items at a significantly lower cost than what Cafe Press is asking (and if you can't, contact me and I'll get you prices from somebody who can).
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Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
rafial
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« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2003, 10:17:57 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

I consider all public announcements of "I'm going to donate" or "I have donated" regarding the Forge to be unacceptable. The intent behind the post, however laudable, is irrelevant to this point.


Ron -- a clarification if you will -- are you prohibiting posts of that nature *in this thread*, or anywhere on the Forge?

-wilhelm
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Nathan
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« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2003, 01:10:43 PM »

Hey folks,

I hope those of you that can donate will do so, but I'm not so keen on all the special "membership" type privileges. Once you start doing that, it can go strange places. I'm not sure if it would even be a donation once you start offering something in return for payments. Then, next thing you know, members who have paid start wielding power or expect favoritism ("I might not renew my subscription unless I get what I want.") I work in a church part time, and we see this type of thing often. A donation is a donation.

I've privately messaged Clinton about the possibility of RPGShelf.com being a solution to this, and I also know of some local places in my area that do pretty cheap co-location. I'm not quite sure how much bandwidth the Forge is using at the moment. There might be other options to decrease bandwidth usage. For example, if you have the ability, you could consider limiting connections during peak hours. It sucks, but if it keeps things under quota, then that may be the best solution.

Hope I can help.

Thanks,
Nathan
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