Author Topic: Plea for Help - Donation Drive  (Read 3258 times)

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Offline Caltsar

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Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« on: February 13, 2012, 09:12:02 PM »
EDIT: Posting new front page news here:

Thank you all very much for your support! This little donation drive has barely been going on for a day and we've already received $1600!

Neither Noben nor myself realized just how much people enjoy the comic and community here, and we want to continue to make this place fun to visit. While we've raised more than we expected, these costs are continuing and the ads should now do more to help cover them now that I've made them slightly more visible.

That said, if you wish to show continued direct support, you are welcome to donate! Anything extra that goes to Noben will help her focus on making this comic!

Thank you all so much for your overwhelming gestures of financial and emotional support. We appreciate every one of you. :)

TL;DR: We aren't making enough to support the site, please donate/give us an exception in your ad blocker.

I have been maintaining and running all the stuff behind the scenes on Altermeta since early 2006. When I started the site cost me about $8/month to just keep on the internet, but it has grown and traffic has increased quite a bit since those days.  I've had to upgrade hosting plans a couple times now as capacity has increased, and a couple years ago I moved to a VPS that allocated more of the server resources to me.  All this costs money, money which I am not making back.

Currently, the site costs somewhere in the ballpark of $500 a year to run, and I haven't even broken even on hosting the site since 2007. I've invested around $1400 of my own money into keeping this site and webcomic alive. While I am more than happy to invest my own resources into this site, I am unable to sustain this indefinitely.  I have experimented with ads and donations. Donations do bring in more money than advertising, but it still doesn't meet even half of what I need to put into this site. If only 50 people donated $10 every year, I could run this site without losing any money, and unfortunately ad networks like Google Ad-sense don't pay out enough without putting ads in horribly invasive positions.  I refuse to annoy you with ads, but so many people visit this site with adblockers on that I can't make any money from your views. I have one or two discreet advertisements on the main page and assuming no one visited with an ad blocker, I could make about 3/4 of the cost it takes to maintain this site from those two ads, but I only make about $100 a year from these. Last year I only received $150 in donations. This left me $250 short.

I've been weighing options on how to monetize the site.  Selling prints didn't work due to my already full time job and the inability of either Noben or myself to keep up and find time to send merchandise in a timely manner.  Noben is selling prints on DeviantART, but that money goes to her and DeviantART takes enough of a cut that I won't take anymore of that. Discreet advertising isn't working well enough, and I refuse to put any of the higher paying invasive ads in. Unfortunately I'm not getting enough donations either.

We have toyed with the idea of an exclusive paid membership, but we haven't been sure of what to put in that potential section or how to charge for it. Not to mention I no longer have the time to code any new features.

As the site continues to grow and the viewers continue to increase, I will need to invest more and more money into keeping this site alive. If I can meet the financial obligation through donations that would be ideal. If you cannot donate, please put Altermeta as an exception in your ad blocker so you can contribute to the continued existence of this site.

To be totally transparent on where your money goes if you donate: If we exceed the cost of hosting with donations and advertising in any given year, Noben gets 70% of the money and I get 30% for my time and investment, but until we pay for the cost of the site, All the donations go to me (and then straight to the hosting company).

Fun statistics:
We have roughly 20,000 unique visitors (extrapolated from several sources of information, excludes known bots/crawlers)
Of those, We have an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 of those visitors being unique humans.
Of those, roughly 4,000 read the site regularly.
We now get over 1,000,000 page visits a month to the main page.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 12:37:53 AM by Caltsar »

Altermeta Community

Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« on: February 13, 2012, 09:12:02 PM »

Offline Caltsar

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Re: Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 07:48:27 AM »
You guys are way too awesome!

So far, we've gotten $650 in donations! This is way more than we were expecting, and you are still welcome to donate. it really adds up and every bit helps with continuing costs as well as money to promote the site.

Any extra money will be split between Myself and Noben, my part of the money is likely to go toward advertising costs to promote and grow the site further, so you'll still be helping even though we've exceeded our goal!

Thank you all for the great words of encouragement. I've had many people message me privately and in public saying they will be adding an exception to their adblocker, and I've had many people also offer their well wishes and regrets that they can't donate. Remember that this server cost is recurring, so whenever you can, feel free to donate! (sadly even though we've gotten so much more than expected, it won't last all that long)

I know this isn't over and we're very grateful for everything that was given. I never expected this amount of generosity from all of you!

Offline JFox

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Re: Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 02:39:01 PM »
To be honest I only rediscovered Altermeta earlier this past week (had watched the comic on a laptop that later got stolen...) BUT, I'd say it's going better than ever. (there's the spoon full of sugar)
It seems your donation drive was a resounding success!
While I'm a full time student (and thus, money is a pipe dream) I can't very well donate money (Altermeta's in my ad-blocker exceptions, or so it claims)... I would be more than happy to donate server space/bandwidth if that would ease your costs at all.  Other than that, bearing in mind that I'm an animation/video production student and thus have insane project requirements/deadlines I'm more than happy to donate time and whatever non-monetary resources I can. (aand there's the technicolor medicine)
(Note: I'm considering the purchase of an omfg expensive inkjet for the use with my large format photographic prints... I had put it off thinking it too big an investment for an uncertain return-- IF however this too would be helpful to you/the site/Noben, and the (equally OMFG expensive inks/papers) could be reimbursed then that certainly gives me a lot more reason to make such a purchase).

Also, sorry for the TL;DR/Copy-pasta from dA.  Aaand just in case I was way off base, and/or seemed creepy... You may feel free to make use of the handy dandy "Down, J! Bad!" Nerf bat sitting next to me. (All I ask is no rolled up newspapers... those things freaking hurt)
Ooh, shiiiny *Booom* Doh!

Offline Caltsar

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Re: Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 02:56:00 PM »
Just a brief status update before I head off to work:

$1500.

Seriously, you people are crazy :P

*EDIT* Seriously guys, thank you very much for all your generosity. We are absolutely blown away!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 03:32:41 PM by Caltsar »

Offline Daremo

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Re: Plea for Help - Donation Drive
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 01:32:32 AM »
Had to wait until payday, but I did what I could this morning.

Thank you for the comic Casey and all the Sex, Dragons and Rock'n'Roll that we could ask for, and thank you Caltsar for making it possible for us all to see Casey's work! ^_^