Phade wrote:Traditionally, member donations have outpaced monthly costs allowing us to upgrade our servers whenever the need arose every year or so. However, this trend has not kept up over the last year. Donations have been coming in at a slightly slower pace than site monthly expenses, thus causing us to use our “server savings” to keep the site running. But, now we really need a new server.
So lets say this message does a good job of boosting donations for a short time to get the server then donations fall back to the level they've been for the last year. I know you mention ideas for increasing donations but what if none of those pan out? How much longer would things keep running at the level they have been for the last year? In other words, after we donate for a new server are we going be seeing another post a few months down the line asking for donations just to keep going?
Note: I'm not against another donation push if needed. It's just I've seen other sites ask for donations for reason A then a few months later have to turn around and ask for more because of reason B. A lot of the reason A donators seemed to get ticked off and thought their donations were wasted or something. In order to prevent future bitching I think we need to know around when we'll be hit up again if things keep going as they have been going.
Can we delete old videos? The goal of the site is to collect every video ever created. Deleting videos would go against that purpose.
Correct me if I'm wrong, and obvious you would know the sites original goal better than I, but I always thought the goal was to CATEGORIZE every video not COLLECT. Thus why VCA qualifications and so on are based on if you entered in all your videos rather than if you uploaded them.
The reason I mention this, apparently we're facing a problem by the end of the month. As a short term fix to extend the time till HD doomsday you might want to consider allowing creators to delete their local copies. Don't let them delete the video entry itself of course so it's still categorized. Perhaps add additional requirements like can't have more than a certain op average or more than x amounts of downloads a month or something to keep popular videos from disappearing. Maybe even require that any video deleted be direct hosted elsewhere or something. But still, I think letting people delete stuff might expand the time frame here a bit without any harm to the goal of organizing all videos.
With the extra storage space, we are looking into possibly allowing streaming videos in addition to the current downloads.
I vote no for two reasons. First off is the 'we aren't the tube and we don't want their legal issues' arguement. Second off if I go to a videos profile I don't really want to see a low quality crappy video load up automatically. I'm on unlimited (well, 250 gig a month) broadband so it doesn't do much more than annoy me but I know from talking to people that more than you'd think are on metered internet where a bunch of streamed crap that they're going to download full copies of anyway might actually hurt them. If the site does do streaming I hope that it's something that actively requires the user to initiate instead of something that automatically loads up when you visit the video profile.
Selling site merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) could also boost income.
I've seen several sites try and I have yet to see any really get a steady income from this. The results would probably be a decent start as the existing members order stuff then shortly after than it drops to one or two items a month from new users. For a one time special purpose need, such as a new server, that might work. For a constant month in month out income generator it probably isn't a good idea. The idea others mentioned of making it a donators benefit for high levels of donation, like PBS, may be better.
BasharOfTheAges wrote: If we get taken down, I know you've said in the past you'd comply, but what about turning over donation information so we, the donators, can be prosecuted for "funding a criminal piracy organization" or however they'd trump up the charges?
Anyone who promises you that this won't happen is either lying or instantly deleting the donators information. On the plus side, I have yet to hear of any case where lawyers took a viewpoint even remotely like this. The only time financing online 'piracy' seems to get you into trouble is if you actually buy partial ownership of the site and clearly org donations aren't that.