Donations and a New Storage Server

This forum is for site announcements. Please go here to read the SITE & FORUM RULES.

Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby Phade » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:04 pm

Hey Everyone,

The site has been cruising along for nearly eight years now! To me, that is a fairly fantastic thing to accomplish!! The site has been created and maintained for fans, by fans.

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.

Our current video storage servers consist of a 1TB server (full) and a 2TB server (almost full) with offsite full mirror backup servers of each. With the 2TB storage server reaching full capacity very soon, we need to purchase a new server in order to continue hosting videos. With the price of hard drives going down and their capacities going up, we should be able to replace the two existing servers with one server while doubling total capacity. Now we just need to be able to pay for it.

In addition to a general “please donate” call, there are two other things that need discussion: how to generate more donations in the future and what to do with the old machines.

Servers:

With 1TB hard drives going for around the $130 mark, we should be able to get a small stack of those, RAID them together, and yield about 6TB of usable space for same price as one of our old machines. This new server would fully replace the old machines and should have enough space to last a few years at our current upload rate.

As for the old servers, there are a few options. 1) Wipe them and sell them on eBay. 2) Auction them off as is here on the site with all the videos they have still intact. 3) Auction off the hard drives individually filled with the best videos available on the site and then auction the servers (sans hard drives). The hard drives themselves range from 160G to 250G each. At an average of 35MB per video, that would be about 4500 to 7100 of the best videos ever created on each drive. Winners would be able to choose from best of the old, best of the new, or best of all time. I think option #3 is the best for both the site and site members. ^_^

Preemptive Q&A:


What are our expenses? We have a fixed monthly cost of $2,550 for space, power and 185MBps of bandwidth which we can use as much or as little as we want at no extra charge. Bandwidth-throttling downloads does not affect our expenses.

Can we add a new smaller server to the existing ones instead of replacing the ones we have? We are allocated a certain amount of physical server space in the datacenter and we have used up our allotment. We could add more, but our monthly expense would go up. Also, old hardware is old, slower and more prone to failure than shiny new hardware (this becomes important if we want to stream videos).

Can we just replace the hard drives in the current servers? The old server drives are the old ATA133 interface. All new 1TB+ hard drives are SATA. We would need a new server chassis, RAID controller card, and probably a new motherboard. For all that, we might as well just get a whole new machine.

Can we delete old videos? The goal of the site is to collect every video ever created. Deleting videos would go against that purpose.

Why did we wait so long? With hardware prices constantly dropping, the best time to buy is at the very last minute. When we were first looking at the server replacement, hard drive costs were more than double what they are now. Prices drop fast.

Donations:

WE GREATLY APPRECIATE THE DONATIONS GIVEN BY SITE MEMBERS! YOU ROCK!!

Since expenses are outpacing donations, we need to figure out ways to boost donations in order to keep the site going. The site having expenses greater than income is obviously unsustainable.

With the extra storage space, we are looking into possibly allowing streaming videos in addition to the current downloads. We could make video streaming a “donator only” feature. Donators could view any video in streaming format, have the option to show their own videos in streaming format to non-donating members, and have the option to block their own videos from streaming if the creator wanted to have their videos available for download only.

Selling site merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) could also boost income. However, it would require someone to hold the stock and fulfill orders as they came in. Getting an individual to do this could be problematic and would require us to put up some cash to get the items printed before selling them.

The best kind of ideas would be ones with the least amount of human interaction. Adding access to search features and donators forum is done automatically by the system. If we set up video streaming, that too would be an automatic system adjustment. Any suggestions along these lines are the best for everyone involved. ^_^

Conclusion:

If we want to continue hosting new videos, we desperately need donations! Heck, if we want to keep the site going for the long term, we desperately need donations!! Please help us by donating and coming up with new donation incentives. [Linda Richmond] Discuss...

Phade.
User avatar
Phade
Site Admin
 
Joined: 20 Oct 2000
Location: Little cabin in the woods...

Postby JaddziaDax » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:29 pm

for "site merchandise" you could always set up an account on one of those shirt/printing (cafepress or zazzle) sites and have the proceeds go to the site account... (I am personally enjoying zazzle right now heh)

I like the idea of streaming options = donator stuff, however the non donators will more than likely turn to the tube or whine that the tube is free to access streaming...

The idea of being able to customize your profile a bit more piques my interest for more donator benefits O.o
User avatar
JaddziaDax
Crazy Cat Lady!
 
Joined: 16 Mar 2004
Location: somewhere i think O.o
Status: I has a TRU Arceus

Re: Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby dazza1008 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:38 pm

Phade wrote:
Servers:

I think option #3 is the best for both the site and site members. ^_^

Yup, whatever you think's best - means more auctions, right?
And hey, if hard drives are so cheap, why can't we send you an old hard drive and you fill it up with goodies anyway? (for a small fee, of course) Saves on downloads. :p

Phade wrote:Donations:
With the extra storage space, we are looking into possibly allowing streaming videos in addition to the current downloads. We could make video streaming a “donator only” feature. Donators could view any video in streaming format, have the option to show their own videos in streaming format to non-donating members, and have the option to block their own videos from streaming if the creator wanted to have their videos available for download only.

Um, isn't the bandwidth the precious thing here, rather than server space? Wouldn't streaming use that up very very quickly? Cool idea though. And I read before about throttling non-donators (er, not literally) for regular downloads but that would be a nightmare to code. Seriously, this is the most generous site I've come across. It wouldn't harm to do more financially viable "annoying" things to non-donators.

Phade wrote:Selling site merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) could also boost income. However, it would require someone to hold the stock and fulfill orders as they came in. Getting an individual to do this could be problematic and would require us to put up some cash to get the items printed before selling them.

Gee, after the Evanescence thing, I don't want to advertise the site! *fear* Obviously not everyone knows about it.

Anyway, still love the site. x3
(am a donator, just don't show it ^^; )
User avatar
dazza1008
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Location: Earth.... for now....
Status: n00b-welcomer

Postby Bauzi » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:43 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:I like the idea of streaming options = donator stuff, however the non donators will more than likely turn to the tube or whine that the tube is free to access streaming...

...than give them the possibility to embed YT links. oh x² btw.


**********

we need to figure out ways to boost donations in order to keep the site going.

Well I looked at the donation site and this was more like... "Aha some bunch of rules" and than you come up with stuff like credit cards or paypal. I know paypal, but do I know how it works or how I can obtain this "paypal"? No I don´t. Do I have a credit card... well no. =/
What I want to say is that you might want to add some tutorials or intrudoctions on how you can make a donation. Step by step guides.

PLEDGE METHODS

You may make payments by check, money order, bank check, or cash (though it's really not a good idea to send cash through the mail). Make checks payable to: AnimeMusicVideos.org

AnimeMusicVideos.org
P.O.Box 5676
Concord, NC 28027

Currently, credit card payments may only be made through PayPal. Please use this address for credit card PayPal payments: amvorg@hotmail.com

If you use a regular (non-credit card) PayPal payment, use this address: phadeguy@hotmail.com

Please be sure to write that you are donating to AnimeMusicVideos.org, include your site user ID, and include an email address with all donation payments so that your donation may be properly accounted for.

For me this almost requires the knowledge of how to do it. It´s not really made for first time donators like me. Of course I could search the info from the web, but that´s not really handy.

Than there is this "Make a Pledge" part of the site where something stands, but honestly all this things might scare people off. What happens after pressing the "make a pledge" button? What am I supposed to do? When do I know that everything worked? etc.

In my opinion people are still scared off of this new internet money stories. Yeah they might usualy buy in online stores, but that´s pretty much it and not the same thing. This is still something different and it can´t be bad if you make the whole thing easier and understandable.

**********

Did you thought about adding more advertising to this site? I guess there is a good reason against it, because that´s one of the first things that come to mind.
Image
Image
User avatar
Bauzi
 
Joined: 21 May 2004
Location: Austria (uhm the other country without kangaroos^^)
Status: Under High Voltage

Postby dazza1008 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:50 pm

(hmm, can't edit my post - sorry)

Um, regarding ideas - I'm most familiar with deviantART.

I'll just mention everything they do to get people to subscribe (i.e. pay)

1)seriously spam non-donators with ads (but you said before you don't want the site to seem like it's making a profit or something, which would attract litigation)
2)for both donators and non-donators, they allow people to 'watch' (or add to friends list), have 50px by 50px icons, post messages on their userpages and each art piece, allow replies to messages posted, etc. (but they're having trouble with spam "buy a watch/buy viagra" ) Also they allow people to fave pieces, and also to collect pieces (i.e. create a collection, and add pieces to that). So it's quite organised. As well as being able to group submitted pieces in their gallery into folders.
3)give subscribers the ability to put CSS on their journals, and also create polls (which appear in the inbox of anyone watching them)- they USED to have viewing thumbnails of each art piece as a subscriber-only feature, but now it's for everybody.

...and I think that's it. ^^;

Even though some of the ideas wouldn't be suitable for the org, it's food for thought, I guess.
User avatar
dazza1008
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Location: Earth.... for now....
Status: n00b-welcomer

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:53 pm

I know you wanted to focus on site-specific benefits, but how about token items of appreciation for reaching certain donation levels. Hats, shirts, mugs, etc. Don't need to sell them, just offer them up like PBS does in exchange for hitting those levels we seem to have defined already.

As an aside, I'd like to try to get you to address a concern I have regarding a doomsday scenario. 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? In other words... you stand before this court a <strike>Witch</strike> <strike>Communist</strike> <strike>Death Eater</strike> Pirate, are there any names you wish to offer to save yourself? I love this place and will freely donate (lots more) money, but only if I don't feel endangered. I'm sure others feel the same way.
User avatar
BasharOfTheAges
Just zis guy, you know?
 
Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Location: Merrimack, NH
Status: Extreeeeeeeeeme

Re: Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby Scintilla » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:05 pm

Phade wrote:Also, old hardware is old, slower and more prone to failure than shiny new hardware (this becomes important if we want to stream videos).

Holy crap, and here I was thinking that the administration had always been dead set against ever doing this.

Well, that would certainly help to attract the people who don't want to make their videos downloadable to save because they don't want people stealing them.
ImageImage
:pizza: :pizza: Image :pizza: :pizza:
User avatar
Scintilla
(for EXTREME)
 
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Status: Quo

Re: Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby NS » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:19 pm

Scintilla wrote:
Phade wrote:Also, old hardware is old, slower and more prone to failure than shiny new hardware (this becomes important if we want to stream videos).

Holy crap, and here I was thinking that the administration had always been dead set against ever doing this.

Well, that would certainly help to attract the people who don't want to make their videos downloadable to save because they don't want people stealing them.


Not streaming, just youtube and other sites, since it's shitty quality and stuff.
User avatar
NS
I like pants
 
Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Status: Pants

Postby CodeZTM » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:05 pm

I say that donators should get extra perks. Like not having to request >100 MB transfers, but make it like >250 MB or something. Maybe bigger signature basic settings, and to embed youtube links and other stuff people have already said. I think the donators forum is a brilliant idea that you guys did though. Also, it might be a good idea to make the download wait time longer. That's also a big reason why I download. O_o

Although, granted, this site is just awesome, and I'd hate to let its hosting go down. That would royally suck. Maybe up the basic donation level by a small amount? :O
User avatar
CodeZTM
Spin Me Round
 
Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Location: Arkansas
Status: Flapping Lips

Re: Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby jasper-isis » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:12 pm

Phade wrote:With the 2TB storage server reaching full capacity very soon,

Just FYI to everybody... "very soon" actually means "most likely before the end of the month." So if you would like to donate, sooner is definitely better than later. :)


I'm a bit swamped with work right now, but I'll be back to answer some of your questions/suggestions later.
Last edited by jasper-isis on Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
User avatar
jasper-isis
P. Y. T.
 
Joined: 13 Aug 2002
Status: catching all the lights

Postby DriftRoot » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:29 pm

I saw "streaming" and I felt my stomach drop through the floor. I'm a bit fuzzy about how this would a) help with bandwidth/storage issues, b) generate revenue [sub-b) if it worked, generate enough revenue to offset the costs associated with streaming the video] and is c) something we really need. Is a-m-v.org out to compete with the Tube or is it out to set itself apart from the Tube (and every other streaming media site)? A lot of videos here can already be found - far easier - in streaming format elsewhere. I find it hard to believe the people THERE will come HERE to see something they can see THERE for free, without any hassle, in an environment they're highly familiar with. And if they do come here, well - you're bandwidth just went up and somehow I don't think they're going to be donating very much.

I've brought this up before, as far as product perks are concerned: don't make them pay-as-you-go, make them (as Bashar also suggested) available to donators who contribute a certain amount. I'm a donator, but I'd happily fork over a bigger chunk of change for official swag, a lot more change than the swag would actually cost to purchase and ship. (figures I already got my non-official shirt in the mail the other day!)

Phade wrote:3) Auction off the hard drives individually filled with the best videos available on the site and then auction the servers (sans hard drives). The hard drives themselves range from 160G to 250G each. At an average of 35MB per video, that would be about 4500 to 7100 of the best videos ever created on each drive. Winners would be able to choose from best of the old, best of the new, or best of all time. I think option #3 is the best for both the site and site members.


I like that option, too. I could see fun stuff happening at cons if such video collections were in circulation. I'd just be a tad bit interested in keeping track of who bought them and what was being done with them. In other words, I wouldn't want to see them in the hands of someone who was going to do something bad with all that material, which includes turning around and perhaps trying to put them online somewhere else, sell them off, whatever. I chose a-m-v.org to host my videos, I don't want them showing up somewhere else a) without my permission or b) without my knowledge. Hence my concern over whose hands these collections would be placed in.
Image
User avatar
DriftRoot
 
Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Location: N.H.
Status: As important as any plug-in.

Re: Donations and a New Storage Server

Postby Corran » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:11 pm

dazza1008 wrote:
Phade wrote:Donations:
With the extra storage space, we are looking into possibly allowing streaming videos in addition to the current downloads. We could make video streaming a “donator only” feature. Donators could view any video in streaming format, have the option to show their own videos in streaming format to non-donating members, and have the option to block their own videos from streaming if the creator wanted to have their videos available for download only.

Um, isn't the bandwidth the precious thing here, rather than server space? Wouldn't streaming use that up very very quickly? Cool idea though.

Most casual AMV fans I know download videos, watch them once, rate them, and (Aside from their most favorite amvs) then delete them. This in itself uses far more bandwidth than streaming a lower quality version once and rating it. If people like a streamed video enough to watch it multiple times, they can fetch the local copy rather than waste the orgs bandwidth.

@Scintilla: The local copies would still exist. Streaming videos would be more of a preview feature rather than a replacement.

Bauzi wrote:
we need to figure out ways to boost donations in order to keep the site going.

Well I looked at the donation site and this was more like... "Aha some bunch of rules" and than you come up with stuff like credit cards or paypal. I know paypal, but do I know how it works or how I can obtain this "paypal"? No I don´t. Do I have a credit card... well no. =/
What I want to say is that you might want to add some tutorials or intrudoctions on how you can make a donation. Step by step guides.


If you have any questions regarding donations, please post them here:
http://www.animemusicvideos.org/phpBB/v ... hp?t=89437
I've blocked off the second post in that thread to eventually make a FAQ. I'd like to make a guide at some point or change the existing wording to make things easier but I haven't gotten around to it.

Code wrote:I say that donators should get extra perks. Like not having to request >100 MB transfers, but make it like >250 MB or something.


I have a feeling that is one reason that the server has filled up so quickly. I personally would like more people to stay well under the current limit. People with a good grasp of x264 should be able to get standard definition videos at or under the 10MB/minute mark with little visual loss in quality...
User avatar
Corran
 
Joined: 14 Oct 2002

Postby Tsunami Jones » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:18 pm

phade wrote: 2) Auction them off as is here on the site with all the videos they have still intact.


I personally like this option the best. I think it's a bit more of a memento this way as compared to wiping the drives, etc. (even if other videos are put on them)
User avatar
Tsunami Jones
is the best medicine.
 
Joined: 06 Oct 2003

Postby meleechampion » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:31 pm

DriftRoot wrote:I chose a-m-v.org to host my videos, I don't want them showing up somewhere else a) without my permission or b) without my knowledge. Hence my concern over whose hands these collections would be placed in.
LOL@ the notion that you can control where something ends up once you put it on the internet


I'm not here to nitpick though, I'm here to finally donate!

I have a quasi-question for you then. I understand that not every cent of my donation through PayPal makes it to the right hands, but it still seems like the best option to me. I'm not paranoid, but I have had my CC number stolen before (somehow), so I'm rightfully cautious. If you have a decent (different than the donation page) argument why I should use anything other than PayPal to make my donation, speak it now.

Also, I'm going to pitch in as "against" the streaming topic. My vote counts because I'm paying, right? There are plenty of reasons why we don't want to go streaming, but I'll leave that explanation to the wordsmiths.

Also, for the old stuff, I would wipe and sell the majority, and auction off "a few" because honestly, I don't see that much of a demand for the items.

Also, I too would buy official org merch.

That is all, and I hope the site can live a long healthy many years to come!
User avatar
meleechampion
 
Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Status: Since when did we get statuses?

Postby dwchang » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:46 pm

HOLY CARP PHADE LIVES!

...sorry for the useless post, but I already donated (look at mah profile!) so uhm...carry on.
-Daniel
Newest Video: Through the Years and Far Away aka Sad Girl in Space
User avatar
dwchang
Sad Boy on Site
 
Joined: 04 Mar 2002
Location: Madison, WI

Next

Return to Site Announcements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest