More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

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More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby Phade » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:13 am

Hey All,

AnimeMusicVideos.org site usage is growing. And growing. And growing. Not too long ago, we upgraded from 100Mbps dedicated connection to 175Mbps because the old connection was being maxed out big-time. Well, the 175Mbps connection is now being maxed out. As a result, we need more bandwidth.

The current system of donations has been working very well for us so far. However, donations are now just barely covering the current monthly costs of keeping the site running. If we are to get more bandwidth, something must be done to pay for the additional monthly bandwidth cost.

Less than 1%* of members downloading local videos are actually donating something to this site. This 1% has been keeping the site up and running smoothly for the rest of the 99% non-donating leeching mofos. In order to get some kind of revenue from the mofos who download videos without donating even one measly dollar^, we need to find some way to raise additional funds consistently on a monthly basis. Anyone have any good ideas?

We have already tried an “Org Store” in the past, but that failed to raise any significant amount of funds (I think it generated $33 the entire time it was up, if I recall correctly). Other constructive responses are greatly encouraged.

Thanks again and have a great day!

Phade.

* 1% donator statistic comes from sample taken between January 1, 2005 and September 8, 2005 where 1520 members made a donation and 169449 members attempted to download at least one local video: 1520 / 169449 = 0.897%

^ Yes, some people legitimately cannot afford to send $1. But if you are high-school-aged or older and not on welfare, you can generally afford $1, an envelope, and a stamp per year.
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Postby Prodigi » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:00 am

well i know i havnt actually donated yet but have been meaning to get around to sending in a decent amount sometime soon (now that i've actually started working), but as for raising funds, that's kinda a bummer. The only possible thing i could think of is advertising other sites, etc, on AnimeMusicVideos.org and getting them to pay for their advertisments, which i don't think would be to hard when you point out the 300,000 odd members this site has. Although that does lead to the downside of pop-ups and banners and whatnot which we have been blissfully free from. This is all the help i can add, hopefully someone else can be of more use to you Phade.

P.S. - i will get that money sent off as soon as i get to the bank and have it converted (bloody $AUS to $US conversion)
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Postby Zarxrax » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:19 am

Does the site REALLY need more bandwidth? I still get quite fast download speeds, so I'm not really seeing why this is a problem. I mean, maybe just cap bandwidth a little bit or something?
I think a good idea would be to place a bandwidth cap on non-donators accounts to like 20kb/sec or something. That would give them a little more incentive to donate. Or maybe limit the number of videos that you can download per day if you havent donated (although would maybe cause people to make multiple accounts to sidestep the restriction).

Maybe you could organize people to set up donation booths at conventions, to hand out literature about the site and how its fully user-supported and needs money to keep going. That would probably create some awareness and get some more money coming in.
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Postby Zarxrax » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:26 am

Also, I know the idea has been tossed around before, but maybe you could find a way to use bittorrent to help ease the load from popular videos. It's been said that most of the bandwidth usage comes from a small percentage of popular videos, so only videos which are popular would need to be on bittorrent. Especially maybe after a big convention like Otakon when people come on looking for contest winners.
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Postby Kusoyaro » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:13 pm

Zarxrax wrote:Does the site REALLY need more bandwidth? I still get quite fast download speeds, so I'm not really seeing why this is a problem. I mean, maybe just cap bandwidth a little bit or something?


I think the problem is that the site keeps growing...and if we're still at <1% donation rate, it doesn't sound like the donation growth is keeping up with the site growth. Temporary caps and such might help for now, but a few months down the line, it'll be right back where it is again.
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Postby Tsunami Jones » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:18 pm

What's the difference in donations from when there was the two week waiting period to now?
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Postby Phade » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:29 pm

Hey Zarxrax,

Downloads are starting to hit the bandwidth limit during peak hours. It's not getting flat-line maxed out yet, but I don't want to wait until people are saying, "Dude, ummm, downloads speeds really suck between 4PM and midnight" before we start looking for a solution. But the way things are growing, it could be as early as a few weeks before bandwidth starts to flat-line max out.

The one thing we want to avoid is the perception of "exchange of money for videos", so the limiting suggestions may not fly very far.

The current awareness techniques don't necessarily seem to get more donations. I even increased the "please donate" message rate with little effect. Every single one of the people who have downloaded have seen the "please donate" information, but still less than 1% of the people actually donate. In fact, the percentage of donators has been ever-so-slowly going down. The two-week probation seemed to have no effect on overall donations.

I don't believe that booths at cons will help much since it requires very trustworthy people to run it, there is the chance of impersonators, and it costs money to go to cons. Suppose a con has a large group of 5000 attendees. Half of them see our booth. The rate that people actually donate at a con is likely to be less than the rate at the site (we'll use 1/2% for the con example). Even if the donations average high at $10/donation, we only get $125 at the con. We need some method of consistently generating more revenue per month every month.

I am very wary of putting up bittorrent for several reasons. Personally, every time I have tried to use BT, I always get suck download speed, always. Of the 38074 local videos, 36538 were downloaded at least once last month. This is 95.97% of all local videos getting downloaded last month. From what I know of BT, it doesn't work very well for lots of files getting few downloads. Also, in the industry matrix of "who should we go after and sue next", the checkbox of "uses file sharing networks" seems to push people way up to the top of the list. I don’t want BT to be the straw that breaks that camel’s back.

Keep the ideas coming.

Phade.
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Re: More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby Tsunami Jones » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:41 pm

Phade wrote:We have already tried an “Org Store” in the past, but that failed to raise any significant amount of funds (I think it generated $33 the entire time it was up, if I recall correctly). Other constructive responses are greatly encouraged.


On the store, what were the logistics of it? (especially the amount of members then compared to now) If redone, what would be the possibility that it could do better this time?
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Re: More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby Roccket » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:43 pm

Phade wrote:^ Yes, some people legitimately cannot afford to send $1. But if you are high-school-aged or older and not on welfare, you can generally afford $1, an envelope, and a stamp per year.


Yeah, and what about people who don't use $ as their national money ? It becomes quickly more complicated for people out of USA to make a donation, as the money isn't the same, and the sending fees can be much more expensive. I know that Absolutedestiny offered to receive donations in euros vy checks from editor in Europe, and convert it into dollars to make the donations (I don't really remember the details) but that kind of things can be only done exceptionnally. Also, donating throught Paypal needs to create an account, and I believe it's not free, so not everybody would like to create that account for a single donation. Things would be much more easier for international users if the org had his own credit card payment system.
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Re: More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby Phade » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:45 pm

Hey,

Tsunami Jones wrote:On the store, what were the logistics of it? (especially the amount of members then compared to now) If redone, what would be the possibility that it could do better this time?

Last time, we used CafePress so we didn't have to handle that much stuff. Even though there were many people who said they wanted to buy things, very few people actually did. It was up for about a year (IIRC) with a total revenue of $33. I doubt it would have much affect even if we started it up again.

I would like to start up the store again, however. A few people do ask for items and it is kinda cool. But again, I don't expect it to generate much revenue.

Phade.
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Re: More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby Phade » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:49 pm

Hey,

Roccket wrote:Things would be much more easier for international users if the org had his own credit card payment system.

We have actually been working on that for a long time. We have the account, but no online method to process them yet. Since Derobert always complains about my broken code, I asked him to write up the CC processor. Normally I would write something up that works most of the time. But when it comes to CCs, Derobert's method of coding is much better.

Phade.
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Postby SuperFusion » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:02 pm

Give donators better advantages. The things you get when you donate aren't great at all, but I sure as hell would donate if I were able to remove videos entries.
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Postby Phade » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:04 pm

Hey,

SuperFusion wrote:Give donators better advantages. The things you get when you donate aren't great at all, but I sure as hell would donate if I were able to remove videos entries.

We already do that with lots of bonus search features and information on the video info page. Deleting video entries goes against the point of the site, so that is very unlikely to happen.

Phade.
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Re: More Bandwidth and Revenue Needed

Postby paizuri » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:06 pm

Roccket wrote:
Phade wrote:^ Yes, some people legitimately cannot afford to send $1. But if you are high-school-aged or older and not on welfare, you can generally afford $1, an envelope, and a stamp per year.


Yeah, and what about people who don't use $ as their national money ? It becomes quickly more complicated for people out of USA to make a donation, as the money isn't the same, and the sending fees can be much more expensive. I know that Absolutedestiny offered to receive donations in euros vy checks from editor in Europe, and convert it into dollars to make the donations (I don't really remember the details) but that kind of things can be only done exceptionnally. Also, donating throught Paypal needs to create an account, and I believe it's not free, so not everybody would like to create that account for a single donation. Things would be much more easier for international users if the org had his own credit card payment system.

I can't speak for any actual statistics, but I do not believe that 99% of the .org population is below high school age or come from foreign countries. The fact that the roughly 1% of the .org population that do donate typically give much more than $1 is a fact that we should all be grateful for (ie. think about that the next time you see someone with a Donated status).

PayPal is free to sign up with, but they require you to register a bank account or credit card number to withdraw money from.

If you don't want to use PayPal and really wanted to send money, you could always go to your local bank and get your currency exchanged and THEN mail that. However, we understand that this is inconvenient too and probably not the best way to guarantee that the donations get to us.
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Postby Zarxrax » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:10 pm

I still like the idea of capping the bandwidth of non-donators. This is in no way forcing people to pay for amvs. Rather, it is forcing people to pay for a faster download ability.

As for bittorrent, I was of course not referring to putting all of the videos on it, but only the most popular videos. It's unfortunate that every time you have used it, you got slow speeds, but you should not judge it on that. it is very possible to get extremely fast speeds over bittorrent, and I normally do. It's like saying "the internet is slow because my downloads are always slow" :p
Also, bittorrent is used for a multitude of legitimate sites, unlike most other p2p networks.

An alternative to BT though, is Dijjer. I have never encountered a site that uses it, but it looks promising. It seems to incorporate the advantages of bittorrent with the ease of normal downloads. It would be extremely easy to implement on either the entire site, or just on certain videos. I don't believe it should cause any drawbacks as far as download speed or anything, because it still downloads from the org when other users arent available. The only thing I see about it that might not be good, is it might not be compatable with the link obfuscation stuff you use here on the org. I think it looks quite promising though. Perhaps you could do some test runs of it on just a few videos just to see how it works out.
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