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Discussion: Site Finances

04 Nov 2014

Posted by Mura in Otaku Network

~~Once more, click for the poll~~

 

This is the part where I beg you all for money :D

For whatever reason, there seems to be some questions of the transparency of the administration of this site. I don't really get it. But in another attempt to resolve this, and hopefully encourage people to donate, let's go over the costs of keeping Otaku Network running.

Licensing
Otaku Network uses IP Board to run the forum. They're also where we get things like the Blogs, the Gallery, and especially the Chatroom. Running behind on this is what got the chatroom shut down for a little while. Our IP Board License Costs us $140 a year, in payments of $70 every six months. The next payment for this will be due next April.

Hosting
This is the cost for the "physical" space that the site takes up. Not paying this means the site disappears >.> Hosting currently costs us $115 per year, and that's going to be due again in April.

Domain
I guess we don't own site names, we just kind of lease them? Seems stupid, but we gotta pay for it D; If this ran out, the URL wouldn't direct you to the site...and we wouldn't have a site. This only costs $20 a year, but it's going to be due in November.


So what comes to $275 a year to keep the site running. We've been up for a couple years now, so we've payed $550 total in site upkeep.

Donations
Despite all that money, from our wonderful users we've received $500 in donation~ So you guys have covered almost all of our upkeep costs so far. Thank you all so much~

Ad Revenue
We have had ads up on the site, but due to complications (Aron forgetting the password, Aron getting banned from Adsense, Aron eating a potato, etc) we haven't really gotten much from them. With the current level of user activity, our ads make us enough to maybe pay half of the Licensing costs (so about $70 a year).

Obviously, this means that without further donations, we won't even be able to keep the site up, as Aron and I both tend to be pretty broke <.< So please donate, if you can~


Anyways, that's just the bare minimum of keeping the site running. Between Aron and I we've spent a few hundred more in upgrading the site. Here are some examples of upgrades:

Big Upgrades

This is the real, site changing stuff. Stuff like this we've done is moving hosts, or in getting our IP Board license (enabling chat, etc). This kind of stuff costs hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, we have nothing like this in mine atm, so we don't really have to worry about it. (For comparison, an Avatar System would fall into this category. We've estimated it to cost us about $200-$300 for one)

Small Upgrades

These are small, more gimmicky kinds of stuff that makes the site fun. These are a lot cheaper, but usually require some extra time to make them work right for the site. This would be stuff like Social Groups, Awards, and new themes for the site. This kind of stuff tends to cost somewhere in the area of $10-$30 or so.

Free Upgrades

This kind of stuff doesn't cost any money, but tends to mean that we have to spend a ton of time to get it working. Not always though. Stuff like different forums are pretty easy to put up. But on the other hand, this also includes things like fixes to problems in the site's code and other small coding things that we can't just outright buy.

Right now, the majority of upgrades we have planned are free, with a few smaller, cheap upgrades as well. Of course, this takes some time, and it's kind of hard to find the time when so much of our money is going towards keeping the site running, so any donations you guys are willing to give are really appreciated. So for a bit more about donations...

Donator Rewards
Donating is what keeps the site alive. Each donator receives the following rewards:
A swanky purple "Donator" title
Unlimited PM Space
Unlimited Username Changes
Access to Private Chats in the Chatroom
And of course, other stuff as we add more features to the site~

I'd really like to hear what ideas you guys have for donator rewards, as we really do need more of them. If you can think of something, please post it~


One last thing I would like to address is something that's been requested a few times, the ability to make donations though your phone, just by sending a text. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be something that's possible for a site this small, as the starting price for something like that is about $500 >.>
So yes, paypal and credit cards are really the only way we can accept donations at the moment.

  222 Views · 16 Replies ( Last reply by AoiShiori )

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Discussion: Awards And Rewards [Results]

24 Oct 2014

Posted by Mura in Otaku Network

Ah, the results from the poll are in. We had a number of users voting, along with that glassy eyed silence in the comments that we all know and love.

Anywho, results:

Coming in first place, is...A Point System~

Tied for second place is More Badges and Username Customization

So, in terms of rewards, these are basically the things that I shall be focusing on for now. The other things I may do something with later. Let me go over a bit of what's in my head so far.

 

Point System: It's gonna be pretty simple. A few points (3ish) for a forum post, a little more (5ish) for a thread. Maybe something for Blogs/Gallery posts (or at least for the kind of stuff I talked about a few posts ago, fanfiction/fanart type stuff), Contest rewards, etc. That bit is gonna get figured out, but isn't all that difficult.

 

The real problem is what we actually do with those points. A certain Signpost came up with the good idea to incorporate username changes into the point system. I may go further down that route, and make other things accessable through point purchases (Right now I'm thinking something like temporary Contributor status for x amount of points). And of course, we'll be able to improve the system as the site is improved upon as well.

 

So I'll talk to Aron and hopefully we should have a Point System up something soon~

 

We should also have a few new badges up for the Writing Contest that's being hosted by SoraAngel. Really, the badge amount mostly depends on how many contests and events we have, which is directly related to how many people are actually willing to participate in them....>_> So yeah, we should see a few more around in the near future.

 

For Username Customization though, I'm a bit at a loss. As I mentioned before, that would be a very selective reward. So with my Color Teams idea mostly ignored, this is something that's nothing is going to be done about until we actually have a big enough contest for that to be a prize XD

 

 

Anyways, will post the blog on the next topic soon, and start work on these.

See you all around~

  107 Views · 11 Replies ( Last reply by Mura )

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Discussion: Awards And Rewards

14 Oct 2014

Posted by Mura in Otaku Network

~~Remember To Click For The Poll~~

 

First thing's first, one of the biggest issues with this site is the lack of incentive, both for joining Official Contests and for...well, doing anything on the site. Of course, I would hope that everyone would enjoy actually being on the site, discussing things with others, and....idk, other sitey things that people do? But still, I think that Oz has shown us quite well how much people enjoy collecting otherwise inconsequential bits of data...

So here are the ideas that have come to my mind, some of the ways they might be instituted, and problems we could have with them. I'm also going to create a poll to ask you all which you would like to see on ON, as well as for what you would definitely NOT want to see. A vote would be very much appreciated, but a comment on the topic would be even better~ Anyways:
 


Point System
Pros: Easy to implement, makes it more fun to post things
Cons: Not really a reward, cause people to spam for points
Ah, point systems. What memories. No medals or gems btw. The way I see it, unless we have a ton of contests and events, this is really the only way we can go about to give out prizes and such. As I've pointed out though, this sort of a system doesn't really answer the problem of not having any rewards, and it comes with its own set of problems...


If something like this were implemented, it would probably also go mostly on the basis of forum posts. Just that would be pretty boring though, so I'd figure something else out as well~

Badges
Pros: Already up, easy to award
Cons: Would require coding to work better, somewhat uninspired
Pretty much everyone here should have at least one badge by now (If not, post here(or anywhere, really) to get one~). There are actually about eight badges total, but most of them were for limited time things. As it's something we're already using, I would certainly like to expand its use in the future...but on the other hand, I don't feel that many people are all that interested in badges <.< (I actually had an extra 10 or so for different amounts of forum posts, but got talked out of it). Also, although the system does currently work, it could really use a bit of tweaking for display purposes.

Site Functionality
Pros: Lots of options, not too difficult to implement
Cons: Could get confusing, would be geared more towards older members
Basically, access to different features on the site. This is a bit of a big one, so let's split it up into different sections:

 

Area Access
With this option, there would different areas on the site that only people who have so many posts/points/whatever can see. This could range from specific forums, or to something else maybe. Honestly, a specific forum is all I can think of right now, but I feel like there could be a lot of things we could put in.


Site Extras
This would include some things that we already have going, such as increased PM space, access to private chatting, and more frequent username changes.. As the name suggests, anything here would be...extra, so it's kind of hard to say what it is until it's actually implemented. But ideas welcome~


Username Customizaiton
Basically, the ability to customize your name's color and such. This is a bit difficult, because the way the site is set up right now it basically has to go through me. It would be rather tedious for me, and possibly intensive on the system, since a different color has to mean a different member group. I have another idea about this that would be easier, and kinda cool. But it's also rather off topic. Click the spoiler for it if you want.

Spoiler


Off-Site Rewards
Pros: Lots of options
Cons: Hard to create, expensive
These are the rewards that are usually given out for user run events (more on those another time), things like pieces of art, cash, gift cards, pretty much anything that can be transmitted over the internet. While there are a lot of optoins here, it all would be just so...disconnected from the site.

Physical Rewards
Pros: Pretty cool D:
Cons: Expensive, Requires shipping, Site design needs refining
So as it happens, Aron works at a print shop type place, and could get discounted merchandise for us. Stuff like shirts, hats, mugs, that sort of stuff. While this would be really cool, I feel there is some discontent with the design of the site, from the color theme to the mascot itself, which makes it somewhat difficult to design such items

Avatar System
Pros: Something?
Cons: Ew >_>
You might notice that this one didn't make it into the poll. There has already been extensive discussion on This Topic Here. Feel free to comment there if you wish, but at this time it seems that the general consensus is that an Avatar System would not be good for the site. I'm just putting this here because I'm sure it would come up one way or another.


I'm sure that I've not thought of everything, so if you have any suggestions, please mention it to me so I can put it up here~

  238 Views · 13 Replies ( Last reply by Mura )


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