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 Post subject: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:31 pm 
Heroic Knight
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:35 pm
Posts: 643
Hey Guys,

So i've been talking with Taylor and possibly giving the site a facelift. Now obviously this comes with additional costs for the team and I was thinking about ways to recoup these costs without screwing over the user base and keeping with a "no ads" type scenario.

Goal : To get on a modern forum platform - Preferably IP Board.
Problem : Min monthly cost - 45USD(60 cad) or 100USD(132cad) 1 time payment plus paying our own hosting (10-15 cad/month).

Breakdown monthly per year - 720 CAD
Breakdown 1 time + monthly - 300 cad (roughly).
Current costs - Forum (no fee) - Hosting - about 150 a year.

Now as you can see there is significant cost savings if we do the monthly thing and from what I can see, all we will need is a host that supports MySQL so it's definitely do-able. From our current solution, the cost already doubles and to the "premium" hosted solution our cost doubles even further.

So, now that we have the problem, what's the answer?

1) The primary answer here is we the admins fund this. It would cost 4 of us 15$ / each a month for the most expensive solution. I know I can spare 15/month but I also know people don't want to so that leads us to option 2.

2) We do a patreon type solution, people pledge x amount of money each month to the site and it's billed to them automatically and dumped to a paypal account for us. Denominations can be 1, 2, 5 etc.. and we can offer certain benefits for patreons (which I will outline in the benefits/added services section).

3) We start to monetize dark shard. Not in the sense of gouging users, but more along the lines of things like;

- 5% of darkshard auction monies goes directly to hosting. Eg timmy sells something for 100$, he has to give DS 5$ of that.

- Sell ad space in a footer on the site (to be honest, not sure how effective this would be) but it would be a google adwords campaign. Honestly, this is probably the most invasive with the least amount to gain. Not to mention alienates our users.

- Patreon again.

- Monthly / bimonthly raffles. Think of a 50/50 but instead of cash they get a model. So lets say we have one running every 30 days, people can buy tickets starting at 2 or 5$, we have a tracker on the page saying what this months donations/raffle is at and half of that is used to give away a model. So if we raised lets say 50$ for 1 month, we could give away a named character or something like that.

4) We cover the costs and rely on donations, again benefits are outlined below.

Benefits

So, now we have a couple ideas of montenization, lets talk about benefits for our users.

Custom Forum Stuff;
Name Change - 10$ (keeps post count, etc..)
Title Change - 5$
Title Change for Someone else - 10$
Title Change for Admin - 20$

Patreon
- Special Title on the forum (title image gets more glowy/looks better the more they commit)
- 5% waved from DS auction
- Fees from DS events waved (10$ taco tourney as an example)
- Fees waved for local tourneys (would need to get GCC/Nook involved, but for instance lets say a 5$ a month commitment gets them access to 2 events a year or something like that.) This could be anything from MTG drafts, 40k tourneys, xwing events, etc..
- Depending on how many people, could give patreons access to monthly draws for mini patining, miniatures, and even big ticket items. I know I have stuff I could donate for atleast a year or two that I wouldn't even miss. Just random stuff we have laying around that we could throw up in a give away.

Misc
- Random painting give aways if large donation. Eg - 100$ donation to the site gets them a 40mm painted or something.
- Random booster packs / give aways.
- Open to other ideas ofc.

Now the point of all this is to improve site traffic, I am not sure what the founders of the site have in mind but if attracting new users, etc.. is the idea, this site layout is going to leave us left in the dust.

I do firmly believe we have a larger online pressence if we started doing things like video reviews, tutorials, central BST place, blogging, etc..(and advertised as such) etc..

Interested to hear what you all think!

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:37 pm 
Old Fogey
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Location: Sudbury, Ontario
I can spare $15 a month. That's not an issue. I like the idea of a monthly 50/50 raffle. It all seems good to me to be honest - it's all about initiative and implementation.

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:03 pm 
Heroic Knight
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:35 pm
Posts: 643
Hey Guys,

Bringing this out so everyone can comment and have their say.

What do you all think? We're definitely looking for ideas/feedback and want to know what everyone would be cool with!

Let us know and be brutally honest!

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:18 pm 
Jarl of the North
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:57 pm
Posts: 2938
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
I think the idea of having an annual target to reach where the community can donate whatever they feel is appropriate over the coarse of said year until the goal is reached would be a good idea. Community members can donate once, numerous times or not at all - it is at their discretion what they feel is appropriate.

Now having incentives is always a good thing - what those incentives are exactly, well that is to be decided.

For a local forum such as Dark Shard - I would have no problems openly giving back and allowing the forum to be updated and keep it tip top and running in optimum standards.

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:47 pm 
Old Fogey
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Location: Sudbury, Ontario
I like the patreon idea - I'm sure we could easily come up with some perks for people who sign up and donate some cash monthly. I'd be willing to paint some models for them, and allow free access to tournaments and events I run.

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:49 pm 
Heroic Knight
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I would be happy to contribute, despite my rocky past with some of the admins. As it is a useful tool for the community as a whole. As for the Nook involvement, I can talk to Doug about that, if the Nook is started to be represented in a positive fashion by the forum and its admins/owners as a whole there is a good chance the Nook will contribute.

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:03 pm 
Battle Buddy
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 1106
I think Option #2 just makes the most sense.

As for how to fund it, I don't think a monthly 50/50 draw is a good approach. It'll get tiresome quickly, and also borders on turning Darkshard into a an actual nonprofit enterprise, which is legally tricky. I'd recommend the following:

#1 - Patreon; I'm more than willing to pitch $2/month towards the forum through Patreon, and I hope at least 6 others would be too. That'd cover the monthly expense of option 2 all by itself.

#2 - 50/50 @ Dark Shard Events; A simple 50/50 draw at one or two events over the course of the year will easily supplement this and shore up anything missing.

I don't think a 5% auction fee is a great way to go, because there's almost no way to enforce it if people just do deals through PM's or real-life. Being ad-less is also nice, but having a couple banner ads really isn't a big deal to me, though the ad revenue for this site would likely be minimal and unhelpful anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:09 pm 
Old Fogey
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Location: Sudbury, Ontario
twinner wrote:
I would be happy to contribute, despite my rocky past with some of the admins. As it is a useful tool for the community as a whole. As for the Nook involvement, I can talk to Doug about that, if the Nook is started to be represented in a positive fashion by the forum and its admins/owners as a whole there is a good chance the Nook will contribute.


I'd prefer to keep stores out of it

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:30 pm 
Lord of the Realm
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dreadpirate wrote:
I do firmly believe we have a larger online pressence if we started doing things like video reviews, tutorials, central BST place, blogging, etc..(and advertised as such) etc..


I like option #2 for the new platforms cost. I am more than willing to continue my $150 a year contribution to hosting the site. If I am not mistaken, my hosting provider can allow for installation of software like this.

Furthermore, I REALLY like the idea of further promoting our online presence with what Clark has suggested.

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 Post subject: Re: Bringing Darkshard into the 21st (41st) millenium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:39 pm 
Heroic Knight
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Posts: 643
Great to see so many replies and feedback, definitely want to hear more from everyone whether its positive or negative!

@Davis - Just to clear something up, the 5% thing would exclusively apply to the auction, not mercantile sales, etc.. It's more of an "off the top skim" and is based around the honor system. No one is going to get banned, etc.. for not giving a couple bucks to DS, more of a suggestion for the event.

@kev - lets keep politics out for now, this is just a discovery phase of a potential project. Relationships at this point hopefully will not play apart in the decision making. we want what's best for the community as well as site as a whole :orcsolo:

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