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|Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000||Receipts & Pledges to-date: $43,530|
|Woo hoo!! And the first 49% is in!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.|
Posted on 04/19/2012 1:22:35 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
I've checked with an ad agency. We can probably raise the funds we need to operate FR at our current level and at the current market price for online advertising if we run a banner ad at the top of every page and at least one rectangular ad in the above the fold body of the page and a couple rectangular ads in the sidebar. If that doesn't generate enough revenue, we can also run pop ups or pop unders and we can even run audio and video ads if need be. But of course, if we go full bore commercial, we'd have to insure strict copyright compliance with very brief excerpting of all articles to avoid lawsuits. And the agency would require that we install a filter to censor out any bad or unacceptable words in our posts.
Or, of course, there's always the membership model. We could setup a members only system where paying members get full access and non-paying members get throttled back, etc.
I don't like either of the above models and think we'd soon lose a lot of our readers and participants. Of course that may happen anyway if we can't fund it and if we cannot get our equipment problem under control, or if my refusal to vote for or support an abortionist/homosexualist/statist who has plans to install ObamaCare, er, I mean RomneyCare into all 50 states runs everyone off.
The donation model has served us very well since 1997 when we first started using it. It's very clean, uncomplicated and we attract participants who perhaps can't afford membership dues but do want to join the discussion and join our rallies, protests, prayer sessions, etc. And the advertising model would probably bring in the revenue, but it comes with strings attached.
I'm sure there are other ways and ways to combine features of various models, sell books, cds, gear, etc, offer no ads for paid subscribers, etc, even ISP services, but all of these also complicate matters.
I'm an old dog and I like to avoid new tricks, new complications, additional overhead, additional accounting, additional rules and regulations, etc, wherever possible. I like to stick to simplicity and with what works.
Thank you all very much for your continuing participation and support.
I would ban you myself if I could, and also kick the sh!t out of you too if I could catch your cowardly a$$!
I have no idea on whoever may be merchandising t-shirts or anything else. They are not connected to us. I have given permission to people who ask to print our logo or name on banners and signs etc, for tea parties, rallies and events, but not for merchandising.
Thank you very much, Ron!! Will alert the NMD Sponsor team!!
No, trust me on this. It wouldn’t even pay the overhead of merchandising much less a dent in our fundraising. And definitely not worth the risk of going commercial.
Geeez. What a colossal PITA. AVG blocks the tracking cookies, but their warnings are also a nuisance. AVG showed Drudge’s site with three tracking cookies, and Newsbusters’ with four! All seven went into a file for deletion once I reboot, which is another PITA.
Jim (and any other FReeper that hasn't done it) you need to go to this link download and install Ghostery (hope you're using Firefox) - that is the best way to stop anyone from tracking your browser use.
Well said in my book.
Did not even think about that angle. You're right, cr@p!
That sounds like a reasonable compromise, while providing a funding cushion for Free Republic.
A few comments:
1. Obviously it's Jim Robinson's property and anything he wants to do is his call.
2. The likely nomination of Mitt Romney is going to cause serious problems for Free Republic. I agree with Jim Robinson that Romney is unacceptable. He's doing the right thing. Long-term, I believe Robinson will be proven right if Romney is elected, and he'll be viewed as an early warning of major problems. Unfortunately, that could have short-term financial consequences and maybe ad revenue is a good way to bridge that gap.
3. Including a tag of “donor,” “subscriber” or whatever on posts would be a good idea and could increase the number of smaller contributors. The only caution is that some people, for various reasons, prefer donations to be anonymous and the absence of a “donor” tag does not necessarily indicate nonsupport.
4. Requiring a subscription fee to access news websites has been proven not to work; people simply will not pay for online access and even a minimal payment requirement will kill a news website if it's a requirement to access all articles. (Paying extra for archive access to old articles is a little different, but that's not what's being considered here.) The only significant exception is the Wall Street Journal. I think it's pretty clear that the reason the WSJ online subscriptions work is that their readers are willing to pay a fee for access to premium content that has direct value to their business (and which often can be deducted as a business expense).
5. As long as Jim Robinson is careful to make **VERY** clear that advertisers don't dictate content, I believe this website could generate considerable revenue from ads. The key is making expectations clear up front to advertisers.
Well Mr FreeRider, maybe instead of complaining on this thread, perhaps you should be thanking the posters here that are carrying your load for you. This is a privately owned conservative forumn and socialist and socialist sympathizers are not welcome here. If you fit in then you are welcome here, if you do not fit in here, your stay will be short.
No, Jim, you haven't. Many of them got fed up with the hostility and groupthink that has engulfed this place, turning it into an angry echo-chamber, and left on their own.
The sad part is, most of them weren't even Romney supporters.
They're people who saw the candidacy of a stalwart conservative like Rick Perry and his supporters savaged mercilessly on this forum because Governor Perry was perceived as a threat to the non-candidacy of Sarah Palin. They're people who saw Newt Gingrich run a piss-poor, undisciplined campaign that has left him with virtually no chance of winning the primary and they know that if they post as much, they'll be tarnished as "RINOs" and see your name pinged to every thread where they don't toe the line. "Jim! Look here! This guy has no faith in Newt. He's not conservative! He needs to be zotted!" And they're people who want to see the most destructive, America-hating Marxist president that has ever sullied the White House voted out of office and know that the only way to do that is to vote for the guy with the (R) after his name and then, once again, these good Freepers get attacked despairingly as "RomneyBots", RINOs, pro-"abortion," "pro-homo" and on and on. And when a long-time contributing Freeper gets zotted, we have the childish display of "zot ping list" posters arriving to dance on the thread.
Jim, You've had a lot of good people leave (some voluntarily, some not) and take their money with them. And you have some good people remaining who are frustrated and keeping their money in their wallets. Free Republic isn't the only show in town anymore. There are other conservative forums where people behave like adults and treat each other with respect, --a place this forum used to be. This is the truth the way I see it. I hope you don't zot me for saying so but if you do, you do.
My 2 cents is that going for advertisers would leave this site vulnerable. One of the things that makes FR special is that it is beholden to no one. Fox News makes money- as long as they please certain people (the name Romney comes to mind.) If you let the big money in, they’ll want to call the tune, and they will dance to the left. Speaking as someone who has raised money for charitable causes a lot, the state of the economy has been pretty bad and it makes everything tougher, including Freepathons. I think maybe if there are equipment needs, you just simply name the equipment and then see what turns up- a donation of a machine or something like that would be worth as much as money. FReepers may have access to some of that stuff- they may work for a corporation that tossed out something, or the like. Anyway, thanks for the great job you do!
I like the idea of a Free Republic webstore or even conservative merchandise that fellow Freepers would like to sell and the proceeds go to FR.
OK, you’ve convinced ME anyway. I’ll send more money now!
One thing I LOVE about this site is the no ads.
But some kind of tiered membership might not be a bad idea. I’m sure I’d be in the lowest tier, so I don’t know how it could work. But like the other poster suggested, some kind of “gold star” or something might encourage people to send more.
Or, how about this, you could do like churches do and have a special fundraising drive for particular needs as well as the regular ones for operating expenses.
I honestly promise I will send as much money as possible to FR as soon as I sort out my $$ this weekend.
I sincerely would never begrudge you or this site any money because of your, er, let’s just say “lack of enthusiasm” for Mitt Romney.
Keep your crap away from my name!
If you want to see who donates go to the doner page and look it up!
How much i donate or if i do is none of your damn business!
FR is, unlike any other site I have visited, is clean, clear, concise, and consistent.
John has considered the thread readers and organized thread visibility to maximize readability while minimizing clutter and distractions.
Unlike other forums, there is no need to constantly jump around trying to read FR.
FR has been my homepage since I discovered it and signed up way back then. I wouldn't consider using any other page as my homepage.
Nowhere else can I get the breadth and depth of information and truthful analysis of what's going on in the U.S. and around the world.
Please adjust my monthly contribution upward by $10 a month (let me know if I need to do something different for you to satisfy this request), as this forum is too important to let it die.
We are, and will be living in dangerous times, and FR is the one place where the leftists fear to tread, and hate with all their being.
If my (increased) monthly donation carries the load for some who aren't paying, so be it.
For those who legitimately can't pay right now, I say keep participating, and pay when you can.
For those who can, but won't pay, I say ..... well, I won't say it because you know in your heart you're doing wrong. Maybe you'll come to your senses, maybe not, but FR will survive.
"Maybe we should consider a more obvious and permanent reminder that this is a user supported site - automatically on every thread created."
Now there's a great idea and easily implemented. Thanks!
Thank you very much, Col Freeper!!
Drew, I find it amazing that you have proof of the "many who have left". Is there a sign-up sheet floating around the interweb entitled "disgruntled former FReepers"? Or a phone tree? Are you all on FaceBook? How do you know they were FR donors that "took their money with them"?
How about a list of these "many" so that we can mourn their passing?
Oh yes it is! If you want us to think youre a conservative but ride here free on other peoples donations I want to know how seriously to take your comments. If you, or any one else, mooch off others donations that keep this place running Im not going to take you seriously as a conservative who pays his own way.
I've got news for you. In every election since this place first came along it has ALWAYS been an echo-chamber, for MANY different viewpoints and candidates. It still is, and it will always be. We have posters here today that support (STILL) just about every candidate that ran in the current election. But, they don't get the boot - and there's a big reason for that.
The ones that HAVE gotten the boot let their anger run away with them, they got nasty, and THAT got them the boot 98% of the time. They start it, they get the boot, and that has happened to supporters of EVERY candidate on the ballot so far this election.
The rules here are rather simple. The biggest rule, keep it CIVIL... and it is violation of that rule that usually results in being evicted, not the candidate that you support.
Jim has said he won't allow this website to be used to support or push for the election of Romney. Those that chose to violate those wishes will likely get the boot, yet there are still many hundreds of folks here that support Romney, they wisely just don't push it.
I would like to have a FR store to buy some things to show where my news comes from. Mugs, hats, shirts, bumperstickers, that sort of stuff.
"Maybe we should consider a more obvious and permanent reminder that this is a user supported site - automatically on every thread created."
Now there's a great idea and easily implemented. Thanks!
Dearest Boss, when FR starts to look like all the other cluttered sites I would leave. FR is streamlined and sleek. The donor base model works. In this economy it may work a little slower but it WORKS. And you have control of the site, no one else. That is what makes Free Republic FREE.
What a well stated post. No, excellent...
‘Many’ are standing up and applauding (don’t have the graphic handy lol!)
Of course. Then everyone can see what an absolute twit you are.
It has always been a policy of FR to keep secret how much folks donate - if they so desire. Many just don't want it known, and that is, and should be, their prerogative.
23% in 19 days. Do the math.
CB, please reconsider your position. I went through a short period during which I had to drop my donation to FR.
I felt bad about it of course, and dropped Jim a FReepmail and told him I would get back on board as soon as I could, but in the interim I would be "free-loading" by continuing to participate at FR.
He responded that he understood, that it wasn't a problem, and I was welcome whether I could donate or not.
My point being that things happen to people, they sometimes have reasons they can't donate.
As far as identifying whether someone is a Conservative or not, just think about it ... they can't hide for long here on FR. I believe I have recently seen you participate in rooting out one or two non-conservatives yourself.
This is not a flame CB, just a suggestion that, other than the site owner, not knowing who donates and who doesn't isn't really that important.
BTW, someones name not being on the donor list doesn't mean he/she isn't a donor, as being on the list is optional for the donor.
Have a good evening CB.
Isn't it fun and rather useless to over past history from one's own point of view? FWIW, supporters of each candidate have their very own view that's likely totally different from yours.
In my view, members who elect to stay here, but stay here seething, pouting, and sitting on their wallets, might as well move onto those other sites.
Tea Party Patriot FReepers don't whine and cry.
I might add, I am speaking only for myself and my own experience here. Primaries are always rough and tough at Conservative Free Republic.
You left out the part about denigrating the boss man in his own house!
This is such a crock. Civility is expected only from those who don't toe the line. Outright unhinged hostility is what they face. It wouldn't be so bad if they were allowed to dish out back out but they're not. At one time, the only people who got zotted from FR were trolls and disruptors. Now it's a crapshoot if your next post won't be your last if you dare to deviate from the echo chamber.
It didn't used to be like this.
FR has always been volatile. There were flame wars since I joined. This has never been Miss Manners class.
YES, I did, and THAT, is the most egregious of all.
Thank you very much!
Like several others have mentioned, I think the Premium Member model is a winner. Folks who are willing to shell out a few bucks a year, don’t see the ads, while non-paying members (and lurkers) do.
This is the same model that the Delphi Forums network uses. On their network, not only do Premium Members not see the ads, they also have a bunch of cool posting functions that non-paying members don’t have.
Altogether, it works very well.
That is the ugly truth of it, isn't it? Freepathons keep getting longer and longer, it seems. The last one was excruciatingly long. Made me wish that I was independently wealthy, so I could just write the check to end it.
I really like your design ... and not to be a spelling nazi or anything, but you may want to proofread it before printing any more :-)
Go straight to hell ahole!
LOL that’s the draft and the only copy I still had on the computer.
I was thinking of making one with a dog pawprint with a flag design.
Please read this carefully - its all well-intended, every line is important (or a little humor, possibly stupid) but I believe worthy of your consideration ... a little long ... sorry. ;-)
Not gonna say I told you so. Nope. No way. I'm not even gonna make you search for my previous suggestions - I'll just summarize a couple of the easiest, least intrusive but likely very effective previous suggestions.
I will note however that fairly recently I suggested it was time for you to cash in! You've had more than your share of health problems, you're not getting any younger, the little lady probably would appreciate a nice dinner out (Arby's doesn't count), maybe even a nice vacation or two a year - Fresno as a destination doesn't count either. ;-)
You've built a tremendous resource for conservatives, who reportedly are a bunch of rich bass turds, let's hit them up. You should not be begging - FR should be a cash cow. You deserve it. Do it. ;-)
FReepers go into withdrawal when you're down for an hour - myself included. Please consider the two suggestions below - easily implemented as a start and see how they do before taking the banner ads and your loss of control.
Thanks for everything,
PS: I'm pinging some of your fund-raising slaves and a few others for input - they work so hard, they're creative and a quarterly fund-raiser should only last a week or two - just time enough to pick up some new monthlies/newbies into the system!
1) Monthlies or anyone who donated in the last quarter has their name in their post set to perhaps the color green
"18 posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:50:48 PM by PosterNameHere (Donate or die ya jerk! ;-)".
Ask John - its a trivial check against your "paid" list and added when you get the poster's start date - included automatically with every post.
With this technique, any contributor's support status is noted without establishing a "class system".
In terms of psychology, if its clear who supports FR and those that post regularly but do not contribute then there's pressure on the non-contributor - if his/her opinion is so important why can't they help keep it online?
Its also a reward for those who contribute and post to have it noted that they're part of keeping the best forum on the internet up and running.
I did suggest one time that for each post, a contributor's status could be followed by a small gemstone gif (like an asterisk) with perhaps a diamond signifying more than a dollar a day, emerald = dollar a day, ruby = $10/quarterly, whatever.
This technique does set up a "class system" but arguably those who contribute more than dollar-a-day, the dollar-a-days, etc. deserve a little extra recognition.
Non-contributors might even think twice about their snarky response when addressing a Diamond contributor - making their pathetic opinion possible. ;-)
2) Anyone with a current quarter donation of $5 or better has unlimited posts. Non-contributors get 20 "free" posts per quarter. Bumps included.
Note: New FReepers should have 6 months unlimited posting privileges. Once we have them hooked then you limit the posts of non-contributors.
Thus even those on the most limited resources could share their most important thoughts. You'd have to decide on the free post limit.
I used to have links to FR stats showing daily post stats but they no longer work so I lack any useful data.
When they hit their limit on "free" posts AND they try to post you just send them to your PayPal page! ;-)
If a FReeper would like to contribute but simply can't then a simple FReepmail to you or a Mod requesting a dispensation would be easily allowed.
So there you go, easy changes, no ads, just getting support from those that use and appreciate your creation.
Either or both keeps you independent, ad-free and hopefully with a little something in your retirement/vacation account.
One last thing. Please, please, please figure your contributions required to include server upgrades necessary to stay up 24/7. Thanks!