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Alternatives to donor based, ie, freepathon business model?
Click here if you wish to continue the donor based business model and free participation for all ^ | April 19, 2012 | Jim Robinson

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.


TOPICS: Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; commercial; dues; fr; freepathon; freerepublic; jimrobinson; memberships; merchandising; noncommercial; zot
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To: altura

Last night, I didn’t understand what was going on in the forum because I haven’t been here in a while.

However, I now understand a bit just from reading one reply to you.

I will post my name in agreement with your excellent post.

Thank you for being so daring.


501 posted on 04/20/2012 11:36:18 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: altura; MizSterious

Bump in agreement, knowing I’ll possibly be banned.

I would hate that because I love FR. :o(


502 posted on 04/20/2012 11:46:57 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: dixiechick2000

I know the feeling. :(


503 posted on 04/21/2012 6:21:20 AM PDT by MizSterious (Now that Perry's out, I guess I'll just have to vote for "Generic Republican Candidate")
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To: dixiechick2000

Thank you, dixiechick. My ‘daring’ days may be coming to an end.

I can’t reach anyone here and am getting black and blue from the abuse.

I’m going to just post on doggie threads and so on for a while.


504 posted on 04/21/2012 10:13:31 AM PDT by altura
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To: Jim Robinson

Isn’t it possible to both have donations and advertising?


505 posted on 04/21/2012 12:26:45 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Yes, but then we have to live with the restrictions and drawbacks that will be put on us by the fact that we’d be a for profit commercial venture and that we would have to comply with our advertisers wishes or lose the revenue. I believe going commercial would alter the nature of Free Republic.


506 posted on 04/21/2012 12:34:29 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (There's no crying in rebellion!!)
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To: Future Snake Eater

FR book that is a good idea.


507 posted on 04/22/2012 2:58:30 AM PDT by rurgan (Sunset all laws at 3 years. China makes everything taking U.S. ability to manufacture)
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To: onyx

Good morning.

Can we send checks? (I didn’t see the option on the link)

Thanks.


508 posted on 04/22/2012 3:26:58 AM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: altura

I am supporting the constitution party for president. Wee need to bash both Obama and Romney and tie then together. and have someone with guts to taken on the GOP-E. The two party system has failed. I am voting for Virgil Goode the nominee.


509 posted on 04/22/2012 8:21:29 PM PDT by Mozilla (Constitution Party 2012)
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To: MD Expat in PA

Apparently, no one gives a hoot about your idea.


510 posted on 04/23/2012 6:46:15 PM PDT by Osage Orange (The MSM is the most dangerous entity in the United States of America.)
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To: MizSterious; NittanyLion; Jim Robinson
You can be appalled...that's your right.

My point was to NittanyLion...as she appears/appeared to be calling Jim out.

If that's a problem with you.....take it up with Nittanylion.

511 posted on 04/23/2012 6:51:43 PM PDT by Osage Orange (The MSM is the most dangerous entity in the United States of America.)
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~; 21twelve; 240B; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; 3AngelaD; 4ConservativeJustices; ...

When Jim Robinson asks, it’s a good time for a topic FReep. My apologies for the off-list topic ping.


512 posted on 04/25/2012 6:22:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Let Your FReep Flag Fly



United States

We the People

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming


Albania

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Bahamas

Belgium

Bolivia

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Congo

Costa Rica

Croatia

Cuba

Czech Republic

Denmark

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

European Union

Egypt

El Salvador

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

United Kingdom

Greece

Guatemala

Guyana

Honduras

Hong Kong

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Kenya

South Korea

Kuwait

Latvia

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Mauritius

Mexico

Moldova

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Norway

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Africa

Spain

Suriname

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Trinidad

Turkey

UAE

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia


513 posted on 04/25/2012 6:30:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: altura

Bravo!


514 posted on 04/25/2012 6:31:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Jim Robinson

I’d love to see a single banner by Ruger or Smith * Wesson.


515 posted on 04/25/2012 7:13:36 PM PDT by aimhigh
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To: South Hawthorne

You can ask that question? In this economy, seriously?

I know some people that five dollars will buy a months supply of medicine.


516 posted on 04/25/2012 7:36:56 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: Shadowstrike

If sixty cents a day is going to deprive you of medicine, dump internet access.


517 posted on 04/25/2012 8:08:39 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: no one in particular

On the bright side, we may not have to go through the anguish of voting for Romney.

Or anyone, ever again...


518 posted on 04/25/2012 8:30:55 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1191 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Drew68

INDEED.

Robust, healthy organizations can handle diversity (in a good sense) AND EVEN NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

VERY CONSTRUCTIVELY.

Others . . .


519 posted on 04/25/2012 8:44:10 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: cripplecreek

I think that is an excellent idea.


520 posted on 04/25/2012 8:53:34 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: SuperLuminal; Jim Robinson; Alamo-Girl; Amityschild; AngieGal; AnimalLover; Ann de IL; ...

I deplore change . . . and more so the older I get, it seems.

Nevertheless,

These times are challenging enough and likely to get more so.

IF . . . IF . . . IF . . .

Ads for lurkers say or for lurkers and non-donors . . . helped decrease the hassles and just the time and energy spent on fund raising . . . time and energy that could be better used on FR’s otherwise higher priorities—that might be a good change.

ATS made the transition to ad functioning fairly painlessly. They already had a strict excerpt policy.

I WOULD want there to be a bit looser policy here—that where we had written permissions filed with a mod etc. for whole posts, it would be OK.

It would be a hard and painful judgment call if I had to make such a decision. Part of me thinks that the hassles are going to increase such that the extra cash for more robust hardware and less time and energy spent on fund raising—might be a bigger blessing down the road than we can anticipate at present.

Sometimes at election time and even fundraising time . . . FR can take on far too much of the spirit of a cult.

I know you don’t like rear kissers/ing.

However, sometimes it doesn’t seem like anyone with less than a glowing supplicant attitude is tolerated much at all or long at all.

FR 10-12 years ago was much more robust with a wider diversity of ideas freely—even vigorously exchanged—often with great fiestiness—and we all survived and FR was a great almost free-for-all that was great fun for most of us, IIRC.

Some churches also transition from early years into being a clique of mostly old biddies gossiping about the “OUT-GROUP HAGS OVER THERE” and losing the healthy reasons for being a group.

To whatever degree FR gives into such an attitude or spirit, we shoot ourselves in the foot.

Any Organizational Development PhD can tell you that the healthiest organizations that are the most productive and the most successful—all handle negative feedback constructively, robustly and without punitive retaliation.

IF . . . IF . . . we go to some variation of a business model, I think it might be very needful to return to our more robust and resilient years on such scores.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to hold up even fairly narrow Conservative Constitutional and even Christian ideals as our standard and to not tolerate those who tear them down.

But I’m reminded about the two men who meet on the bridge . . . the check each other out—oh, both are Christian . . . ahhh . . . Trinitarian? Yes. . . . Wonderful . . . Evangelical? Yes. Great! . . . Baptist . . . Super! then finally after winnowing it down several more layers to a very minor splinter issue, one man realizes the other fellow is not IDENTICAL and so pushes him off the bridge.

FR shoots itself in the foot and decreases donations and pleasure in being here when it behaves in that fashion.

Were it to go to a business model and behave that way, it would hurt the viability of the business model significantly, imho.


521 posted on 04/25/2012 9:05:19 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: South Hawthorne

you’re assuming that the ones I’m speaking of actually have internet access, and aren’t using free wifi.

I pay for mine, I also contribute to FR, but not everyone is as lucky right now.


522 posted on 04/25/2012 9:07:39 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: Jim Robinson

What would it take . . .

to remind non-donors that they have not contributed in XX months or whatever before they can post a post successfully say once a day or once a week they’d get that reminder.

Maybe that they’d have to click one of the following before the post would post:

( ) Still not able/willing to donate; ( )Will donate $____ within 24 hours. etc.


523 posted on 04/25/2012 9:14:03 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Jim Robinson
I also think sticking to the current model is best. One idea for additional funding may be to get those you have links to on the Free Republic Home Page pony up some $$ for the privilege of being there. Freepers can go directly to those links and buy the various products those sites have available. You could also have them pay out a "royalty" or give FR a percentage of all products Freepers buy while they are there. Don't know if that is doable but Rush, Hannity, Coulter, etc. get the big bucks and they can show their gratitude to FR by sending some "finders fee" type rebates back to Free Republic.

Another thought may be to only allow posting to those members that pay at least $? (whatever is the minimum) for how many actual members there are here. I remember reading that FR has about 300,000 members. If you need $400,000 per year to operate, that is less than $1.50 PER YEAR per member. Obviously, not everyone sends in money, but I don't think a measly $5 or $10 fee per month is too much to ask and, that way, you may not need to do quarterly fundraisers and sweat it out each time. I'll continue to send in my automatic monthly payment either way. I can't live without my Free Republic!

524 posted on 04/25/2012 9:38:10 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Jim Robinson

I think you left out that

Mitt is also

a Marxist globalist . . . and probably a closet satanist.


525 posted on 04/26/2012 3:53:33 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Jim Robinson

. . . if it meant I’d have to give up even one iota of my belief in God or support for our Judeo-Christian founding principles and inalienable rights.


imho,

THAT’S the SUPER critical issue, right there.

While I PREFER things as they are . . .

there are probably at least several ways to PRESERVE, PROTECT, HOLD INVIOLATE the above priority in any number of different business models. Emphasizing such at the beginning of any negotiations toward a changed model would be a high priority, for me.

And, personally, I think you DESERVE to be as wealthy as possible for what you’ve helped us establish here over these dozen years. And, personally, I’d like to see you have more than usual to spend in whatever ways while you can still enjoy it.

And I’d SURE like to see no more stress and hassle about the hardware, hosting sites or whatever the mechanical problems are from time to time. If money would solve that—imho, go for it.


526 posted on 04/26/2012 4:06:11 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Night Hides Not

Put me down as “yes” on the $5 vanity fee. Also be sure to bill my account 50 cents for this completely useless post (crap, now I have to change my tag line).


527 posted on 04/26/2012 4:09:28 AM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: Jim Robinson

An idea that I’ve been working on (in the back of my head for several years) is a sister site completely separate from FR where we can have an all of the above approach. I signed up a year ago on two different “cloud” providers and have even built a prototype “conservative social networking system” using some AJAX programming techniques and some user defined page set up techniques of my own design. Each user can sign up at the membership level he or she desires and can control his/her own page(s) or forums and control who may or may not post to them or even access them, ie, each paying member is his own site owner/administrator/moderator and can even recruit others to assist. And it could be a for profit site where we could sell merchandise or advertising or whatever. The only basic restrictions are they would have to be pro-life, pro-family conservative pages.


I THINK THAT’S A FANTASTIC IDEA.

CONGRATS. I hope you can and will make it happen.


528 posted on 04/26/2012 4:10:37 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: altura
I will vote for Romney in the general since VA will probably be a swing state. But I am also glad to be reminded at what a useless P.O.S. he is and will accept the consequences in 2016 when/if we are stuck with his global gun grabbing-warming-omnicare again.

I can hang my hat on the fact that I spent some time and considerable money in 1999/2000 with the Libertarian party. My take home from that experience is that it is ridiculously easy to sabotage a third party and I don't know how to prevent that.

529 posted on 04/26/2012 4:16:09 AM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: palmer
Also be sure to bill my account 50 cents for this completely useless post(crap, now I have to change my tag line).

It'll cost you $2.50 to change your tag line.

530 posted on 04/26/2012 5:26:22 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: Jim Robinson

I doesn’t matter to me either way. I am already a monthly subscriber, so obviously a membership based model would not bother me. The downside to that is that we would lose some good people on fixed or on shrinking incomes. The upside to that is it would serve to reduce the infiltration of creepy cultists, party peons and other severe-conservative con-artists, as well as presenting an obstacle to their resubscription. Of course, they would then bleat about the ‘right’ to post whatever since they have paid for it.

I am good with however you decide to roll.


531 posted on 04/26/2012 6:01:07 AM PDT by Psalm 144 ("I'm not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am." - Willard M Romney)
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To: Yaelle

“Are there any like me who donate plenty but still the freepathons make us feel somehow bad? I don’t like that they are so long — I don’t like that some don’t even feel guilty because I feel guilty during them even though I contribute enough.”

I feel guilty that I can’t contribute more. But right now, I just can’t.


532 posted on 04/26/2012 6:04:37 AM PDT by Psalm 144 ("I'm not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am." - Willard M Romney)
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To: Night Hides Not
We might be able to reduce expenses with a zot fee:

533 posted on 04/26/2012 6:42:01 AM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: palmer

You may be glad to be reminded of Romney’s faults, failures and shortcomings, but I am not on a forum of conservatives.

Obama and his minions will be reminding us of those things daily and include a lot of lies as well.

We should be focusing on Romney’s virtues... and that he will turn the economy around. That’s the most important thing in a lot of people’s minds.

If you truly want to get rid of Obama, don’t join him in bashing our candidate.


534 posted on 04/26/2012 7:00:39 AM PDT by altura
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To: altura

Point taken. I refrained from bashing all other candidates, but it’s a lot harder with Romney. The one good thing I can say about him is that he really wants to be President not Organizer in Chief. I didn’t see that desire in McCain.


535 posted on 04/26/2012 10:07:54 AM PDT by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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