diyAudio needs a new server

Jason

Powder Monkey
Paid Member
2000-10-08 1:19 pm
Melbourne
www.diyaudio.com
Dear friends,

Well, the free ride is over. My company which has kindly hosted diyAudio for free for the past 3 years is now getting billed for bandwidth at US$3 / GB.

diyAudio uses 20GB a month presently and is growing at 2-3 GB per month. Last month the site served 1.3 million pages. That means I need to find AUS$200 a month (AUS$2400 a year), increasing each month, or find another host that will host it for free whilst at the same time providing a great level of service.

As I manage the box this is on (I am a linux network and sysadmin who specialises in Apache/PHP/MySQL) I know that the site is rarely down, that the drives are RAID, there are offsite tape backups, etc.

I would hate to move to another host with a lower level of service.

If I can't find a new host within a month I am going to have to either shut the site down (over my dead body!) or find some way to make it pay for itself. I simply can't afford $200 a month in my current financial situation.

I have been thinking about different kinds of advertiser sponsorship models, getting the community to donate, maybe some cafepress diyAudio Tshirts with a decent markup (US$1200/pa could be paid for with 120xUS$10 tshirt profits (or 60x$20).

But ideally I would just like to find another (decent) host.

Any suggestions welcome!
 

roddyama

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-19 9:25 am
Michigan
Jason,

You've done a fantastic job with this site and I have to first thank you for your efforts and dedication.

On to business.

My suggestion is to first post (in a prominate spot on the site) a formal request for donations. This could be of the thread form or just a link to an information page or donation form. Collect donations for a week, or a month, or how ever long it takes to determine if this method would be sufficient to support the forum. If it works the first year, you could repeat it every year like,... yeah, like PBS! if a donation is greater then $XX dollars then the contributor receives a "gift" like,... yeah, like a t-shirt!:D

Or, let us know where to send it and I'll pitch in.

If 20% of the members contributes $5 each, you'd be covered for a year (just make the T-shirt $15 or $20).

Regards,
Rodd Yamas***a
 

Altaic

Member
2002-06-02 11:47 pm
Options

Jason,
You've done a marvelous job with this site and I'd hate to see it go away.

-Donations. Only problem is that people usually don't donate on a regular basis. But, it would definitely be a great idea to have it in addition to another form of diyaudio income.

-Ad banners. Please please please no popups; they are an undeniable pain-in-the-***, and rightly despised by all. I don't mind banners, though, so long as they are tasteful.

-Souvenirs. The only problem is coming up with new ideas people will buy after they've already bought the old idea.

-Membership. You could provide a membership area for accessing special resources. If you collect schematics, pcb layouts, etc, I'm sure lots of people would be interested in checking them out. Or even a "forum pictures" section, which would allow the quick browsing of all the (very useful) pics.

Going on that idea a bit more, you could use the forum hierarchy so people could better navigate the collection. In addition, add a description text box on the posting form, so the description can be displayed in the forum pictures section. I'm thinking one would list the threads with pictures in them followed by the number of pictures in parens. When one clicks the picture thread, it displays all the pictures as (pregenerated) thumbnails, with a link (with an optional description) to the full-size pictures. The full sized pictures could be linked to the thread they came from for context.

Also, if you utilized the search engine to show psuedo catagories, that'd be cool. "Quick Search," or something. For instance, you could have a list on the side showing ESP, Leach, Pass, various popular tube designs (not sure what they are), DSP, projectors, projector screens. One would click them and it'd just utilize the search engine (ESP would use the search terms "ESP", "3A", and "Elliott Sound Products") without the highlighting.

A notifier which emails you when given search terms are in a new post (perhaps restricted to a given section), I think might be useful. Again, sort of a search engine thing. If done right it might not gobble up all your system resources. Ie, have a compilation list of all members' search strings to look for, and upon a post submission, send that list to the user who is posting, do a client side search, and have them send back a list of matching strings which can be compared with each member's list. Also, put a checker to make sure all the search terms sent back were sent in the first place; you don't want to have a DOS exploit.

-Optimize. Instead of showing picture attachments in the forum, show a text link to the picture, or a pregenerated thumbnail. Make the search engine more effective (or encourage it's use), so less browsing is done.


That's all I could come up with off the top of my head. It might be more trouble than it's worth to do all that programming, but either way, making a site profitable without being intrusive is tough.

Best of luck,
Will
 

BrianGT

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-21 2:42 pm
near Atlanta, GA
www.chipamp.com
I have an idea... create a method of donating money, and in exchange for donating money ($10 would be reasonable), you can change the text under your name, and create your own title. It would be an interesting addition to the board.

or if you really want to make it interesting, donating $20 would allow you to change someone else's title.. imagine the chaos that this would create.

--
Brian
 

Electro

Member
2002-04-12 4:41 am
* Like everybody, I hate pop-up ads although I don't mind ad banners that are position on the top or bottom of the site. Many audio companies have visited this site and posted, so there shouldn't be any problems having companies paying you to advertise their banners.

* Pay for a membership to access circuit archive. I don't mind paying for a fee to see exotic circuits.

* Other people that said 10 US dollars for donations is asking a little too much. Many sites that I visited has the same hit count and bandwidth as this site and they are asking for a minimum of 1 US dollar .

Jason, be careful setting up and using PayPal.

Take a look at http://www.aboutpaypal.org/
 
BrianGT said:
I have an idea... create a method of donating money, and in exchange for donating money ($10 would be reasonable), you can change the text under your name, and create your own title. It would be an interesting addition to the board.

or if you really want to make it interesting, donating $20 would allow you to change someone else's title.. imagine the chaos that this would create.

--
Brian

That would be something ! :) I am in on donation / shirt deal .
 
new server

I'm willing to donate, but since I am oversees make sure that this is possible for me. I don't know paypal, maybe that's the solution.

I don't think membership is a solution, before you know it you spend your time bookkeeping and writing invoices etc. I would try volunteer donations. If only a fraction on the membership reacts your (back) in business. Newcomers could be prodded after they have accessed the site some time by reminding them that now it is time to contribute.

And please, no ads or banners! This site is one of the very few remaining on the net where we are between ourselves, with no outsiders intruding. I'm willing to pay something extra to keep it that way!

Cheers, Jan Didden
 
One against T-shirts!

First, let me say, getting a T-shirt is NOT an incentive for me. I have enough of those things lying around, I don't need another. As to the advertising, I agree with the others in regards to pop-ups, they're evil, and I will go out of my way to AVOID spending money at any site that uses those evil vile things.

However, banner ads, if done right are perfectly fine with me. (I see no problem with advertising, as long as its not shoved down my throat) As examples, take a look at sites like www.tomshardware.com or www.thedigitalbits.com they both have advertising, and both make sure the ads that appear on their site are specifically for what they relate to. However, given the current economy and attitude towards online advertising, I don't think this will generate enough income to make the hassle worthwhile. Besides, most people already know how to get a hold of the people that would advertise on this site. (I'm think Mouser, Digikey, Parts Express, and the like) I really doubt that Nelson Pass would pay to advertise on this site. (Why should he, everyone already knows all about him!!) So, I just don't think advertising would work.

As for subscribers, or special sections for people who donate, those are good ideas as well. This is one of the few sites that I read that I would think about subscribing to. If you make it a donation site, you'll have a lot of people do what I would end up doing, waiting for round tuits! (No offense, I just keep thinking, I'll do it later) Also, someone else mentioned that $10 was too high, I'm sorry, that's not too high, $1 is WAY too LOW! If that person doesn't feel that they've gotten $10 worth of information out of this site, then they shouldn't subscribe. I personally feel $10 a year is not unreasonable, and even though I haven't actually USED the information I've read here, I feel as if I've learned a lot of things!

Let us know what you decide, and put me down for a round tuit on donations! (No T-shirt please, I have enough rags as it is)
 
DIY Yellow pages

Hi Jason, I am sure that we all well understand your position, and we would all lament should DIY evaporate.

There are a number of members here who in addition to being audio enthusiasts, manufacture and sell audio equipment, components and modifications.
These guys, sportingly so far have been reasonably subtle about mentioning their commecial interests.

I propose a DIY Yellow Pages section, where these guys could post a formal advertisement giving details of the services that they offer.
In their postings signature, they could be entitled to include a summary of what they offer, a line saying "Generous DIY website financial contributor" or something similarly suitable, and a hyperlink to their entry in the DIY Yellow pages.

This might encourage other members to preferrentially consult to the advertised service providers, especially if they are touted as as being charitable to the DIYaudio Forum website maintenance costs.
If an order were to go via the DIY website, a small discount might apply, and/or a small commission go to DIY, and/or orders over say $300 get a free DIY T-shirt - anything to encourage the buyer to buy via DIY and help to sustain the good cause here.
Jason is there a website admin way to do this.?

This could also entitle these advertisers to recomend their services as is appropriate in the threads, and without the threat of cries of spam etc, and the moderators and not other members could privately address over zealousness or auto-naysayers.
Complaining other members would communicate privately to the appropriate section moderators.
Constructive opinions, advice and comments would be beneficial to the advertisers and other forum members alike.

Some quick thought experiments give these examples -
Kendrick could shamelessly say "I am selling my Aussie made really fine and economical interconnects - I can custom make the long line level cables that you need".
Hugh might add "My amplifier modules work really well with your speakers - click my link below and email me for more info".
Elso could say "My Kwak Clock module is a really well worthwhile improvement to the CD-63 - $100 and you can have it in 7 days - please see my advert link below".
Dave could say in a response "You need Mumetal sheet for this - I sell it - see my link below."
KM could say "I also offer pre-built Class D amplifier modules that I believe are an excellent soloution".
Harry or Jocko could say "I have modified a heap of these - I charge $250 to transform your machine - see my signature ".
Nelson could add "I am selling my factory built guaranteed spec amps at a small discount through DIY - this would save you a lot of time and give you the results you want - and you get a free DIY T-shirt".

Etc, Etc - so long as this is done sensitively and responsibly I think that it would be perfectly acceptable in the spirit of the forum, and would indeed differentiate DIY from other forums by the vested involvement of these member/contributors.

$3000 per annum divided by, say 20 advertisers would keep it in the well affordable range for most of these, particularly our US colleagues, and very likely amply reward these contributors, through this increased advertising.
Compared to real Yellow Pages advertising, this is pretty cheap.

I know that this means DIY going commercial, but if done thoughtfully could enable DIY to succeed and triumph.

Eric.

Not sure about going down the pub in a t-shirt saying "I did it myself" or "You can Do It Yourself too", or something. :D
Any worthwhile contributions of T-shirt artworks are welcome I am sure.