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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

After the long delay (apologies) I'm gonna pick up where I left off with the funding page we planned to create on XT.

Last time, Martin and I have come up with a very rough draft which I should have passed on to others (who are interested in helping out) to check and comment on.

I'm gonna revisit the file, and those who are interested, we can discuss this over msn because I don't think it's relevant to involve everyone else here :)

So please let me know in this thread if you're interested to help with creating the funding page.

A few things we need to emphasize include:
- it is totally voluntary and there is no tangible personal gain. And all donors' name will be confidential
- all donations will be used to pay XT's expenses and will not go to anyone's personal pocket.
- regardless of how many donations from these kind souls come each month, XT will remain stable financially because we have a dedicated group of regular donors who are financially stable and can make sure that XT's hosting expenses are always met. So, no worries about what will happen to XT if a particular amount of donation cant be reached each month.
- In conjunction with the donation scheme, there are also ongoing efforts to find other ways to finance XT to aim for the long-goal term to make XT self-sufficient financially.

I hope those main points will suffice :) There will be questions but when we go public with the funding scheme - once we have finalized the funding page - I am willing to be the one fully in charge to answer all questions.

So, please let me know if any of you (apart from Martin, he's chained ;)) wants to help out in constructing the funding page.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok, judging from the number of views and number of people here in this forum, I take it that almost everyone has checked this topic and noone else other than Martin and I are interested.

For any last-minute change of mind, you can go to msn now coz we're discussing the whole page at the moment.

Not my fault if there are parts of the page you disagree with ;)
 

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The page will appear here, it's still a work in progress at this point:
http://www.xtratime.org/donate/

You'll see there are two versions of the text now. I believe it's important to mention a number of things on this page:
a) history, xt has been around a long time, that gives it credibility and it shows people that it's not a new project that might go under any moment
b) why we need the money, it's unnecessary to specify the expenses and amounts but we need to explain what we are paying for and give an approximate amount

I would not stress the part about our takeover of XT from Jan, we don't need to leak the details but we should probably mention it to be truthfull.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree with Martin there - I dont consider anything as take over or things like that coz Jan's status is not closed. I mean, if he appears one day we'll welcome him again as part of the team anyway :) So I think we can simply say that Jan created this site, but it is the members that run and manage and contribute to the site.

As for the versions we've had.
Ok, initially I wrote the whole page from scratch and that's what was in index-sita page.
With Martin's suggestions about the wordings and phrasings especially for the first 2 paragraphs, we both have improved it to index-martin version :)

So, please take a look at the 2 versions and see if there's anything from index-sita version that you want to still be incorporated into index-martin version (the latest one).

Also, regarding XT's near-death experience in July-September, what I think is we should focus more on how XT was SAVED more than the dire situation itself. So for me I'd suggest to re-phrase from 'severe jeopardy' to something sounding more positive and upbeat and stuff :) So both Martin and I are looking forward to your input, about that particular part of the page.

Also, if you think there are other sections we need to change the words or add htings etc, please bring it up here and Martin and I will look into the suggestions.

Thanks!
 

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OK think Martins is more accurate in terms on the current state of things. I dont feel or think that Jan owns this site, we do.

I think both are structured well and good.

It looks like you have taken a good bit of time in construction of these.
 

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Very well written by both of you. Good first draft by Sita, and good changes made by Martin. I am very happy with how it turned out, I think this will turn out really well. :)
 

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Yes the result looks really great! Good job the both of you. :)

Just one thing: out of privacy concerns, maybe it would be better not to mention Jan's full name.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well Martin's page is supposed to be the improvement from the page I initially created :)

As for Jan's part. Because I know that each of us has slightly different opinions on his contribution to everything and also what we'll happen if one day he shows up, I think we simply wont touch the ownership issue. Members dont really care who 'techncially' own things. What they want to know and be sure of is that, the money they pay, will not go to anyone's pocket.
But, to XT itself.
And that's what we're trying to emphasize here :)

Which is why I think it's ok to say that XT was created by Jan, and is run and managed by its members for all the members too.

As for Boyo's suggestion about Jan's name. Well I'm not sure. My idea was that at the mention of Jan's name there, it'll be a clickable link to his profile. Martin thinks if we want to mention Jan at all we should mention his full name.

So...

Hey, as for what happened in July-Septemeber, do you think it's ok to stick to the 'severe jeopardy' phrase then?
 

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Jan has always been sensitive about his privacy, so Boyo may be right.

About "severe jeopardy" I don't know, I think both yes and no can be fine.
 

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I think the donaters being confidentail is someything you need to re consider. Noone will be embarrassed about donating. You need to reward people who do something for this site and if that means giving them a special title that other people can see, do it. Because witout any reward or return, people will be very reluctant, this is the nature of donation business in internet, you will limit your success(I had done a research on this) Offer them a benefit on Xtratime's part. A Special forum, a special title? you need to brainstorm things that will reward donaters in a good way and will not cause you anything more than some work.


Here is a Kazaa type file sharing server called Soulseek. Listen to what he has to say about the donations.


Q: Is that fair? What if I can't make a donation because I'm poor/young/don't have paypal/living in a geographically remote location?

A: The actual effect on non-privileged users in the system is negligible simply because only a microscopic fraction of all users have download privileges. But even if that wasn't the case, we needed to find a way to get financial support so that we could keep developing and operating Soulseek. Turning Soulseek into a subscription service would have killed it. Using advertising, especially the more profitable type that relies on installed spyware would have made Soulseek a lot less pleasant to use. We have been asking for donations for a very long time, but the response was laughable. By offering download privileges we not only motivate a lot more people to make donations, as is evident by the dramatic increase in donations since we started offering them, but we also provide fair recompense to people who genuinely want to help out. All at virtually no hassle to the average Soulseek user.
 

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Boyo said:
Just one thing: out of privacy concerns, maybe it would be better not to mention Jan's full name.
The point is that Joe Sickpack does not know who Jan is. Thus I mentioned either drop him or give his full name. It's not like he hasn't kept his full name and address on the site (and others too) in the past.

And to Sita's comment, I think it's important that the members know who owns the site. Because they want to know what they are paying for, they dont't want to donate if they know that someday Jan comes back and shuts the whole thing down. It forces us to take a stand.

And Kaya's point is certainly valid as well. We should probably talk more about that amongst ourselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Two things:

I. What we give donors

Regarding the privileges, we can consider things like
- avatar
- bigger PM box (can the PM box limit be customized or is the max number set only applicable to all users and can't be varied?)

But what I don't like with the idea of having 'fixed' rewards for those who donate, is this: will you differentiate between people who donate $5 and $200? And people who donate often and donate only once, well they get different privileges for that?

II. Jan

As for ownership and reluctance to donate. But that's what I've been trying to point out :)

What is important is for the members to have 100% assurance that NONE of the donation amount will go to anyone's or any gruop's personal pocket but will go solely to XT's development

That is the main issue. Not who officially owns XT. So I think we need not focus on the Owner title etc (which is why I said, saying 'created by Jan' and run and managed by XT members).
Because if there is an Owner who will not take any penny from you (simply because the donations wont go to his account) - people wont mind to donate. IT's not about who owns what.
It's about where my money will go to! :)

So the question is - are we already clear in that page about assuring members that all donations will go to XT development and not to any person or any group personal gain?

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Btw, for I, people who insist on remaining confidential should be allowed to be so. Also people who don't want to receive anything in return.

For II. So, want to have Jan's full name still or, want to mention Jan where that name can be clicked to link to his profile?

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Lastly, like I said, once the donation page is up, people are bound to ask questions. Which is why I've offered to be the one in charge of responding their questions in a devoted topic for that :)
 

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numerodix said:
The point is that Joe Sickpack does not know who Jan is. Thus I mentioned either drop him or give his full name. It's not like he hasn't kept his full name and address on the site (and others too) in the past.
Well if such persons don't know who Jan is, they won't know who Jan Hviid Hemmingsen is either.

I just don't see the advantage of mentioning his full name, while I do see the disadvantage with respect to the aforementioned privacy issues.

When Jan mentioned his full name on the site, it was his own choice to do so on those specific occasions. This should not mean that his name has become 'public property'.

I feel we should have the courtesy and consideration to keep his name private. A link to his profile should suffice, after all it's the nature of forums like this to work with nicknames and firstnames only. It shouldn't have to discourage anyone from a donation.
 

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Well why should we put his name on there at all? I imagine it was Sita who wanted it.

But as far as I'm concerned he can shove it. I dont think we should have his name on there at all.

How about ...

"Xt was created by Jan, who ran up huge debts with the server vendors, kept disappearing, and moving around all the time. Ending up with him turning his back on XT and its memebrs, and leaving them to rot.

If it wasn't for the dedication of its own community in wanting to keep XT going, we would not be here now! XT is now fully in the hands of its members never to suffer the tragic fate it so nearly did"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Like bono is so fond to say, "Overruled!" ;)

So back to the main 2 points:

1) To have "Jan" where that word can be clicked to show his profile, or to have "Jan Hviid Hemmingsen" ?
I'm inclined to agree with Boyo here - that it's the former.

2) Are we to have section III that mentions
- what possible rewards/privileges (that has nothing to do with posting/status but more of extra feature like additional PM box space or some avatar features or whatever)
- Donors' names (for those who want to be listed)

Or can this section III wait?

I'm aware that in the future once, and if, the donation scheme is running well we can add more info to it based on people's response. (Like I said, after we put up the page we'll create a topic somwhere for people to ask stuff and us - or rather me - to answer whatever doubts and queries they have).

So if you think the current draft now is ok without section III, we can launch the thing while still brainstorming on what possible privileges we can give donors.
 

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Nedved! said:
1) To have "Jan" where that word can be clicked to show his profile, or to have "Jan Hviid Hemmingsen" ?
I'm inclined to agree with Boyo here - that it's the former.
I changed his title to "Founder", I think it fits to link his profile to the name now, cause he's not the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just to explain further Martin's point here, to quote him (with his permission) from msn:

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iAlex says:
changing his user title doesn't change the contract, it has no implication
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i.e. Jan's ownership scope that we have agreed on, stays :) But title-wise, it may be better to not spell out the owner part because potential donors may have reservations that the money will still go to the Owner.

If anyone has objections about the title, you can raise it in the other topic (Ownership).

Here, can we focus on my other point - about the donors' privileges (section III) now please?
 

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If we really want to stay on the same line as we have been following, we should probably avoid extra privileges for those who donate money. Like mentioned before, this could both limit the amount of money we get in and increase it, since the minimum amount would probably be something that would be affordable to most users.

I think it is very important that we keep everyone at the same level, and give everyone equal amounts of benefits. I am not insensitive to people who want to spend less money on Xtratime though, and if it's the last option for us to earn limit the cost of running Xtratime, it should be considered.
 

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Ok see and try how much money you will get without giving any extra priviliges. It will not work, you may only get some money for a while but then it will completely cut off as people will not pay for something they wont get anything in return. This is how human beings' psychology works, yours do the same as mine.

Therefore, you need to develop a plan

+ one being the conor page that completely is set up to convince people that they donate and they will be rewarded for it - what they donate will come back to them as a well run xtratime - and an xtratime that has some money to develop itself in the future.

+ another that specifies what users get for what they dopnate. it could be a bigger Pm bix, bigger avatar. this is nothing of a work for you to do when they donate. you can specify time limits such as 2 months to the donations for priviliges. At least the users who donate will be happy because they will see a difference in their Xtratime after they donate. Even beggers who ask for money when they go around, some of them leave pencils etc on your table and leave a note card..when I see that, I do feel more satisfied and content that they do give me something(even though very small and useless) and I am more eager to donate.

If you dont want your donations to last for 1 month, you have to develop a small plan on this basis. I am not saying this will definitely work very well, however, it will certainly increase the likelihood that you will get more donations on a consistent basis and thats what counts!!! Also, you will need to make announcements about this, make new changes and promote your donation page every month or so.

If Xtratime has 1000 active users at the moment, lets say 5 % of those donate and if lets say you keep the minimum limit to be 5 $ for 2 months, that will make = 250 $ for 2 months

125 $ per month is what you pay for server so your target should be to get 50 people to donate 5 $ for every 2 months.

and voilaaa... whatever you get extra from advertising can be used to develop, add new features/styles to xtratime. dont get bugged in little details, these is the kind of thing you need to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now that's what I wanted to hear...actual CONCRETE suggestions ;)

Keep the ideas coming. Not necessarily that we'll actually implement those offered coz we'll need to see how easy and how 'fair' the whole scheme will be.

One note though: I get a feeling that people who care about fancier avatars are likely to be the ones who are more of the teenagers - who are still studying while the 'oldies' are less concerned about such stuff. Some may be lured by bigger PM boxes etc though...

So we definitely need to do more research on this. AND. Make sure that those additional features won't be a burden to the server/speed etc (that is, Martin will need to be heavily involved in monitoring these extra features).

Another idea:
Actually we can still give XT mugs and T-shirts and other memorabilia :D To product such products is very cheap in Indonesia, so the defining cost here will be the shipping cost etc.
 
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