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Thread: Donate Button + Source Playmat / T-Shirt Discussion

  1. #1
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    Donate Button + Source Playmat / T-Shirt Discussion

    Hey all, you may have noticed the Donate button in the upper right hand corner of the site. I wanted to provide an explanation so its sudden appearance isn't a complete mystery:

    After the problems we were having the month before last with a large number of users getting constant 403 errors when trying to access the site, we determined that our site's usage had vastly outgrown the shared server where it's been hosted since its inception. I opted to move the site to its own private Rackspace server, which allows us to more easily address problems with the site when they arise, and gives us the ability to expand the server's capacity as the site continues to grow in popularity.

    The downside is that it costs more money. The monthly fee for hosting used to be $15 per month, and the new cost is somewhere between $45 and $50 per month, depending on bandwidth usage.

    Since 2003, I've paid to keep the site up and running out of pocket, to the tune of a few hundred dollars per year. I opted to do this because I and the other admins have always agreed we want to keep the site ad-free so The Source and its community are able to maintain their independent spirit.

    Insofar as it's possible, we intend to continue an ad-free policy. That said, in the 10 years since the site was created, I've gotten married, bought a house, and had a kid. Long story short, my disposable income ain't what it used to be. With the increase in cost to keep the site running, we've decided to ask you guys to pitch in, if you want to and are able. If just a handful of users are able to pitch in even a few bucks a month, it will go a long way towards keeping us active and ad-free.

    Thanks for your consideration, and for being fucking awesome. We appreciate you guys.

    - zilla


    EDIT: The button has been taken down for now, as we've met our goal of covering a year's worth of site costs. If you still want to donate and be added to the Site Contributors group, you can donate directly to my paypal: patrick.maeder2@gmail.com. Any further donations will be applied to the following year's site costs. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Donate Button

    I am 100% in favor of a donate button in place of ads.

    That being said, it'd be cool if the donors got something in return, even if it was something as little as a "donor-only" title.

    Also, donated. Thanks for everything thus far!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Donate Button

    I get an error when I clicked on the Donate button to try to pitch in:



    That being said, I wouldn't mind some ads if it's necessary to ensure you make ends meet. Perhaps something less invasive and more targeted like getting referral benefits from TCGPlayer when clicking on a card rather than linking to Deckbox (which slows down the site anyway).

  4. #4
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    Re: Donate Button

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthepit View Post

    That being said, I wouldn't mind some ads if it's necessary to ensure you make ends meet. Perhaps something less invasive and more targeted like getting referral benefits from TCGPlayer when clicking on a card rather than linking to Deckbox (which slows down the site anyway).
    Personally, I'd rather split the cost with a few dedicated people than have ads. My main concern is the problem that comes along with many out-of-the-box ad solutions. Google's ad solution is nice in that it's non-invasive and delivers nothing but text. However, in my experience, it simply doesn't deliver enough money.

    Having cards automatically turn into referral links to TCGPlayer are definitely a cool idea and could potentially be enough to pay for the site. But unless they offer a solution that handles this for you, I'd guess that the work involved with implementing such a plan would be quite large, possibly greater than the benefit. (This is the part where I get bored and outsource the job to India for $27 because I like conding projects)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dice_Box View Post
    You don't get to play the most powerful cards in the format and then bitch when someone finally says no. You also don't get to bitch that it's not fun when someone finally tells you no instead of voyeuristicly watching you masturbate with Cantrips.

  5. #5
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    Re: Donate Button

    I like this, and I'll be sure to set up a paypal account and chip in a few bucks when I get my salary this month.

    However, I'd like to know, say that me and 99 other Sourcers each chip in $5, which totals to $500 - will you remove the donation button for ten months and use the excess to keep the site running, or where does the surplus go?
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  6. #6
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    Re: Donate Button

    The Source has been my source for distraction at work for years and I've been lurking the site since 2006 so I wouldn't mind giving something back in return :)

    Edit: Done!
    Last edited by Higgs; 09-19-2013 at 06:15 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Donate Button

    Thanks all for the support. To answer some questions/comments:

    Purgatory: We haven't worked out the exact details yet, because we don't know precisely what the user response will be. But I can assure you that any money donated will be put towards site costs and nothing else. If we get an overwhelming response in the first few weeks or so, we'll likely take down the Donate button until those funds have been used, and then put the button back up again in several months once those funds have been depleted. I think that method would also have the added benefit of keeping members from becoming so used to the button that they forget it's there. If it's only up for a couple weeks out of every several months, I think people may be more likely to notice/respond to it. We'll work out an exact plan soon, but rest assured that any funds donated will be put towards running the site. Thanks for your input.

    Lordofthepit: Sorry you're having trouble with the link. It works for me in all browsers, but if you (or anyone else) are having problems, you can enter my paypal manually: patrick.maeder2@gmail.com. Just make a note that it's for the Source so I can keep the funds separate. Thanks.

    Crav: The admin staff agrees we'd prefer to keep the site ad free. That's how we've always done it and we want to keep it up as long as we can. I was actually considering a custom title and/or user color to highlight users who have donated. I think it's a good idea. I'll run it past the rest of the staff tomorrow and figure out how we want to implement that. People who are interested in this should include their Source username in the Paypal notes so I have an easy way to keep track of which members have donated. Thank you for your very generous contribution, by the way. ;)

    I appreciate everyone's comments and support thus far. You guys are great. Feel free to keep posting suggestions/comments/concerns and I'll do my best to address them.

  8. #8
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    Re: Donate Button

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthepit View Post
    I get an error when I clicked on the Donate button to try to pitch in:



    That being said, I wouldn't mind some ads if it's necessary to ensure you make ends meet. Perhaps something less invasive and more targeted like getting referral benefits from TCGPlayer when clicking on a card rather than linking to Deckbox (which slows down the site anyway).

    Got the same problem. Will try later again.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Donate Button

    ^^ Same shit. Will try again later from home.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Donate Button

    The "site contributor" title for the name is a good idea.

    Also, when sending money thru paypal to your address (patrick.maeder2@gmail.com) just select SEND MONEY FOR GOODS AND SERVICES" that way the contributors dont have to pay a 2$ fee for the money x-fers

    EDIT : Funds sent
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  11. #11
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    Re: Donate Button

    Worked flawlessly on Chrome. Maybe you need a verified paypal account, dunno.

  12. #12
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    Re: Donate Button

    I've also gotten years of enjoyment from the site. Donated!

    Btw, the link initially gave me the same error as above (using Chrome, verified PayPal account). However, after I manually logged into PayPal, then clicked the link, it worked fine for me.

  13. #13
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    Re: Donate Button

    I've also had the same error message when clicking the button.

    Regardless, I managed to give you the rest of my money I've had on PayPal - it's not a lot, but I'm running low at the moment, anyways (speculations at the release of a new set, damn you!).
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  14. #14
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    Re: Donate Button

    If we got a couple people to donate a couple cards they could also be used as a revenue source via an ebay auction.
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    Re: Donate Button

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilla View Post

    Purgatory: We haven't worked out the exact details yet, because we don't know precisely what the user response will be. But I can assure you that any money donated will be put towards site costs and nothing else. If we get an overwhelming response in the first few weeks or so,we will produce an extra print run of thesource playmats available for purchase.
    Ftfy :D

    Jokes aside, I'll happily send some bucks as soon as I can.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Donate Button

    No offense (and I might add that I will donate for sure), but 45-50US$ a month, depending on bandwidth usage (which implies there usage-based billing - come on already, it's 2013!), sounds like a pretty darn shitty hosting plan/contract... you might want to reconsider that. If you shoot me a message with the hardware and connectivity specs you'd like to see covered, I might be able to offer, or at least point you to, a vastly better deal.

    If you need help with tuning the website's performance without spending any extra money, I might be able to offer an advice or two as well.

  17. #17
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    Re: Donate Button

    Verified account, using Chrome, same problem as others have mentioned.

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  18. #18
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    Re: Donate Button

    @kiblast: we've actually been discussing the creation of new playmats as an alternative means to raise funds for site maintenance. They don't require a huge initial investment. The real sticking point is that we can't sell anything with copyrighted artwork on it, which means we need to find original, relevant artwork to use for it. I did a quick mockup of a playmat using some old artwork I did that was loosely inspired by Necropotence, but it would probably be more appropriate for Vintage, given the subject matter. It can give you a rough idea of what one might look like, though, if you're curious: click.

    Basically I need to find the time to create more Legacy relevant artwork, or we need to find some royalty-free artwork that fits that description.


    @colo: No offense taken. Here's the situation: when users started getting 403 errors last month, I contacted our host's technical support, and they basically told me that a) our site was on a shared server, and b) the site is doing so much traffic that their server thought it was being DDOSed by our users, which was causing their IPs to be blocked, hence the 403 errors. They said that we really needed to move to our own private server. When I asked them what they charged for that, they said it would cost $89 per month, at which point I bid them good day.

    I opted to use Rackspace, because they're one of the largest and most trusted hosting providers in the country, I and the company I work for have used them for years, they have top notch technical support, and they allow root access to the server, which our old host did not. Initially, we set up with Rackspace's lowest tier server, which is $15.95 per month plus bandwidth. (Note: when I say they charge for bandwidth, it's a really nominal cost. We did several gigs of traffic last month for around 6 bucks. Charging for bandwidth usage on private servers is pretty standard practice these days.)

    Unfortunately, their lowest tier server only has 512k of RAM allocated to it, and the site's users hammered the server so hard in the first few hours that Apache choked and could never catch back up. We altered a few Apache settings, and upgraded to the next tier, which is a 1GB server, which (mostly) fixed the problems. Unfortunately, this tier is $40 per month plus bandwidth. Also, even with the increased RAM, we're still pushing the limits of the server's capabilities at peak hours. We do a surprising amount of traffic, and it puts a huge strain on the server. The next tier up (2GB) is $80 per month plus bandwidth, so we're hoping we can avoid the need to upgrade further.

    That's the situation as it stands. If you feel you have any advice to offer on the subject, I'm happy to discuss it with you. Just hit me via PM about it. I appreciate your input and support.


    @Paypal issues: I'm using the code that Paypal provides, so it should work flawlessly. I'll do some research and see what I can find. I'm wondering if location might have something to do with the problem? For those that are experiencing the issue, can you tell me where you're located geographically?


    @Custom user level: The admin staff has discussed this and we agree we want to do it. We'll be creating a custom user level called "Site Contributor" that will have a custom title (if you want one) and its own user color (perhaps a tasteful teal, a la the old Legacy Adept user group?) The sticking point is that I have no way of knowing which users have contributed unless they include their Source username in the Paypal notes, so please do so if you want to be part of this usergroup. For those who have already donated, send me a PM with your real name and I can use that to verify that you've contributed.


    Thanks again for your support.

  19. #19
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    Re: Donate Button

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilla View Post
    @Paypal issues: I'm using the code that Paypal provides, so it should work flawlessly. I'll do some research and see what I can find. I'm wondering if location might have something to do with the problem? For those that are experiencing the issue, can you tell me where you're located geographically?


    @Custom user level: The admin staff has discussed this and we agree we want to do it. We'll be creating a custom user level called "Site Contributor" that will have a custom title (if you want one) and its own user color (perhaps a tasteful teal, a la the old Legacy Adept user group?) The sticking point is that I have no way of knowing which users have contributed unless they include their Source username in the Paypal notes, so please do so if you want to be part of this usergroup. For those who have already donated, send me a PM with your real name and I can use that to verify that you've contributed.
    I'm in Canada and experiencing the issue.

    Not a fan of the "custom titles" and such. I'd rather keep this site as far away from Salvation as possible. Don't want to read posts in aqua-marine from some guy with Rules Advisor - Kawaiiiiiii in his user title.

  20. #20

    Re: Donate Button

    I'm in the SF Bay Area and having the PayPal issue.

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