Update on donations and advertising

Various things relevant to the site in its new archive mode. Any further progress will be reported here.

Update on donations and advertising

Postby Admin » 29 Sep 2010, 13:52

I have received a number of questions and observations this week which, while they were not in any way complaints or criticisms, have asked for clarification on site policy, funding and how ShadowMusic may be affected in the future.

First of all ShadowMusic is safe in that there are sufficient funds to keep it going for the foreseeable future. It was part of my remit last year to ensure that this would be the case and I created a 'trust fund' for the purpose.

It was always my intention to avoid the 'telethon' of the previous year of ShadowMusic. I personally found it annoying and intimidating. So from the outset I said I was not prepared to either publish figures or ask for donations, relying instead on the generosity of the membership to recover the cost of the 'trust fund' and to pay for ongoing site maintenance.

Several members made, in some cases very generous, donations during the first few weeks and the costs for the first year were fully covered. During the rest of the year there was the occasional contribution which allowed me to enhance and improve the 'back end' of the site until it appears to have reached an acceptable stability.

During the year I added just two adverts to the main page plus a page of optional adverts. The optional adverts have generated exactly zero but that is not a problem and the link to Google search and Amazon have made about £5 in total. But they appear to have been useful in that a few people have bought off Amazon and used the search.

However, the number and amount of voluntary donations has not been enough to cover all the costs involved leading me to have to consider alternative ways of funding the site. To see how they would be received, I placed Google AdSense on the login page of the calendar and noted that a few people followed the adverts and made a purchase as a result. I should explain at this point that I only know how many times the adverts were displayed and how many people clicked on them. I have no access to names, specific adverts or how much was spent.

Since there was a positive response to these adverts I placed a further set at the bottom of the main page where they would not intrude on the layout of the site and where members could click on any adverts of interest or ignore them as they prefer.

AdSense is really intended for large sites with several thousand members and, while it does produce a small amount, does little to impact on the cost of maintenance. The AdSense reports tell me that people are following the adverts on the main page and are, presumably, therefore finding them useful. The novelty value is wearing off a little and the number of responses is reducing daily.

I have been reviewing the layout of the site with respect to adverts and the contents of same and decided that the three ads which are currently present are all that can reasonably be fitted on the site without them becoming intrusive, which is against my site policy. There is no way, therefore, that I will add any further advertising to the main page.

Having received no complaints about the presence of these adverts I can see no reason why they should not remain. There was one advert which was considered unacceptable and I found a way to block it and others in the future should that prove necessary or desirable.

As I have said, at the present time ShadowMusic is not paying its way although the adverts have helped a little. The 'trust fund' is perfectly safe so the site is in no danger but I am running at a loss. It has been suggested that I create a means whereby members can check on how much they have donated and when and I am looking into this. If I am successful a button will appear at some point somewhere.

I am not going to change site policy regarding voluntary donations because I'm not having the 'telethon' reappear. I shall continue to rely on the generosity of the membership to help me keep this site going for as long as there is anyone on this planet who remembers The Shadows - and that is going to be a very, very long time.

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Re: Update on donations and advertising

Postby David Martin » 30 Sep 2010, 08:25

As ever, I am grateful to Bob for providing a home for us and keeping a weather eye out on finances... time to renew my voluntary "subscription" by hitting the Donate button... :)
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Re: Update on donations and advertising

Postby Iain Purdon » 03 May 2017, 14:02

It is nearly seven years since Bob wrote this and it all remains as true as ever.

We all owe Bob our gratitude for keeping this site going despite it running at a loss. I'll leave it there...

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