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Paying Boing Boing's bandwidth

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Mark FrauenfelderPerson was signed in when posted
12:51 AM ET (US)
Thanks for all the great suggestions everybody! It makes me feel good to know that so many people care enough about Boing Boign to share their thoughtful and useful opinions. We'll let you know what we decide soon! Best regards -- Mark
Deleted by topic administrator 04-08-2004 12:49 AM
Chris Johnson
11:04 PM ET (US)
Thanks to Chris for demonstrating there why I wouldn't pay for discussion forums.

Meanwhile, seriously, install a gzip module on your webserver. HTML bandwidth requirements will probably drop to a 10th. This alone will probably only shave 2% on your bandwidth bill without optimising images and boy do they need optimising. 10 seconds with "Ulead Smartsaver Pro" and the Bush photomosaic went from 99k to 16k, without any visual quality loss. Optimise images and gzip HTML and your bill should drop by at least 80%.

You're going to be hard pushed to make me pay for your bandwidth if you're wasting it this badly.
Tyler Blalock
11:02 PM ET (US)
You know, if you guys just set up a Paypal button somewhere on the front page, for donations, you could probably get a decent amount of money from that. People aren't likely to donate more than a few dollars each, but every bit helps and it is very unintrusive if done correctly.

You could adopt a Slashdot-style subscription method, where subscribers get to see the latest story sooner than everyone else.

Not sure if anyone mentioned those ideas yet, but I'm not going to read thru 200+ posts to verify ;-P
Daniel Bester
10:22 PM ET (US)
Okay, great, we've established that some people don't like the publicity and so forth. I think we can generally move beyond that.
Deleted by topic administrator 04-08-2004 12:49 AM
05:57 PM ET (US)
how about a pledge drive once a year or so... you know, like PBS or that Jerry Lewis-a-thon.

DeleonPerson was signed in when posted
05:32 PM ET (US)
re: /m247 -- yes, it will. Dramatically. Because people click on the link, read the article, and then go back. Because BB doesn't have proper caching instructions in place, more often than not, the browser will download the page again. So reading 10 articles on BB might cause you to download the page 6 or 8 times.
Edited 04-07-2004 05:33 PM
Chris SmithPerson was signed in when posted
05:01 PM ET (US)
bittorrents are distributed via http. perhaps what you mean to say is: corp's don't allow exchanges over anything other than ports 80 (http) and maybe 21 (ftp).

Corporate networks don't allow the additional software. HTTP is likely limited to ports 80, 8000, and 8080, and only the standard browser can authenticate itself to the application proxy that lets you get to the outside world.

Sorry, but standard browsers on port 80 is pretty much your audience. If you can apply CSS+RSS in that model, then that will be ok.
chico haasPerson was signed in when posted
04:22 PM ET (US)
Uh, have you guys, like, asked your folks?
Rick Bruner
03:32 PM ET (US)
And another thing: BlogAds. I wrote a piece that came out this week for iMedia about blogs and their revenue potential. I mentioned how BlogAds has finally come into its own. By my estimates, DailyKoz is earning about $3,400 per week from BlogAds (or it was, anyway, until its recently political snafus that have cost it some ads).

Erg. Per my comment on micropayments, I meant to link to this essay of mine.
Edited 04-07-2004 03:38 PM
Rick Bruner
03:27 PM ET (US)
1) Micropayments. The key to charging for content is DON'T charge for everything, just charge for some percentage (10%; 1%, for example) of premium content.

2) "Recommended donation." Like a museum. People can give nothing if they like, but suggest what they should donate. Keep track. Make them register for more than the most basic form of content. Then cookie them and keep a running tally of what they owe. Say, 1 penny per page view. After they've viewed 50 or 100 or 500 pages, remind them politely (e.g., with a page intercept, a flashing notice in the corner, an email) that they are obviously a regular reader and you ask your regular readers for a donation. Sure, many, or perhaps most, will ignore it, but in all likelihood a significant percentage will give something. Some will give what you ask, some will give less, some more. In any event, you'll earn more than you earn now.
03:12 PM ET (US)
How about reducing the graphics and text on the main page? Rather than having full posts and images, have a bare bones front page with only headlines and links. Or display just one day's worth of links on the front page.

Then, charge people a yearly membership fee to look at archival posts.
S. King
01:36 PM ET (US)
I've seen two other sites faced with this problem come up with creative solutions:

http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com - during a time when finances were tight, they sold user-created banner ads. The ads were fun and became sort of a virtual wall on which people tagged jokes and opinions. They were so popular, people were sorry to see the ads go away after TWoP secured steady funding from Yahoo.

http://www.geekculture.com - Geek Culture decided to sell "Super Fan" subscriptions to offset increased bandwidth costs. Super Fans get their own private forum, larger icons, and get to be drawn into a Joy of Tech comic. Perhaps allowing BoingBoing sponsors to comment on posts would work?
12:32 PM ET (US)
as it turns out the idea I had of combining bittorrents with files/RSS is the latest craze.

BitTorrent and RSS Create Disruptive Revolution -December 14, 2003

Speed Meets Feed in Download Tool - 02:00 AM Mar. 15, 2004 PT

to correct my previous statement: the BT system uses http to download the torrent file. the 'final file' that is delivered is orchestrated via a tracker that usually runs on ports other than 80, using TCP.

while I could be callous and state that if your company prohibits you from downloading material from other than port 80 *http* maybe it's cuz your company thinks you should be working instead of downloading non-work related material? call me crazy...

on the other hand:
deja vu
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

...some trackers do in fact seed on port 80, rare though they may be. You can look for those. Also, most clients (Azureus for one) allow you to specify the incoming port to use.

so hope may be around the corner for you office monkeys, i'll be looking into it.
11:45 AM ET (US)
I can't help but think of effort required in all of this. Cory, Mark, Xeni and crew already take valuable time to post notes and help me stay amused and informed through out my day. Subscription models, special content, and merchandise sales all seem result in extra work/management that will take the crew away from what they do best. The following seem to result in the least effort for the needed return:

- The tip jar suggestion seemed non-obtrusive and will probably work better than hoped for.
- I like the idea of delaying the posts 12-24 hrs to promote RSS usage.

I also feel BB represents a refreshing approach to the current state of things. Interesting people don’t always have to charge to share their views, ideas, and things they like. I guess any attempt to limit this, sort of hits against some of the values (real or imagined) that I have associated with BB.

My thoughts on ads seem to be thoroughly covered by others. Suffice it to say, they are negative.
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