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Old 02-27-04, 09:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I wasn't arguing with you I was just pointing out that when the site that hosts a community sustains itself by offering a service, it's bad for the site when it's own forums/etc. advertise someone else's services.

Sure, it seems like a small thing, but in the 10 years I've been on the net and the 14 years before that in the BBS scene I've seen lots of good sites and bulletin boards go down because they just couldn't meet the growing requirements of the communities they supported.

ImageStation blocked images leeching for essentially the same reasons. They pay out a small fortune to serve up that many images a month, and when another site simply points to the images it costs them money, while the other site gets the traffic and possible ad revenue.

This trend of remote-blocking will increase as time goes on, and we're already starting to see more of the corporate sites require subscriptions for their services. People like free, but free still has costs for someone.
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Old 02-27-04, 09:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You're right, I don't have any idea whether this site makes a hundred million bucks a year or is several thousand in the hole. If this site isn't viable as a business then maybe the membership should rightfully all pitch in to support it and collectively own it. All I'm saying is that I don't buy anything I don't need or want. I'm not in the market for a photohosting account so I haven't bought one, from anyone. If I were in the market though I would buy it here because this is a great site.

As for "finding a way to pay for the site so I can use it, but not HAVE to pay for it...", point taken, I think that's the only reason there are so many members. I'm not complaining about it I'm just saying it's a little bit disingenuous to try to solicit donations by calling it something else. It would be entirely different if photo accounts were given away as part of an honest fundraising effort to contribute to a non-profit sort of club or community but when you are SELLING something you are a business; businesses aren't charitable organizations or groups that depend on their members to support them. Nobody donates to a business, they buy things from them; see the difference?

So what are we dealing with here, a club of herpers that all want to get together to keep things going, or is this a business that sells advertising to other businesses to access this audience and also sells photo accounts? I would consider donating to a club or non-profit community that I enjoy but I will NEVER give money away to a business.
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Old 02-27-04, 09:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 02-27-04, 09:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Mousekilla, I have to apologize - I came off sounding a lot nastier than I intended.

Basically, provides certain services to us for free. But for those people who would like more, they can pay for it and thus support the site. The thing is, that money goes towards the site. I don't know if things are different now, but last I checked the site still wasn't supporting itself. Any money paid for those services go towards keeping the site going, and that is it.

The bottom line is that we all love this site, but it is unfortunately expensive to run. I like the way they raise money. The T-shirts, photo-space and banner ads...the stuff is useful, but you aren't forced to pay for it.

I think your deffinition of business and what this site is are a little too black and white. This site is not a charitable organization and I don't think they have ever claimed to be so. It is also not a retail business.

It is an online community, and that can include sales and purchases, including from the site itself. You are free to donate to the site to keep it going, or you can get something for that money. That way you get something you can use, and also help in keeping the site running.
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Old 02-27-04, 09:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have to disagree with that. The internet has an audience and audiences are always worth money. Advertising is what keeps television alive (like it or not) and I think the same thing will happen online too. The only exceptions will be specialty sites that only appeal to a small market (like some of the digital channels on TV now) those will need money either instead of or in addition to advertising revenue.
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