OK Folks, Time To Think Outside The Box

(Note To Mods,not sure if this is the right place to post this, feel free to move as you see fit)
Ayesha and I understand that the Chicago Reader can’t afford to keep losing money running the SDMB.
But it appears that going to a “Pay To Post” type subscription plan may kill the board by shuting off the flow of new members and shuting out old members that can’t afford to pay/won’t pay on princlpal.
So hows this for an Idea?
How much AD-space will the price of a subscription or two buy?
I would much rather use the U.S.$20.00-50.00 per username subscription fee to buy an ad for a hundred or so page views and keep the board free.
Pass the hat the next time you attend a HouDope/B.A.D.dope/So.Cal.Dope/N.Y.Dope… fest and buy an ad and keep the board free!
Think of it,Your Username/Message at the top of the page for a couple of hundred page views or so.
Think It Will Work?

Why does everyone always steal my good ideas? :frowning:


I’ll contribute what I can, of course. Not to say that it’ll be a whole helluva lot, but a little something is better than a lot of nothing.

But Spoofe if is done as a group thing, BADs, HouDopers, ect… if each person at a DopeFest can put in a little then it can go far. Many a mickel makes a muckel.

Post Preview:
What’s actually costing all the money? I guess it’s renting out the webspace for all the memory this site takes up, right? How about [ul]

;j;j;jGomez’s memory saving tips;j;j;j
[li]Deleting the profiles of all the members who’ve never posted.[/li][li]Deleting the archives of the big forums like GD, GQ, MPSIMS and the Pit. Who really reads those 2 year old threads anyway?[/li][li]Disabling signups. We already have nearly 20,000 members already, we should disable registration until a few thousand profiles have been deleted.[/li][li]Deleting all threads that have 0 replies that are over a month old.[/li][li]Deleting the profiles of members with less than 30 posts who haven’t posted in the last 2 months.[/li][li]Deleting/minimising banners like the SDMB banner above.[/li][li]Employing the use of banner ads. Y’know the little ones that appear on the top right hand corner of some Geocities websites. We could have something like that. We should also plaster the front page (ie the one with links to Cecil’s columns) with ads. We should have popup ad after popup ad on that page since people would only clink on about 5 links on it anyway. I’m sure they could put up with a couple of mildly annoying banner ads whilst reading Cecil’s columns.[/li][li]Moving at least one of the forums. If we moved Comments on Staff reports to another site (a free one like an ezboard) we would automatically free up a not insubstantial amount of memory and it would be on a free provider. Comments on Staff Reports hasn’t got an awful lot of posts in it when compared to the other forums and it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.[/li][li]Or, failing that, how about combining Comments on Staff Reports with Comments on cecils comments? I for one never understood the need for a distinction.[/li][li]Disabling Sig lines. Totally. For everyone.[/li][li]Get rid of the “edit/delete” icon at the bottom of everyone’s posts (I’m not sure if this is possible but if it is it’s worth a shot). Since we’re not allowed to edit or delete our posts then it’s mute and takes up space.[/li][li]Blatant trolling threads shouldn’t be locked, just deleted immediately.[/li][li]Lose the “members” and “home” icons on each page.[/li][li]Lock and delete ‘Smiley Art’ threads immediately. In fact, officially prohibit them.[/li][li]Encourage members not to pad their post count. In other words, drop all that “Pulls up a char” “Passes the popcorn” shit. Not only is it unbearably lame, it takes up space.[/li][li]Drop the ‘About this message board forum’ altogether. Questions about administration should be taken to e-mail. Complaints about administration are already taken in the pit. Questions about software should be taken to e-mail or perhaps a FAQ could be provided. No-one needs a whole forum for ‘practise posts’.[/li][/ul]

Those were just ideas I thought up as I was going along. I’m sure there are other, better ways of saving memory.


Tee hee.

I also think that in order to save memory, all “Me Too/I agree” posts should be immediately deleted. :smiley:

Make MPSIMS, CS, IMHO and The BBQ Pit subscriber-only access (for reading, searching and viewing).

Delete all “post party” threads, and all DopeFest threads that are more than a month old since the last post.

Hell, delete everything more than a year old, across the board.

For subscribers: add the ability to edit posts within 30 minutes of posting.

I like the idea of combining CSR and CCC into one forum.

Non-subscribers would get access to ATMB, GQ, GD, and the new combined Staff Report/Columns forum. They would also be able to search the archive of Cecil’s columns. If they posted something more suitable to one of the subscriber forums, it’d be removed.

And yes, though I lurked for more than a year before registering, and have 330-some posts in 18 months, I would most certainly pay up to $50 a year, though I think $10-$20 is more reasonable to attract the maximum number of current folks.

I do definitely like the ad idea (I think vanity ads were suggested elsewhere, too).

It sounds like a pretty viable idea. The question is, now, who will be the one to try to convince the admins?

Memory and disk space are cheap, it’s the bandwidth that kills them. Bandwidth is expensive as hell.


No, this is not what costs so much.

I like the vanity ad idea. I’d buy one.

I also like the idea of the various dopefests chipping in to buy ad space: “NY Dopefest. Wish you were here. Not!” j/k

It isn’t? How is bandwidth different from memory?

[sub]I’m not being funny, I genuinely don’t know much about computers[/sub]

“Memory” in this context means hard-disk storage space. This is relatively cheap.

“Bandwidth” is what you pay your ISP (Internet Service Provider) for. When you send or receive info from the SDMB, you only have to worry about yourself. The SDMB is communicating simultaneously with hundreds of users like you. This costs $.

Oh, I get it. So the real problems are

(A) How much information is received by the users via their browsers.
(B) The amount of users requesting to see the information.

Is that right? I wanna know so I can start drawing up a new list :slight_smile:

Memory is the medium on which all the data of the site is stored. Bandwidth determines how many people can simultaneously access that memory, and how quickly.

ez boards have banner adds and the like, but they have a feature called comunity chest where people can conate to keep the boards add free. its really that simple. set up a freaking paypal for people to send money to and the board will pay for itself.

for those who were wondering yes I meant DONATE

I’m sorry, but I think that’s just absurd. Dopefests are for socializing and having fun. They should never be “fundraisers” for the Straight Dope. If you think people won’t come to the boards anymore because they’d have to pay for it, what makes you think people will come to a social gathering if they have to pay an admission fee. Unbelievable. I’m not charging anyone to come to any dopefests I host.

I really appreciate your consideration in avoiding stepping on my penis - Spiny Norman
[sup][sub][sym]©[/sym][/sub][/sup] Jeg elsker dig, Thomas [sup][sub][sym]©[/sym][/sub][/sup]

While I understand the concept of a ‘mortgage party’ I sure wouldn’t ever require guests in my house to pay.

Also, something that I think is being completely missed here is the natural inclination of any for-profit organization to make a profit on its activities.

I keep hearing about ways to make the board self-supporting. That way the Chicago Reader’s costs would be offset, right?


If I were CR management I’d be looking for a way not to break even but to get some return on my investment.

Try this:

I have two projects in mind:

Project One:

Cost: $10K
Return: $10K
P/L: $0

Project Two:

Cost: $10K
Return: $20K
P/L: $10K

Even if we just break even then the Reader has to consider whether the money spent on the SDMB could rather be spent on projects that would actually turn a profit.

I’m not speaking for the CR here (I can’t obviously) so don’t take what I’m saying too seriously.

But it’s the way I would look at the problem were I in their position.

I didn’t se any mention of an admission fee, Shayna. I thought it was more of a “give what you can” idea.