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Thread: A word from your sponsor.....

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    Default A word from your sponsor.....

    Fellow NSCALE.net members,

    It has been more than a few years since I have been a regular contributor here. Despite my ongoing love of N-Scale and all things trains, it seems that life, family and career have derailed the time that I would like to have spent here in ways that I could never have imagined or foreseen. But you the members have kept it going and your contributions have kept NSCALE.net one of the finest hobby sites on-line and certainly tops in the category. Years ago, when I became involved with NSCALE.net, there were some great other forums available to lovers of N-Scale, but we have persevered and built a tremendous repository of information and pictures and relationships between like-minded people. Other sites (some of them really very good) have come and gone, but we remain, thanks to you the many members.

    When I first took over financial responsibility for NSCALE.net from Todd, we made a promise to members that we would not run advertising and now many years later we still have not. We have not asked for donations or membership fees and have truly run the site free for members and others. But times and situations do change, costs increase, revenue decreases and I feel that at this point in my life and NScale.net’s life that I need the site to be more self-sustaining to continue its on-going utility. To that end I would ask you to consider and discuss the possibility of running one small ad, at the bottom of each page. In conversation with Bryan (who maintains and runs this site with love and dedication) he thought it possible that we could place an ad in such a way as to not be intrusive, yet at the same time possibly yielding some small stream of revenue to make the site more self-sustaining. The ads would come from the curated Google stream and (hopefully like the un-logged in nscale.net) be relevant and family friendly.

    I would like to hear your thoughts over the next few days as we consider this slight change in approach to our beloved community.

    Thanks,

    Tony Caronia aka Gargoyle

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    Default Response to thread "A word from your sponsor....." in the Site Notices forum

    This is regarding a thread in the Site Notices forum. Although the post asks for feedback, none is permitted in that forum. Not sure what to do so here goes...

    I don't mind an ad or two if it helps keep the site running.

    More concerned about load time than number of ads, as many ads these days are videos, and some of the web pages out there are so full of ad videos that it take 10 or 15 seconds to load the page, even with my high speed internet.

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    I too am for ads if it keeps the site up and running and lessens the financial burden . But the type and placement of ads has me thinking . One thing i would hate to see , would be pop up ads . I doubt this type of ad was what you were thinking , but someone was going to say it

    Steve

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    The ad type will be a banner ad... I should be able to restrict it to the footer only (header & footer worst case)... and if they’re too heavy with images, I’ll make them text only.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    I appreciate that you're asking for the feedback. Makes it seem like a member/owner community to me...
    I would have no problem with it.

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    Go for it, I love this place and want to see it keep going. Besides, where would we walk Moose?
    WAAAAGH!! Wait, wrong hobby. TRAAAAAAIIIINNN!!

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    No objections to one or two ads at the top or bottom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    The ad type will be a banner ad... I should be able to restrict it to the footer only (header & footer worst case)... and if they’re too heavy with images, I’ll make them text only.
    I don't think having banner adds at the top and bottom would be terrible, it would be twice the chance at income.
    Like Steve said, pop ups would be annoying but it sounds like you have have that covered.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    I suppose I might not be too opposed to seeing an ad or two, but I do know that there are some sites that are full of content that I wouldn't mind seeing, yet I hesitate and rarely go because I know how much ad clutter I am going to encounter, and how the page may "dance around" as it waits for all the outside-hosted ad content to load. The frustration really does inhibit my enjoyment of the content. I know what's being discussed wouldn't amount to anywhere near the same level of hassle, but it is beginning to move in a direction. Zero ads is qualitatively different from One Ad, as One Ad is just on a spectrum of ad annoyance, setting a potential precedent for more ads in the future.

    So, I guess I would like there to be a zero-ads option, at least. Maybe there could be a paid membership tier (like Patreon perhaps?) at which no ads are shown. I already support several YouTube content creators via Patreon; I'm enough of a regular here that it would be a no-brainer to pay some small fee. If ever funds got tight for me, I could go back to the free tier, at which I would get to see an ad or two.

    I've already supported in the past by buying merchandise: I have a car license plate frame, a sweatshirt, a tumbler, and a decal set. Most, possibly all, of these items are no longer available for purchase. I'm proud to own them, because this is such a good site and worthy of my support.

    Get yourself a Rail Pass for free travel on the WP&P: wpandp.com
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    Sorry, but I wouldn't be overly optimistic about the earning potential of ad revenue. My experience is that it has dropped off precipitously over the last couple of years as most people now routinely use ad blockers. Of course, there is always the option of locking out people who do so (a practice I personally find obnoxious and have avoided employing on my own website). Unfortunately, it seems that labors of love pretty much have to be their own reward these days

    Just FYI.

    -Mark
    Last edited by Spookshow; 29th Aug 2019 at 05:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    I've already supported in the past by buying merchandise: I have a car license plate frame, a sweatshirt, a tumbler, and a decal set. Most, possibly all, of these items are no longer available for purchase. I'm proud to own them, because this is such a good site and worthy of my support.
    The buttons are really nice.

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    Moose stomp on ads! Pesky little teenie tiny things, all crawling around yer hooves, then up yer leg and on to tickling yer ears and such. And don't get this moose started on those pesky ad hills! Ohhh, Moose hate those...


    If the ads don't work out to everyone's liking, perhaps we could have an annual fund-raiser?

    Or, perhaps someone - who's really good at making water slide decals - could come up with a sheet of n-Scale.net related decals for those enterprising types who like custom boxcars or similar, and have that at least help with finances? Could have a sheet that covers various eras so as to be applicable to all?

    Okay, perhaps that's not to sustaining or realistic. Hmmm, who had thought something in n-scale wasn't entirely realistic?

    Okay, maybe we just have ads...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    One or two is OK, but as Spookshow says, ad blockers deflect most of them, and click-throughs are what really count in online advertising.

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    What about just a Wikipedia style donation drive every now and again?

    I’d rather toss you $5 once a year then get ads...
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    I am for what ever will keep the site going, I do like the idea of a paid tier with no ads to give folks the option.
    Thanks again for all you have done to keep this going so far!
    Jim
    My build thread: Link

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    What about just a Wikipedia style donation drive every now and again?

    I’d rather toss you $5 once a year then get ads...
    agreed, I wouldn't mind this style of "fund raising"

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    Hmmmm....

    Ads not really an issue except if download issues, which sounds like not an issue...(?)

    What about a fundraiser?
    I'd be willing to donate towards a site auction or sell on Ebay to offer/donate profits...??
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

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    To be forth right - having ads is not a good idea nor, as Mark said, any viable guarantee of income for the site. As has been said, the availability (and use of) Ad Blockers is a fairly good indication that many people can't tolerate the intrusion of ads - be it one or a thousand. While the 1 ad at the top and, at worse, bottom of each page seems minor, each time a page is opened that ad will load thereby using a persons download quota - not everyone lives in a big city or has the luxury of unlimited downloads OR access to 100 + mbps download speeds. One other thing that concerns me is the lack of ownership over the ad/s. Whoever was running the ad/s can include any content including images and videos.

    Personally, I would be more than happy to have a "reasonable" annual subscription OR see the introduction of an annual (or bi-annual) fund raiser. Almost anything would be better than introducing ads to the forums.

    One other option that may work ... create a Forum solely for business's to advertise in and for the members to obtain information from ... a read only forum from the members perspective. Charging the business/company a reasonable annual fee for being permitted to advertise with the forums may be an option or something to consider and something that "might" cause people to support that "business or company" as viewing their products would be voluntary and not forced upon the members. Hope that makes some sort of sense.
    Cheers Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh70 View Post
    I appreciate that you're asking for the feedback. Makes it seem like a member/owner community to me...
    I would have no problem with it.
    Throughout, we try to keep a community feel, rather than a dictatorship.
    This shift in ethos is no different... things have to change, but how, and how they effect the membership will be guided by member input.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    Bryan,

    What about something along the lines of a "Supporters Club/Group"?

    The members could be given the opportunity of making an "Annual Donation" of (for example) $5 - $10 - $20 - $50 - $100. In return for their donation a Supporters Club Badge (a graphic) could be created and added to those persons Signature Block, or similar, and the words "Supporter" attached to their names instead of Senior Member, Junior Member etc or added beneath their seniority for want of a better word.

    This way the Forums (aka Admins) receive financial support from those who they support with these forums and the donating members receives the recognition of being a supporter (if that is important to anyone) and it places no financial burden or additional responsibility on the forums - ie, you guys.
    Cheers Tony

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