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Ben

Covering The Expanding Costs Of TGA

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I would also happily jump onto the subscription time and would prefer it over ads!

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Why not a simple banner asking for donations to pay for the site. People could click on it and send money via card or paypal.

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Thanks for the comments so far.  

Hopefully we can have some discussion around this for a few weeks then I can put something in place.  

At the moment I'm thinking a combination of:

a couple of banner ads that are removed if you become a premium member (including one advertising premium membership).

Premium members get a few benefits and access to giveaways/upgrades and an off topic area but actual 'content' is always free.  

Premium membership can be an ongoing subscription or a one off donation for a set time period.  

 

I'm pleased there is a positive reaction to this.  thanks for your support.  

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Maybe you could look at running a 'tga cup' event.  Either all in one location or a global event.  Portion of the entrance fee goes to tga. get 1000 players globally at a £5 thats a year sorted.

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Morning!

I did wonder if we were getting near a topic like this :)

First off, the forum is great.  The mods do a really good job at keeping topics on track and the overall atmosphere is really positive, which clearly has shown in how successful TGA has got!

So, chucking my own thoughts into the ring.  I'm massively against adverts on hobby sites, with the exception of those that are sponsorship based, for a few reasons.  Firstly ads that are rotational are really hard to police, it only takes one rogue ad to destroy the reputation of a site.  Secondly I frequent the forum on my work PC and the footprint adverts leave on your computer is something I'm keen to avoid.  Lastly, I rarely if ever click on them so it's a means to an end rather than adding anything to the forum.

I'm very up for a subscription system, as one of the more prolific members I'd happily put up to a fiver into a monthly sub (perhaps with an option of paying a year up front).  I know that PayPal has a very robust subscription system in place so this could be a good one to consider.  A bonus forum would be nice along with a few cosmetic things like you've mentioned.  I believe InVision allows writing PHP plugins so it's plausible to mod the forum depending on what's decided.

Patreon could work as a way of gaining memberships but as has been mentioned they're in the process of messing with their pricing - plus they take a commission.  Kickstarter would be a good way of getting a one off support element, but again you loose a chunk and would likely need to re-do it in a year when funds get low.

A regular raffle could be quite fun with some AoS prizes.  Depending upon how successful it is, you could always split the money between TGA and a charity which generally makes people more generous - and encourages non-forum members to participate.

From a technical aspect, have you considered Amazon SES for sending e-mails?  I'm using it for the website I manage for work (roughly 125k mails per month) and it comes out around $15

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Just now, Paul Buckler said:

Maybe you could look at running a 'tga cup' event.  Either all in one location or a global event.  Portion of the entrance fee goes to tga. get 1000 players globally at a £5 thats a year sorted.

That's a good idea, a TGA Cup would be a great promoter for the site, too. It would take a lot of organising, but I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who would willingly help out. 

A big tournament at £10 a ticket would probably raise a fair amount even after costs of venue hire and all that. Someone would have to design an official Grand Alliance logo, though.

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I’m happy to chip in, patreon or somthing similar would be fine. If voluntary contributions could cover the expenses it would be better in my mind as I’m aware some are less able to pay than others. 

Hobby related Ad banners might work. I was just thinking of the hilarity of using ad banners for (narrative) propaganda purposes before an event.  

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I think that some kind of a banner with ads isn't bad until site isn't flooded with ads it's fine. But I would also be willing to pay some kind of subscription if it's in 2-3USD range. 

Anyway congratulations and thanks for all the hard work that have been put into this amazing site. 

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I think an issue with ads is that quite often they bring along malware. The main reason I personally have an add blocker. I think a Patreon could work though.

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First up, thanks to @Ben and the team for all the amazing work they do running the site.  This I'd happily pay a couple of pounds a month for this site. Sustaining all this hobby goodness for less than a pot of paint seems a no brainer to me.

I'd second the suggestion of merch as an income stream or incentive for higher donations. Scenery dice would be good, as would dice, tape measures, dice bags etc with the TGA logo.

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2 hours ago, AlphaKennyThing said:

That's a good idea, a TGA Cup would be a great promoter for the site, too. It would take a lot of organising, but I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who would willingly help out. 

A big tournament at £10 a ticket would probably raise a fair amount even after costs of venue hire and all that. Someone would have to design an official Grand Alliance logo, though.

I think this is the best opition, and you can combine it with advertasing. A sponsor of the event would have his logo or banner in posts about the event. But beside the event the forum would stay ads free. 25-30  tournaments world wide is not something big and each would have to pay only 40-60  each.

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As a few have mentioned Bolter & Chainsword have a donation system on their site, and then once a year there is a drive through thread and post to reach the required level for the next years expect funding.

Personally my hobby focus, time and budget is often spent on one thing for several months and then I take a change and do something different for a few months. So a donation system is my preferred method of supporting a forum as I will donate whatever I can spare when that forum is part of my main focus at the time.

So for example last year I did a lot of 30k and 40k stuff with a break in the middle so I spent a lot of time on B&C and therefore donated, this year so far I have been focusing on AoS so have spent more time here and next to none on B&C, therefore if I had the option I would be happy to donate to support this forum at the moment.

I would support a subscription based system as long as using the main forum and features are still free to use so that when I can contribute I take out the subscription for a period of time but when I have nothing to spare or my interests lie elsewhere then I would let it come to an end and not renew it until I had the interests and means again.

 

As others have said please no adds. I can ignore one or two banner adds easily enough, and do so for forums related to some other hobbies I have from time to time, but it always feels like the begging of a slippery slope aside from the other issues with adds.  

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As others have said, thank you for running the site.


RPG.net has a decent model, with a couple of ads on the front page, nothing too heavy and all relevant and a yearly donation drive for membership. A small subscription would also be totally reasonable.

 

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Thank you for covering the costs so far!  I found the stats to very interesting, thanks for sharing.

I think patreon would be good, maybe a badge for contributing so then everyone will want to be one of the "cool kids" who contribute?

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Thank you for the great community and all your work towards it! I would put my vote in for a small sub,donations, and/or merch in the shop. I understand that merch is extra work though.

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Charge $50 for people to be allowed to start threads with "LET'S CHAT"...

I don't think a few banners would cover the cost, would they?

IMO do Patreon.

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I'd go for the combination of everything.

A few banners wouldn't be intrusive; specially if it's wargaming related stuff like carrying cases, gaming mats and scenery kits...

An optional Members area with some new stuff that upgrades the experience, maybe gets rid of the adds...

Patreon, Donations, and other things like that for anyone that doesn't want the regular subscription or wants to donate more...

A Kickststarter for new scenery dice (for Skirmish and Malign Portents), tokens and grand alliance rulers!

Set up a Grand Alliance store with T-shirts, caps, mugs and gaming accessories (like more scenery dice [wink, wink]). 

Edited by Wraith01

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I'd recommend a few unobtrusive hobby related banner ads from sponsors, plus a subscription fee that could also be paid via a one time donation. Then once a year have a membership drive with some cool, unique incentive (prizes such as tga merch with the grand prize being a get-a-unit-painted for free or something specific to the hobby) to drive people to sign up.

Thanks for all your hard work putting this site together.

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First off, congratz. Isn't great when a project is such a succes! And this is one of the best internet communities out there!

Which brings me to my preferred method. Go with a donation system or patraon. I would even try it the first year without any benefits is possible. Just something like you posted now, a bit shorter, and a donation link. I just think that adverts would hurt the 'feeling' of community on this forum, even though rationally that would of course be wrong. A donation system which leads to premium and free users could work but I think you'd end up with a situation where you pay for something. End then people paying, rightly, expect something extra which means extra effort. 

 

Just saw the raffle suggestion. I think that's a great way to support the site. The goal is clear, it's a fun way to get donations. Great suggestion

Edited by Kramer

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Ben,thank you so much for TGA!,this webiste has been a real boon to getting AoS going in my area (USA PNW).Having started AoS from day one,there was only a very few players in my area that would even touch the game,most mocked it,but as time when on and GW got their facebook presence going then you started up TGA many of the more competative players in my area started taking notice and now we have a sizeable group and we run several events each year with TGA being the prime location for game information and strat talk.
   I would totally be on board with a subscription/premium system or whatever you guys come up with.I know it would be very handy for us TO`s to have a private chat room for planning and discussing event structures,scoring and such.I could handle adds,but really would rather not see much more than a banner here or there.But whatever you come up with Ill still be here along with the many players from my area:)

 

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I'd prefer ads actually. Just one thing you should avoid because I hate it:

Ads between posts.

Ad banners are OK as long as they don't move or play sound or something like that. A fixed banner space on the top and/or the side would be OK for me and I would add TGA to my adblocker exception list.

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A suscription service seems the most clean option for everybody, and better if you can pay the amounth of months you want up-front.

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Member wise, I would prefer a one time or once a year/every 6 months payment.

 

I don't want to be charged monthly, but if it's once a year for $10-20ish or whatever, that's more convenient.

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