Patreon alone isn't working, can we go for-profit?

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Is it OK to go for-profit so I can work on the site more?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:59 pm

Yes, sounds OK
No, I don't like it
No votes
Total votes: 7

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Patreon alone isn't working, can we go for-profit?

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Patreon has helped a lot in being able to add to the Wiki, but in order to grow & have more impact we need to do a lot more than that.
We tried the community model for the youtube channel, etc. but nobody has enough time to really make this work.

I can't justify continuing spending so much time on this stuff for (ultimately) under $3 an hour when there are no possible returns.

I think we need to transition to an explicitly for-profit model so I can justify putting the time and money into this that's needed. Patreon will continue being very important, but we need to have advertising partners & I need to invest more into this (like on the youtube channel) to help grow, including probably paying some editors to help keep up.
I can't invest more without maybe making some back in the future. I'm an altruist, but I also have to pay rent so my motivation has been not so great at the something like $3 an hour most of my work ultimately turns out to be.

What would for-profit mean?
  • There would be some advertising and promotion here, probably on the wiki, and youtube channel (I don't want to advertise anything bad, so that also takes time/effort for me to curate)
  • I'll be much more motivated to work on the youtube channel, because while small now, it could become profitable.
  • There will probably be a lot more guest articles and link exchanges around the net
  • I may be able to pay another Wiki editor
  • Will probably eventually start a newsletter to keep people more active (if you have the box checked to receive email from admins you'd get it, I think)
  • Would likely do some advertising elsewhere, and other small things
  • I would potentially make more than minimum wage working on this some day
This site probably won't ever be huge, but the alternative is I need to put less time in, and that will probably mean very little forum activity and the Wiki taking a million years to reach any state of completion.

This site has always been more or less democratic, so this is a vote.
Please also comment with your response... the poll is more for convenience, but comments may weigh more than the poll if there's a reason to question the poll results (like an unusual number of votes).

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Post by Lay Vegan » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:22 pm

Go for it.

I value the work that’s put into this community, so if switching to a for-profit model will keep it around longer, and allow us to branch into other platforms, I support it.

It’s unlikely that showing relevant and appropriate ads would harm the forum’s morale. So I don’t see a reason not to monetize it. In the worst case scenario, users may be slightly annoyed and ads would direct little to no traffic.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:59 pm
There would be some advertising and promotion here, probably on the wiki, and youtube channel (I don't want to advertise anything bad, so that also takes time/effort for me to curate)
I’d also avoid running tabloid-like ads in the forum. “Facial creme cures cancer! No wrinkles in 20 seconds!” They’re really annoying, and wouldn’t generate much income.

I assume you’re reaching out directly to companies to feature their ads here?

Just an fyi, YouTubers have no control over the kinds of ads that are featured in their videos. Ads are drown from user data like video description and tags and YT narrows it down to be as similar to your content as possible. But it can result in animal product ads playing over vegan YT channels. I doubt this bothers you, but I wanted to bring that up.

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Post by Dream Sphere » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:31 pm

Having ads is of no issue to me. Do whatever helps you in your work on your PV projects. Seeing your platform grow and get more exposure would be really nice. I can't even think of a downside to having ads that would impact me or most others in a significant way, whereas I'm sure they'll help you more than they inconvenience anyone, so I really think it would be a good idea. I may be ignorant of what having ads/a youtube partner would mean though, but so far I see no problem.

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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:24 pm

I share the above sentiment about ads.

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Post by carnap » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:45 pm

What happens here is really not much of a concern of mine but talking about going "for profit" may give people the wrong idea. Just because you do things to try to raise money doesn't make what you're doing "for profit". Non-profit organizations do a variety of activities to try to raise funds but the organizations don't realize it as profit, the idea is that the money goes into their mission.

Also if you're trying to raise money you're really engaged in business so properly speaking a business should be established. There is a somewhat vague line between what is a hobby and business but when you start to actively raise revenue what you're doing starts to look more like a business (profit or non-profit). Though the IRS, etc is unlikely to come knocking for such a small operation but its something to keep in mind. One benefit to organizing as a proper non-profit business is that donations to your organization become tax deductible.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by Red » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:29 pm

I hate to sacrifice some integrity, but I think that it's best to go for profit, since, as activists, we want to get the message out to as many people as possible, and going for profit is likely the easiest way to do this (unless we get really, really lucky).

I honestly felt bad in the past few months due to not being able to fix my Patreon pledge, and not being able to make much progress on the video, since I really wanted this to be our thing. I still think the community should have strong input however.

However, I think I'll be able to have more time next year, since I decided to take easier classes, meaning I'll have more time to dedicate to my YouTube channel, and the PV channel.

I also worry about people using things like Adblock, which could defeat the purpose.

And speaking of altruism, maybe we can give a piece of the money we make to animal rights charities?

Is it possible to start off for-profit then go not-for-profit?
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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