Congrats, y'all! October 23, 2014 5:07 AM   Subscribe

I just wanted to point out that there are now 3,600 people contributing to keeping this place up & running..... makes me for one feel all warm & schmoopy.
posted by easily confused to MetaFilter-Related at 5:07 AM (53 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah I like having that number at the top and seeing it still gradually ticking up.
Mods: Is the number the count of individual users who have donated, or the number of individual donations?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:14 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is subscribers (2217) + one time donators (1383).
posted by booksherpa at 5:22 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Idly I just stuck the address on the donation page into Google Maps and it unexpectedly came up with a branch of Radio Shack. Am now imagining Cortex and Taz alternating between doing a quick bit of modding and "Hi; you want to buy a fuse? Cash or cheque?", while to one side PB solders a new board into a TomTom and Matt slits open envelopes of cheques in a back storage room filled with metal detectors, iPhones, and that cobwebbed pile of unsold TRS-80 computers, stamped "Produce of Tandy", that has been there for what seems like decades...
posted by Wordshore at 5:54 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yay, what a nice round number. That's got to be a hefty chunk of the active userbase. How big a slice is it?

This was brought up before, but I'd read a monthly/quarterly mefi stats update avidly and would consider this a sweet bonus for donating. T unique visits this quarter, U active members this quarter, Blue/green traffic V% below peak blue/green traffic, W% of revenue from donations vs. X% from Google, Y% of posts/comments deleted, Z #1 votes for the quidnunc kid etc. etc. Basically whatever information mathowie is willing to both share, and compile for sharing.
posted by pseudonick at 6:05 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


All the contributors could stand in a 60x60 formation wearing colored t-shirts to spell out the logo....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Idly I just stuck the address on the donation page into Google Maps and it unexpectedly came up with a branch of Radio Shack.

Radio Shack. You've got questions; we've got batteries we have cameras.
posted by emelenjr at 6:10 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Mind, there's (considerable?) overlap between one time contributors and subscribers.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:34 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am now imagining Cortex and Taz alternating between doing a quick bit of modding and "Hi; you want to buy a fuse? Cash or cheque?", while to one side PB solders a new board into a TomTom and Matt slits open envelopes of cheques in a back storage room filled with metal detectors, iPhones, and that cobwebbed pile of unsold TRS-80 computers, stamped "Produce of Tandy", that has been there for what seems like decades...

This is much better than the dreary “mailbox at the UPS Store” reality.
posted by zamboni at 6:59 AM on October 23, 2014


I picture Mod Central a lot more like the shatterdome.

metatalk is the rift.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:40 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Does that mean I get to be a Kaiju? please say yes
posted by stoneweaver at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Everybody hold hands and sway
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Or just sway by yourself, it's cool whatever makes you comfortable
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Consensual swaying.
posted by boo_radley at 8:11 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Great job, everyone!
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:23 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good time to remind everyone to make sure that their credit cards are up to date. I just changed mine and cheerfully admit that I updated it for the subscription to MeFi before I did for the utilities.

*cheerfully sways in the dark*
posted by arcticseal at 8:29 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am a good-for-nothing cheapskate freeloader!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


I hate getting those monthly emails that inform me that, say, my power bill has been automatically paid. (ConEd, you can eat a tree.) But when I get the email from Paypal that the donation to MetaFilter has been made, I get a super pleasant feeling. I apparently value MeFi more than electricity!
posted by houseofdanie at 9:52 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am disappointed. I wanted to ruin your nice round number by doing a one-time donation and it's still 3600. ...I suggest we test this hypothesis by all adding one-time donations

I swear I'm not a shill
posted by halifix at 10:57 AM on October 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Has MetaFilter received any bitcoin donations? There's a bitcoin ATM in a local veggieburger place and I was wondering if it could possibly have any utility in my life, and the only thing besides buying veggiburgers from that place was sending bitcoins in the mail to MetaFilter.
posted by Kattullus at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2014


Huh, bitcoin ATMs are real things. I had no idea.


halifix: I am disappointed. I wanted to ruin your nice round number by doing a one-time donation and it's still 3600.

Now it's 3,602!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on October 23, 2014


All the contributors could stand in a 60x60 formation wearing colored t-shirts to spell out the logo....

Old Font forever!
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 11:24 AM on October 23, 2014


Does metafilter get a bigger cut if you make a single large donation in preference to monthly smaller ones, or does it not really matter?
posted by pharm at 12:47 PM on October 23, 2014


All the contributors could stand in a 60x60 formation wearing colored t-shirts to spell out the logo....

No we couldn't. The logo is 196x80 and part of the image is transparent.
posted by Talez at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some of us might be transparent.



BOO!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:41 PM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


It is subscribers (2217) + one time donators (1383)

Some of us are multiple one-off donators!
posted by DarlingBri at 1:59 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


We could scale the favicon up to 60x60 and form that! Dibs on the last bit of blue at the top of the right side of the M.
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:07 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is the number of supporters thing not available on the new layout?
posted by sarcasticah at 4:08 PM on October 23, 2014


Huh, bitcoin ATMs are real things. I had no idea.

Heck, I had no idea that Veggieburger places were real things.
posted by octothorpe at 4:20 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is the number of supporters thing not available on the new layout?
Bottom right-hand.
posted by unliteral at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2014




No we couldn't. The logo is 196x80 and part of the image is transparent.

Don't tread on my dreams!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:40 PM on October 23, 2014


Has MetaFilter received any bitcoin donations?

I think they did, yes.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there was at least one, possibly not more than...two? Small number of donations, anyway, but support is support and appreciated. One in particular may actually have been dogecoin via bitcoin (converted ahead of time by the supporter) since accepting and immediately cashing out bitcoin turned out to be pretty trivial and accepting dogecoin was less so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:18 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Please please please can I have a TRS 80, matt? Puh-leeze.

I love that it is now 3602 and the original figure was posted here by "easily confused."
posted by marienbad at 8:37 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I must be doing something wrong: I can't see the number of contributors anywhere on the page. Where are they?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:58 AM on October 24, 2014


They appeared on the top of every page by default, unless you clicked Hide. I tested that it will reappear if you clear cookies, but I haven't found it in preferences.
posted by halifix at 9:30 AM on October 24, 2014


I must be doing something wrong: I can't see the number of contributors anywhere on the page. Where are they?
The new theme shows it in the bottom right hand corner.
posted by pibeandres at 9:33 AM on October 24, 2014


mine says 3608
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:47 AM on October 24, 2014


mine says 1:32 PM
posted by Sys Rq at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


What happens if I sway front to back instead of side to side?

Plus, thanks, donators!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:19 AM on October 24, 2014


If you're not on the new theme (so much wasted space, yech), the numbers are also on the donation page.
posted by exogenous at 12:04 PM on October 24, 2014


So with regular donations still coming in and the Google thing being worked out to a better degree, could we say that MetaFilter is in a healthy place right now? I'm very happy to keep giving monthly to provide security for the long term health of the site, in case things get unexpectedly weird again on the traffic front.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2014


SpacemanStix: That could be a tricky question. If the answer is 'yes', people might stop contributing at the rate they are (monthly, or occasional chunks) which would drop down the revenue, potentially changing the answer.

My understanding regarding google is that the traffic is coming in larger volume (or rather, something closer to what it was before google changed their algorithms which sort of fucked metafilter), but I think they are paying less for the same amount of traffic. So the 'why did traffic inorganically drop' problem has been solved, but the ad-rate is lower. (my understanding, I could be wrong).

Also it's possible that Metafilter feels like it's understaffed. I would imagine the cost-cutting measures were helpful to it (financially), but then everyone is working harder (I assume). So ideally, they'd up the staff a bit, and they may not be in a position to do that (even if they can pay their current staff).

Finally, it's always a bit weird to ask private businesses about their finances. I don't know of any for-profits that are completely transparent in their financial situation. The only reason we found out about Metafilters problems is that it was going to be evident when they reduced staff that something happened (and I'm sure they didn't want to give the impression to anyone that it was due to the quality of the work being done).

So, to answer your question, keep giving.*


*I'm pretty much a hypocrite in such matters. I only got the 'I help fund' tag yesterday when I realized that I should have ponied up when the first call came that Metafilter needed some help. This thread reminded me.
posted by el io at 7:54 PM on October 24, 2014


That could be a tricky question.

Yes, if that's the case, please don't feel any pressure. Not wanting to put anyone on the spot, just sort of felt like we were in this together, so it's hard not to want to hope that things are well.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:24 PM on October 24, 2014


Huh, everyone seems to have a fancy '★ I help fund MetaFilter!' doodad on their profile, but I don't.

I've definitely been sending $5 a month to MetaFilter since the 20th of May - is there's a glitch in the system?
posted by jack_mo at 12:29 AM on October 25, 2014


@jack_mo, you can have the funding message show by going to the preferences page and turning it on: http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/customize.cfm

It's the last item under Contact / Privacy Preferences. This works on the honor system, so it's perfectly fine to turn it on since you're donating. (A number of us somehow didn't get it turned on when we did our donations.)
posted by jeri at 1:02 AM on October 25, 2014


Thanks for the help, jeri!

Curiouser and curiouser: I checked my prefs and that box was already ticked; tried turning it off and on again, still no funding message.

It's not worth pestering the mods about this at the weekend, so everyone please add 1 to the grand total in your heads ;-)

In other news, I thought the 'About' section of profile pages was only shown to logged-in users. Oops.
posted by jack_mo at 2:30 AM on October 25, 2014


Huh, everyone seems to have a fancy '★ I help fund MetaFilter!' doodad on their profile, but I don't.

There's a way to make sure you turn it on. It's a link you click. I thought it was in the original thread, but I can't find it.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2014


Saturday morning tea-and-metatalk catchup!

Does metafilter get a bigger cut if you make a single large donation in preference to monthly smaller ones, or does it not really matter?

Probably we'd get slightly more share of a single large donation vs. the same amount split across twelve months just because there's usually a small flat fee associated with every transaction, like twenty to thirty cents, in addition to the percentage cut of the total. So if you want to maximize the value on a relatively small amount then doing it as a periodic lump instead of recurring isn't unreasonable, tactically. Unfortunately I think Paypal may still not have a good built-in yearly subscription option on the kind of payment widget we're using, so if you want to go the lump-sum route you've gotta manage it yourself with calendar reminders and such; I know some folks have chosen to do the monthly thing just because they wanted to stabilize their donations and make it more of a fire-and-forget thing even if there's a little bit of inefficiency that comes with that as a tradeoff.

But on our end, we're just plain grateful for whatever support people are inclined to provide in whatever schema works best for them.

I've definitely been sending $5 a month to MetaFilter since the 20th of May - is there's a glitch in the system?

Because of the improvised nature of the early donating process, we had pretty spotty correlations between early donations and the profile star, unfortunately. Error on our end, not anybody else's. I sent you a mefimail with the "click this to fix it" link. Anybody else in the same boat, feel free to just drop us a line at the contact form, we'll fix you up; it's unfortunately something we don't have a good way to check automatically for, or we'd have done so already.

So with regular donations still coming in and the Google thing being worked out to a better degree, could we say that MetaFilter is in a healthy place right now?

Matt's got the firmest data here, and any of the super specific details I think are basically his call to get into or not, but I totally get asking and I think a general thumbnail is a reasonable thing to wonder about.

But, so, yes: we are, all else aside, in much better shape than we were six months ago and not teetering on the edge of anything like we had been, which is a relief. We're not in the kind of "well, maybe we can wait one more month to see if we can avoid layoffs and/or bankruptcy" loop we had been in for the prior long while. Google revenue's been up and down but I think up a little bit on average compared to our nadir, we're getting LM and gnfti hours on the regular, and money is going into the bank every month to hedge against any nasty downturns. From what I've heard from Matt so far, the rollout of the Modern theme as the default to non-logged-in users is an adventure in A/B revenue testing that we haven't really been at long enough to know how that shakes out in practice.

Basically, we're still trying to figure out what new stable is and what that means for the site's budget, but news in general is goodish, and that's thanks massively to the donations coming in from folks. It's a great big bubble of air in the underwater cave system that is our internet revenue. It feels dangerous to make any specific assumptions about when and whether we'll see actual sunlight, but its nice to be able to breathe.

My understanding regarding google is that the traffic is coming in larger volume (or rather, something closer to what it was before google changed their algorithms which sort of fucked metafilter), but I think they are paying less for the same amount of traffic.

Basically this. Traffic's recovered a bunch at the local level but at the global level revenue from Adsense has been on the slide for everybody. It's like we got a raise at a job that pays in a declining foreign currency, maybe. I was just in Canada, I've got exchange rates on the brain.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 AM on October 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


That is excellent news. Thanks for the update!
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:07 PM on October 25, 2014


there's usually a small flat fee associated with every transaction, like twenty to thirty cents, in addition to the percentage cut of the total.

Assuming basic Paypal fees, $0.30 + 2.9%.
posted by zamboni at 7:18 AM on October 26, 2014


I sent you a mefimail with the "click this to fix it" link.

Thanks again for that, cortex. (Also thanks for using the words 'get yer' in your MeMail - I've been on a Stones/BB King/Ike & Tina bender all weekend!)
posted by jack_mo at 3:24 AM on October 27, 2014


Yeah, thanks cortex & pb, I finally got my star sorted out after almost six months on the To Do list.
posted by rory at 5:21 AM on October 27, 2014


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