Site finance update, 10/16/19 October 16, 2019 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Here's a first quarterly update on where we're at with site revenue and expenses. We've made some progress from where we were this summer; your help in funding the site is a fundamental part of that.

The short version: between a small bump in ad revenue and some reductions to payroll costs, we'll be just about breaking even at the end of this month, which isn't a comfortable position to be in but is a welcome improvement from the significant deficit of the last several months.

Some details:

Most of our revenue has been basically flat the last two months or so. Amazon has stayed steady where it's been for months, PayPal and Stripe contributions have kept on at the elevated level we hit after pushing on fundraising in July.

Ads have been a bit better. We've reworked some ad stuff in the last three months and some of it has helped; we're seeing a skosh more income from Carbon ads, and a small but significant bump in AdSense in particular. I don't know if that bump will be durable or not, but it's meant an extra couple thousand dollars this month.

We'll see payroll costs come down some starting this month as well because of the benefit changes I talked about a couple months ago, as the new benefit year has started now. It's a hit for us as individual employees to take on the bulk of those primary payments and health premiums in particular have jumped a lot this year, but it's doable and has helped get the budget under control.

All in all I'm not satisfied with our financial position; just breaking even is precarious, doing so with limited savings doubly so. But it's a much better spot to be in than running a big negative. Coming up we have some more ad stuff to look at, and more work to do to support existing and new community funding.

We're also going to be continuing to work on site documentation (we just rolled out some new stuff there this week) and working to make sure what we're presenting to the world aligns with what I know MetaFilter as a community is and can be, and as that comes along we'll be putting more focus on bringing new users onboard with an eye toward helping the community itself grow in the long term.

I'll post updates on individual bits of that as they come along.

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A note on the closed comments on this post: I want to keep regular updates like this doable without them eating too much into our limited moderation team resources. The capacity for these threads to get very contentious and require a lot of attention and emotional energy is a barrier that we need to find new approaches to working around, so that we can keep our focus on other work that needs doing. MetaFilter hasn't traditionally had a formal read-only announcement space appropriate for detailed site news; we're considering changing that in the long run, but for the moment, this is the simplest approach available.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 12:06 PM 67 users marked this as a favorite

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