a way to replace the SG revenue February 2, 2005 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Matt's clearly not being compensated adequately for the time and $$ he spends on this place, and the avenues open to him are apparently distasteful to many of us. As fun as it is to complain about SG, it might be even more fun coming up with a way to replace the SG revenue ourselves. -->
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to MetaFilter-Related at 12:22 PM (116 comments total)

What about some kind of annual fundraiser for Metafilter -- I'm thinking a giant online swap sale. I know I have tons of crap around my house that I would love to get rid of, and others have stuff (and services) they could donate as well. If we put sellers together with buyers once a year, maybe over a whirlwind two week period, with all proceeds to #1, we might be able to shake loose a couple thousand dollars to help defray Matt's time and expenses and come out of it with a fun annual tradition as well.

Anyone interested in helping put this together?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I suggested (via email) an Amazon.com Associates account for Mefi. So that every time some Mefite makes an order at amazon.com, we can do it through the Mefi Associate account which will allow Matt to take a percentage of it. I thought that cut closer to the target audience and habits of Metafilter than an SG ad would. I don't know if it's something he's already considered and dismissed (or if it's something we already have that I don't know about), but I made the suggestion nonetheless.

I don't really have anything to sell or buy, but I could offer my web designing services to help out with fundraiser site.
posted by erisfree at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2005


At the bottom of the About Metafilter page, there is this:

"The site and server can always use upgrades of hardware, software, and bandwidth. If you'd like to chip in, there is an Amazon Honor System page where any donation over $1 is accepted and you can also donate via this PayPal link, if that's easier."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:35 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm thinking a giant online swap sale:

While I too have lots of swapable stuff, the logistics seem unwieldly. [but we do have the boxes :P]
posted by DBAPaul at 12:40 PM on February 2, 2005


I love the Amazon associates idea.
posted by agregoli at 12:42 PM on February 2, 2005


Count me in for the Amazon Associates idea, too. I buy enough from them every year, helping Matt while I do it is a great idea.
posted by tommasz at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2005


What ever happened to the MeFi Pro membership plan?

I'm sure plenty of us would be willing to spend $5 a month on this place (as long as the deletions were toned down).
posted by bshort at 12:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Did Matt say he would take down the ad if he were compensated for the revenue it brings in?
posted by iconomy at 12:46 PM on February 2, 2005


I find it hard to believe this site really needs the money. If costs are already covered, then it's profit, and if it's profit, then it's a business, and if it's a business, why are the customers purposely paying extra money so a business can stay afloat?

Maybe you folks should use these ideas for revenue for yourselves.
posted by angry modem at 12:47 PM on February 2, 2005


How about asking Carl Steadman for his two cents?
posted by mischief at 12:48 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm with angrymodem on this one. Pretty much word for word.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:52 PM on February 2, 2005


(Now if it's intended to run not to make a profit, that may be a bit different)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:55 PM on February 2, 2005


If costs are already covered

you've been paying Matt 500 bucks a month to cover for bandwidth costs? thanks angry modem!
posted by matteo at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2005


This smug talk of "profit" rather thoughtlessly ignores the value of all the time Matt spends working on this place. I highly doubt, if anything's left at the end of the month, that he's getting minimum wage for his efforts, much less market rate. If people want to volunteer cash to rectify that deficit and encourage Matt to do more work on the place, great.

Me, I'm fine with the ad.
posted by scarabic at 1:00 PM on February 2, 2005


Well, non-profit organizations still pay their workers and admins, Scarabic
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2005


I'd gladly pony up some cash to forgo the SG ads. Hell, I'll drop a dime on Matt regardless if the SG stays or goes, although I wouldn't shed a tear if it went away. I missed that donation link in all the time I've been a member, actually. Thanks for pointing it out, crash...

Perhaps Matt could make that donation notice a bit more prominent on the FP, maybe with a nice graphical ad-sized image, say?

I also like the Amazon associate idea. I don't buy a TON of stuff through Amazon, but I buy regularly enough and I wouldn't mind doing it in MeFi's name.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm fine with the SG ad. As far as pron goes, it's pretty close to best of the web (ahem!--or at least that's what I have been told). I would find an Amazon scheme more offensive. Do what you gotta do, Matt. You have worked hard to provide us all with this cozy little corner of the web. If you eventually profit from it, then good for you!
posted by mds35 at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm curious as to why an Amazon scheme would be more offensive - big business?
posted by agregoli at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2005


allposters.com also has a decent affiliate program, IIRC. I know I'll be making some purchases there relatively soon, and I'd imagine others would too. I buy from amazon a LOT and would love to see the amazon associates thing here.
posted by u.n. owen at 1:27 PM on February 2, 2005


I've tried several things out. I've had an amazon associates ID for years now and there are only so many ways it can be used here and I found it kind of obnoxious to attach the "metafilter-20" ad code to the end of any amazon URL that shows up here.

I would like to run the site like a business and make money for my time like a business and it's up to me to think of ways to do that. So far I've done ads and the five buck donation for a signup, but I would love to code up 4-5 killer pro features and let folks pay 3-4 bucks a month extra to get those features, but I haven't really come up with a compelling set of options to make that seem worthwhile. I have to balance it between giving pro folks tons of extra stuff while not turning the site into a walled garden of "them" and "us" in separate places.

I've thought about a lot of features, new sections, and ways to bring in money and in terms of work to dollars, advertising is definitely the easiest, letting you get money for displaying an ad that requires almost no work to implement. It's low hanging fruit.

I don't think anyone should feel compelled to donate or feel compelled to help me make money. I've put a lot of thought into how to balance community vitality and ways to pay for my time for years now and it's an ongoing process.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:39 PM on February 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


have you spoken to other people who run sites to see how they do their ads? have they signed up for a program that feeds them? or do they wait like you?

i'd contact apple, google, moleskine, and publishers if i were you. many of us here know how to do press kits too, if you want help.
posted by amberglow at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2005


I've had an amazon associates ID for years now and there are only so many ways it can be used here and I found it kind of obnoxious to attach the "metafilter-20" ad code to the end of any amazon URL that shows up here.

Actually, I think that would be a pretty cool idea. Some people might gripe about editing their links, but I think it's a great -- almost invisible -- way to support the site.
posted by subgenius at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2005


Matt needs to publish some MeFi accounts. Equipment costs, software costs connection/hosting costs, his time (whether he wants to bill it at a preferrential rate or his normal code monkey rate) and any other extras (hell, even his time for producing the accounts) on one side with income (ads (tedious nerd-pr0n or otherwise), donations, signups etc.) on t'other.

If there is a shortfall then we get on with a fundraising drive. (IRC some $500 technowidget being purchased very swiftly last year.)

I've shelled $50 to MeFi quite happily & will give more but I'd like to know how much is involved in running this place. Time, money & equipment all gets spoken of but how much exactly?
posted by i_cola at 1:50 PM on February 2, 2005


I honestly can't get over how puritanical some of the people here are. The adds themselves are less racy than the girls in bathing suits you see when you open hotmail or any other number of "legitimate" sites. I second the suggestion in the overly long thread that Matt start up the subscription service and include an option to block all ads.
posted by The God Complex at 1:53 PM on February 2, 2005


What i_cola said. To the letter.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:53 PM on February 2, 2005


Equipment costs, software costs connection/hosting costs, his time (whether he wants to bill it at a preferrential rate or his normal code monkey rate) and any other extras (hell, even his time for producing the accounts) on one side with income (ads (tedious nerd-pr0n or otherwise), donations, signups etc.) on t'other.

I'd do that if I wanted to be a totally transparent, non-profit corp with the tax/legal standing of such things. But I'm not, and as transparent as I can be, I will, but I'd rather not open my financial books for the world to see and argue over.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:55 PM on February 2, 2005


Ads, rather.
posted by The God Complex at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2005


How about a 2,000/plate banquet?




No?
posted by odinsdream at 2:04 PM on February 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


Users here are neither shareholders in a publicly owned corporation nor major donors to a charitable organization. When you go to your dry cleaner to get your slacks cleaned, do you demand to see their accounts so that they don't make too much profit from your dry cleaning? The analogy is not perfect, but revealing excess information can only lead to trouble. People who come to the site every day or nearly every day should consider how much they pay for cable channels that they visit much less frequently. If you think you're not getting your money's worth, then spend it elsewhere.
posted by anapestic at 2:06 PM on February 2, 2005


Would it be obnoxious to require paid membership? Perhaps it would add an accounting burden to Matt's already onerous oversight duties (does anyone else think of Matt when seeing Rob Wilco deal with the obstreperous Bucky?)
If it were rated at $1.00 per month to be paid annually i.e. $12.00 per year due on anniversary date of the member, would that pay the server bills and the grocer?
Jessamyn volunteers to share oversight; maybe a volunteer would take on the accounting.
I realize that there is strong sentiment to keep the internet "free", but obviously Meta is not free for Matt.
Add in the Amazon deal and maybe one from e.g. Hallmark and see if questionable sites can become unnecessary.
posted by Cranberry at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2005


...code up 4-5 killer pro features and let folks pay 3-4 bucks a month extra to get those features

1. post notification a la email
2. The ability to change your user name
3. yourname@mefi.com (with some handsome email
4. features-possibly a spam filter to your own pop)
5. the ability to edit your own post (in case of a boo-boo)
6. private messaging among montly subscribers
7. access to the secret mattcave, mattmobile and mattphone
posted by Hands of Manos at 2:12 PM on February 2, 2005


This smug talk of "profit" rather thoughtlessly ignores the value of all the time Matt spends working on this place. I highly doubt, if anything's left at the end of the month, that he's getting minimum wage for his efforts, much less market rate.

Matt has surely given everything of himself to metafilter, but this talk of him like he's a martyr is getting old.

This isn't just about money. I'm sure matt is getting a variety of benefits from running metafilter. Surely it's opened some doors. Good for recognition. I'm sure it looks great on his resume. He's got a trip given to him by members. Many people have given money in several different ways.

I'm not saying matt doesn't deserve more, and if matt comes out and says he needs the money NOW I'd be among the first to give it to him. But if the only benefit matt received was a sum of money at the end of the month I'm betting he would have closed down long ago.
posted by justgary at 2:13 PM on February 2, 2005


#5 would come in handy for me.

A few corrections
monthly not montly
(delete #4, it's part of #3)
posted by Hands of Manos at 2:14 PM on February 2, 2005


i_cola percolated some additional thoughts ...

One idea would be to make MeFi a cooperative. The members all share in the cost (and in the off chance it made money, the profits). Maybe there is some tiering mechanism to make it fair for students and others that aren't making a living.

I'm just trying to think of ways that will meet Matt's goal of reduce the financial burden, but will also increase the sense of community.

On preview

anapestic ... its Matt's site he can do with it as he will. If he wants to get ads to defray his costs, and understands that action will have an affect on the community its his call. If he would like to have the community more involved in the site, specifically the financial side, then that too is an option. If he goes for a community funding, he'd probably get better response the more open he is.
posted by forforf at 2:17 PM on February 2, 2005


I would love to code up 4-5 killer pro features and let folks pay 3-4 bucks a month extra to get those features, but I haven't really come up with a compelling set of options to make that seem worthwhile.

1. Extra fields/features in user profiles (more IM, user photos, flickr badges, recent posts in our blogs)
2. @metafilter.com forwarding addresses.
3. Your posts and comments as RSS feeds.
4. Thread RSS feeds -- track conversations by RSS.
5. Hosted chat/Jabber server.
posted by mcwetboy at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2005


What subgenius said. Editing affiliate statements into Amazon links seems like a remarkably good idea to me. It's low impact, practically invisible, and has long term profitability for a small amount of short term work. I suppose the drawback would be a greater inclination amongst members to post links to Amazon as references to their posts.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2005


At least give us an Amazon associates link on the links page, so that we could use it if we wanted to. I would, if I knew what it was. Who does that hurt?
posted by graventy at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I think Matt just doesn't want to have to work anymore. Which is fine, and his prerogative. If it were just an issue with the site costing too much, I bet he could find a dozen members willing to take on the daunting task of managing metafilter.

But it's not. it's that he'd like to own it, and get all the recognition for having a non-commercial community site -- and still get the profits of a community site. If he can pull it off, bully for him, but I think a lot of people were turned off today.
posted by u.n. owen at 2:25 PM on February 2, 2005


5. Hosted chat/Jabber server.

*cough*
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:29 PM on February 2, 2005


If you want to actually make a living off of this Matt I think you are going to have to either give in to banner ads, skyscraper ads on the sides and the like, or require payment for future membership. I think you should go with the ads because we will probably lose some valuable members if paid subscriptions are required. Also, if you require subscriptions people will feel more comfortable bitching about the place.
posted by caddis at 2:30 PM on February 2, 2005


I wonder if the people advocating Amazon associate links actually participate in the program. It's not that lucrative: for me, it generates a little bit of money, which, don't get me wrong, is nice, but it's only a fraction of what I get from AdSense. And if Matt's saying his AdSense revenue isn't terribly great . . . well, let's just say that you shouldn't go looking at Amazon as a panacea.

(IRC != Jabber, Steve@. Not my intent to detract from #mefi.)
posted by mcwetboy at 2:34 PM on February 2, 2005


What caddis said, basically. To really make a living, you'll need some 'real' ads, and although I would prefer them not to be there, I'll likely forget they were even there once I adblock them. What caddis said about the paid memberships incurring a sense of entitlement is right on also, and is probably not worth the headache of all the whining that would ensue.
posted by rooftop secrets at 2:52 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't think that paid membership would require you to lose valuable members. There's a couple ways I can think of that would get around that. One is to grandfather early MeFites, another would be for a full paying member to sponsor someone. Or they're can be a pool of accounts that are given out in some fashion, either by member recommendations, random drawings. I'm sure there are other creative solutions that would work, too.

It just a question of engineering a solution that meets the design goals (oops ... work started to slip in there ...)
posted by forforf at 2:53 PM on February 2, 2005


Oh, I don't imagine it's a panacea, mcwetboy. But it's a pretty tiny thing to code and there are already links to amazon all over the site. It's practically free money, whatever little of it there is.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2005


get all the recognition for having a non-commercial community site -- and still get the profits of a community site.

I don't understand this point. I would like to do more work here, but I have a dayjob, and if I could figure out ways to make a bit more revenue, I could work on this full time, and work is what I would do. My dream isn't to live off the fat of this land, to sip drinks by the pool while I make money in my sleep, it's to spend 8 hours a day seriously devoting time to coding, recoding, and managing the place. Right now it's like an afterhours diversion that I've let linger for a long time and I wish I could do more.

I'm not every going to require paid memberships, but I would like to give folks processor-intensive extra features for those that want to chip in a few bucks. I have no idea how many people would go for mcwetboy's feature list. 50? 100? 500, tops?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:03 PM on February 2, 2005


anapestic opinies "...revealing excess information can only lead to trouble."

anapestic, how long have you worked for the Bush Administration?
posted by orthogonality at 3:11 PM on February 2, 2005


Remember Stan Chin's gold star? I'd pay for one of those.

An "Executive Lounge" would be kind of cool, too.
posted by timeistight at 3:14 PM on February 2, 2005


I like Hands of Manos' list better than mcwetboy's, FWIW.
posted by rooftop secrets at 3:15 PM on February 2, 2005


I hearby renumber mcwetboy's list as 8 through 12.

13. "Censor-free" option to automatically see all deleted posts and comments
14. FollowupFilter, where people can post updates to events discussed on Mefi and good karma from AskMe questions
15. Increased posting/viewing/organizing capability for AskMe.
16. Enhanced quoting and cross-reference capability so users can know when one of their comments is being quoted and/or responded to
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:17 PM on February 2, 2005


hereby. i'm stupid today.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:17 PM on February 2, 2005


17. Free-form metatalk sideblog where users could discuss matters that don't warrant separate Metatalk threads
18. Community moderation including voting to delete
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:20 PM on February 2, 2005


Now you're talking...
posted by rooftop secrets at 3:23 PM on February 2, 2005


Are we talking about specific pay-only features or general feature requests, Sauce? Because these things would strike me as stuff that everyone should have access to, rather than, to follow Matt's mandate, processor-intensive extras. Would you like 13 to 18 limited to just 200 people?
posted by mcwetboy at 3:29 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm not every going to require paid memberships,
I beg to differ #1! You are requiring paid memberships right now! But you are requiring pay only from some, not all. Since it is a proven resource, why not extend it to the oldies as well as the newbies? Where is the justification of early members riding for free, while newer members are in effect paying for them?
posted by Cranberry at 3:30 PM on February 2, 2005


Nobody's paying for anyone else's ride, Cranberry. That $5 was a one-time donation, not a membership fee.

I've been thinking about other advertisers that might fite the tone of thesite better. I came up with literally a dozen off the top of my head. (I won't list them here, but they're all above-board.) If three or four of them were willing to get into an ad rotation then these other poloponies could come along on their own time instead of being forced into the starting gate.

Just brainstorming there.
posted by chicobangs at 3:47 PM on February 2, 2005


And, apparently, not using the space bar as often as I might.
posted by chicobangs at 3:49 PM on February 2, 2005


mcwetboy - I got excited and started a general wishlist. True, many of these changes would have to be extended to everyone if they are going to make any sense. However, these would still be a good idea: since the goal of subscriptions is to encourage people to buy and renew them, more ponies for nonmembers would spur greater interest in the site and encourage new subscriptions. This would be a good use of the profits from members-only reforms.

I like the idea of personal e-mail accounts, but I would hope that most of the MefiPro changes are reforms designed to enhance the community, rather than add-on ponies.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:51 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't understand this point. I would like to do more work here, but I have a dayjob, and if I could figure out ways to make a bit more revenue, I could work on this full time, and work is what I would do.

I don't think anyone is saying that what you would like to do is wrong or undesirable in any way, or that if you do it you wouldn't be entitled to seek compensation and revenue sources. Rather, I think some people are responding negatively to the "Matt is cool so send him money" chorus that doesn't reflect the fact that for a long time now your work on the site has been minimal and mostly limited to brainstorming a wishlist. Those of us who have been here long enough know very well what you could make of the site if you devoted your time and attention to it, but I think it's silly for people to conflate hosting and minimal administration with active and ongoing development. (Again, I don't think you do, but we hear it from others all too often.)
posted by rushmc at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2005


Nobody's paying for anyone else's ride, Cranberry. That $5 was a one-time donation, not a membership fee.Chicobangs
My understanding was that an inflow of cash was necessary to support added server costs. So whose ride is the "donation" paying for? AFAIK, one cannot join w/o paying.
posted by Cranberry at 4:02 PM on February 2, 2005


I dislike advertisements - a lot. I can live with text ads. So I'd be happy to pay ($50?) for a day of MetaFilter without any graphic ads.

And for those who want a bit of fame, perhaps the ad space could be filled by something like "Today's graphics-free front page has been brought to you by membername1, membername2, and membername3" ? *

Matt could set a price and see how many people are willing to pony up. If it turns out that he gets only five days of anti-advertising donations, so be it. On the other hand, if members (and others, for that matter) buy out six months of inventory (ad space, so to speak), then Matt can repeat the process when the buy-out is about to expire.

I really have doubts that premium membership is the answer (although it does seem logical to charge for any resource-hogging special features), because many members are going to resent others having what they don't simply because of income differences.


* For donations of less than (say) 1/4 day, "and N others" rather than a usernames.
posted by WestCoaster at 4:15 PM on February 2, 2005


"and viewers like you" works for PBS : >
posted by amberglow at 5:25 PM on February 2, 2005


There seem to be a lot of really good ideas here for pay-features. Of course, I doubt it could be done without an 'us and them' feeling developing, but that's the risk you take. It may be worth it for new features and/or more income.

While I myself would never subscribe to MeFi (or any other site), plenty of people seem open to it. So, the question becomes how many people are we talking about? At USD$4/month, would it be enough to keep Matt (& growing family) in food & shelter?
posted by cosmonik at 5:36 PM on February 2, 2005


I paid $5 for an account. I enjoy being here and would glady commit more, probably much more. If you create something interesting I don't have a problem turning money into it.
posted by sled at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2005


19. One Self-Link FPP a year (anytime you want to post it, but only once during a 365 period).
posted by Hands of Manos at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2005


The admins at TWOP seem to be making enough spare change to hire employees. Maybe Matt could pick their brains? (umm, brains!)

One thing they did was to have banner ads (like Westcoaster's idea). I think there were different ads for different sections of the site. Of course, a couple of groups used the ads to conduct a fight over the death of TV character. I found that incident entertaining and I heard it brought in lots of money.
posted by Jim Jones at 5:47 PM on February 2, 2005


A pay portion of the site where members pose nude to raise money for the running costs ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:59 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't have a problem with ads...and IMHO, they will bring in significantly more revenue than a premium membership category, or a pledge drive.
posted by lobstah at 6:16 PM on February 2, 2005


I like the idea of a pledge drive, but make it a celebrity pledge drive. Oh, how about print or television advertising? Not network TV, of course, but maybe basic cable or community television. You can run ads on community tv, can't you?
posted by Jim Jones at 6:22 PM on February 2, 2005


2. The ability to change your user name

I would object to this idea if it were applied retroactively to previously published posts and comments. The user name that a post or comment was posted by shouldn't ever change. (I wouldn't object to changing usernames if it only affected posts and comments made after the name change.)

5. the ability to edit your own post (in case of a boo-boo)

I think this would be OK within a limited time after posting (maybe something like 15 minutes), but not after that.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:34 PM on February 2, 2005


If you really have a problem with the current ads, you have the power to do something about it.

Set up a 'donate to ad-free metafilter' site.
Collect cash.
Buy ads on metafilter.
(You can make them as subtle and unobtusive as you like)
Repeat.

I am, of course, talking about the generic you.
posted by yetanother at 6:34 PM on February 2, 2005


19a. All yearly self FPP must be approved by Matt first and when they are posted there is a special disclaimer. (just a thought)
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:40 PM on February 2, 2005


I would like to add that all of these "pro" features sound mildly interesting but certainly I would not be motivated to pay for them. I might pay anyway just because I would like to see Matt get the money. We have been sponging off of him for too long.
posted by caddis at 7:05 PM on February 2, 2005


I think mcwetboy's cooking with gas. I'd gladly pay a reasonable membership fee ($5/mo or $50/year pre-pay?) for features such as those mcwetboy has suggested. There are many opportunities for improvements/enhancements, etc. when there are minds dedicated to the task of creating them. There are great minds in this collective, as well, to help dream of more "ponies" that will benefit both casual and "power" users. In my opinion having someone maintain, modify, moderate, etc. full time (or as much as can be expected of a new father) can be a positive thing. This community has grown significantly since its inception, and perhaps a new "business model" is in order? Sometimes constitutions need to be amended as circumstances change.
posted by terrapin at 7:06 PM on February 2, 2005


anapestic, how long have you worked for the Bush Administration?

Since you stopped beating your wife.

Honestly, if you can't see that the government has a much greater obligation of transparency than the operator of a private site has, you can't see much.
posted by anapestic at 7:16 PM on February 2, 2005


Two words: Suicide Quonsar

(fire up that Photoshop, kids.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:26 PM on February 2, 2005


Two words: Suicide Quonsar

I think there's been quite enough quonsar-related suicide, thanks very much. Just visit his user page for inspiration.
posted by cosmonik at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2005


I'd just like to add that new features would be great, but I'd hope most of them kept to the simplicity of the existing site. For example, allowing people to edit posts seems like a disaster waiting to happen, as does allowing people to change their handles (i'm not sure I even understand the point of this).

I would gladly pay more for the privilege of being a part of this community.
posted by odinsdream at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2005


I totally lurk nowadays, but will delurk to say that I'd happily pay for a pro membership too. Here's to the hope that I'm part of a silent majority plurality group.
posted by gsteff at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2005


Well I guess my swap meet idea is dead, but at least people are talking about how Matt can raise some money, and not just how the pale tattooed SG flesh is burning their eyes, so, Mission Accomplished. Except for the part about me getting rid of my 20 year old A/V receiver.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:40 PM on February 2, 2005


I read MetaFilter far more often than Wall Street Journal Online. That puts the value of a MeFi subscription at at least $39 a year.

I'd pay that and more. You don't even have to add anything to it.
posted by me3dia at 10:20 PM on February 2, 2005


That puts the value of a MeFi subscription at at least $39 a year.

Only if one accepts that the value of the Wall Street Journal Online is $39/year. Which I don't.
posted by rushmc at 10:57 PM on February 2, 2005


My dream isn't to live off the fat of this land, to sip drinks by the pool while I make money in my sleep, it's to spend 8 hours a day seriously devoting time to coding, recoding, and managing the place.

Why not? There's nothing wrong with making arrangements for passive income. Of course you want to keep improving and managing mefi, but isn't 8 hrs a day of coding sort of prudish? Anyway, the 40 hour work-week is an abomination, foisted on us by the moneyed aristocracy.

I don't think people should be so cynical and watchful to make sure a guy doesn't make any profit. Although I admire Karl Marx, and I rail against "corporapists", I'm not at all concerned with Mathowie's standard of living.

Who cares, so long as it's fun to chill and share ideas at metafilter? As long as a guy doesn't get high-brahmin like some internet-personalities who don't have time for the people who fill their coffers, why bother to judge?

I'm more cynical about big-shot political bloggers who start watering down their political message once they get big enough to get on TV.

The main goal is to succeed without compromising your principles. Michael Moore is the ultimate example of that, I believe. He's very wealthy and I don't begrudge him any of it, because I trust him with the power that his incredible wealth affords him. I hope he makes billions more.
posted by VP_Admin at 11:43 PM on February 2, 2005


I'll take a prudish danish, please.
posted by taz at 12:01 AM on February 3, 2005


For what it's worth mathowie: I'm totally down for a no extra benefits, monthly "send you money automatically from my bank account" sort of gizmo.

However, it would be awfully nice if you didn't charge all 243 of my MeFi sockpuppet accounts...
posted by theatrical matriarch at 1:31 AM on February 3, 2005


This is the part where I pipe up and ask that one of the features matt the dedicated full-time coder works on is removing the plaintext password in every page. Please. I know this has been asked for before. Probably multiple times.

Just "view source" to see what I'm talking about.

input type="hidden" name="user_pass" value="your_mefi_password_here"

I don't get how this is still necessary, what with cookies and all. But maybe I'm just stupid?
posted by beth at 2:10 AM on February 3, 2005


The sg image ads are gone. Thank you Matt
posted by Tarrama at 2:39 AM on February 3, 2005


Yes, thank you Matt.
posted by jokeefe at 2:43 AM on February 3, 2005


metafilter jobs/projects

a good place to find coders, webmonkeys, writers, freelance types, charge for posts.

It might be useful to speak to someone who sells ad space for a living and try and come up with a rate card.

p.s. I think you did the right thing taking the SG off, it just didn't seem to fit with the profile of the place.
posted by johnny novak at 3:00 AM on February 3, 2005


Metafilter jobs/projects is sure winner, and I think some sort of chat-oriented space would be, as well.

Maybe a MeFi singles match-up (we must do something about this Pretty_Generic problem!)? Messaging? Skins options? Maybe a ratings system for the purposes of creating a best-of archive?

And animated smilies and avatars!

okay, just kidding on that last bit.
posted by taz at 4:30 AM on February 3, 2005


we must do something about this Pretty_Generic problem!

Well, you can't blame him for not using the resources at his disposal, at least.
posted by DaShiv at 4:43 AM on February 3, 2005


Oh! Oh! Oh! I've got an idea! Take cash bribes on the side in exchange for ban-hammer offenses! If it is truly egregious, you can slide 'em a new username (so none of the regulars get all suspicious).

quonsar would keep you rolling in the dough alone. Next time he feels like mucking up the tags, and you're thinking "damn, this will be a bitch to fix", you next think "well, at least I'll make a grand exhorting that bastard".

And if money gets tight with the new one and all, I'll act up!
posted by theatrical matriarch at 4:55 AM on February 3, 2005


Add me to the I'd-pay-50bucks-a-year line. New features or not. And Thanks, Matt for nixing the SG ads.

I applaud you in your passion for the community and its evolution. At the risk of propelling another 600+ comment thread, Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny, so maybe the site is growing up.
posted by yoga at 5:23 AM on February 3, 2005


I'd pay too.

When I first started loitering around here, I was amazed to find Matt was out of work. (At least, that's my recollection.) Apart from google and maybe the dancing hamsters, this is the coolest website I know and I couldn't believe the guy who built it was having any trouble at all. By all rights, he should be able to live handsomely by devoting himself to the place. How many people live off far lesser sites? Or maybe that's why they are lesser sites, because they are ad-choked?
Anyway, I also buy tons of stuff from amazon. Rather than insert the code to the links here, I would prefer the option of a link so that all my purchases help Mefi.


And those people throwing Iceland in his face? Who the hell brought you up?
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:05 AM on February 3, 2005


Change the "I'd pay" to "I paid," people. Amazon and Paypal are two ways to put your money where your mouth is.

I sent $10. I'd send more if asked. What's that, two coffee sensations at *bucks? Please.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm with sacre_bleu. Ten bones.
posted by subgenius at 7:16 AM on February 3, 2005


I'd pay as well as keep paying for Text Ad space too.
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:36 AM on February 3, 2005


$10. Next in line?
posted by 4easypayments at 7:39 AM on February 3, 2005


As much as I'd like to see Matt make a few bucks off this thing, I've got to admit that if, when I stumbled upon this place way back when, there had been a little sign saying "admission fee $5," I probably wouldn't have bothered getting involved, and I suspect that's true of a lot of the older members.

Now matt's coding and administration has been an exemplary model of efficiency and even-handedness. But it's all of us who make this site what it is. We're a unique community because we attracted a unique membership, and being free (as in beer, not speech) helped that along.

Like I said, I hope Matt makes a ton of money of this site so he can stay home with his kid and code his brains out. I'm just worried about what going to a pay/subscription based model is gonna change about us.
posted by jonmc at 7:47 AM on February 3, 2005


I totally agree with the thought here, but I think the intention is more along the lines of a regular, inconspicuous "business-like" flow of money. I'm sure mathowie will be quite happy with his paypal account today, but I'm sort of thinking he doesn't totally like the idea of the occasional fund-raising drives (whether intentionally spurred or not).

And speaking of my own limited finances, a regular income is preferred to the spurious burst -- even if the bursts sum to more the regular. Anyway, this is all fine and good, but I think a long-term solution is worth considering, as well.

But perhaps I presume too much; my only intuition into the mind of #1 is that he hasn't banned me yet -- so either I "get him" in some vague way, or he's busy and hasn't gotten around to it.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2005


Pony up you boogers, money where de mouf is.
This is my vote for paying a little extra bissel for some extra features.

Matt,
Do the math on what you think you might need to make it work as a stay at home dad and post it and we'll ratify it, I think. You (one) deserves to do something like that if they can.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:02 AM on February 3, 2005


jonmc has a good point. Give them their first taste free -- then jack up the price once they're hooked.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 8:07 AM on February 3, 2005


I like WestCoaster's idea, I'm not sure if it could bring in enough to actually make a living off of.

I think that askMeFi is a potential money maker, I'll do some brainstorming on it. Everyone I point there gets hooked quick and I think that both questioners and answerers get a lot out of it.
posted by jonah at 8:13 AM on February 3, 2005


What, you mean Haughey doesn't owe us money for our scintillating presence on this site?
Outrage!
posted by darukaru at 8:24 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm curious as to why an Amazon scheme would be more offensive - big business?

agregoli, I'm not offended by Amazon at all. In fact, here is a link to my wish list.

It's just that I have always been bothered by people who are offended easily by fairly tame things like the SG ad. Especially when pron is becoming such a part of the mainstream (Ron Jeremy rooming with Tammy Faye Baker, "Jenna Jameson: The E! True Hollywood Story", etc).

Also, #1 provided an easy mechanism whereby those who are offended can easily and permanently trurn off the SG ad image. So basically, I didn't see what the big deal was. I think Matt selling small, avoidable ads is a good way for him to subsidize this site, and that he should be able to break even or even make a few bucks without being attacked. The SG ad has already graced a number of other sites I frequent, including Pitchfork and I was surprised by the reaction here. SG seems to be pretty softcore, and I haven't been inside, but it strikes me as less exploitive than most pron, too. I guess I should realize that not everyone is a liberal as myself. I grew up in North Texas so I should know better, but sometimes NYC makes me forget that some people are still offended by such things. I didn't mean to rankle.

At any rate, there are some very bright people here and there seem to be some pretty good ideas in this thread, the Amazon one included.
posted by mds35 at 8:26 AM on February 3, 2005


I suggest that we not rehash the pro/con SG ads in this thread. Matt has closed that issue (and thread).

But yeah, the Amazon routes (code and a link) make sense to me in terms of being easy to accomplish and causing minimal disruption to the status quo.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:41 AM on February 3, 2005


Appropriately enough, I paid $40. Although I forgot to add my username to the PayPal invoice, heh..

I'd gladly pay a yearly subscription, myself. I pay more than that yearly for all the dead-tree editions of everything I subscribe to, and much more than that in donations to things like my local NPR and community radio station.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:42 AM on February 3, 2005


Does purchasing a MeFi sweatshirt count for pony-ing up? I had to borrow a credit card to even do that much.
posted by deborah at 8:47 AM on February 3, 2005


What about classic merchandise? I know that the current merch is "no-profit"; couldn't we change that in order to both help #1 AND look stylish? If the quality of the clothing is the problem (iron-on quality on the graphics), could we find someone else to do the printing?
posted by theFlyingSquirrel at 9:06 AM on February 3, 2005


Okay, I've ponyed up $50 to buy a hypothetical day's worth of non-advertising, to thank Matt for dropping the graphic ads. So I feel entitled to make one more suggestion: on the About Metafilter page, put the Metafilter Goodies and the Supporting Metafilter sections much higher up on the page -- above the Press section.

And even then, I think the location of Supporting Metafilter is too obscure. Perhaps a link with that label at the bottom of the front page, as well?
posted by WestCoaster at 9:40 AM on February 3, 2005


My one suggestion: give Pro users negative usernumbers.
posted by smackfu at 10:16 AM on February 3, 2005


I agree with making the Paypal link easier to find.

I sent 15 bucks US, which seems pretty trivial-- I'd send ten times that if I could afford it, and if it would go some way towards allowing Matt to spend his time changing diapers and looking after Mefi (you make the joke).
posted by jokeefe at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm thinking a giant online swap sale:

Better would be to just sell what ever on eBay and donate the proceeds.

I'd say go ahead with the amazon thing, policy has always been for members to avoid refer links so you wouldn't be stepping on anyone's revenue stream. Think of it as sticking it a big nameless corporation. I can't imagine anyone calling you out for this though it should be in a FAQ somewhere to help avoid users calling each other out.

The God Complex: I honestly can't get over how puritanical some of the people here are. The adds themselves are less racy than the girls in bathing suits you see when you open hotmail or any other number of "legitimate" sites.

Bizarrely enough I suspected this but couldn't speak from experience. I've been so liberal with the ad blocker, flashblock and pop up killer, I see very little advertising.

Good analogy anapestic, it would be good if we can avoid the sense of entitlement and out of control second guessing that came out of K5's fund raising efforts.

the ability to edit your own post (in case of a boo-boo)
Please no. The continuity problems are bad enough with the limited deleting.

private messaging among monthly subscribers
Anyone who wants to participate in this can just post an email address to their profile. Anonymity a concern? Gmail allows forwarding and I'd imagine they aren't the only free web mail set up that does. The mattcave is going to be a lot less cool once the little one appears :)

18. Community moderation including voting to delete
Sounds good only if it requires 100% unanimous voting.

Cranberry: My understanding was that an inflow of cash was necessary to support added server costs. So whose ride is the "donation" paying for? AFAIK, one cannot join w/o paying.
Matt could have just left the gate closed. We were probably several years away from the point where inbreeding would cause us old timers to start growing extra toes.

19. One Self-Link FPP a year (anytime you want to post it, but only once during a 365 period).
Means $5 to advertise anytime you want. Seems kind of cheap. And your ad wouldn't be relegated to the side bar. Plus that means at least a couple self links every day.
posted by Mitheral at 12:35 PM on February 3, 2005


$20 sent.
posted by yoga at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2005


I'm in awe of the Haughey right now. When it was explained that the ads were to stay home, work on MeFi, and be with the baby, I completely understood - that's a dream come true. For him to give it up.... I'm blown away.

Definitely contributing. Also, I want Matt to know that I don't mind ads in general, but somehow having just that one and it being porn rubbed me the wrong way. Matt deserves to be home. It's in our best interests too. Let us know how we can help Matt.
posted by xammerboy at 1:52 PM on February 3, 2005


I've sent $20 us.

Just wondering, as I hate using my credit card online, if there is any other way to send money to Matt?
posted by Tarrama at 7:01 PM on February 3, 2005


if, when I stumbled upon this place way back when, there had been a little sign saying "admission fee $5," I probably wouldn't have bothered getting involved, and I suspect that's true of a lot of the older members.
This is true of me to some extent, although I ended up throwing some money in anyway.
posted by dg at 2:25 AM on February 4, 2005


« Older Suicide Girls TextAds   |   And it's not even page 3 Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments