originally posted by: Bent8484
a reply to: NightVision
Yes. I think it's pretty much the consensus that a monetizing model based primarily on advertising is not viable to make ATS sustainable. We'll have
to get creative, that discussion is coming soon.
Just my few cents...
Firstly, as others, I'd be happy to stump up for subscription if required. I know some might see a paywall as a move against freespeech, but it isn't.
Subscription shows a level of commitment. I mean, looking at how many conspiracy based content providers (who remain successful, or at least active)
work, is that they provide X amount of content for free, but full access for the subs. I'm not a tech guy, but if there was a way to allow unsubbed
access to the first 2-3 pages of some of the forums, but subscription for full access, it might be enough to really get a good general income (profit
based or not.... rainy day fund).
Like I say, I'm not sure if this is technically possible without a programmer actually writing custom code to achieve it. I'm just sharing the
Secondly, I just want to commend all of you that are getting involved in the effort. A big tip of the hat.
In the past few years I've returned here more and more. Quite frankly, I've had an odd history with ATS, as I only really ended up here back in 2007
after I became a subject of discussion and felt a need to defend myself. Beyond that, in and out at various points. But, at this point, I've grown to
appreciate the people here... enough that I'm willing to give much time to any graphical needs that may arise (yes I know this is early days).
Certainly not looking for money... this would be a goodwill contribution, and something I'd be proud to help with as a long(ish) time member.
In fact, I'm potentially willing to do a fair bit more with my skills, but that is getting way ahead.
From a graphic/music/video POV, there isn't much I can't do these days.
To follow on from that, and I don't know how viable this is (or the implications/revenue of such an idea) but as someone else mentioned, ATS merch
might be a good way to raise some extra funding. You know, t-shirts, mugs... that sort of thing that can all be done through a 3rd party without any
heavy lifting being done by anyone. Though it reduces the money made, it is money non the less.
SO on that, I'd be very willing to provide as many ATS designs as you like... and they'd be top notch. In fact, a new selection of designs could be
created every month. Make them collectable and only available for that month... something like that. I'd be willing to keep buying Ts if they were
good... even if I designed them myself... I kind of like the idea of a collection of different ATS shirts.
This also gives a sense of involvement in the site to those that wish to contribute.
Anyway, I'm just thinking from my perspective and experience of others I have come across.
As a whole, I hope I can find a way to support the efforts here with what I have. Sadly, big investments isn't one of them. But time and skills,
One final thought... some sites have a monthly cost target that is met through donations... that might be a way to go if you wanted to avoid paywalls.
However, one last thing I will say about paywalls is that you tend to weed out the trouble and spammers/trolls etc. A more focused membership would be
invested in making the place a good experience.
If that approach was considered, then an external poll of interest would be a good idea to get a rough idea of potential monthly revenue. If the costs
can be brought right down, then it only requires a few hundred subscribers to cover the costs. Add that to merch, and even have a donations option for
those who have a moment of altruism (combined with occasional fund raising drives if some technical investment is required), and it shouldn't be too
far out of reach.
Final final thought.... if it all falls through and can't be saved, I suggest a discussion with the current owners about a brief period towards the
closing point where a thread could be used to help people find new homes and to share those links between one another.
I have this weird idea in my head that a simple free forum (even if as an interim) could be set up as like a refugee camp for those who want to stay
in contact... call it "Beyond Top Secret" or something. I like the people here for the most part, but when they are all hidden behind anonymous
usernames etc, I think it'd be strange to think that I'd never know if I'd be able to chat with them again. It'd seem a pity.
That's all I got. Good luck, and ignore the negative. ATS future isn't ATS past or present.
edit on 22-7-2020 by saladfingers123456 because: