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Old Sep 24, 2009, 06:36 PM
Secret Squirrel's Avatar
Secret Squirrel Secret Squirrel is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Default Funding VGMdb

We've been recently discussing some changes to how we fund VGMdb. Since these changes have an impact on the site, we feel that it is important to include all of you in the discussion.

At present, VGMdb is funded privately, with the full expense divided between 4 regular contributors and a small number of occasional contributors. Expenses are roughly $200 per month barring the occasional software license upgrade. This hasn't been unmanageable divided by 4, but we're at a point now where we'd like to see that number reduced as it adds up to quite a bit over time.

We have entertained ideas of moving to some cheaper hosting, but to be honest it's a big pain to move the site and we've been treated well at Servint. Our plan may be slightly Cadillac-ish, but the backup and uptime guarantees are very nice, and the specs give us plenty of room to grow.

The other option we've been considering is joining one or more affiliate programs with websites that sell VGM CDs. Through such a program, a vendor will pay a small commission on purchases by customers who arrive at their site from a link on our site. I've seen this approach used by other sites of our ilk, and I think it has the potential to cover a portion of our expenses without being overbearing.

However, this would mean advertisements, and that's something we've avoided for our first 2 years. I'm proud that we've remained ad free for so long, and this decision isn't something we take lightly. The ads mentioned above would be limited to some "buy this album at xxx" links on the album pages, and maybe something small on the front page.

We're not looking to profit from VGMdb, so we only need to cover some of the monthly nut. Thus we won't have to go with anything more intrusive than what I described. We're definitely never going to allow the typical internet banner ads on here as long as I'm still alive. Likewise, we will never do anything that sacrifices our independence.

So, we've already enrolled in the Play-Asia affiliate program, and have started getting things set up. I don't want to push the start button until we've heard some feedback from our users. Our success is built upon the team of experts who have assembled here, willing to contribute their knowledge so that we all benefit from it. We don't want to enter into any arrangement that would jeopardize the trust that you have in us.
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