It's Sunday, July 3rd. Independence weekend.
Another busy week, thankfully without fireworks due to a drought in my area, and lots of boredom.
So a few things have been happening lately. There was the Jailbreakme.com scandal, with the domain going up for sale soon after, and the doldrums have hit ECC again; so bad that I've had to enable Postloop again to keep up the activity. Going to have to work on getting the points up this week in reserve. I've been smarter about managing the available points too, they've recently implemented a post limit which helps, I've upped the minimum user rating from 1 to 4, because I was getting a lot of spam-like users. And I'm disabling the forum on Postloop periodically.
I've also been experimenting with more revenue sources, though our sponsor, Tim, has succeeded in getting AdSense back we have yet to add the ads. To supplement them, I've found Adf.ly to be a valuable resource. Some people think it's annoying, but I think it's not too much to ask to donate 5 seconds of your time to see an ad before you visit the site in the link.
I'm also going to be looking at ways to make the adblock users guilty, to be brunt about it. I'm not innocent in this area either, but I do disable AdBlock on forums and blogs, it's only the heavily ad-populated sites that I enable it on. Somehow there's a way to display an image behind an ad, which I can do, but there's another way which involves destroying the layout of the site if ads aren't displaying, which could be useful but I don't see how I can do that with the current design with the ads in boxes.
As I understand both sides of the problem with people blocking the ads because they're ugly and webmasters using them to help with funding, I try to keep the ads minimal, in out of the way places, so that users aren't compelled to block them. I plan to have a 468 ad in the header, rounded borders, and a color scheme to match the theme when it's displaying text. The thread and footer ads will be larger, but still out of the way.
Other revenue sources could be offering signature ad spots on several forums I'm a part of, selling at possibly $4/m per image, maybe more on the forums I have more than 500+ posts on because that means 500+ different spots where the ad is displayed. Also, I could offer ad spots on ECC, like in the footer, and possibly an ad in the header next to the Google ad. Since ECC is now a PR3 site, I think I could get a decent amount of money for them. I think I'll do some sort of auction on the spots on an admin forum I'm on to get the maximum potential with them.
This makes me remember Project WonderFAIL, it had the right idea though I wasnt receiving the revenue I should have been getting.
Through these sources and smart positioning I should be able to get quite a decent amount of revenue out of it, which I will feed back into the community in various ways.
Also, I want to mention our donation system. I'm still working on it, but unlike other forums I'm not going to mention it that much, if at all, on ECC. If someone wants to donate they can go to the link in the footer and do so, but I'm not going to promote the VIP group, it's just a way of thanking the donor.
I might possibly add an ad spot on my blog as well, I just don't think I'm getting the visitors that would make it worth it.
On my list for this week, I'm going to be working on signature banners and other graphics for ECC, possibly a logo. If I can get a PSD from Tim, I'm thinking of taking the compass-like dial around the E and using it in the new logo. The font will be the same as ever, but we'll have a nice forum symbol. I've been loving Photoshop for this stuff, GIMP was good but Photoshop CS5 pwns, to be honest.
Another thing to do is find an RSS feed auto-importer for WordPress, because I'd like to start usin Tumblr again for little things and the social aspect of it, but I also want the post there to appear here. Now, there is a good importer for Tumblr to WordPress, problem is it's a site and it's not automatic. I'm surprised such a huge blogging platform that is WordPress doesn't have this, even Tumblr and many major forum software have it in some form.
And that concludes this blog post.