The Data Is What The Data...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Guy Fawkes, May 12, 2016.

  1. Guy Fawkes

    Guy Fawkes Administrator Staff Member

    A Message from Daddy:

    One of my favorite professors used to say fairly often: "The Data is What the Data is." That's the situation that I'm facing in 2016.


    As most of you have probably guessed the bulk of my income in the past has been from the flirt4free ads on the main site. As long as the income remained above the minimum for me to survive, I've been content because at heart I'm a computer geek and I really love doing the work.

    However, for the last year it's been a struggle, because each month that I'm below the minimum, I have to shift hours to other customers to make up the difference and/or ask for donations. This month I'm having to shift a significant number of hours. The strain is almost overwhelming.

    I've talked to several people about the problem and some of the major theories are on the chart. But as my professor says: "The Data is what the Data is." and I've reached the end of the elastic band. I can cover this month's expense by dipping heavily into savings.

    I'm in a catch-22 situation. I'm working on the next version of the website. The design has two goals:
    1. Lower the processing time for each review from the current approximately one hour.
    2. Add a value added membership that has proven to work in the Hooboy Era.
    However, I'm having to divert a lot of my time just to survive. The design is mostly complete for the first goal, The problem is that I don't have the time to do the research on what's needed for the second. Desiging a secure membership site that interfaces to a payment processor is a major task. Finding a payment processor that allows Adult websites is especially difficult. Finding the time to sling the code is even more precious.

    One of my younger kids said: "Daddy, you're the type of person that lets people reach their own conclusions." and he's quite correct. He's strongly suggested the I speak up. So here we are.

    I'm willing to to hear suggestions on where to go from here. I'm willing to hear new theories on why we're at this point. I'm not willing to rehash the stuff we already know. I'm willing to hear how to reach the people that have benefited from website but never thought to slip a few dollars in the mail.

    Some of the most knowledgeable and influential people in the world are lurking in the shadows. If you are not comfortable discussing this here please send me email at or the more discreet

    Please stay on topic and remain civil. Right now there are touchy areas that we're simply not going to discuss.

    For a discussion of the singular vs plural forms of the word "data:" should be sufficient.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    MGTOW_Tx and JayPaultrvl like this.
  2. Guy Fawkes

    Guy Fawkes Administrator Staff Member

    Another theory is that we're in an election year and most of the people are really pissed off or really scared.
    DickyF likes this.
  3. Okay, I'll go there.

    Data geek to data geek, several things jump out at me.

    I'll start with the question: what caused the one month spike into a sustainable level? If I had to guess, it was that the controversy surrounding Rentboy led to more eyeballs on your site, briefly, and that caused a one month spike in income through Flirt for Free. Or maybe it was just a fluke.

    Either way, that one month is irrelevant. The pattern is clear. 15 of 16 months are at or under the "sustainable" level, so this is not a sustainable business based on THIS model. It has nothing to do with Rentboy, or EOY, or recession. It is just not a sustainable model as currently structured.

    The other thing that is clear is that making it a a sustainable model is NOT a big deal. We are talking about a matter of hundreds of dollars a month, maybe at most $1000 if you go to the worst months, like this one.

    The better model that makes the most sense to me is a "supporter" model much like what people do for art museums, hospitals, churches, and of course, whores. But let's not talk about whoring or be very specific about how we could all support this site. I know from past discussions you don't want to get within a mile of anything that creates even the appearance that this is a website like Rentboy, which was alleged to have collected money for certain "bad" things. There is nothing "bad" about being part of a loving and caring community like this one.

    My view is this, at the risk of sounding self-serving. I just got back from Las Vegas, where I easily spent $1000 to bring my 94 year old Dad to visit his dying son. I've been coming to Vegas regularly to help care for my brother, so when I add up the gas and the food I buy and cook for him and his wife to make their life easier that's hundreds of dollars. I spend $80 a month (along with two other brothers who do the same) to pay for Visiting Angels to go to my Dad's house once a week. About $30 a month of my cell phone bill pays for my Dad's cell phone service on a monthly basis. I do these things monthly or at least regularly because it helps sustain people I care about, and it frankly costs very little in whore money. The bumper sticker is "I am my brother's keeper."

    This website obviously provides tremendous value to a lot of people. Glennnnnnnnn is the most recent one who brought this up after the Palm Springs event. Several kind souls donated money so that Guy could attend that event. Before that, several other kind souls donated money based on a special request.

    I would humbly suggest that we simply come up with a PERMANENT model that sustains this website by asking a limited number of people to make regular (e.g. monthly) sustaining pledges. That way we don't have to make these regular or irregular pleas for help. I would be happy to make a pledge, that could be automatically deducted from a credit card monthly, or using any other of a number of simple financial mechanisms, and I am 100 % sure others would do so also. I find tremendous value in this site, and it has absolutely nothing to do with any financial benefit I derive from it, and it certainly has nothing to do with prostitution. It is like a Gay Facebook to me. There is nothing wrong with or illegal about supporting a Gay Facebook for slightly perverted folks like me. There would be a tremendous hole in this community if the website that built it suddenly went away.

    Are there other people out there like me that feel that we can't afford to lose this website and are willing to put a little bit of their money where their mouth is?
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  4. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Count me in as well for the monthly pledge, Steven. Thanks, Daddy for speaking up.
    stevenkesslar likes this.
  5. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    Mr Kesslar, props to you for voicing support for the cause you believe in. While many of the members here extol the benefits of this site and their pleasure at being a member, I suspect not many of those are "contributing" to the sites health. Your sustenance plan is a good one, and can ONLY work if participants "put there money where their mouths are"... Praise is Great, but it means nothing if a site cant survive... Then its only Words. I've had my issues here, but would be more than willing to shell out a reasonable Monthly membership fee. I feel a lot of kinship to many folk here, although I have never met or spoken to them personally.
    We all have exorbitant expenses to maintain ourselves and our lifestyles. Many of the members here think nothing of dropping $300-$500 for an hour of pleasure with their favorite guy. While I myself am not a major client, many here are, so perhaps THOSE guys can shift their priorities and offer some financial help to a site that they profess gives them so much pleasure and information ? They are already spending the money, just make a slight "shift"... Group support can make a big difference....
  6. glennnn

    glennnn Earl

    I'm in!
    SuperJunior and stevenkesslar like this.
  7. glennnn

    glennnn Earl

    I'm in for a regular monthly contribution, starting this month.
  8. gallahadesquire

    gallahadesquire Marquess

  9. Mikegaite

    Mikegaite Knight

    Recent Donors
    Recurring Donors

    Encouraging giving via categories, as prescribed above.

    I'd be fine with simple, louder calls for donation on the front page, no explanations needed. I recognize the drawbacks, but in my mind there's nothing wrong with explicitly asking for donations. After all, many of us here ask for donations several times a day every day :).
  10. Thanks guys.

    That makes 4 regular donors I think, me included, in a few hours. My guess is about a dozen people would be all it takes, and if more of you jump in, that's even better. Maybe Mike and JJ are in too or maybe offering ideas. Either are welcome.

    I think for the next 24 to 48 hours the best thing for people to do is to indicate whether you want to be "in" and whether that means a regular donation, or something one shot, or want to offer some ideas.

    Our friendly website host is going to think about the best way to structure this over the next few days, including an aggregate donation goal, and it sounds like there are a variety of options. Once we know who is in we can set up a private message chain to figure out the best way(s) to do this.

    Right now to state the obvious this is a good time for all of you to consider what you can do and weigh in with your support as well as your ideas.
  11. WmClarke

    WmClarke Count

    I'm in.

    My biggest concern is leaving an electronic paper/financial trail linking my "real life" to my "hiring life". I will figure something out.

    Some things other web sites have tried:
    1. A "members only" forum--I have no idea what goes on in those because I rarely pay for online discussion forums.
    2. Members only features--some sites only let paying members use the search function, for example. Non-members can still use google or ask a member to search for them.
    3. Custom titles.
    4. Auctions (books, art work, etc.).
    5. Sponsorship banner (subject to mod/owner approval, of course); more money = longer display time.
  12. Keith30309

    Keith30309 Count

    (The last time someone asked me if I was In I was highly incensed; I'm never going back to that petting zoo again.)
  13. All great points.

    This is one point to emphasize. Speaking only for myself, I like what I will call the "Gay Facebook" model as opposed to the "revenue" model. A "revenue" model tied to a review website brings things closer to this gray zone of hiring x to do y. It is a completely separate thing to offer donations to support what I view as a Gay Facebook message forum where people chat over tea like proper ladies about important topics, like whether they prefer smelly sneakers or high heels. It does of course tie you financially to a message forum, and in a paranoid scenario you can and should assume Big Brother is watching everything you do and every penny you spend. And if you don't want to be associated with anything Gay, this may not be your cup of tea. But this is a freedom of speech issue and not even Ted Cruz would propose that there is anything wrong or certainly anything illegal with a bunch of LGBT folks supporting a Gay Facebook.
  14. In essence, a site-specific Patreon. That sounds like a good idea.

    I'm not in a position to pledge, but I can send something along now. I also contributed back a few months ago, but on the theory that I wasn't doing it for praise from the rest of y'all, I didn't disclose who it was from, although Guy might have been able to tell from the state of origin.

    What I would not want to see are features that have been available to all being dependent on monthly contributions. I think this forum is better off remaining free for the asking. My income is both fixed and limited (play money is an investment in personal happiness, like a vacation would be).

    I spend $20 a year for LiveJournal, which I rarely use anymore. This site is worth more to me than that, but I think a shift to a paid membership in order to participate at all is a bad idea. For one thing, you now have even greater headaches over payment and anonymity.
    glennnn, bigvalboy, WilliamM and 2 others like this.
  15. WmClarke

    WmClarke Count

    It's not a question of being linked to "anything Gay"--it's a question of being linked to a hobby that could cost me my job.

    Seriously? Given his rhetoric he'd probably shut it down if he could and outlaw all non-hetero-normative activities.
    stevenkesslar and Keith30309 like this.
  16. oceansunshine

    oceansunshine Master

    Count me in - in support the the US Constitution's 1st Amendment.

    "The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government."
    I also need to send a check and follow these directions for my upcoming Saturday "To Do" list which I should have done sooner(no good excuse for this delay(shame on me, as this site helped in a large part of learning to accept myself and accepting "coming out", which has do a lot of positives for my mental health(and I'm sure same for many others in their lives too)):


    PS: I wonder how many unique users visit this site on an at least once-a-month basis?
    glennnn likes this.
  17. Not to belabor the point, but what I was really trying to do was support your perspective. This is first and foremost Daddy's problem to solve, but there is a big difference between a website whose primary function is to review escorts, and a message forum whose primary function is to facilitate discussion - i.e. a Gay Facebook. There are pluses and minuses to supporting either of these two "models," but one advantage to the latter is that I think it could be structured in a way that it has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with reviews or escorts or the hobby you are referring to, all it has to do with is a community of predominantly LGBT folks engaging in what is undeniably protected free speech.

    One way or the other, your main point is the important one - it is important to structure this in a way that nobody who wants to help feels at risk of any type of backlash.
  18. Kurtis Wolfe

    Kurtis Wolfe Knight

    Focusing on the expense side of the business equation, what has been done to reduce expenses? I noticed each domain name has its own IP address which isn't necessary ( and these days hosting providers are charging extra for that ). What's the bandwidth consumption like? What has been done to reduce it? Are you overpaying for services? etc.
  19. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    I know the following is a sensitive issue, but if people are contributing say $100 each month, there will eventually have to be some financial checks and balances.

    Please do not blame Kurtis Wolfe for my comments. It's something I have been thinking about all day.
    quoththeraven and stevenkesslar like this.
  20. jjkrkwood

    jjkrkwood Regent

    Mr K, I do think that many here use the site strictly for the reviews and info about the Boys... All the rest of the benefits are just "icing" on the condom which they can either take or leave. Therefore, many may be reluctant to pay for a usage that to them is "limited in scope"? Segregating the sites advantages may be off putting to some who may find no use in it IF the reviews are excluded. somehow it needs to be all encompassing to maximize interest and use.