Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Guy Fawkes, May 12, 2016.
You actually read all that?
This thread is a think tank.
I did, and I'm glad I did.
The quotes match my feelings. I'm an old fashioned, cash in the envelope, snail mail curmudgeon. I will just try to do it more often than I have in the past.
For the planners - don't forget to include a method for international donations. Bitcoin might be an option.
Bitcoin might be unnecessarily complicated at both ends. For most international contributors buying USD and sending them by post is most likely the easiest option apart from whatever credit card option can be adopted.
Hey, kids. It's time to discuss an important topic. "How to support this website - no ranting required."
Let's get started!!
As GuyFawkes stated in the original post, the site is running a deficit. While a tiered or "premium" membership plan is something GF has contemplated, the infrastructure required to support it takes time to build, integrate, and test. It also takes money. Money that simply is not coming in right now. What to do in the meantime? Support the website, that's what!
Here are ways YOU can help:
Support using your bank: Yes, you can send money to almost any email address from most banks' online banking sites. Some even allow recurring transfers. Simply open your online banking site, look for "Transfer Money to a Person" (or a similar link) and when it asks you for an email address, enter email@example.com. If it asks you for a name, you can enter Webmaster or, if it allows you to enter a business name, enter WinkWinkNodNod. Easy!
Support using popmoney: Popmoney is the company that runs most banks' person-to-person funds transfer applications. Go to www.popmoney.com , register, and send money to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the advantages of popmoney is it accepts debit cards, including prepaid debit cards! Discreet!
Support using Google Wallet: Yes, Google does money transfers. What's next? Cars?? But I digress. Google wallet is another way to send money to an email address and it allows the use of prepaid debit cards. If you have a GMail account or use one of Google's other services, you may log in using your existing Google ID. If not, you may create a new one. Googlely!
Here's the website: http://www.google.com/wallet/
email address should be:email@example.com
Regardless how you choose to support, there are many options that are quick, secure, and easy. The method is unimportant. The support is what counts.
OK, back to arguing about tiered vs premium vs gold vs deluxe.
I should be able to assist with the banking regulations.
I don't like the idea of a mandatory fee to participate in the MB, because I think it will narrow the number of participants dramatically, and I think the more people who feel free to take part, the more interesting the discussions will be. I also think the ability to read and write reviews should continue to be free. I can listen to NPR or my local classical music station whether I contribute money to them or not, but I contribute because I value the stations and want them to continue, and I feel the same way about this site; I think most other members would make their choice to give or not based on the same considerations .
What is a reasonable fee to me would not necessarily be considered reasonable by someone else. I think $5/mo. is probably the minimal contribution level; I would be comfortable giving more, but I think there should be a relatively narrow range of levels, with perhaps $25/mo. as the top level. I do NOT think that the hierarchy of members should be tied to the level of contributions (no purchased dukedoms!). If someone wishes to make much larger donations, he or she should obviously be able to do so, and Daddy should be able to acknowledge them separately if he wishes.
What we don't yet know, of course, is how much money is actually needed to maintain the site at its current level of quality. Most organizations state their fundraising goals, and publicize when they have reached them. I hope this one can do the same.
I think the right thing to do is to support the forum and the web site
All these ideas about membership levels and such only add to complexity
I also believe in unintended consequences
A big plus is the fact that no one pays $ on the review side or the forum side. This adds to creditably and keeps the site out of hot water since no one stands to gain money
I have no idea how it would work but a version of the Patreon subscription-model seems most sensible to me.
And I'm not sure how he's been able to do it for so long (maybe it's because most of his stuff is not explicit) but Tim in Vermont has a membership structure (that uses PayPal) for access to his always-being-updated archive. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the "pricing options"...
Steven, in response to your question regarding my perceived difference between Google Wallet and a credit card payment, my hesitation is with Google. I'm no longer trusting what they do with my information, preferences, shopping choices, etcetera. My personal and business-related Google accounts have very suspiciously developed some similarities in Google's "recommendations." And so it's the just the Google system that I don't trust.
I haven't read every single post on this thread, but just in case this is not loud and clear yet: I'm with the camp that just wants to know how much & how. Give me a couple of choices on payment vehicles and keep it simple. Thank you for all the debate, hope we can bring it home soon and get this done ASAP.
In addition to Google I have this same concern with Yahoo, Bing and other “big” search engines.
I find that duckduckgo serves quite well for most of my routine needs. It claims it doesn’t track you (click on the center page logo for more info). It seems to be lacking in phone and image searches though.
Love this website and the forum. Daddy & all of you are amazing.
I am happy to be considered wrong, but I think a pay format for readers has serious risks of failure. The two reasons the website works so well & is so popular is a robust review system for escorts from clients and a very active forum- and its all FREE. In this internet era, free is where it's at. Most people expect the internet to be FREE. People often won't even pay for music. If there is a cost to use this website I fear an exponential cascade of results: less people reading, then less people contributing, and the website dies a slow death.
1) find more advertisers. 75,000 gay men a month must mean something to a few more gay oriented websits. Straightupgayporn.com, Rentmen.com, porn companies come to mind. The concept is the 75K is a commodity to be sold to advertizers. Anything that reduces that number diminishes the ability to sell that commodity and generate revunue.
2) Hold more frequent and visible fund drives. More might contribute if given an opportunity.
3) the escorts (who I love & respect dearly) get a lot of free advertising here via the reviews. Somehow add in a pay-to-show their good reviews ($5?) feature. (Or pay-to-read for the clients-but I'm fearful this might overall harm the website as I wrote above.)
4) Block all links from an escorts forum contribution to his Rentmen.com ad. What you are essentially giving away is free advertising to the escorts here. It's nice, but sorta giving it away might be part of the problem.
5) With #4 add in a "Daddy Verified/Daddy Approved" escort link from this site. Meaning, the escort can (for a fee) have a page of his pic and stats only on a page and clicking it takes the reader to Rentmen.com.
Many of the people suggesting a membership fee (and I love and appreciate all of them) are high utilizers and posters. Sure, those will pay but most of the 75K of the traffic won't IMHO.
Just ideas, guys. They all could be wrong. I hope whatever happens the website on only gets stronger.
Love and Respect to all.
I think that a membership fee is reasonable but there should be some kind of free introductory period so new users can see all or part of the sites. They need to see the great benefits of both sites so they know what they are joining.
I'd be glad to donate. Steven, please add me to your list.
I haven't had time to keep up with this thread. Perhaps this has been covered...
This is Daddy's business and/or hobby. I don't think we should do anything that undermines his full ownership and control. No oversight of any kind. I trust Daddy to do what's best.
Okeydoke. Here ya go. Let me do a one paragraph summary of the goal, and then walk it back and provide details.
The goal is to raise $1000 a month in VOLUNTARY support for the M4M MESSAGE FORUM over the next year, from May 2016 to May 2017, through a set of ANNUAL pledges. There are two main ways to reach this goal: 1) Make an ANNUAL pledge of $50 or $25 a month and set up an automatic, recurring monthly bill pay to this website, using your bank's bill pay feature, or 2) make a $5 monthly pledge for the next year and pay it either as a one-time $60 donation or as a $5 monthly recurring payment, using any of the features described above (bill pay, email, text through your bank, Google Wallet, Popmoney, snailmail, etc.). MY goal is to identify 20 forum members who will pledge $25 to $50 a month for the next year in MESSAGE FORUM SUPPORT. MY goal is to identify 50 forum members who will pledge $5 a month or $60 one time in a VOLUNTARY ANNUAL FORUM MEMBERSHIP FEE.
Here's the way I got to $1000. If you multiply 20 donations of $25 to $50 I month I took an average of $37.50 a month, so that gets you $750 a month. If you multiply 50 donations of $5 a month that gets you $250. That adds up to $1000 a month. The reason I chose $1000 is if you look at the graph Daddy posted at the start of this thread that is what is needed to fill the revenue gap to support the MESSAGE FORUM in the worst months. In other words, $1000 is enough to get a safety net in place for the next year while a longer term set of solutions is researched and set up.
I meant to post this several days ago but Daddy wanted to wait a few days to let more ideas pop up, and I wanted to investigate specifics about how bill pay with banks works. I have discussed all these ideas with Daddy and he supports what I am doing. To be clear, I am the one pushing the $1000 a month goal. I know him well enough to know he is a proud and humble man and he doesn't like having to ask for support. But I have said I think it is important that those of us who strongly support the message forum should be allowed and encouraged to show that, by helpimg out on a recurring, monthly basis. He agrees.
The core of this idea is a voluntary donation plan set up on monthly, recurring bank bill pay donations. I set up my $50 a month bill pay on Monday and it seems to be working fine. My bank (Bank of America) allows me to set up bill pay for any business or individual I want. I will describe generally how to do that below. What that means specifically is my bank will send a monthly check of $50 for the next year (12 payments) to WinkWinkNodNod, LLC at the address listed earlier in this post which I will repeat below. Please note this option is NOT confidential. It is essentially like writing a check and the check will list your name, account number, etc - just like a regular check - but the difference is the bank does it for me automatically. The reason I am doing it this way is so Daddy can count on our donations for the next year.
Most banks have such a bill pay feature. If you are one of the people willing to do a monthly supporting donation, please set it up today using your bank bill pay feature. I will message everybody who has stated they will consider doing so privately, or message me, to confirm you have done this and whether you can do $50 or $25. In order to reach the goal of $750 in monthly pledges of $25 or $50 we need to have a list of who is pledging what. Because of sentiment that we should all be equals, I would suggest we NOT have a public master list at this point - these are voluntary donations and we are doing it because we support the message forum.
In terms of how to do it, here's how B of A works. On the main page, there is a tab that says "Bill Pay." Click on that and there is a sub-tab that says "Automatic/Recurring Payments." Click on that and there is a field that says "Set up a Pay to account." That will bring you to a few pages where you enter the specifics of where the bill pay check goes to and how often you want it sent. I set mine up to make 12 monthly payments on the same day each month for 12 months. This is the way B of A does it, but I have 3 checking accounts and the other 2 banks have similar features so I think most banks have them.
Here is the key information you have to enter:
Name: WinkWinkNodNod, LLC
Address: 6130 West Tropicana Ave., #124, Las Vegas, NV 89103
Acct # or Identifying Information: Your forum handle (I put "Kesslar")
Nickname: Message Forum Support
Let me explain the logic of the last two items based on my discussions with Daddy. As I said above this will generate a monthly recurring check mailed to "Daddy" ((it will actually be made out to WinkWinkNodNod, LLC) with your name as listed on on your checking account. So listing the account as "Kesslar" will help "Daddy" identify that it is my monthly $50 donation. The reason I listed "Message Forum Support" is that AT THIS POINT based on legal reasons this donation DOES NOT support the review site or anything to do with escorting. It supports the MESSAGE FORUM which is like a Gay Facebook and is clearly protected by free speech rights.
Those of you who like me feel strongly and want to support month to month, please do so today or this week and let's be in contact privately through PMs to confirm what you're doing, We need about 20 people. If you need help trouble shooting how to set this up with your bank let me know. It took me 5 minutes to do it and it's pretty simple and other than Daddy it is confidential. Just don't do it this way if you have a wife or partner or someone you don't want to know that you support the M4M Message Forum; i.e. a LGBT Facebook-type chat forum.
Several of you have offered technical and legal advice as this moves forward. Due to the whole Rentboy fiasco and until that is resolved it should be clear why any type of financial support shouldn't be tied to the escort review site. Speaking for myself I'd rather be paranoid for right now and until we do our homework base this 100 % on voluntary donations to, again, a Gay Facebook type forum.
Now, about the $5 monthly pledges. A number of you have said you are willing to do that. One of the reasons I personally think it makes a lot of sense is that even as a VOLUNTARY measure, it could solve the long term financial problem. For example if Daddy eventually determines that a hard goal of $1000 a year is needed, that adds up to 200 voluntary donors giving $5 a month. On a website with 75,000 users, that seems doable with some time and preparation. So setting a goal of 50 voluntary donors now will test the waters and allow Daddy to iron out kinks.
If you would like to support the forum this way, I'd encouarge you to do what BVB and others suggested and make a ONE TIME donation of $60 instead of making $5 monthly donations. It's way easier to manage for both you and Daddy. Also, ANY OF THE PAYMENT METHODS described above work. (Check out Rvnwsd's great posts above). If confidentiality is not an issue, you can use your bank to do a monthly bill pay or a one time bill pay or use your email or text. If confidentiality is an issue, you can mail support in the form of a money order or even cash to WinkWinkNodNod, LLC at the address above. As stated above Google Wallet and other platforms allow you to do options of this, but they charge a small fee.
The downside of this VOLUNTARY membership fee approach is it is more unwieldy to have lots of small $5 donations coming in monthly. In the long run maybe this is exactly the approach that makes sense, but I think Daddy needs time to figure it out, technically and legally, and starting it this way will allow him to trouble shoot. For example we'll learn how many people send $50 and how many send $5 a month and which payment system(s) work best. Speaking only for myself I have no problem with the idea of an annual fundraising drive based on $25 and $50 monthly pledges, so this sets up two possible solutions and we can see which works best in practice. At core all of this comes down to a bunch of good-hearted people helping in a relatively small and painless way to accomplish a big, positive result.
So in summary, we need 20 people to give either $25 or $50 A MONTH FOR THE NEXT YEAR based on automatic, recurring payments through your bank's bill pay. And we need 50 people to give $5 a month, preferably donated as a ONE TIME $60 donation, using any of the payment platforms listed in this entire post. And we need you to let us know PRIVATELY what you are doing so we know how close we are to the $1000 a month goal and Daddy knows what to expect. I will be working with him to set this up and to compile a master list of donations.
Personally I like the idea that those of us who are doing this get some kind of recognition, but I also understand the concerns about making this 100 % VOLUNTARY and avoiding anything that feels in any way coercive. We're doing this out of the goodness of our hearts to support something we care about. So let's just do it and we'll figure out the details as we go along.
THANKS GUYS AND GIRLS!!!!!
Unfortunately I am technology challenged to say the least. Without some serious prompting, from a friend, it might have taken me days to set-up an automatic payment plan, to the forum, but the process is now completed. Guys if an aging, retired, old fag like me can afford $25.00 a month so can many of the rest of us. Twenty five dollars a month really isn’t all that much considering the outstanding pleasure and service this site has given us over the year. Now is the time to step up and open up the wallets.
Of course, I'm going to support the site with a monthly contribution. There has to be Palm Springs Weekend #13!
Separate names with a comma.