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Author Topic: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...  (Read 3165 times)

Offline Admin

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Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« on: April 16, 2015, 09:43:11 AM »
Soon it will be time to renew my web hosting fees for The Peace Corps Forum. The fee is a little less than $600 to renew for five more years.  I can afford it, but I have decided to let the guests and members of the Forum contribute as a way of deciding whether to continue the website. 

Each donation would be a vote of confidence in The Peace Corps Forum and a vote to keep the site going.  If the money is raised I will assume that The Peace Corps Forum is viable, and it will continue.  If the money is not raised, we will let turn the lights out.

I will be creating a Kickstarter project soon for this.

What do you all think?
...Administrator  (RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013)

Offline shawn g

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 03:51:15 PM »
I'd say keep it online. However, if you try to crowdfund the 600 dollars i don't think you would gain much success. This is a good alternative to the facebook group and PC reddit. So, i would say keep it online, but if you try to crowdfund for the 600 be prepared to pay a good majority out of pocket.

Offline Admin

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 07:12:17 AM »
Hmmm... Are you saying that the crowd funding idea would not necessarily be a good way to judge interest in the web site?  That I may not raise the money, but  that would not necessarily indicate a lack of interest?
...Administrator  (RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013)

Offline Jenny

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 03:30:54 PM »
No I don't think it would be a good way to judge interest in the site. I was using the site before I made an account to look for the obvious; info on the Peace Corps...I found the site helpful. However most people won't/don't pay for use of websites. I know this because a  friend runs a political based site/forum that has a decent Alexa rating, gets an impressive amount of views each day, and has been successful for 8 years now with 60,000+ members with accounts and a great amount of regular guest views each day. However when he tries to fund-raise it is like pulling teeth. No one (I take that back, some ppl do, most do not) gives money to websites.

That being said the few times he has mentioned closing the site; you'd think it was the end of the world with his members, they love the place, they cry, they write lengthy posts about why he shouldn't close it. People love it, they use it, they just simply won't pay for it.

I will donate some money to the kickstarter, and I hope you are able to raise enough to keep it open. It is better than reddit in my mind.

However if you do not raise much, don't take it as a sign that people don't like the site/are not interested in keeping it around/have not found it helpful, it simply means what almost any other forum admin/websmater will tell you; people don't/won't pay for websites with a few exceptions.

You should not be solely responsible for the financial aspect of keeping it open, so I understand the desire to fund raise and I think it is a nice idea an you should give it a try (although keep in mind your audience also...PCV's who don't make much $ and invitees who are going through medical clearance expenses....), but like it was said above don't be too surprised if you come up a bit short.

I'll keep my eye open for the fundraiser/kickstarter

Offline shawn g

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 08:55:46 PM »
I completely agree with Jenny. This is better than reddit. No one is criticized for their opinions on here. With that being said, your main audience is pcv's or invitees who don't really have much breathing room as far as money goes due to the medical bills they may or may not be having to pay for out of pocket. Lack of donating does not equal lack of interest. If people were required to pay to view this website no one would be willing to do so or not many for that matter. The internet has and always will be a free tool(with the exception of having to pay for a flat monthly fee) for people to gain information and entertain themselves on. So, you can try to crowdfund but as i have said and jenny has said, don't be suprised if come up short. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, and i hope you decide to keep this site open.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 04:38:04 PM »
I just want to add in my $.02 - which is pretty much the same $.02 everyone else has added.

Fundraising ability is definitely not an indicator of interest in a website (especially one such as this, that is mainly informational for a somewhat transient population).

That being said, I'd hate to see the site go down!  If anything, it needs more advertising/promotion (though I'm not sure how to accomplish that....).
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline Admin

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 04:50:13 PM »
Thanks so much for the kind words everyone.  You guys have given me a lot to think about.  I now see that the fundraising idea as a gauge of interest is not a good idea, though I may do it just to see what happens.

Jeff, I agree more marketing can be done but, like you, I am not sure how to accomplish that. 

As long as one or two people want it to stay up it will..  so it will stay up.  Stay tuned for info on the crowd-funding project.  It will be fun just see what happens with that, but however that turns out The Peace Corps Forum will stay up no matter what.

I am very grateful for your input.
...Administrator  (RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013)

Offline Jeff

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Re: Keep The Peace Corps Forum online? You decide...
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 08:18:06 PM »
I'm not sure if Kickstarter offers this, but you could always use a site that has flexible funding where even if it is not 100% funded, it still funds with what was raised.  I believe Indiegogo does that....??
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17