BitBuilt and Advertisements

In which form, if any, would you like to see ads on BitBuilt?

  • Introduce ads across the site

  • Introduce ads for non-registered users

  • Introduce a paid VIP rank

  • Do not introduce ads


Results are only viewable after voting.

Noah

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I've always maintained the stance that BitBuilt would be an advertisement free site and that's still true, if it's something the community wants.

This thread is just here to get an idea of the what majority of you think about advertisements on websites and if you think having them here would be intrusive. So, why even talk about ads in the first place?

I'm perfectly fine with funding the site by myself and that's not going to change anytime soon. That being said, something I can't fund myself is a real nice VPS or Dedicated Server that would allow us to do some incredible things to the site like host multiple gaming servers at a time. (steam games, Minecraft, etc.) If we kept the same level of hosting, we'd also be able to bump up the contest budgets by a considerable amount and get things like all-expense paid trips to MGC, Nintendo Switches, etc. Obviously this wouldn't happen until next year's contest but the fact still remains.

I also am aware of the fact that some forums have a "VIP Rank" in which users subscribe monthly to get little perks and benefits such as their own subforum, custom name color, custom banner, and access to use programs depending on the type of forum it is. I'm not sure exactly what we would be able to offer from that standpoint but we could certainly consider it as an option if there was enough interest.

So, what are our current options?

  • Introduce ads across the site (top and bottom of the page)
  • Introduce some kind of "BitBuilt VIP"
  • Introduce ads only for guests (users who are not logged in)
  • Forget ads and keep going the way we are now
Remember, I at no point will ever force ads onto this site. Currently, the store doesn't provide enough income to be able to afford a sizable budget for the contests which is why the prize total tends to be around $500. We also don't need a VPS or dedicated server to host the website. We get a pretty sizable amount of traffic but internet forums take barely any resources as it is.

TL;DR: We're not introducing ads unless a sizable portion of the community wants us to so that we can get better contest prizes and or a beefier server for hosting the site and gaming servers or other services.

So let us know your thoughts. We'd love to get feedback and I've included a poll in this post so that we can get a better feel of what everyone is thinking so please vote!
 
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If it would support this site and the community i would be fine with having ads on the site. As long as they are not pop-up/under ads i would have no problem at all with it.

It is commendable that this site has been paid out of pocket by one of its members and we could spread the burden i'll happily do my part of scrolling past the ads to get to the content. ;)
 

GC64

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I think the best option here would be to put up ads for non-registered users. Clearly we need ads to fund stuff like prizes, so this way we can have them and gain more members. Just please.. no vip users :/
 
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I like the idea of ads, as long as they are not overbearing. Ads on the top and bottom are fine, but pop ups just make people frustrated and want to leave the site. We want to make this site better, and I thinks ads are a great way to do that.
 

Stitches

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Under no condition should a VIP status be introduced. Few people would actually pay for a VIP status, so the income from it alone would probably not be enough to support the extra features. Also, if a VIP status was implemented, many people would feel alienated from the website.

BitBuilt certainly does need an income to operate better, so ads across the site is an acceptable option. Ads for non-registered users alone would alienate people who are not yet ready to make a BitBuilt user account, as they would feel as if they were being forced into doing so. Additionally, ads for non-registered users exclusively would limit ad revenue unnecessarily.

I also think that BitBuilt should have some form of a donation bin. Although donations alone would not be enough to support the site, donations could provide at least a small supplementary income. If donations are implemented, it would be nice to see some of this money go to the brains behind Portablize Mii and other protablization enhancements.

And although I believe that a VIP status should never be introduced, a "BitBuilt Build" status could be. "BitBuilt Build" would be a whole new wing of the BitBuilt website with two separate divisions, one being paid, and one free. Through the "BitBuilt Build" paid subscription service, BitBuilt would provide a completely online access to PCB design programs, 3d design programs, and other good tools like MultiSim. This would allow users to easily access these important tools no matter the computer platform, or what computer they were using. Through the free services, "BitBuilt Build" would provide a modified version of the forums where people could access and revise a design file for a project, while listing their changes. Essentially, it would be our own fusion of the forums and GitHub. The free and paid services would also be closely intertwined; when saving a file with the paid services, the user could either save to their computer, or save to a new or current thread in the free services. When opening a file with the free services, non paying users would have to download the file to their computer and open it with their software, but paying users would also have the option to open the file directly in BitBuilt, and modify it there.
You bring up a good point with VIP alienation, but that's easy enough to prevent. VIP doesn't really need many cool exclusive features, it could be as simple as a $5+ per month recurring donation that gives you a shiny badge under your name that says "I help keep this cool shit going". Maybe even an evolving badge that gets cooler at predefined service milestones. It won't so much reel in new users, but for all the site and its users have done to help me, I'd certainly donate to the site hosting if there was a button for it, even without a reward (There might be already and I just haven't found it). I'm sure many of the older regs would also chip in a bit to support the site.

I dunno how much it'd help, but it's worth exploring and discussing further than just "VIP is bad".
 

GingerOfOz

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Personally, I feel like the contests are more to show off hard work than to actually win things. I despise ads on websites, and I love how ad-free we are.

I also feel like dedicated game servers wouldn't actually benefit very many people, although that may just be me.
 

Aurelio

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Personally, I feel like the contests are more to show off hard work than to actually win things. I despise ads on websites, and I love how ad-free we are.

I also feel like dedicated game servers wouldn't actually benefit very many people, although that may just be me.
Nobody likes ads, although keeping a forum alive requires funds and there are few people that spend many hours each week to make this forum possible and to make cool stuff. We all know that donations don't really work (I tested it myself :P), so ads are probably the best option.
 

Doom

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TBH we could probably make Bank from Skittles ads
 

Matthew

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While I am more in the opinion of having no ads whatsoever, it doesn't have anything to do the revenue from it or the alienation, it stems from me being a Privacy advocate. While I won't share my opinions on such matters, I think that the best way to increase money for competitions would be to just up the entry fee.

I do believe that having more money flowing to those who make huge contributions to PM and the site would be good, so I understand that adding Ads to the site may be a necessity, I think that if we do include ads that it should only be for non-registered users and for those that have a newbie banner. As long as the ads aren't intrusive, I suppose it won't bother me. Though I will be using several newer techniques to avoid being tracked.
 

jefflongo

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My opinion on the matter is this:

I fully support a VIP badge. As @Stitches suggested it could have milestone increments, similar to twitch subscriptions. That being said, it does not need to have special perks. This simply provides a way for members to give back to the community.

I'm not a huge fan of ads but if they're non intrusive I could live with it. Making ads only available to unregistered users/newbies is an option too, however we should not bombard newcomers to the site with ads as to turn them away.
 
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DeoNaught

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I think it would be fine if you put an ad here and there, Like one at the bottom, and then one or two across the page.
 

cheese

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I use adblock, so it wouldn't affect me as much if ads were introduced ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I kinda want to stick to the ad-free experience we originally intended, as ads (or blank boxes where ads would go) detract from the overall look and feel of a site, however I understand that the site costs money.

I had an idea (that apparently never made it here lmao) where ads would be shown to guests and users under 10 posts. That way when you are promoted from newbie to member you would also be "promoted" to an ad-free experience. This would also have the effect of promoting contributions to the community.

Also, probs throw an ad at the bottom of the PM pack generator page since people won't be going there often, but there are a decent number of unique visits/downloads of the pack.
 

Shank

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This website is a huge time and money sink for the guys behind the curtain, so having the opportunity to monetize it to pay for the utilities and prizes given to us, should be completely reasonable. Any money made will be dumped right back into improving our community. The fact that @Noah has left this up to us to decide, and has been so transparent about it, deserves commendation and is yet another example of how much he cares about this community.

Now, onto my opinions. It will sound crazy at first, but I think this is an excellent "everybody wins" idea. I think monetization should be implemented, through both ads and premium membership, and here is what examples I would have in mind.

ADS:
For ads, I think everyone, including guests, registered users, and premium users, should have ads enabled by default. However, every registered member (ALL, not just 'premium' ones) is given the option to disable ads in their user preferences. Upon disabling ads users will get a message that says something like "ads are nonintrusive and help support the website and contests, but can be disabled if you choose to. Are you sure you want to disable ads?"and they click confirm and boom, no more ads. This will provide revenue, and anybody it bothers can easily disable it. Maybe have it occasionally show a funny pig or googly eye meme instead of the usual ad every now and then to show gratitude to those leaving ads on

Premium:
I think premium users should get a bunch of tiny perks like:
-10% discount from the BB store
-Access to a secret subforum section exclusive to premium members. (Maybe people posting secret memes in said secret group?)
-A special banner or something along that line
Another unofficial thing thing would come along with the premium banner would be instant respect from the experienced members. I help as many people as I can here on the forums, but if someone with a premium banner asked for help, you bet your ass im gonna bust mine to help them solve their problems. I speak for most of us when I say when you show support for the community, they will more than return the favor.

Just a few ideas I had. This would allow a source of money, without kneecapping the non-premium users at all.
 
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