View Full Version : Site Sponsorship / Recognition -- *** PLEASE VOTE ***

Charles Kozierok
04-14-2003, 05:13 PM
Hi Everyone,

An old thread about site sponsorship has been brought back up, and raised again some issues about the sponsorship of the site, donations and other matters.

I once again want to emphasize that the site is not in any risk of going anywhere, and I am not soliciting for donations at this time.

That said, many of the regulars here, due to being wonderful and generous people, have offered to voluntarily donate money. The question I want to discuss here is the matter of whether there should be any form of recognitions / perks for being a site sponsor.

I was originally reluctant to do this, as I did not want to make those who chose not to donate feel bad. However, recognition is done routinely on many other sites. And I think that heck, if someone is willing to voluntarily pay for the site, what's wrong with them getting some recognition?

I also am going to come up with a list of "perks" for those who choose to donate to the site. Note that as of right now this will not include suppression of ads on the forums. My deal with RAM Electronics is that they get run of the forums. It would be unethical for me to start excluding ads from certain pages. It is possible that this might change in the future. I will instead come up with some other benefits for sponsors.

Based on feedback on the last poll, I am setting the sponsorship level for recognition and perks I am selecting as $25/year. That's about $2 a month of course.

Now to the poll: I have made this a poll specifically because it allows me to get feedback anonymously. I won't know how you vote, but please vote HONESTLY. I want to know how people feel about the plan to provide recognition.

Note that even if recognition is made of those who choose to donate, any individual who sponsors the site may individually opt to NOT be publicly recognized. The question is whether anyone has a problem seeing OTHERS be recognized.

If you have any other feedback or suggestions regarding perks, the sponsorship level or anything else, please feel free to chime in.

Thanks again to all.


Charles Kozierok
04-14-2003, 05:34 PM
Incidentally, while you obviously can vote anonymously, you should also feel free to provide feedback on why you voted if you wish. While I realize many people might not want me to know that they think recognition is a bad idea, it would be useful if some folks could help me understand why.

I promise I won't hold any opinions against their respective owners. :)


Fruss Tray Ted
04-14-2003, 05:36 PM
I've seen other sites get into a downright cyber 'brawl' about dues and donations. Not saying that would happen here but it IS leaving that open to possibly happening.

Seems as though those people that could, but choose not to donate get quite 'testy' to say the least.

I vote for evenly distributed perks.

Those that agree enter aye or nay here:

<input type="invisible" value="">

Just kidding!! :D
Try it though...

Charles Kozierok
04-14-2003, 05:39 PM
Ted: Can you describe what you mean about "brawling" over dues and donations? "Testy" in what way? I'd like to understand this better. Seriously.


P.S. If everyone has a "perk" it is no longer a "perk", by definition. ;)


04-14-2003, 05:41 PM
If I chose to donate or chose not to donate, I would prefer my choice to remain anonymous.

I quite strongly disagree with perks for sponsors. I am all for perks for service and merit; rewards for work well done. I despise the idea of purchasing any form of status, or receiving special treatment or extra "favors" for money.

I believe if one chooses to donate, the knowledge that they have supported something they deem worthy will be enough reward. If one wishes for it to be known that they donated, they can send a message to Charles when they remit payment or they can post a thread. A thank you is more than enough. Giving freely has its own personal and better perks - feeling good! You know, all warm and squooshy inside:p ;)

david eaton
04-14-2003, 05:55 PM
I agree with Malcore, recognition for sponsors is probably not a good idea. Those who do pay will know that they have done their bit, and those who don't will not be able to use the "well, you pay so you get ******* , and it isn't fair!" argument. Look at the thread about avatars!

And, again, it could lead to newcomers thinking that they had to pay to use the site. I know that is NOT the intention, but based on some bad experiences elsewhere, I think it could happen.


04-14-2003, 06:28 PM
I agree with malcore.

04-14-2003, 06:51 PM
Understandably, money is a touch subject to most people. I definitely don't mean to upset or offend anyone.

I do donate to free services that I use and profit from and strongly encourage others like me to do the same. It takes cash to run a class act like PC Guide. (and PBS, for that matter!)

Mark Miller
04-14-2003, 06:52 PM
I also agree and I have also seen what FTT is talking about. A note being posted about contributions being needed and then when not enough people came forward another note saying how disappointed at the lack of response. this of course led more people to come forward or to offer some really bizarre reason why the donation could not get there. All in all not a pleasant site.
Thankfully you have Ram, but they really don't have a sponser for the forum part of the site.
Anyway I just made a contribution based on another thread and am happy to go along with how the majority of people feel this should be handled.
I don't contribute allot to the site but I sure like being here.
Mark:D :D :D

Fruss Tray Ted
04-14-2003, 08:52 PM
The donations of the other site were to provide a better server to get to the same as here, vB. But lots of members wanted nothing to do with handing over any assistance to that goal.

"The internet is free and should remain that way', "Look at all the other sites and THEY never ask for donations" and that sort of thing... (But it got much nastier)

Not to dredge up old discontent and out of respect for the members here (and there) that I know are also members there, I will send a PM if you don't mind. It appears the one thread I would have really wanted to send you is gone! Cannot find it whatsoever. Plenty of asides though... You'll get the drift.

The key is in the "asking" for donations (there) where it is NOT asked of here, though clearly stated as a voluntary thing 'there' as well. Still, it upset some people.

Papertech, http://www.pcguide.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif PBS!

I wholeheartedly agree with you, but the cat is out of the bag for me... I said it "there" and I say it HERE. I feel it's worth it. I feel the need to help shampooing the rug, fixing the vacuum,,, and learning.. 'cause when something with my system (that is over my head :rolleyes: ) messes up, you (here) will be the first I cling to... I just hope I can return the favor eventually.


04-14-2003, 09:22 PM
I agree with what the general theme seems to be here, allow yearly sponsorships, but no perks. I personally don't care about recognition and would not want it myself, but I also would not object to those that do. As long as you have good sponsorship like RAM, I don't see the need to add any pressure to have people contribute. The reality of the situation is that those who can least afford to contribute would also be the ones who often most need the help. I am also aware that even though I can afford to contribute, I probably would not have even registered here if there was a big push to get me to give money or if it was hard to find the forum under all the ads...

04-15-2003, 02:58 AM
I'm with Malcore and Budfred. Optional donations and ability to
opt-out of perks.

04-15-2003, 06:57 AM
I also agree with what appears will be the most popular vote.

As you mentioned:
I was originally reluctant to do this, as I did not want to make those who chose not to donate feel bad.
I think that would be a real possibility- Some I think would feel that they stood out too much if it was visible to others, and would feel obligated to donate. Others would just plain be turned off.
As Malcore said.."that warm and squooshy inside" feeling would be thanks enough.

Which makes me very curious...Off hand, I can't think of what kind of "perks" you had in mind- (Short of making RAM Electronics invisible, which I know you don't want to do, nor would there be any reason to.)

The other thing is, if the popular vote stands, isn't that what we already have with the voluntary Tip Jar?
Unless of course a yearly donation was mandatory, which would I think turn people away.

Guess I'm just rambling here. I just had another thought...(Don't you guys hate it when that happens? :p )
Maybe the "Tip Jar" could become a little more visible. While anyone that reads can see it up there, it's pretty tiny.
Perhaps a slightly larger pic of a "clickable jar", or even a larger tip jar "button" might make it a little more visible to people as they sign in.
An example would be the actual Paypal donate button at the bottom of Black Vipers site.

Not necessarily the Paypal button itself, but something that size which would bring people to the area the present link does.
OK, this post is already too long...If I come up with any more silly ideas, I'll be sure to share them! :D

04-15-2003, 10:21 AM
Wow...You're a mind reader!
As I saw it slipping down in the forum, I was just about to suggest this thread be pinned so an important poll wouldn't get lost, and Viola! Here it was!

(Woops...Sorry about two posts in a row) :rolleyes:

04-15-2003, 11:32 AM
I agree with all the above. Originally, I was enthusiastic on the whole idea of everyone just paying a yearly subscription of something like $25. Seemed most reasonable to me, and thought all the regulars would feel pretty much the same. No requirement for newbies, or people just asking questions...they could use the Tip Jar if so inclined, but no pressure on it (as now). But then, during the previous thread back in July, I realized that it's not always possible for someone overseas to donate easily. You run into money exchange problems and different kinds of credit cards, etc. I am too lazy this morning to go and copy your exact quote, ixl, but I believe you said "can't or won't donate" in a recent post. It's the "can't" that makes me want to keep donations/subscriptions anonymous. Can't because of financial, or can't because of location..either way, there shouldn't be a "penalty" like perks not available, or recognition not given.

And it reminds me of the T shirt idea. I loved that idea, but cannot think of how we could even begin to do that..and how we would get T shirts to members in England, the Phillipines, etc and etc.

04-15-2003, 11:53 AM
Ooops! If anyone is feeling pressured, it's probably because I've been trying to motivate those who have been thinking about donating to do so. In another thread, I put out a challenge. Sorry if it was offensive - totally not intended as I for one feel niceness it most important. Ixl tried to play down my challenge. It was NOT he who was doing the asking. I believe he started this thread since the old one (from July 2002) was getting renewed activity. (There are members who have joined since then.) Anyway, I have completed my fund raising efforts for the time being and I apologize if I stepped on any toes.

Ever since the war controversy, feelings have been on edge. I think everyone agrees that this is the best forum of any type out there and all the members are wonderful.

04-15-2003, 12:46 PM
papertech: I took no offense. It's just that I have an old fussy lady's belief that if one takes public credit for a good deed, one doesn't get credit with the Big Guy. And, trust me, I need all the credit with Him I can get..:D

ixl: I admit that I am confused though. Are the site costs being covered by RAM, or are additional funds needed? If the latter is the case, how much is the shortfall/difference? Can it be easily covered by those members in a position, either financial or location, to do so? I don't want you to be out of pocket. I know that that was the case for awhile, and as much benefit as we regulars derive from this site, that doesn't seem right to me. I am most willing to help, but thought that it wasn't necessary any more, and now unsure again. So?

04-15-2003, 01:47 PM
The purpose of the membership fee is to raise money. The more people that see others have contributed makes them more likely to contribute.

If someone wants to opt out, they can opt out. I give money to charity and ask for my name to be withheld all of the time. It is a personal decision for each of us to make.

This site does not happen for free and it is up to us to support it.

04-15-2003, 01:50 PM

I was working on some thoughts in WordPad on my home computer...and here I am at my office sans notes! :( But, I deemed it apropos to jump in to follow up on the T-shirt thingy.

My thoughts were along the same line and trying to disect the possible psychological "collateral damage" of a purchase with a known portion of the proceeds dedicated to the forums.

I kinda like the idea myself! :) I also realize the logistics of such an offer could create a "preoccupation" of mammoth proportions! :rolleyes:

So, what about an annual or semi-annual T-shirt offering? Perhaps it could be handled in the "After Hours Forum" since it would more than likely be something the regulars would be the most interested in obtaining?

There might even be a company out there willing to handle the logistics for a couple bucks to sustain an on-going offer...

I'm also wondering about some sort of monitary compensation for our moderators? If I'm poking around in an arena that's not meant to be public domain...my upfront apologies with a hearty..."nevermind!" :D

Mark Miller
04-15-2003, 02:33 PM
I think T shirts would be a great idea but first we need to come up with a logo. Maybe just the pc guides, or if someone is artistic and original something different. The only problem I see with that is that you can't order 10 shirts and we sure don't want anyone to get "stuck" with the extras. The good thing is the site could sell them for the 25 fee and make a profit if we could sell enough. Just a thought. Something tangible for a contribution.

04-15-2003, 03:45 PM
For the T-shirt idea: if ixl is not overly invested in the idea of making money on the idea, it would be possible to produce a template for the PCGuide T-shirt that would be posted on the board and downloaded. The person on the other end can print it on transfer paper for making T-shirts (readily available in most computer supply stores) and make their own shirt. The drawbacks would be that the shirts would not be consistent and it would be difficult to charge for. The advantages include no real economic risk and ready availabiity all over the world. As long as people have a color printer and the transfer paper available, it can be done anywhere.

Caveat: I have never actually used this T-shirt tech, so if it doesn't work the way I said, please ignore this entire post...:rolleyes: :D

Charles Kozierok
04-15-2003, 04:13 PM
My thanks to everyone for their thoughts and votes on this subject. I am going to reply in general terms to some of the issues that have been raised.

Before I begin, I will reiterate once again: the site is not in danger of being shut down, and the RAM ad is, for the time being, covering the costs of keeping the forums running. Whether this will be the case next month or next year is anyone's guess. I am grateful for the support of the fine folks at RAM, but I also know that times are tight in the business, and no web site can afford to make assumptions about its future. This is part of why I am addressing this issue now.

I see that the votes are running about 2:1 against my idea. Normally, I would just accept this and go with what the majority of you are saying. In this particular case, however, I'm afraid that many of you are voting "no" for reasons that either aren't applicable, or for reasons I just don't understand. It seems to me that many of you want very much to support the site, and I am grateful. You also seem to be somewhat modest, in that many of you want to do this without any form of recognition, and that's a sign of your good nature. But I am also picking up some undercurrents of fear. So I am going to give my reasons for why I think I do want to proceed with such a program, and maybe I can convince some of you or at least alleviate your concerns.

classicsoftware has summarized pretty well the bottom line. Many people want to contribute, but don't because they don't see that anyone else has. Sure, they see the reminder at the top of the page, but they tune it out. Human nature says that most people will use something for free and not make a voluntary donation. Only a special few will do so.

Having recognition for those who pay a voluntary membership fee serves two purposes: to provide recognition for those who are helping support the site, and to show others that this option exists. Certainly anyone who wants to may choose not to have this recognition granted. But I think that earlier, in my concern over non-donors "feeling bad" I have really missed the point, and maybe some of you are also.

It's not about making people who donate feel bad. It's about making those who do donate feel good, because they should: they are helping guarantee the future of the forums. And they deserve recognition for their good deed, if they want it. Furthermore, the recognition tells others people that this is an option, much better than the Tip Jar reminder does. Why? Because it's tangible, and people can see that others are doing it. People see the Tip Jar but have no idea if it is ever used.

Is this selfish, to want to have people see this sponsorship option and consider it? Maybe it is. But frankly, I think it is wholly unoffensive, and I really have bent over backwards to keep the truly offensive stuff off the site. There are no pop ads here, there are no huge vertical banners or other stuff like that. Some forums have ads on top, on the bottom, on the sides, under links to each forum, you name it. I don't want to do that. I also have never asked for money, and I also don't want to be in a position where RAM decides to cancel and the forums need another hardware upgrade and then I have to start doing exactly that.

As for those who don't donate "feeling bad".. Why? When you go into a hospital, or a library, or a museum, right there on the first floor is a large display showing the names of those who donated. It's recognition for their support. Do you feel "bad" that you have chosen not to donate? I certainly don't. I feel grateful to those who have donated. And it might make me consider donating myself in the future. But I don't feel "bad".

Now a few other issues. Kay mentioned something about those who don't donate being "penalized". I think this is looking at the glass as being half-empty instead of half-full. There are sites where those who do not pay literally get a crippled version of the site, or have no access to part of it, or can't participate as much as paying members. I am not suggesting this. I'm talking about minor perks, such as having "Sponsor" next to one's name, or perhaps being able to have a custom avatar prior to 1,024 posts or something like that. I am not going to make it so anyone feels compelled to pay just to participate. But I don't think those who do choose to give of their own free will should have to feel worried about those who don't give think.

Regarding the fact that these sorts of plans have led to fights on other sites: I expect better of our membership. We aren't like other sites. Fruss PM'ed me a link to another forum where they had these issues, which I appreciated. No offense to Fruss or those forums, but I took a look there and the argument was completely juvenile. I never see people carry on like that here (well, maybe with the exception of that Iraq war stuff, but let's ignore that. ;) ). And that forum was asking people to pay, so of course there was resentment. It doesn't apply here. I am not asking anyone to do anything.

Regarding payment: I get Disk Edition orders from around the globe. Those who live outside the U.S. usually have some way of getting payments here for a variety of reasons. Between Visa, Mastercard and Paypal most people should be covered. Those who can't pay, fine, it's voluntary and not a big deal.

Regarding malcore's sentiments: they are noble, but I don't agree with them. Service and merit are important, but so is money. That's the bottom line reality of life in a capitalist society. We need our members, our contributors, because they make the site what it is. But the site is a commercial enterprise, and I see nothing wrong with also granting recognition to those who support it financially.

The main thing I want people to consider is this: you all want to help the site. People talk about publicizing the Tip Jar better for example. But providing recognition to those who sponsor the site will help it more than not providing that recognition. And more than reminding people about the Tip Jar. I hope I have explained why, but if not, ask questions and I will try again. I realize there might be some problems with such a plan, but it will also yield a lot of benefits.

Regarding the T-shirts: this idea has been brought up before, and my response now is the same as then. If the reason for this is to help the site, it really doesn't unless someone else is willing to volunteer to do the work. My time is at a premium, and I know nothing about designing and having made T-shirts. I also don't have a logo worthy of a T-shirt. (The one on the site is okay, but it's not high enough quality for a shirt.) And I don't really want to spend time mailing out T-shirts -- once I have to start collecting addresses and buying boxes and stuffing them and taking them to the Post Office, the net benefit of the T-shirts to me becomes negligible. I hope it doesn't sound arrogant, but it's the truth.

I think a better approach there might be for the members of the forums who like the idea to maybe just make some T-shirts for fun. I'm willing to be involved in that project but I can't run it, I'm sorry.

Okay, that's enough rambling for now.

Thanks again... Charles

04-15-2003, 05:37 PM
I also see nothing wrong with granting recognition.

However, giving special privileges to those who can "buy" them just leaves a bad tatse in my mouth - a microcosm of the unfortunate side of the capitalist reality - those who "can afford" it get preferential treatment.
(I realize what we are talking about here is not on the same scale of health care or legal assistance, but it nonetheless leaves a feeling of unease)

If it's true that showing who has donated and who has not will increase support for the site, then by all means give it a go.

I'm glad you find my sentiments noble :D but don't fall into the trap of confusing nobility with naivety. I very much appreciate the importance of money in this world. That was not my point.

Anyway, last words- recognition is fine, perks or extra priveleges I don't much care for. I would almost prefer ads!:eek: ;)

Paul Komski
04-15-2003, 05:50 PM
Personally I'm as indifferent to recognition of sponsorship as I am to avatars - as long as there is an option (as with avatars) of choosing not to see such "distractions".

Since maintaining the site is not causing financial embarrassment, sponsorship can have only one of two effects; to increase a slush fund for the uncertain future or to enrich/reward ixl for his valiant efforts to date.

I can however state that I will not formally sponsor the site if this is to be publicised unless it is made mandatory, at which point I would review the situation. The fact that others will see me as a skinflint or whatever is their problem - not mine.

My own solution for raising cash in a non-divisive (or half-full) way would be to start a monthly lottery. Take a big cut for the site if you like. Those who have purchased "tickets" could be shown on a special page (and would be thereby de facto sponsors - but one (or more) lucky one(s) could come up trumps. All "could" be winners that way.

Charles Kozierok
04-15-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by malcore
I also see nothing wrong with granting recognition.

Okay, thanks.

However, giving special privileges to those who can "buy" them just leaves a bad tatse in my mouth - a microcosm of the unfortunate side of the capitalist reality - those who "can afford" it get preferential treatment.
I'm glad you find my sentiments noble :D but don't fall into the trap of confusing nobility with naivety. I very much appreciate the importance of money in this world. That was not my point.

I wasn't trying to accuse you of being naÔve. I am simply saying that I don't view this matter the same way you do. You might not guess that I feel this way given that I most certainly have not tried to exploit this site to its full commercial potential, but I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with someone getting preferential treatment if they pay for it, depending on what the "it" is. As you point out, this is not health care or legal representation. The fact is that every day people get "preferential treatment" for this or that when they pay for it. Everything from transportation to food to entertainment. Everything you pay money for that someone else does not entitles you to some sort of "preferential treatment". In that context, what I am talking about here is relatively minor.

Anyway, thanks for your continued thoughts, much appreciated.


Charles Kozierok
04-15-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by Paul Komski
Personally I'm as indifferent to recognition of sponsorship as I am to avatars - as long as there is an option (as with avatars) of choosing not to see such "distractions".

Hmm. Not sure about this. Assuming I do go through with this, I don't know if I can make it so people won't be able to see those who are recognized as sponsors. I also don't know if I want to do that.

Since maintaining the site is not causing financial embarrassment, sponsorship can have only one of two effects; to increase a slush fund for the uncertain future or to enrich/reward ixl for his valiant efforts to date.

Well, there is no separate or distinct "slush fund", just as the costs for the forums for the many months where they had no sponsor were not separately accounted. Part of it will yes, be used to compensate me for my time. I also want some of it to be used for potential future ugprades. And I also want to pay some money to the moderators, something I looked into earlier and forgot, and am having my accountant (wife :D) investigate anew this week.

I can however state that I will not formally sponsor the site if this is to be publicised unless it is made mandatory, at which point I would review the situation. The fact that others will see me as a skinflint or whatever is their problem - not mine.

Again, if I proceed with this plan, anyone who sponsors the site will have the option of doing so anonymously, in which case they will not receive any recognition.

In a way, this might be a good thing. It will mean that nobody can assume anyone is or is not a sponsor just by seeing the little "marker". Just as right now nobody can tell who sponsors the site unless they tell someone.

My own solution for raising cash in a non-divisive (or half-full) way would be to start a monthly lottery. Take a big cut for the site if you like. Those who have purchased "tickets" could be shown on a special page (and would be thereby de facto sponsors - but one (or more) lucky one(s) could come up trumps. All "could" be winners that way.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm pretty sure this would just result in all the losers feeling cheated... and I don't think the government here would look too kindly on my running a lottery. :)


04-16-2003, 04:14 AM
Re: T-shirts -- If one just waits until their kids and grandkids get old enough to be gift givers, you will have more T-shirts than you will ever need. Or, is it just my kookie family? I have a drawer full of them. T-shirts, that is.

Re:Recognition -- How about a small unobtrusive indicator that a donation has been made? Suggest a dollar sign ($) at one end or the other of the avitar string (with the ability to opt-out). Other than that, no perks or privileges for a donation.

04-16-2003, 10:54 AM
Budfred : Excellent idea. I even have some of those T shirt things for the printer that got sent to me accidentally when I ordered something else. Have no idea if the transfers work well..haven't tried to do it. Agree that we should start an After Hours discussion, though...and we could tie in a download of pattern to a donation, even though it wouldn't be possible to make the donation part mandatory.

ixl : I gave this a lot of thought last night, and just read carefully your remarks. I was thinking last night that I tend to "forget" to give any money to PBS until they ask for some. So, I understand your point about a "reminder" of sorts. I was also thinking maybe we could do something similar to PBS in the sense that every six months, or every three months, one of the moderators or you could pull up a "fund raising" thread and ask for donations and post "progress" on donations until goal met. The goal doesn't necessarily have to be stated in monetary terms..just some way to measure progress of donations..maybe an illustration similar to the poll illustration. Depending on levels of sponsorship, this might be a supplemental as well?

Okay, I am picking up "determination" on your part for the recognition stuff...so fine, but I would ask that whatever you do is very discreet and small. I am still on the world's slowest dialup..and recently been down to 21,400 bps (sob!..haven't decided who to fuss at..the phone company or my ISP).

04-16-2003, 11:34 PM
Everybody like using the PBS model...but tends to forget, PBS doe recognise donors. Heck, they even give out some stuff I would like to get, but it always for giving more than I want to give...

04-16-2003, 11:45 PM
I am not a PBS member, but I contribute to Minnesota Public Radio (Garrison Keillor and all that) which allows the option for contributors to NOT have their names read on the air. I would want the same option here, but okay with anyone else that wants their's listed....

04-17-2003, 08:37 PM
Whether to be recognised or not?
IMO it should be freedom of choice. My choice being not recognised.

At no point in the future when I am feeling humpty (grouchy - bad tempered - arrogant) can I say to someone "--- I pay for this ---" and therefor no one can say the same to me.

I point out "Fred Langa's" News letter (IMO the best one going). He has a "Freebie" And a "Donation" The difference being in some content and in downloads. From the donations, after any running costs, he supports kids in the third world.

Here, if perks were instituted they could be in the form that Charles has suggested, with the option of whether these options are shown on the site next to members name (would this be possible?) or not.

So, if neither Charles, or the moderators, wanted to be payed for all there hard work, then any surplus money could go this way.

Payment from overseas (UK for example)
To send a cheque (you guys call it a check) for £16.00 ((25$) would cost virtually the same as a checque for a lot more.

I would like to suggest that for those over here (UK & Ireland) someone volenteers to collect the donations. (Here I would pass the pound - others might say the Punt or in the US "Pass the Buck" to someone else) and send them in one lump. I would be willing to send my donation to whomever chose to be this person. Whether I could /can afford the full £16.00 or only a part of it would make no diffenrence.

Even though "RAM" is an American company and therefor of no real use to me for purchasing items, I occasionally click onto their link to brows through it. Some good info there. The positioning of the advert is not in the least obtrusive. This says a lot for both Charles's abillity to chat up a good sponsor and RAM's willingness to remain reasonably unobtrusive. This is most unusual in sponsors for web sites.

So no matter what happens with donations try to keep RAM as long as possible.

Charles, you do have a very good Logo. Look to the top of any page. A small addition could be made, along the lines of "...THE friendly computer help forum... "...***.pcguide.com..." And a link to downloadable file for making transfer sounds good to me.

As for the consensus. 2-1 against recognition. This about sums it up in the democratic system :)
Besides it is good to something good every day and not be found out.

04-18-2003, 02:40 AM
Definetly like the T shirt idea, haveing people come up with ideas for the design would proberly keep the spirit of the forum around it.

Might make it nice but would only work if the project was handed over to a third party to produce and that is to have your forum name under the logo, it would be fun to spot a forum design and see someones name you recognise.

You never know the third party could do a collection of items from baseball caps to small pc tool kits with a simple link to the shop (Coffee mugs etc)

04-18-2003, 09:51 AM
I see no problem with perks and recognition for those who give money or time to the site, these fine folks should have the option of opting out if they wish to.

Frankly, I not going to be the least bit concerned over the fact that someone else might have a few more "options" when using the forum then me or wants to brag that "they paid for it and I didn't".

I got bigger worries :D :D

04-20-2003, 09:09 PM
I would more then be glad to sponsor this site, and if Charles chooses to do perks and recognition, it is his right.
I have had some personal problems, and am trying to run 2 businesses, so I have not had the time I once had to study this site. As you see when I can get some extra time, I am here.
When I came to the P C Guide, about 2 years ago, I just knew how to turn on a computer, now I own a computer shop and Pete is my Cheif Tech, all thanks to Charles.
Charles should be paid for his time and effort for this great site. I agree with the yearly membership fee. I can cut back on my beer and cigs to pay a $25 a year fee. Yes, I have bought the disk. People $25 a year is only $2.10 a month, $.48 a week or $.07 a day, I can find that amount by walking and looking down and bending over and picking up change off the ground and side walks. I charge $25 just to look at a customers computer, labor and parts are extra. Those of you who do not want to pay the $25 yearly fee can pay $25 for each time your computer problem is solved.
I have posted before what this site and Charles have done for me. I have made many friends from this site and the chat room. Space will not allow me room to tell how much knowlege I have recieved from Charles and the great members of the PC Guide.
This is not written in any way to make anyone fell bad.
We can disagree and still be brothers, and yes Kay sisters.
Charles I am behind you all the way. Keep up the good work.
Maybe one day I will find the time to become more active.

Charles Kozierok
04-21-2003, 09:57 AM
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I was a bit afraid that after I wrote my long piece that everyone would basically say "okay, so do what you want Charles." :) I don't mean that in a negative way, I appreciate your input and for understanding my wishes here. But I don't want people to feel like they shouldn't disagree or whatever. (This is why I usually refrain from weighing in other issues until I feel it is time to make a decision.)

Again, I am not 100% certain I will proceed with this program. But if I do, anyone WILL have the option of donating but not being recognized. And any overt recognition will be small and unobtrusive, Kay. :)


04-21-2003, 06:53 PM

Check out this site for T-shirts. http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/ I am not sure what your profit would be, I think it depends onwhat you end up charging over the base price. You would just use the PCGuide logo, and your away. Very easy to set up. I have ordered the tshirt and mugs from other sites that I use and it is good quality stuff.

Just a suggestion for you. I am sure ther are regular members here who have software for editing your logo, but if not, I can get it to what it should be for t- shirt Quality.


04-22-2003, 11:27 AM
Personal note first..it's good to see you, Donna! I have missed you.

I have been busy, so haven't started a thread in After Hours, but think we should..on the TShirt subject. And, Charles said above that he doesn't have time to fool with it, so think we should come up with an idea that doesn't include him directly..you know? I haven't taken the time to think about it much, but like the transfer idea..but not sure about laser printers and such. So, anyway..need to raise the discussion soon..hhmm?

04-22-2003, 12:16 PM
My two cents worth;

It's fine to recognize that someone has given a donation as support for this sight. Not everyone is a computer whiz (myself included) and the way for them to support this sight is with a donation. As long as those with the cash don't have any special access to parts of this site or more priviledges than those who don't donate to support this site.

Maybe we can give a different recognition/award to those outstanding contributers to the site who regularly help those of us in need? Maybe have a monthly challenge or have an especially insightfull reply/solution be given special recognition in a thread that only the administrator can add to.

04-22-2003, 12:20 PM
I have stayed Out of this discussion ( except for my vote ) until now ..

Iíll start by saying the T Shirt Idea is a BAD Idea.
Printing cost , delivery cost , storage , Then Shipping and Handling
Will eat up more Funds than it brings in..
( Create a logo and allow it to be downloaded by Everyone )
Then Iíll make the wife Iron it onto one of my own shirts :)

I have seen and Lived through the donation supported board Idea before.
As a Co-Owner of a BBS that was funded by donations
It all ended up being a Losing Proposition .. For Everyone Involved

Keep the AD..
And accept the donations on a voluntary basis
Give the donor a perk or allow him/her the option of Not accepting it
One more little Icon under a posters name isnít going to make any difference

We Even Created a Page that Thanked and recognized the Donors by name
It didnít last long.. It was removed after the first dispute that ended with the a remark .
ďYour Name isnít on THE PAGEĒ

04-22-2003, 01:06 PM
I have to agree with you on this one, Thought all this was settled long ago That the site wouldn't turn into a carnival site like a few others out there.My two cents
Now off to the other world..

04-22-2003, 02:09 PM
I for one would be interested in donating to the site but I hope there is no due date for such a thing!! I fall into one of the catagories that Budfred (I think) mentioned. I liked his thoughts on that. Namely that most often times the ones who need the most help are the ones who cannot afford to pay for it. Sad but true in our great society. I agree with perking our donators but there should be an opt out for that! That's what I would want. As for the t-shirt idea, I think I like the downloadable transfer idea. I have worked with transfers and sometimes they come out and sometimes they just stain the shirt. Most transfers work best on white cotton shirts. I think it would be a neat idea to allow us to put our screen names on the shirts if we like. You never know who you will run into that will recognize your screen name and wouldn't it be great to actually meet someone from here. I know FTT would get a big hug from me, so would mjc and whyzman, just the whole bunch of you!! Well, that's my two cents for what it's worth. I don't want to lose this site, and I surely don't want ixl to be out anything in any way for running it. I for one would never set foot in another forum after finding this one! Take care,

04-22-2003, 02:24 PM
Donna...I was going to get back to about the tshirt thing you sent me but I had lost it and couldn't remember who sent it...my fault. I never did get it to ixl before. (yeah, I cleaned out my messages using the "select all" feature.....ooopssss).

I think the link Donna posted about the tshirts would take most of the hassle out of it. But DYI transfers would work too..

04-22-2003, 06:07 PM
No problem mjc. I figured something like that must of happened.

Thanks Kay, its nice to be back.

Rick, the link I put up takes all the hassle out of storage, shipping etc.......... thats why I posted it. other than ixl starting an acct with them and providing them with a logo, its pretty simple. And you get more options, not everyone wants a T-shirt. there is so much stuff.

I have a feeling this forum isnt going to turn into a gong show with the donation stuff. This is probably the best moderated forum on the internet. Thats why I keep coming back.:)

04-22-2003, 07:20 PM
I'm not sure if the site Donna posted uses transfer mediums for their shirt...however, I contend that there's nothing like a screened T...

I messed with the transfer mediums a few years back and there are a couple of issues I had with them. The concept was great, and I was going to monogram every article of clothing I owned...hehe

Unless things have changed, you do need to use a laser printer...I realize Kinkos can take care of that if you've one close.

However, the main deterent I found was that transfer logos or pictures were always rectangular. You could trim the transfers down to approximate the actual logo/picture, but the transfer "medium" would always come with mucking up the clear areas. And, there were a couple of Ts that took on dusting chores for not pulling through when I needed them!

If these folks can do singles or short runs reasonably that would be great.

04-22-2003, 07:22 PM
Any Donation amount $nn.nn Minus the COST of a TSHIRT = Less for the Board

04-22-2003, 07:33 PM
You could alway make it such that whoever donates cost of t-shirt + $X.XX gets one, or you could just sell t-shirts (personalized with screen-name will cost extra). I think http://www.MrExcel.com does sell t-shirts/mugs.

04-22-2003, 07:35 PM
Yes, up front money...however, what about all the free advertising drawing folks nigh???

We would want to have the web address prominently displayed, yes?

Put some country style pork ribs into the crock pot yesterday and browned them up in the oven covered with BBQ sauce...yum yum...I'd treat all you guys/gals if you were here...;)

What has that got to do with T-Shirts you might ask...absolutely nothing! Oh, that's a different thread...sorry! :confused:

04-23-2003, 12:12 AM
I'm sure that merchandising was the furthest thing from Charles' mind when he created this website. I'm sure he doesn't want yet more work to be put on him now.

I can't quite see what all the ruckus is about, after all, we're talking a lousy $25 here. Most of us spend more than that just going out to eat, once.

I am happy to contribute to the site, as it's still one of the best, if not the best, computer help sites on the net. I would like to see it stay that way.

And, I wouldn't mind some small unobtrusive form of recognition, but I don't want and don't expect any extra percs for my contribution.

04-23-2003, 12:18 AM
I see the whole T-shirt thing as being about people feeling positive about the forum and wanting to brag about it, not really as a fund raising effort. If we could get every registered member of the forum to buy a shirt at no less that $5 allotted to PCGuide, it might be worth merchandising, but that ain't going to happen.... This is why I am suggesting a template that we can download and create or own stuff if we want.

Truth be told: I don't wear T-shirts and would certainly never buy one myself.

04-23-2003, 12:36 AM
Budfred, are you a Minnesota transplant? You live in Minnesota and don't wear T-shirts? That's what the T in Minnesoda stands for...:p

Mark Miller
04-23-2003, 12:45 AM
Will the transfers work on mugs also?
I like mugs
Mark:D :D

04-23-2003, 03:23 AM
Originally posted by Mark Miller
Will the transfers work on mugs also?
I like mugs
Mark:D :D

:) I doubt it, hence the link, t shirts, mousepads, hats, mugs, teddybears., boxers, thongs, bags. All with the logo and url, great advertisng and a bit of cash for the site. :)

04-23-2003, 11:47 AM
Okay..fine..we'll talk about it here. I was thinking that we could probably get someone..Donna offered, poor thing..to design several ideas maybe for the transfer idea. And for someone like Budfred who doesn't wear TShirts, it might be possible to do some like a 600x800 pic that reads..I don't know, off top of head.."I am a PC Guide Geek!" that could be printed and framed, or used as screensaver..or whatever. Or something that included an "empty" area for someone to put whatever text they wanted in. Maybe do same design in several sizes, and suggest several "donation" amounts. Obviously, people could download without donating, but I suspect most people will donate if amounts are not too high.

The "catch" is that we would need someone to donate some Web space. A good quality jpg in the 600x800 is gonna run over 200K, and if one makes a bitmap so that anyone with Paint could "play" with it and put their own text in it..gonna run much more than that.

Fruss Tray Ted
04-23-2003, 01:45 PM
Budfred doesn't wear T-shirts...

I think we might need to include tattoos as another option. :eek: :D

I'd think thongs are a little far fetched too. :rolleyes:
Actually I'd probably opt for mine on a polo shirt in place of the little alligator logo we are so familiar with.

Watch out who you say that to, some of us might wanna hug back... ;)

04-23-2003, 02:22 PM
Hey! We could open a whole PCGuide store!

We could have PCGuide jackets, t-Shirts, underwear, socks, hats, mugs, belt buckles, earrings, key-chains, laser pointers, pens, wallets, dinner plates, napkins, wall hangings, license plate frames, lamps, throw rugs, wallpaper, pillows, blankets, toiletries...Including soaps, deodorants, even PCGuide toothbrushes and toothpaste!

Candles, toys, sunglasses, balloons, coins, watches, pottery, stamps, baskets, tote-bags, tools, appliances....Well- The sky would be the limit!!!

I could even work there!
I'll stand at the door when prospective customers come in and greet them dressed in my complete PCGuide attire....

"Hi there!!!"
"I'll be your PC Guide for the day...May I help you find something?"
:rolleyes: :p

04-23-2003, 07:11 PM
OK....I'm sorry. My wife said that I should state publicly, that sometimes my sarcasm is NOT funny. :(

All kidding aside, I would love a PCGuide t-shirt as much as the next guy. But, (and I think this was mentioned once), it should maybe be a thread in after hours.
As BigBlue66 said:
I'm sure that merchandising was the furthest thing from Charles' mind when he created this website. I'm sure he doesn't want yet more work to be put on him now.
I also realize everyones intentions are good, but I just picture Charles being horrified to see this particular poll headed in the direction of "marketing".

I also realize that people want to somehow do it without any burden placed on Charles, but it is his site, and it seems to me he would end up having to get involved in some way.

OK...I'll go away for a while now. ;)

Charles Kozierok
04-23-2003, 07:33 PM
We could have PCGuide jackets, t-Shirts, underwear, socks, hats, mugs, belt buckles, earrings, key-chains, laser pointers, pens, wallets, dinner plates, napkins, wall hangings, license plate frames, lamps, throw rugs, wallpaper, pillows, blankets, toiletries...Including soaps, deodorants, even PCGuide toothbrushes and toothpaste!

*Shudder*. LOL.

Actually, I appreciate all the feedback you folks have provided. Still not sure about the T-shirts, or in fact, anything at all. I need to think about it some more. I am grateful for the ideas though.

One other thing to think of in terms of "perks": there may be some features that I could add to the site that cost $$$ that I might not spend if not for contributions. For example, how about a Java plugin that turns the reply edit box into a mini word processor, so you can do bold and italic and stuff without vB code? And so on, there are lots of things that could be done. And I don't think it's unfair for the people who pay for such things to get them, but maybe others will disagree. :)


04-24-2003, 11:41 AM
ixl: Okay, this makes me look like a crabbit auld git, but I don't want any new "perks." Please? I still haven't figured out all the stuff of the vB. So, if you do set up something like that, please make it like the "recognition" so that I don't have to.

Charles Kozierok
04-24-2003, 03:31 PM
Nah, it doesn't make you look like a... what was that anyway? :)

Any new features would be optional.


04-24-2003, 03:58 PM
I believe that translates to cantankerous elderly lady......;)

04-28-2003, 04:02 PM
I think 'sponsorship' by members is a good idea. Right now I'm still at college, and am barely fledging into the PC repair world - but I will say that this site is the first place I check in if I have a problem, or find a client with a problem.
I love the way that people just throw ideas into the arena without being pompous about it. I've rarely seen a 'here we go again' answer, and in the future, I'd be happy to make a contribution.
I don't think perks are necessary. Recognition sounds a bit strange, perhaps we could have recognition in some form, just to say 'yeah - we like this place so much, and have learned so much from it that we're happy to throw in a bit of financial support' because that is how I feel about it; I've learned, and sometimes manage to help others out here. Any community which helps each other out in such a good way can only flourish.
I don't know what it actually costs to run the site, but if sponsorship took in enough money, perhaps any extra could be used for such things as faster servers/connections, or maybe a 'site membership' of things like Microsoft technical sites (if such a thing is possible)

06-21-2003, 03:23 PM
I've only been registered here a few days (out of the mouts of babes and all that)and I agree with a lot of the above posts, . Already, in my three days, I repaired a DVD-ROM which I believed was broken with only the help of two people posting and teaching me what I needed to know to fix the problem. Now, the way I look at it is they just saved me some time and money (two very important resources), with no thought of rewards on thier parts. That seems to be a generally altruistic deed. If I were to donate money to this site, I wouldn't need, or want, any other perks or recogniton. Just being able to help the people who helped me will be enough recognition for me, and should be for everyone. I completely agree with all of deddard's post, and I'm in the same boat. If it improves this site in any way, I'm onboard, and I don't need or want anything extra.

***Thanks to those who helped the above problem***

04-08-2004, 05:39 PM
i really support ur poll sir...it is really fine..
i want to tell u that..
those who are ready to donate..let them..
please dont make this payable forums..
ur vote will goes out

04-08-2004, 09:00 PM
I spend most of my time here at pc guide and ive learnt alot from the site and the people here, i dont mind paying a yearly subscription, as for the perks, im easy either way.

04-08-2004, 11:26 PM
I'm sure you guys are well aware of this, but just in case, keep in mind this thread is a year old....Although a donation is always nice no matter how old the thread is! :)

04-09-2004, 12:12 AM
halovivek has been replying to old posts

04-09-2004, 12:21 AM
Yes halovivek- I just noticed that too.
You are of course a welcome addition here at the PCGuide, but please pay attention to the original dates of the threads you are replying to.

In many cases, the problem was solved a long time ago, and it only confuses people. (And if we're not careful, we sometimes fall into the trap of continuing the discussion ourselves once you get it started again). :rolleyes: ;)

04-26-2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by ixl
Hi Everyone,

Based on feedback on the last poll, I am setting the sponsorship level for recognition and perks I am selecting as $25/year. That's about $2 a month of course.

This is so timely. I thought I made a donation last December, and while putting away the winter coat--found it in the pocket. Play the Twilight Zone music...this month I need it, badly. As for perks, if you donate more than $30 you get a disk, right? So the way you have ii set--$25--you don't even get the disk. What other perk could you offer other than knowledge?

Also, I'm neutral on perks--how about a voting slot for being neutral on perks? I'm neutral on perks because I think it should be a spontaneous response on your part, and I like good surprises. Quid pro Quo...I dunno...that's a little too prize-in-the-Cracker-Jacks for me.

04-26-2004, 07:49 PM
This is so timely.

Well, it would be if this thread were not more than a year old....:D :D

04-26-2004, 08:49 PM
So why is it still up? It says "please vote," m'man, it doesn't say "please vote last year" . . . .btw how 'bout taking a look at my .net framework question on apps and sec...?

Paleo Pete
04-27-2004, 01:13 AM
So why is it still up?

They stay up. I don't know of a thread that's ever been totally deleted, and I've been moderator since the early days of the forums, under 500 members when I joined. Sometimes I might prefer they be deleted, but we leave them there to remind us of our mistakes, and for the future use and education of our visitors.

You'll get used to it...just try to watch the dates if a thread is halfway down the list page. Usually if it's a month old or more it's considered dead. If the person who originally posted it reopens it, usually that's no problem but anyone else dragging a year old post up is generally discouraged.

As far as the amount designated for "perks", I don't know what to tell you, that's Ixl's department and he set it the way he thought best. Personally, if I had $100 to donate I'd do it gladly and wouldn't care if I didn't get so much as a thank you note...I've gotten all the perks I need from visitors who get excellent help here and tell us we're the best, and the ones who have stuck around and I've gotten to watch them go from barely able to install Windows to being competent techs, just by working with us and learning from us...Can't beat that in my book...

05-21-2004, 10:11 AM
Here is my ten cents worth.:D I agree with what you say Pete. I am a classic discription of your

and the ones who have stuck around and I've gotten to watch them go from barely able to install Windows to being competent techs, just by working with us and learning from us...Can't beat that in my book...
When I first opened PC Guide I did not know any thing about how a PC operates, but from these forums and the help given I can now strip a PC down and ``FIX THINGS``. :D Also In my humble opinion the idea of this thread is. TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY. I agree put up or! :cool: