Thoughts On Donations?

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VegettoEX
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Thoughts On Donations?

Postby VegettoEX » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:06 pm

I just posted this up over on my personal blog.

-------------------------------------------------------

This is a subject I am heavily conflicted on.

Ever since the dawn of Daizenshuu EX (and VegettoEX’s Home Page and Ultimate DBZ Links Page before them), I have done anything and everything in my power to keep things as “real” and “transparent” as I can with the site. I have never asked the community for anything, and do not expect anything in return for running the site. There have been plenty of generous “donations” over the years (for example, our buddy godofchaos has been hosting the podcast for us free of charge, and we’ll be porting over the forum to his server in the near future; many years ago our old buddy Scott, or SREDBZ, used to host our website for us). We’ve even had prize donations for website contests. These have always been unsolicited, mean the world to us, and make the community a better place.

I’ve had people ask about monetary donations in the past, but I’ve always struck them down. This is for fans, BY fans, gosh darn it! Things are a little different now. I’m not a 16-year-old punk kid starting a links page. The wife and I are lucky to be two educated adults with full-time, well-paying jobs, but there’s no denying what the current economic situation is.

Time to be a little realistic. Especially with our first home purchase entering the picture, one can’t help but wonder what a couple extra bucks would mean.

There are new guide books coming out. There are new CDs coming out. Shipping from Japan ain’t cheap. Equipment could use replacing and upgrading. Thinking about trying some new conventions.

Despite never having done so in the past, I’m seriously considering putting up a PayPal “Donate Now!” button over on Daizenshuu EX. Part of me feels… ya’ know, so what? Tons of other websites, blogs, and podcasts do this (including some of my favorites). I even paid for a premium version of a podcast for a while before it unfortunately passed on, and I didn’t think twice about supporting it. I tossed a couple bucks over to the CO-OP guys right after they got laid off from 1UP.

The other part of me freezes up and feels like a total sell-out. It goes against everything I’ve tried to do in the past. I feel like we are in such a (comparatively speaking) great, financially-secure place… what right do I have to ask anyone for anything, even indirectly like this? What reason do they even have to take me seriously?

So I guess that’s what my question is. What reason(s) do you have for even taking such a request seriously? If you saw that button pop up, how would you feel? How do you think the rest of the fanbase and community, the ones who don’t take the time to respond but are just as important, would feel? What would you like to see done with any donation you may or may not make, regardless of how little or grand it may or may not be?

I’m definitely waiting to hear your responses. It’s not as important or dire as I think I’ve made it out to be, but your thoughts and responses are genuinely welcome. I’m going to cross-post this on the Daizenshuu EX forum (there’s obviously a larger reader base there right now), but please feel free to leave blog comments. If you would rather privately send your thoughts, go ahead and just send them on over to VegettoEX@aol.com.

Thanks so much, everyone!
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Daijuken
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Postby Daijuken » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:30 pm

You've been giving us the best Dragon Ball fansite for the past 10 or so years, awesome podcasts and an amazing forum. If I were to see the "Donate now!" link, I wouldn't think twice in donating. Seriously, you've done so much for the Dragon Ball fandom, I mean hell, if it weren't for this website, I wouldn't be such a fan I am today. If it weren't for this website, which forum would we turn to for intelligent discussions? :)
I'm sure I speak for most of us here, but I can't stress enough how much you've done for everyone... and to do it consistently for the past 10 years is a feat in itself.

I'm sure donations is the least we can do to thank you for all you've done. :D

Of course, it's entirely up to you. But you shouldn't feel bad about yourself if you go through with it.
Last edited by Daijuken on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tanooki Kuribo » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:38 pm

I don't think you should feel stupid about putting up a donations link. If you feel that strongly against it perhaps you could put up a donations page on your site which would have a little explanation, or a note from you, then the link to pay pal instead of a straight link to pay pal. But honestly either way, I wouldn't mind at all.

And it's not like you're telling them you need to send you a donation. If they wanna, the link is there and if not then don't.

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Postby Krakabeast » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:47 pm

Tanooki Kuribo wrote:And it's not like you're telling them you need to send you a donation. If they wanna, the link is there and if not then don't.


Exactly!

I feel as though I should have been paying for Daizex from the start. If it was not for you Mike, Meri, Julian, Hujio and Herms of Kanzentai, Jeff, other guests on the podcasts, and all you guys and gals on the forum, my Dragon Ball fandom would not have been renewed. Everyday I visit I gain more knowledge. Daizex, along with Kanzentai, by far, are the most professional, well maintained Dragon Ball fansites on the web today. I am also proud to know that there are still some intelligent people living in NJ. Put up the link.
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Postby Son Wukong » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:49 pm

The one thing I absolutely loved about your site when I first encountered it, was that it didn't asked for any monetary input from the visitor and yet had the greatest amount of output from the owner. Back then I was associating fan sites that were asking for donations as ''non-genuine'' since I thought ''Hey, if your are a real fan, you won't be fazed by something as trivial as 'money'... ''. But also the uncertainty that existed as to what was exactly happening to my money was a deterrent. But this way of thinking has become obsolete to me. Why? Well, now that I'm older I'm able to judge situations better. Also in context to reality (the reasons you mentioned yourself about shipping etc.) I can sympathise better.
So by all means! Put the damn link on the website.

EDIT:
Totally forgot your questions :P.

VegettoEX wrote:What reason(s) do you have for even taking such a request seriously?


Credibility, genuinity, experience from the webmaster.

VegettoEX wrote:If you saw that button pop up, how would you feel?


With my experience about your website? I wouldn't mind.
On other website I would visit for the first time? I would check the ''Credibility, genuinity, experience from the webmaster'' before thinking of donating.

VegettoEX wrote:How do you think the rest of the fan base and community, the ones who don’t take the time to respond but are just as important, would feel?


You could put up a list of persons who have donated? Not by real name but just their alias name or ''Anonymous'' if they want to.

VegettoEX wrote:What would you like to see done with any donation you may or may not make, regardless of how little or grand it may or may not be?

Anything that keeps the website up and running with as much as updates as possible :P.

Hope this helps.

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Postby Ex-Dubbie369 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:07 pm

I wouldn't mind seeing a donations button up, and I'm sure I'd at least donate a small amount.

If you were to start taking donations, I'd personally like to see something be done about the forum downtimes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that.
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Postby VegettoEX » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:09 pm

Ex-Dubbie369 wrote:If you were to start taking donations, I'd personally like to see something be done about the forum downtimes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that.

VegettoEX wrote:(for example, our buddy godofchaos has been hosting the podcast for us free of charge, and we’ll be porting over the forum to his server in the near future

That one's already taken care of :P. Believe it or not, it's not dependent on either of us right now... long story... it's getting there...

Carry on...
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Postby Ex-Dubbie369 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:21 pm

VegettoEX wrote:(for example, our buddy godofchaos has been hosting the podcast for us free of charge, and we’ll be porting over the forum to his server in the near future


ARRRRGH!!! This is what happens when I speed read!! :P

Well..... I'm still cool with the donation thing.
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Postby Freeza Heika » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:39 pm

I would never have a problem donating to Daizenshuu EX. Without this site I'd probably be doing stupid things like, working or doing homework, BAH! The site is well maintained and the podcast is a great little extra that you don't have to do, but you do, especially considering that this is just a hobby.

Although, the quality of the site does work against donations in one capacity; whenever you report on a new DB-related product I have to go buy it, thus leaving less money for donations.
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Postby Big Momma » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:57 pm

I personally agree with pretty much everyone above. Everyone on this forum (as far as I can see) has the upmost respect for you and everyone else on the staff, Mike.

We know that if you did put a button up, it wouldn't be a "sell out." And I'm sure many of us would be more than happy to help out.

Right now, though, for me, I don't have a Paypal account. (I'm pretty short on money myself...perhaps I should put a button in my sig! XP) But I promise that as soon as I get the money and a Paypal account, although it probably won't be till' I start college this fall, I'll be downright honored to throw in a few bucks! :D
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Postby Hao_Kaiser » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:39 pm

Big Momma wrote:I personally agree with pretty much everyone above. Everyone on this forum (as far as I can see) has the upmost respect for you and everyone else on the staff, Mike.

We know that if you did put a button up, it wouldn't be a "sell out." And I'm sure many of us would be more than happy to help out.

Right now, though, for me, I don't have a Paypal account. (I'm pretty short on money myself...perhaps I should put a button in my sig! XP) But I promise that as soon as I get the money and a Paypal account, although it probably won't be till' I start college this fall, I'll be downright honored to throw in a few bucks! :D


This.

The site, forum, and various podcasts - and the work you put into them - have meant more to me these past few years than you'll ever know.

I would jump at the chance to help you guys out (when I go off to college and get a job, that is), and hopefully ensure that you guys continue to do everything you do for as long as possible.

I mean... I'd rather donate than have to see ads. :D

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Postby El Diabeetus » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:47 pm

I say go for it. You've given the Dragon Ball community, more than you needed to. Once, I get a job; and, open a Paypal account. I'd be glad to donate to Daizex. I'm on the forums everyday, and I always check for updates on the site. So, that's my thoughts on it.

Also, as others have said, where else would we go for an intelligent discussion and of Dragon Ball no-less.

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Postby Bussani » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:34 pm

I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but here I am just to give my two cents.

I think putting up the option to donate and begging for donations are two totally different things. You shouldn't feel bad about doing so. If people want to donate, they will. I don't see it as 'selling out' at all. It's donations, it's not like you're turning Daizex into a pay site.

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Postby SSJ2bardock » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:54 pm

As long as you're not ending every podcast with "and don't forget to donate to the website" I don't see a problem with it.
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Postby SSj_Rambo » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:33 pm

I posted my main thoughts over on your blog, since that's where I first saw this, but I'll just reiterate my main thoughts:

It's a good idea, you provided us with countless hours of free quality entertainment. You've spent loads of you own money just for our benefit.

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Postby JacobYBM » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:00 am

I've got complete faith in any decision you so choose to make for the prosperity of this fine community.


One day I might even donate enough to move this board to vBulletin!!
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Postby Velasa » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:28 am

There's no problem with having somewhere people can donate. It's a big site, it's well run and frequently updated and that takes a lot of time and effort. As long as we're not being chased around by donation buttons across the site or tiered off into pay-users and non-pay users, it wouldn't bother me or probably anyone else at all.
Last edited by Velasa on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby VenomSymbiote » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:16 am

I totally agree. After running this site for over 10 years, without ever asking for donations, I think that by this point, you can. You've run one of the best Dragonball communites ever, and those who want to help you want to help you out via donations should be able to do so. I wouldn't be bothered At All if you had a donations link somewhere on the home page. I mean, it's not like I haven't seen them before!. For the moment, I don't have a Paypal account, but If I ever get around to get any, I will donate for sure!

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Postby BrollysKin » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:40 am

I think it would be a fine idea. Would you make any sort of promise regarding it only being used for the website and not for personal gain?
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Postby VegettoEX » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:54 am

BrollysKin wrote:Would you make any sort of promise regarding it only being used for the website and not for personal gain?

I don't think it's even necessary to say here, but of course that's the idea. Like I said... I don't need the cash for me. It's just supplemental to be able to do new things.

SSJ2bardock wrote:As long as you're not ending every podcast with "and don't forget to donate to the website" I don't see a problem with it.

Absolutely not.

I would also like to point out that this isn't exclusively podcast-related.
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