Attention please all members, an explanation...

FriscoCharlie Apr 13, 2007

  1. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Folks,

    I would like to explain something new that you will be seeing here.

    Scroll down to just above the circles at the bottom of the page that are used to navigate the site.

    You will see a new table with some text links in it. There are five text only ads.

    This is something new that we will be trying for one month.

    As most of you know, we have never advertised anything here that is not railroad-related. We've had a couple of ads that were on the fringe edges but still related somehow.

    This is our first venture outside that arena.

    So your question.... WHY?

    It's quite simple. We are forced into the position of being some pretty major fund-raisers in order to keep this going and to offer everything that is here.

    Advertising is one of the ways that we try to raise about half of our annual funds and you folks generously donate the other half.

    Our goal has always been to increase ad revenue so we can decrease contributions. This is a step in that direction. We still need the donations and monthly subscriptions, and more TrainBoard N Scale auctions are coming up soon too.

    One bill we have is a new one that is paid by donation (by one person) and that is something we need to spread out so we are always looking for new things.

    These ads are not pay-per-click. They were sold at a flat rate and will only continue on a month-by-month basis.

    We don't know if these will continue over the long haul. It will depend on whether the advertiser rates this site a success.

    The advertiser contacted us. We did not contact them. They were looking for fairly large forums to place these ads on and we checked example sites to see this in action elsewhere.

    These ads are about as unobtrusive as you can get
    . We have also been assured that the content advertised will not be offensive - although some folks are offended by anything.

    We've always tried to display tasteful advertising and not make the pages look bad. This seems to fit in well and is not in your face.

    I was recently told by a user that he uses software to block all of our ads so he doesn't see any of them.

    The people that advertise here are allowing us to exist on the Internet. Without those dollars, there is no TrainBoard. It's that simple.

    Most of you know that I work in broadcasting. It's the same thing. My salary is paid for by people that want to get their message to the masses.

    We never figured that we would have to raise the kind of money here that we are forced to but we have come a long way in seven years and paying every month for a dedicated server is costly.

    Thanks.

    Charlie
     
  2. Phil Olmsted

    Phil Olmsted TrainBoard Member

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    They ARE unobtrusive, and if they're offensive, I just won't look at them. No problems here.
     
  3. tom_mann

    tom_mann TrainBoard Member

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    Have you guys considered dropping image hosting? You could probably run the forum on $14/month then. There are plenty of nice, free or cheap image hosting solutions out there...like Picasaweb for starters.
     
  4. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The issue is though Tom that without image hosting makes it difficult for members to post images on trainboard which has always been a problem. Most sites do not allow reposting we like to provide as many features for our members as possible.

    We have at times thought about prohibiting reposting images to other sites but the cost for us isnt really bandwidth its running our own discrete server. A great deal of ISP's do not like forum traffic on their own servers and we have had problems before and been threatened shutdown etc thats what made I decide to go with our own server which has backup etc.

    You will notice the site is fairly fast this is because there is no other sites on our server except a few that helps with paying the bills. Owen Kane our server guru can tell you our server demand is higher than most corporations, thats saying something.

    We will always endevour to give the best service to members as long as can continue to make ends meet.

    Thaks for the suggestion Tom
     
  5. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Tom,

    No we haven't. The last thing we want is to be on managed hosting system with 1000 other accounts on the same box.

    We started out that way. I guess if we wanted to be small we could do that.

    This site started in 2000 and was first hosted on managed hosting and has grown to a dedicated server in a state-of-the-art data center in Dallas.

    If we did what you said, then I would rate what we have done here as a massive failure.

    Charlie
     
  6. tom_mann

    tom_mann TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry guys...I should have been more clear. I meant to drop image hosting all together, and instead redirect folks to, say, Picasaweb.google.com. They have no restrictions on bandwidth and make it easy to post photos to web sites and forums. You can upload your original high resolution photo to them and share it (ie post it to a forum) at a smaller, compressed size.

    Not having to pay for and support image hosting will allow you guys to instead use your funds for...custom runs:shade:
     
  7. SP 9811

    SP 9811 TrainBoard Member

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    Charlie
    Was wondering if you know how much the Micro Scale sale has raised so far?
     
  8. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    No I sure don't know yet.

    Charlie
     
  9. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not a problem....anything that helps Trainboard remain at the top! :)
     
  10. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    What Micro-scale sale? Are you talking about the cars? Or did you do a run of custom decals?
     
  11. acsxfan1

    acsxfan1 TrainBoard Member

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    I can guarantee I was not offended by the video of the bikini model with the big hooters :) in one of the ads [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgZi7g9d6SU"]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]

    This advertisers was good too :)

    http://www.lalalingerie.com/

    Stay cool .. watch bikini babes :)
     
  12. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's the banner that you will see offering decals. Click on it for details.

    However enjoyable, some of them are not what we have in mind for ads and this is why this is in evaluation mode.

    Charlie
     
  13. marty coil

    marty coil TrainBoard Supporter

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    Excellent jod guys. Keep up the they work that keeps this forum so pleasent an active. Any efforts you make I will trust to your judgement.......
     
  14. acsxfan1

    acsxfan1 TrainBoard Member

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    Charlie .. I will help out as much as I can .. I will make sure those two advertisers are watched :)
     
  15. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Folks,

    We removed this. We really needed the money and it was quite a bit that they were going to pay us. Enough to give us some financial security that we have not had for a while, but there were too many junk sites, cookies, poor content, etc., types of sites and we just don't want to get into stuff like that.

    We want you to know you can trust the advertisers here - and you can. I'm sure you can find enough crap on the net without us leading you to it.

    Thanks and sorry,

    Charlie
     
  16. William Cowie

    William Cowie TrainBoard Member

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    Here I go, fulfilling my mission in life - proving something is not idiot-proof! :D :D

    What banner?
     
  17. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  18. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    I didn't see them before earlier and when I altered my security settings to allow "Ads" from TrainBoard only they showed up.

    :lightbulb: :lightbulb:
     
  19. acsxfan1

    acsxfan1 TrainBoard Member

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  20. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, I think he is working on that. He had an issue that took him away from that this past week.

    Charlie
     

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