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Websites That Ask For Donations

Old 03-19-06, 12:22 PM
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Websites That Ask For Donations

Lately I have been noticing that a lot of websites, looking for donations. Some have those little PayPal buttons, while others have sticky threads, announcements, and/or they PM it's members looking for donations.

One site I was just lurking at is looking for donations, and they posted this... "Why should you donate? Isn't the internet supposed to be free? Well, you have to take responsibility for your pleasures."

Part of me thinks that when you decide to start a site, you should plan ahead. Thinking about the time, and the money you will be having to invest.

But on the other hand, I guess if your site grows, and you need a larger server or something, and can't afford it... But still, that should be something you plan ahead, or if you must, prune your site. (???)

Do/have you ever donated any money to a website? If you did, was it a friend's site, or one that you frequent a lot?

How do you feel about sites that want you to donate?
Old 03-19-06, 12:26 PM
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I've never done it, but I don't have a problem with sites that take donations. If someone is providing a service that you like, free of charge, I don't see why it would be wrong to ask for optional support. The other option is fees, but if donations can cover the costs, more power to them.
Old 03-19-06, 12:32 PM
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I have donated to some websites in the past... I basically agree with the idea that you should be willing to pay for your choice of entertainment.

I do think that sites that have some free content, but that require user contributions to enable basic functionality (searching, archival content, etc.) are pretty bogus.
Old 03-19-06, 12:32 PM
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First of all, I would never donate to a site that tried to guilt me into making a donation. To me, the sites are mostly responsible for generating their own income through advertising, just like network TV. I wouldn't mind paying money to join a message board like this one if it meant getting a higher level of membership or for some form of exclusivity, but I would have a problem donating money to a site that, like you said, hadn't planned ahead.
Old 03-19-06, 01:19 PM
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I have no problem with sites having Paypal buttons for donations as long as they're not actively pressuring people for them.
Old 03-19-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SeekOnce
I have no problem with sites having Paypal buttons for donations as long as they're not actively pressuring people for them.
Yeah, that's what I meant to say.
Old 03-19-06, 01:54 PM
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Yes, I have donated but it was purely voluntary.

I used to go to ScreenIt! a lot for reviews until they started a beg screeen (when you first log on) for you to become a member. They even started to withhold reviews for a week unless you were a member.
Old 03-19-06, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by orderandlaw
But on the other hand, I guess if your site grows, and you need a larger server or something, and can't afford it... But still, that should be something you plan ahead, or if you must, prune your site. (???)
Plan ahead? How many of these sites start out as hobby sites? Why would a hobbyist "plan ahead" for Gigabytes/month of throughput? A site may only have a handful of visitors until.... a mention of it appears on somebody's blog. Then traffic explodes. How do you "plan ahead" for that?

Originally Posted by orderandlaw
Do/have you ever donated any money to a website? If you did, was it a friend's site, or one that you frequent a lot?

How do you feel about sites that want you to donate?
I usually DON'T donate to sites, mostly because they don't offer any value beyond being "free". But there are sites like TVParty and LuxuriaMusic that DO offer value and donating to their sites is worthwhile to me.

In the case of luxuriamusic.com, they offer a unique mix of music that I haven't found anywhere else. And although they have a free low quality stream, I made a donation for access to 6 months of their high quality stream. I hardly access the high quality stream (I prefer the ease of one-button clicking of the low quality via Yahoo! Widgets), but I'm happy to support their efforts.

Plus, I think there's a difference between corporate owned sites that use "donations" as a way to milk consumers and those home-grown sites that rely on donations to keep operating.
Old 03-19-06, 02:46 PM
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I've donated to a few websites before. It's expensive to pay for bandwidth and software to maintain the site, especially for a site that does not have any ads.
Old 03-19-06, 03:11 PM
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I've never donated to a website, but I usually give a donation if I download freeware or shareware and end up liking it.
Old 03-19-06, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
I've donated to a few websites before. It's expensive to pay for bandwidth and software to maintain the site, especially for a site that does not have any ads.
Exactly.

-p
Old 03-19-06, 03:32 PM
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I've given money to SA and to Last.fm. I would never give money to a blog.
Old 03-19-06, 04:50 PM
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That reminds me of all those porn password messageboards that ask for money to see the more "gold" passes. If I could afford paying them, why not just buy the real passes in the first place?
Old 03-19-06, 06:11 PM
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I've never donated and I feel personally offended if they ask
Old 03-19-06, 07:20 PM
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I haven't donated a lot, but I certainly have donated in the past to sites that were worth it to me...eg. they gave you special access, or they offered a good service...it definitely costs $$$ for bandwith, so it's worth it sometimes..
Old 03-19-06, 07:25 PM
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I have no problem with a completely free site that unobtrusively requests voluntary donations, and I have donated before and will again.

das
Old 03-20-06, 11:39 AM
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I have collected donations for my site, but really it's a less than break even type of thing. In 4 years I might have collected a few hundred bucks. Add in vBulletin costs, hosting, etc...and you get the picture.
Old 03-20-06, 12:15 PM
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www.savekaryn.com

Old 03-20-06, 12:18 PM
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Please donate to Groucho so he can post to this forum full time!
Old 03-20-06, 12:36 PM
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I've donated to sites before. I figure if I plan on going to the site and enjoying it frequently why not drop a few bucks to show appreciation.

The sites who hassle people for money purely for profit are whole different story. Screw those greedy bastards.
Old 03-20-06, 01:04 PM
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I've donated to a couple of sites where I felt I was getting good value for my money, and that I'd be sad if they went away. Oddly enough, every site I donate to has disappeared within a month of my donation. You all should hope I don't decide to be generous to DVDTalk
Old 03-20-06, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Please donate to Groucho so he can post to this forum full time!
Is that supposed to be some sort of incentive?

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