How to fund LES? [Community Vote]
@mikho and myself have had several discussions on how to move forward with bringing in some revenue for LES for a couple of reasons:
- To offset cost of our infrastructure to run the site and all its components
- To pay writers for the blog to bring in some interesting content
- To pay for development efforts for new features/plug-ins/widgets on the forum and blog sites
Initially I had plans to fund everything entirely myself to keep the site ad-free and that has worked out fine so far for just the infra costs. However, it's becoming increasingly clear we need some other reserve set up for funding items #2 and #3 above. So let's come together as a community and decide what approach we want to take to achieve this. Rather than Mikael and myself deciding this on our own, we thought it'd be best to hear everyone's input and brainstorm a bit. We have a lot of smart people here to help guide us in the right direction for this, many of who have already offered awesome suggestions and advice for the forum ( @Chievo, @Ympker, @Not_Oles, @vyas, @cybertech, + many others)
Two paths that Mikael and I have identified to bring in some steady revenue are either:
- A return of the traditional side-bar / footer ads on the forum and blog. We'd either set up another Blesta shop or use BuySellAds to allow providers of LES to advertise here, with the expectation that gifs remain not super-flashy.
- A Patreon-style model where LES community members sponsor the forum at different levels (i.e. $1/mo, $3/mo, $5/mo, etc.). Using this model we could introduce perks to supporting members, such as a private section of the forum/Discord, and also have a reward system in place (i.e. donate $X over time and receive a free LES mousepad, donate $Y over time and receive a free T-Shirt, etc.).
It's my belief that #1 income model above would be more steady, whereas, #2 might fluctuate heavily based on who wants to sponsor LES for any given month. Maybe that's okay if the general consensus is that we don't want ads here.
We're also open to other suggestions if anyone has any other interesting way we can bring in some revenue to LES to help pay for the items mentioned above. Please vote in the poll below to let us know what model you'd like to see here. The outcome of the poll is intended for us to gauge interest and to be used as a topic of discussion moving forward.
Thanks all for your continued support of LES and for being a part of our growing community!