Tobold's Blog
Monday, April 05, 2010
Discarded ideas for the blog

While I do listen to what readers tell me in the open Sunday thread, or by e-mail, I do not do everything they suggest. Here are some ideas that were suggested to me, which I discarded, plus my reasons for doing so.

Wyrm suggested I install a chat room on this blog. I looked at it, and it seems technically feasible to do so. But then I looked at the numbers, and found the idea not very realistic: My blog on average gets only 1 comment per hour. That is enough to keep a conversation going in the comments section, but not in a chat room. Furthermore I believe that the idea some sites have that they need to offer everything is not necessarily a good one. Better to concentrate on just one thing and do it well than to spread out too much.

Syrien asked me to cover iPhone or iPad or Android games. It isn't as if I had any principal objections against mobile gaming, although in my personal situation I don't really see when and where I would do that. But the main obstacle here is that I simply don't own an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. I have a rather simple mobile phone without games, and with a prepaid plan without monthly cost, as I'm not using it all that often. An iPhone 3GS with 32 GB costs 679 €, and the cheapest monthly plan costs 30 €, here in Belgium, so for the first year I would basically pay over 1,000 €. I consider that a bit too expensive, given that I don't really need one.

Which brings me to the last idea, where a reader suggested I put up a PayPal donation button, and I was thinking I could neatly combine that with the previous idea and make it a "Buy Tobold an iPhone" button. ;) But with only 1% of visitors even leaving a comment, we can assume that the percentage of people willing to leave money would be even less, and the donations would be small. I'm pretty certain it would take years, if ever, to get the money for an iPhone together. Also accepting money would mean I would have a certain obligation towards the people who pay me, and I value my independance more than that.

Anyway, even if I don't accept all the ideas, you are welcome to make suggestions by e-mail or in the open Sunday thread.
Never underestimate your readership. I asked for donations to keep the site alive once and made almost 1K US. Kept us going for almost a whole year.

Not everyone would donate, but might be fun to watch. hehe

I think the paypal button might make more than you think; commenting isn't the same as donating. I very rarely comment here, but if a donation button appears, I will put $5 or $10 into it - I reckon if I'd been buying magazines or newspapers to get your articles, I would have spent a lot more than that by now.
Giving money doesn't require as much thought as a comment. Perhaps more effort, but thinking is the really hard part most of the time. Also it's made easier by not requiring a unique contribution as with a comment.
A donate button would be fine as long as you made sure to make it even more clear (? Somehow?) than it is now that you don't owe people anything, even if they donate, that it is totally optional and they get nothing but the satisfaction of helping you out. It would have to a donation, not a cost.

Frankly, you are on of the behemoths of mmorpg blogging and it would be interesting to see how much you could get from willing donations with no expectations of rewards. Think of it as an experiment.

Or, since you have a great job and don't need the money, do the experiment but dontate 100% of the proceeds to a charity of your choice or one voted on by donators. We could do the experiment for curiosities sake AND do a small bit of good in the world.
If you added a donate button, I'd definitely pitch a few USD your way. $15-20 is a tiny part of my monthly reading budget - and I know I have easily extracted that much value from your blog and the ensuing conversations.
A reason not to include a donate button (or have advertising).

In some countries you have extra legal protection if you can show you are not blogging for profit.

As you are using, I beleive your cash expenditure is minimal, apart from possibly the redirection from ->

Making a 'profit' regardless of size, potentially exposes you to risks. Are the additional funds worth the risk? Some sites think so.
I figured I would post to maybe make it 2%, haha!

I don't use donations on my guild site and forums, though Ive thought about it, but realistically any money is better than no money so even if donations are few and far between its still money you didn't have before.
Give you money to buy an iPhone? I think not!

Mmorpgs, maybe...

In any case, it should be 100% clear where the money goes to.
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