HRWiki talk:2005 Fall Fundraising Drive

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Sitenotice text

Here's the sitenotice I plan to put up on Monday:

The Homestar Runner Wiki needs your help in its 2005 Fall Pledge Drive.
US$0 has been raised toward our goal of US$2,000. Thank you for your generosity!

What do you think? — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 19:03, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Liking it. Reminds me of the Wikimedia Foundation fundrasier notice the other month. — Lapper (talk) 20:45, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
That's 'cause I ripped it off from them. :) — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 22:35, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hooray for pledge drives!

Hooray for pledge drives! Too bad it's impossible for me to donate. Ah well. (But it looks kind of weird for the "Thanks you for your generosity" message to be there when it says $0 has been donated. Maybe you should add that after you get a donation towards it.) - Joshua 16:38, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Oh anybody can donate. Even if it means putting a penny in an envelope and mailing it to JoeyDay. :) Thunderbird 03:10, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I donated $5.50 but it still says $0 has been raised... is that because it is a daily update kinda thing? -Jenny 04:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, we have to go in and check the account and then manually do everything to update the numbers over here. It takes a short while. Thanks for waiting patiently. -- Tom 04:44, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Oh ok, I just didn't want you to have to have zero up there. Well, use the remainder of my paycheck wisely! (I spent the rest at ValleyCon) ;) -Jenny 04:52, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I wish I could send money, but my parents won't let me. I would if I could, though. E-102

Server cost

I'd just like to comment on the server cost. And well.. over 200 a month?? Most entry servers are $99 monthly, and perhaps you guys could even share a server with someone else, which splits the costs. If you guys are getting a fully managed server, then that would sorta explain the costs, but some wiki users probally have experience with linux webservers, and I personally know a few people who would be totally willing to help out with setting up servers and manage them, etc. Generally, switching from shared hosting to dedicated, you shouldn't be jumping to a high-end $250 server, a entry $99 server works just as fine for a site like this. I seriously suggest you shop around, check out places like webhostingtalk.com, and I personally suggest you check out sagonet.com for servers [they even host homestarrunner.com! See the H*R FAQ]. They have dedicated servers [in their bargin servers section] for less then $80 a month, and they work great [I've been with them for 2-3 months before, switched later because I didn't need a dedicated server anymore]. I do suggest that you guys reconsider this and get a less costly server, you don't need something high-end or anything over $150 for a site like this. Just trying to save the wiki [and donaters] some money, and not bothering to log in, 208.31.154.102 16:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. We actually shopped around quite a bit before settling where we did. Most entry-level servers have Celerons with low amounts of memory that simply wouldn't handle the CPU load we push through this server. MediaWiki is very heavy on PHP and MySQL. Every single page on the site loads dynamically, completely unlike HomestarRunner.com, which is purely static. The Chaps probably need a lot of bandwidth to serve the Flash files, but since Apache's the only thing hitting the CPU, they're probably fine running on a Celeron (though I really have no idea what their setup is like). There's a lot of caching and other things MediaWiki does to try and reduce CPU load, but we've learned the hard way (server crashing three times a day on average) that we need to have at least a Xeon (dual-core) with 2 GB of memory. That puts us in the high end of the market. Cory, the owner of Goleman Networks, is a good friend of mine. He shaved quite a bit off his usual price for a dedicated server to help us out. Plus, he is doing a fair amount of server management for us. None of our current admins have the experience or the know-how to do what Cory does, though Cory has been training me on how to do a lot of stuff on my own. There may be the possibility in the future of reducing the cost if I can take full responsibility for server maintenance. As for your suggestion of sharing the server with others, that's exactly what we're going to be doing once we open FellowSites, our new hosting service. We hope to recoup a good chunk of change from that endeavor. I feel confident we've done the right thing in terms of trying to minimize the financial burden for our supporters. If we could've saved money doing this any other way, we would have. — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 17:09, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Alright, thanks for explaining. I have ran a MediaWiki on my [Windows] server and it seemed to have run pretty well, though yes I've noticed it to be sluggish. I was able to speed it up quite a bit using mySQL query caching and a program called Zend Optimizer. I also did a few tricks setting cache headers on mostly non-dynamic things such as images and CSS so it would get most browsers to cache the images without checking for updates on them, although I don't know how to do that in apache [I would suspect it would be relatively easy however]. And, I beleave that's all the tips I have for ya, thanks. - Mick -aka- 68.84.11.148 23:14, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Math

Yeah, so, I'm really bad at it. :) — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 02:40, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Is that an explanation for the drop from $810 to $785?? :) Stu
Or is it due to the PayPal fees being factored out? — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 18:50, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
This message was meant for It's dot com, and he replied to it in the IRC channel. It was partly because my totals were off, but more in reference to how I had miscalculated the percentages on the pledge-o-meter (see this edit and this subsequent edit). The miscalculation in the drive total was from my Excel spreadsheet formula leftover from our last drive. The formula simply totals the transactions starting at the cell of the first pledge drive donation. Last year we made a $49.99 payment right in the middle of the drive, so I had tweaked my formula to compensate for that payment. This year, I updated the formula so it started at the correct cell, but forgot to remove the +$49.99. So, all my totals up until recently were off by $50. — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 19:58, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

come on guys!

we're not even half way there and this thing ends on Monday - in three days!

Looking ahead

What went well about this pledge drive? What didn't go so well? I'd like to document as much feedback as possible so we can do the next pledge drive better. On the positive side for me, I really liked the new pledge-o-meter. It made updating things a lot faster than hand-editing a graphic and I'd like to keep it handy for upcoming drives. On the negative side, I think our goal this time around was much too high. We raised enough to pay for a little over four months of hosting. This suggests that we should hold drives three times a year, but I'm confident we can raise enough to cover those two extra months with FellowSites, so I hope we can continue doing drives every six months. Once we see how much FellowSites will be making we can adjust our drive goal. Perhaps next time around our goal will be in the $800 – $1,200 range and much more attainable. Anyway, I mostly wanted to get the ball rolling on discussion here. Talk amongst yourselves. — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 18:33, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I don't have much to say. I think that holding pledge drives twice a year seems about right. Hopefully your "Fellowship of Websites" plan will be successful. —THE PAPER PREEEOW 19:07, 15 November 2005
I was just thinking about NPR and how my local station, at least, has taken to holding drawings among donaters to send people on vacations to meet NPR "celebrities." What if—and I'm just spitballin' here—we actually asked TBC to donate, like, autographed merchandise or a private interview or something? They're aware of us, and probably appreciative of the wiki's importance. —AbdiViklas 19:15, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Abdi, your idea has been (privately) discussed a while back, and we don't really feel comfortable asking that of The Brothers Chaps. At first though, I thought you were going to suggest a "Meet Joey Day!" prize or something, which I'd fully support. -- Tom 19:23, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
That makes sense. Another idea would simply be to hold drawings for H*R merchandise; say, a complete DVD set. —AbdiViklas 19:50, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure how this could be accomplished, but possibly if in addition to the banner on the top of every page, a message was pasted on everyone's user page, asking them to donate a small amount to the site, it may make people feel more obligated to donate. Also, in response to the idea of giving away mechandise to high donators, in Freakonomics, the is a part discussing how often when people are give innitiatives to make donations, often what happens is that small contributors donate more, while the larger contributers tend to donate less, because what was an act of charity because another way to get a prize. But, I guess it could woek, considering that the wiki has more small contributers and users than larger contributers. There would need to be a set point though, such as saying: Everybody that donates more than $5 US will have their username entered into a drawing for a free Homestar Runner.com ______. Just putting in my 2 cents worth. -AtionSong 22:47, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
But actually, we emphasize that we don't want users to feel obligated to give (see this project page and HRWiki:Donations). Maybe on April 1st we could pretend to be a pay site, though. —AbdiViklas 01:24, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
With this pledge drive falling short, it makes me wonder whether we should rethink the dedicated server which seems to have added a considerable cost. I like new toys as much as the next guy, and its good to have this service, but can we afford to? JoeyDay mentioned rethinking the pledge goal. I think this would be just fooling ourselves as the goal is based on how much we need, and if we didn't get enough, we didn't get enough. I would like to know what the opperating cost for this year was, vs the estimated operating cost is for this year so that we can see a comparison...itemized or summed I don't really care. I R F 23:55, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
After reading the section above, a lot of these questions have been answered, but since we don't really delete on talk pages, I will leave my comments as is. I R F 00:02, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
You can always strike out comments you don't mean anymore. — It's dot com 01:31, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

What happens if Homestar runner wiki

doesn't get the money?

Nikolce Kocovski 07:27, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I've commented a bit regarding our situation above. I think we'll be okay for right now. If at some point in the future we can't raise all the money we need, we would probably turn to someone like Wikia for help. I don't think we'll need to do that anytime soon, though. — wikisig.gif Joey (talk·edits) 23:14, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
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