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Tony-OH

Please do not use adblocker on our site

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I went ahead and got rid of the bottom ad that was a bit too intrusive for my liking so all we have left are the ads on the sidebars. I deny intrusive advertising all the time because I want the experience for the user to be the best we can, but we need to run ads to pay the bills. When you use adblocker on this site, you are basically not supporting this site. We hope you enjoy the site and realize all the time and effort it takes to bring you this site.

I've taken away plus content so everyone can enjoy the scouting reports and other content, but with people using adblocker, our revenue continues to fall. So a couple things is going to happen if things don't turn around, we will have to drop producing content, and I'll have to stop doing the scouting work because it doesn't make a lot of sense to keep doing it without support.

We've asked for people to become plus members and although we had a nice little uptick at the beginning of the season, that has fallen off as well. So please, don't use adblocker and consider becoming a plus member or ensuring your plus membership is up to date. This will help us continue to bring you the Hangout for years to come.

We appreciate all the support over the years and hope those of you with Limited Posting Member under your title will consider supporting the site. If interested, you can become a plus members by going here. It's only $24.95 a year and it helps keep this place running and encourages us to to do more content and more scouting reports.

Thanks, for the consideration and for doing your part to help support the Hangout.

Tony

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2 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

I went ahead and got rid of the bottom ad that was a bit too intrusive for my liking so all we have left are the ads on the sidebars. I deny intrusive advertising all the time because I want the experience for the user to be the best we can, but we need to run ads to pay the bills. When you use adblocker on this site, you are basically not supporting this site. We hope you enjoy the site and realize all the time and effort it takes to bring you this site.

I've taken away plus content so everyone can enjoy the scouting reports and other content, but with people using adblocker, our revenue continues to fall. So a couple things is going to happen if things don't turn around, we will have to drop producing content, and I'll have to stop doing the scouting work because it doesn't make a lot of sense to keep doing it without support.

We've asked for people to become plus members and although we had a nice little uptick at the beginning of the season, that has fallen off as well. So please, don't use adblocker and consider becoming a plus member or ensuring your plus membership is up to date. This will help us continue to bring you the Hangout for years to come.

We appreciate all the support over the years and hope those of you with Limited Posting Member under your title will consider supporting the site. If interested, you can become a plus members by going here. It's only $24.95 a year and it helps keep this place running and encourages us to to do more content and more scouting reports.

Thanks, for the consideration and for doing your part to help support the Hangout.

Tony

I appreciate the sacrifices that you have made to make this user friendly. And I do hope that all who use this site will step up, support it, and click an ad or two each day. 

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Have you considered a way to accept donations for the site? I frequently read and rarely post, and it'd be great to have a way to chip in without going the $25 Plus Member route. I've donated smaller amounts to other forums I frequent or have found useful. 

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54 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

Thank you, appreciate the support.

No problem. I would suggest stickying this topic, as this is something I would've done long ago if I had known it was an issue. The ads don't bother me, there's no pop-ups so I couldn't care less about whitelisting the page, and I'm sure it's the same for many others. 

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14 minutes ago, dan-O said:

 

This. A tip jar or a Patreon might go a long way. I suspect many folks would be happy to contribute $3-5/month to a Patreon and the OH would come out ahead of its current $25/yr membership. 

Personally, I used to subscribe but simply haven't found the benefit in the last couple years. The culture of this site needs to come a long way for me to support it with money again.

Though I don't post much here anymore, I still come by every now and then. I have to agree about the Patreon thing. The site could make a lot more money using a Patreon account as opposed to a subscription model like the one here. Patreon is the present and the future and I'm still shocked this site hasn't tried to move into the new age with this stuff. More people will be willing to pay $3 a month than $25 a month and the restriction of features is also kinda lame. Do the math; $3 a month = $36. No need for this kind of subscription model for a forum like this IMO and the features withheld are not only not worth paying for, but actually hurt the overall quality of the site to some degree. Anyway, just my 2cents.

Also, unfortunately, have to agree about the "culture" here though seems to be improving slightly from a spectator's POV.

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Oops, meant $25 all at once. Just one example of how it hurts the site. Not being able to edit posts means a double post is required to fix mistakes. It's not tidy and doesn't look particularly good.

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1 hour ago, Sessh said:

Though I don't post much here anymore, I still come by every now and then. I have to agree about the Patreon thing. The site could make a lot more money using a Patreon account as opposed to a subscription model like the one here. Patreon is the present and the future and I'm still shocked this site hasn't tried to move into the new age with this stuff. More people will be willing to pay $3 a month than $25 a month and the restriction of features is also kinda lame. Do the math; $3 a month = $36. No need for this kind of subscription model for a forum like this IMO and the features withheld are not only not worth paying for, but actually hurt the overall quality of the site to some degree. Anyway, just my 2cents.

Also, unfortunately, have to agree about the "culture" here though seems to be improving slightly from a spectator's POV.

Thanks for the idea with Patreon. I guess the issue would be we would have to manually add you as a plus Member which could take a day or two. I guess as long as people don't mind we could give it a try as an option. Appreciate the thoughts.

As for being able to edit your posts, that's a plus member privilege. ;)

 

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There is an option that I have taken advantage of. My plus membership gets automatically renewed, taken from my credit card each year once it expires. I  was in the hospital, then in rehab for 4 months. I had no internet access because my cell phone had broken. Fortunately once I got discharged, my plus membership had renewed itself.

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My stance is simple:

  • The ads continue to be obtrusive, ridiculously annoying, and dangerous. On several occasions fans have reported issues with the ads trying to deceive them into downloading software or attempting to exploit security vulnerabilities in their web browser. I just checked it out in a virtual machine (basically a secure environment that doesn't really matter if it gets owned) without an adblocker, and my browser had prompted me to download an executable file within 15 minutes. I did not login as my allquixotic account though.
  • Given the above, I'm not going to put my own personal, financial and identity information at risk (as well as the data on my computer/phone) for the OH. It's nearly as bad as asking people to smoke cigarettes (or eat doughnuts, or pick your poison, you get the idea) to support the OH. Point is, it's unhealthy.
  • I've repeatedly expressed my willingness to pay way more (say, $50/year more) for my Plus membership if it could be legitimately "ad-free", or could be modified to only contain text ads. If I could be guaranteed that it would only contain text ads, no pop-ups ever, no Flash objects ever, and no images or attack JavaScript, I would whitelist OH in my ad-blocker.
  • The guys in this thread suggesting Patreon have a great idea. I don't think you necessarily need to reward patrons with a Plus membership, but just treat it as a way for people who want to, to chip in any amount. Otherwise you can tell people that if they donate $3/month via Patreon, then for a higher yearly price vs. lower one-off price, you will manually process a Plus membership for them in a few business days.

 

I'm sorry to say, but if you and the staff are technically unable or unwilling to implement an ad-free / low-ad subscription and/or a Patreon donation page, while continuing to serve up harmful and dangerous ads, the money you get is the money you have earned.

If money is a problem, you have to do something about it. If it's a tech problem, overcome the tech problem; work through the challenges and launch it next year if you have to. If it's a philosophical problem, you might want to revisit how similar sites and small businesses with fan communities are thriving these days with different payment models than the (only) one you currently offer.

This is not on us, the fans, to fix. This is on you, as the owner of the site, to present the options that we're willing to support.

Meanwhile I'll continue to give the site as much money as you'll possibly allow me to, with the $24.95/year plus membership. Something's better than nothing, right? I do really wish I could give more, though, and continue to have "adblocker's guilt" when you post things like this. I take no joy in seeing you have these financial problems. I just wish that the hurdles (whatever they may be) that prevent you from offering us alternatives to disabling our adblockers could be overcome. It would really help, I think.

I really hope you don't read this post as being snarky or offensive. It's just that I feel like I've argued these points several times per year since I joined, and nothing has been done. It's easy to enjoy and appreciate this site and the community, as well as the site ownership. But if you're telling us you have a problem, you have to give us the means to help you fix it.

Now I've given you options that, in my opinion, are completely viable and reasonable to implement at least one of them. I'm excited for the prospect that you will act on one of them and give us a great option for supporting the site without exposing ourselves to criminals' attack code.

Thank you to everyone who is responsible for bringing us the OH, from our benevolent leader Tony to the moderators and the prolific posters. Let's help ensure that the financial security of the OH is on very solid ground.

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Thanks for the heads up. I didn't even realize I had Adblock Plus activated as it's been so long since I installed it on my Mac. I had a terrible problem with malware a couple of years ago. I rarely read OH on my Mac (tonight was the first time in a good while), so I took your advice and clicked so ads will appear. I normally read OH on my iPad, and there are ads there and they never seemed particularly intrusive except the one at the bottom you mentioned.

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