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Honor System

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  • Honor System

    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 03:44 am:

    I'm sure you've all noticed the ugly little banner at the bottom left of every page. This is's "Honor System" service.

    I've had a lot of people recommend I join this service, but I fought the idea as "too commercial". But, I'm a pragmatic man, and when I found my ideal webhost it wasn't free. (In case you're wondering, the current webhost IS free). I'm also getting lots of requests for features that are physically possible, but just not affordable right now.

    There's been a little bit of revenue generated by book purchases, enough to pay for the initial transition to the new webhost, but that's all (BTW, thanks to the mystery person that did their Christmas shopping on Amazon while still logged in via one of our review links).

    In case you're not familiar with Amazon's Honor System program, it simply lets you give any dollar amount, from $1 up, to the registered website of your choice. It's totally secure and refundable (details are available there).

    My initial purposes for all funds generated (including via book purchases) are:

    • Changing webhosts.
    Our current host is slow, and we're already WAY over their space and throughput limits (they're being nice, but they could kick us off anytime they wanted). The new host will have space to burn, and has one of the fastest throughputs in the industry. It will also allow us to run some very useful programs that the current host doesn't support.

    • Upgrading the Forum software.
    We're currently using the freeware version, which is very nice, but there are tons of useful features that everyone will appreciate once we go with the commercial (pay) version. You can check it out for yourself by clicking on the "Program Credits" link over on the left, but my favorites are self-registration, binary uploads (that would mean you could post pictures), and very sophisticated email support for users. It also supports cookies (optional, user-selected) that would mean you'd only have to logon once.

    • Archives.
    I've had the link up for the Archives for over a month now, but it looks like if one is going to be built I'm going to have to do it myself, which means buying boxes of old photos and scanning them in. If you're unfamiliar with my Archives plan, go back to the main page and click on the Archives link.

    There are many other things I plan on implementing eventually. I just want to reiterate that donations are completely voluntary, and you can donate any amount you want (and as many times as you want )

    Thanks in advance to those that decide to help fund our future.

    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 04:31 pm:


    A question. First of all you mentioned a little revenue from book sales. I'm not familiar with that. Would you explain how this works?

    I know there must be overhead to run a site with all the goodies. I also expect that there will be a cost involved periodically (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.) While the honor system sounds good, I wonder if you could possibly generate enough funds to keep something like this going.

    My suggestion would be to contact a scanner or software company to investigate the possibility of having them pay for the site. I'm not sure I know that much about it, but it seems to me that the Acer 1240UT (which I have) would fit the needs of many who are into restorations. Optical resolution is 1200, it is capable of scanning reflective material to 11 X 14, and film up to 5 X 7. High-bit scanning is also available. Acer might be willing to fund this for you. We could have a forum revolving around Acer scanners (your selling point to Acer). Ryobi has a forum that revolves around the Ryobi BT3000 table saw. Ryobi has a hands off approach, meaning that the members of the forum speak freely about any woodworking issues, and also the positive and negative issues regarding the saw, or any other woodworking products, including those from competitors. This forum has generated many, many sales for Ryobi. It is moderated, but not by Ryobi, just to keep things from getting out of hand, as can happen in forums of any nature. If you would like to talk more about this, send me an e-mail. Of course, this might be something completely different from what you have in mind.

    Regarding the archives - I have a few old photos that I would be willing to send in (anyone else?). Maybe I don't really look hard enough, but I wasn't aware of the fact that something like this was available (my fault - didn't investigate the links). That sounds like a winner.


    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 03:35 pm:

    Amazon gives back a small commission on any sales that occur via our link. They call it their "associate program", details on their site.

    The cost to "keep something like this going" is negligable compared to the initial investment. Once you buy software there's no more payments.

    The traffic on this site would have to increase manifold before any manufacturer would be interested.

    As for the archives, start scanning and sending them in!

    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 03:47 pm:

    You need to make it easily known to everyone that you can get a kickback from Amazon. I just bought a book, but didn't know about it. I know it wouldn't have paid for the software, but everything counts.

    Archive photos headed your way soon. Don't take the "click to give" link away - good chance I'll be using it before long .


    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 07:59 pm:

    OK, full disclaimer

    Once you visit Amazon via any of our Review links and buy anything at all, between 3-5% of your purchase price is paid to me in commission. It can be more if the specific book in the review is purchased, but that gets kind of complicated and usually doesn't work out. This may sound like it could add up fast, but so far it hasn't.

    For some reason if you shop after clicking on the "Give" button they don't pay commissions, it only works via the review links.

    So, if you plan on shopping at Amazon anyway, and you're feeling like supporting this site, feel free to go there via one of the Review links (or don't, I certainly don't want to seem like a pimp for Amazon).

    Oh, this has nothing to do with books, but I though it needed clarifying:
    Any donations made via the "Give" button are completely anonymous. I have no way of knowing who gave what (or who didn't).

    I'm really not comfortable with this whole "fundraising" thing. Now I know how PBS feels
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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