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Should we pay for advertising or expanded hosting... ?

Arnox

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Right now, we have two major avenues of expanding our influence at the moment. We can do:

1. Paid Advertising (Probably Through Reddit)
2. Greatly Expanded Hosting Capabilities Through Seedboxes

I know we all wanted option one at first, but option two is starting to look better and better, both from an advertising and capabilities perspective. We could also do a mixture of the two, but the expenses of one will eat into the other and vice versa of course.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
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705
I think it's more important with advertising than storage right now. Storage without traffic/users is rather meaningless, no?

Although we could advertise in more places manually outselves, because greatly expanded hosting seems nice. We do need something to seed and "advertise" with though... hmm.. Yeah, maybe this option is best after all.
 

Battousai

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Cookmaster supreme
Advertising seems to be the right choice, I'd also advice you to invest in some blackjack and hookers to provide for all the new incoming lads.
 

Drathnoxis

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121
I think neither are likely to have any effect. As if the kind of people you would like to attract wouldn't have adblock installed.
 

Arnox

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I think neither are likely to have any effect. As if the kind of people you would like to attract wouldn't have adblock installed.
I don't think any of the adblockers block Reddit ads. Or at least, I know one of them doesn't. Many adblockers have an option to allow non-intrusive ads as well which is enabled by default.

With that said though, if we go with option 2, we would have to manually advertise to people that we offer free hosting for... Almost anything, though I'll need to put in some rules regarding copyrighted materials. As far as that goes, we'll probably allow anything that was made 20+ years ago and also anything which is no longer for sale new.
 

Drathnoxis

Devotee
Messages
121
I don't think any of the adblockers block Reddit ads. Or at least, I know one of them doesn't. Many adblockers have an option to allow non-intrusive ads as well which is enabled by default.

With that said though, if we go with option 2, we would have to manually advertise to people that we offer free hosting for... Almost anything, though I'll need to put in some rules regarding copyrighted materials. As far as that goes, we'll probably allow anything that was made 20+ years ago and also anything which is no longer for sale new.
I don't spend a ton of time on Reddit, but I don't see any ads from a quick look.

And for option 2 is that a niche that really needs filling? Is there actually a lack of free hosting that you would attract enough people to the site that would actually stick around for discussion to justify the cost, headaches and potential legal trouble that will result?
 

Arnox

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I don't spend a ton of time on Reddit, but I don't see any ads from a quick look.
Reddit ads aren't a guaranteed thing, yes, but it is an option we haven't tried yet. There's also other ad options we could explore.

Is there actually a lack of free hosting that you would attract enough people to the site that would actually stick around for discussion to justify the cost, headaches and potential legal trouble that will result?
Yes.

To be specific, is there a lack of free hosting? No.

Is there, though, a lack of free permanent off-shore hosting that have support systems in place along with a dedicated general purpose forum that isn't ruled by corporate overlords and isn't governed by utterly arbitrary rules? Yep. That list is considerably fucking shorter. In fact, to my knowledge, if we go through with this, that list will be expanded to have a grand total of... One option. Us and us alone.

As to legal troubles, I rather doubt that, considering our off-shore status and also the fact that we don't really plan to host anything newer beyond 20 years old and stuff that isn't being sold anymore, but let's take the worst case scenario anyway.

Is it worth it to me to get in legal trouble just to get REAL fucking activity to this site? You're damn right it is. I've said this before and I'll say this again. Sanctuary only needs to reach a "critical mass" of users for it to succeed in its goals. Once it does, once enough people know and believe in Sanctuary, then it will be impossible to stop. Sure, I can get jailed, and the site shut down, but there's nothing stopping anyone from starting up more clones, and then the Streisand Effect will be in full force.

We just need to show people that we exist and a site like ours is not only possible but also ideal. Once enough people get a taste of that, the rest will follow.
 
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Drathnoxis

Devotee
Messages
121
Reddit ads aren't a guaranteed thing, yes, but it is an option we haven't tried yet. There's also other ad options we could explore.



Yes.

To be specific, is there a lack of free hosting? No.

Is there, though, a lack of free permanent off-shore hosting that have support systems in place along with a dedicated general purpose forum that isn't ruled by corporate overlords and isn't governed by utterly arbitrary rules? Yep. That list is considerably fucking shorter. In fact, to my knowledge, if we go through with this, that list will be expanded to have a grand total of... One option. Us and us alone.

As to legal troubles, I rather doubt that, considering our off-shore status and also the fact that we don't really plan to host anything newer beyond 20 years old and stuff that isn't being sold anymore, but let's take the worst case scenario anyway.

Is it worth it to me to get in legal trouble just to get REAL fucking activity to this site? You're damn right it is. I've said this before and I'll say this again. Sanctuary only needs to reach a "critical mass" of users for it to succeed in its goals. Once it does, once enough people know and believe in Sanctuary, then it will be impossible to stop. Sure, I can get jailed, and the site shut down, but there's nothing stopping anyone from starting up more clones, and then the Streisand Effect will be in full force.

We just need to show people that we exist and a site like ours is not only possible but also ideal. Once enough people get a taste of that, the rest will follow.
Just because people come for the free hosting doesn't mean that they will stay for the forums. Look at the Escapist. Yahtzee is about 100x more famous and popular than you will likely ever be, yet the forums have been steadily bleeding users since 2012. You can blame a bit on moderation and a bit on lack of promotion of the site and forums, but at the end of the day forums just aren't popular anymore and we need to accept that. Dumping money to attract people to a site like this is like trying to get people to join your Usenet Newsgroup. People don't use forums anymore because they don't want to use forums and the ones that do already have forums that they frequent. Frankly, the only way you are going to get users here is to find a forums that is shutting down and try to siphon off some users, but chances are that won't work either.

Also you seriously underestimate peoples apathy. Nobody is going to step up and save the site if you get arrested. Not unless there's more to this place than is apparent to me and this is actually a host for illegal activity or religious extremists or something. This place doesn't make any money and the only people who put themselves at risk solely for principle are few and far between, and probably not of very sound mind at that.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
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845
In the meantime, "manual" advertising can be done on reddit by posting in groups that would be interested, r/FreeSpeech

Just don't make it so blatant of an advertisement that it gets removed as spam.
 

Arnox

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Just because people come for the free hosting doesn't mean that they will stay for the forums. Look at the Escapist. Yahtzee is about 100x more famous and popular than you will likely ever be, yet the forums have been steadily bleeding users since 2012.
Honestly, I keep forgetting that Yahtzee is a thing. He's never talked about on any tech channels, nor on any gaming channels, nor with any streamers. Of course he still does absolutely have a presence, but it's definitely been slowing down hard. As to the Escapist, of course the forums are dying because the site itself is dying due to shit management. Just like Yahtzee, I now have to be reminded that they exist. Further, the forums are not integrated into the site in any capacity and it's also treated like... Not even a second-class citizen. More like a fourth-class citizen. And then there's also the fact that there are about five billion gaming forums out there. There's nothing that makes the Escapist forums stand out in any way anymore. Here's a challenge. Give me a solid reason, any solid reason, to want to make an account and post on the Escapist. To talk to the creators? They don't post there. Because of the lenient rules? LOL Because of the cool badges and quizzes? Oh wait, they're completely gone. To even comment on the videos? No, they use the fucktarded Disqus widget for that. To collaborate on creations? They don't host anything besides their own content.

at the end of the day forums just aren't popular anymore and we need to accept that.
Of COURSE they're not popular. That was never in question and is part of what we're trying to fix. Although they ARE still in use in one form or another. In fact, if you think about it, you can still find forums in pretty prominent positions on the internet. Just as an example, most MMOs have official forums. Steam games all have forums. Almost all Linux distros use forums. NexusMods uses forums. Naturally, all this still doesn't compare at all to the behemoths like Facebook and Instagram. Nevertheless, forums are down, but they are not out, and they are not just going to go away with a wave of Google and Facebook's wand.

Dumping money to attract people to a site like this is like trying to get people to join your Usenet Newsgroup.
I've seen people join sites for far less than what Sanctuary offers. And consider this. Even in our pretty slow and weakened state here, we STILL managed to attract a few new users. And that was without any paid advertising or any extra hosting offered. There's also the fact that the very ideals and goals of Sanctuary breeds discussion. It raises eyebrows. Even some controversy. People may love Sanctuary, or they may hate it, but either way, one thing Sanctuary is not is boring.

Also you seriously underestimate peoples apathy. Nobody is going to step up and save the site if you get arrested.
Of course nobody's gonna be able to save intosanctuary.com itself if the site goes down, I go to gay baby jail, and the domain gets seized. But that's not the point. Sanctuary, at its very core, is an idea. Yes, I have crafted a service around that idea, but the idea doesn't actually need me or the site to be there. It doesn't need the intosanctuary.com domain to exist in people's minds. Sure, not many people are gonna wanna or even be able to host their own site, but regardless, even if only three people out of the total community actually started successor sites, that's still quite formidable. I mean, look at KiwiFarms. As reprehensible as they are, look how many people are sticking with that site even though they're constantly getting blasted on all sides.

Ultimately, I understand what you're feeling. In fact, I daresay maybe even more than you do. Sanctuary has had few major wins for a long time and it's pretty fucking disheartening. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel like the site itself is not the problem but instead, how I deliver and advertise it. Or should I say, how I sometimes don't for whatever reason.

-

In the meantime, "manual" advertising can be done on reddit by posting in groups that would be interested, r/FreeSpeech

Just don't make it so blatant of an advertisement that it gets removed as spam.
Usually, I like to get mod approval first before I go all in on manual Sanctuary advertising, unless I actually have legitimate content to contribute.
 

Houseman

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People may love Sanctuary, or they may hate it, but either way, one thing Sanctuary is not is boring.
Personally, I think it's pretty boring at the moment, because there are very few discussions and for the rare discussions that do happen, there is not a lot of diversity of opinion.
 

Arnox

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Personally, I think it's pretty boring at the moment, because there are very few discussions and for the rare discussions that do happen, there is not a lot of diversity of opinion.
Again, absolutely. (Although I might debate that a little bit.) But I was more referring to the ideals and core of Sanctuary though rather than the actual content flow we have here at the moment, or the lack of it, I should say.
 

Arnox

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Just be the new kiwifarms. Take advantage of the situation.
Ok, you know what, let's explore that, shall we?

1. null is still very alive and kicking, and he does not intend to shut KF down. If we were to start poaching people from there, I almost guarantee you null, or maybe not even him, but some of his most faithful are gonna come barging in here like a bunch of terrorists at a tea party, screaming that we're encroaching on their turf, so to speak. Could we hold them off? Maybe. I don't know. Definitely would be a pain in the ass and not something I'd really wanna find out about considering null has been in more than a few internet scuffles in his time. I don't like him, but I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that he isn't pretty skilled on the IT side, and also perhaps the programming side as well. He has to be in order to continuously operate and maintain the kind of site he does.

2. How would we be the "new kiwifarms" without sacrificing the goals and ideals of Sanctuary? Why would we ever want to do that? I've already expressed my views on the site, and while it was rather tone-deaf considering the situation, I'll admit, my thoughts on it haven't changed. I think the goals of KF are, at best, a giant waste of time and resources, and at worst, encouraging bullshit behavior from kiddies and stans the world over who just want the next piece of meat for dinner.
 

Drathnoxis

Devotee
Messages
121
Honestly, I keep forgetting that Yahtzee is a thing. He's never talked about on any tech channels, nor on any gaming channels, nor with any streamers. Of course he still does absolutely have a presence, but it's definitely been slowing down hard. As to the Escapist, of course the forums are dying because the site itself is dying due to shit management. Just like Yahtzee, I now have to be reminded that they exist.
As far as I understand it, the site is doing fairly well and has somewhat recovered from the neglect of the previous owners. Yahtzee also still pulls in 200-500k views on every ZP (on Youtube, not counting site views).

Further, the forums are not integrated into the site in any capacity and it's also treated like... Not even a second-class citizen. More like a fourth-class citizen. And then there's also the fact that there are about five billion gaming forums out there. There's nothing that makes the Escapist forums stand out in any way anymore. Here's a challenge. Give me a solid reason, any solid reason, to want to make an account and post on the Escapist. To talk to the creators? They don't post there. Because of the lenient rules? LOL Because of the cool badges and quizzes? Oh wait, they're completely gone. To even comment on the videos? No, they use the fucktarded Disqus widget for that. To collaborate on creations? They don't host anything besides their own content.
Well you already have an account for one. And you get to talk with all the cool people that still post over there about video games.



I've seen people join sites for far less than what Sanctuary offers. And consider this. Even in our pretty slow and weakened state here, we STILL managed to attract a few new users.
What new users? People who make an introduction post and then never come back don't count. As far as I can tell, there are like 8 users on the site and that's remained pretty constant since I joined.

--------------------------------------------

The main point I'm trying to make is that there is not much chance of this place ever making significant returns on investment, in my opinion, and I'd hate to see you blow all your time and money or get into trouble trying to make it work.
 

Arnox

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Well you already have an account for one. And you get to talk with all the cool people that still post over there about video games.
Yeah but that doesn't count. I'm talking about someone who has no history on the site and is just looking at it all for the first time.

What new users? People who make an introduction post and then never come back don't count. As far as I can tell, there are like 8 users on the site and that's remained pretty constant since I joined.
@Paco Smithereens has popped in and out and has continually expressed appreciation for the site. Says the only reason he doesn't post more often is because of IRL stuff going on right now.

@Michael Myers has also joined. Admittedly an old member, but he is from the Sanctuary v1.0 days, and if anyone's gonna be pissed at me and not want to join, it's gonna be people from Sanctuary v1.0.

Someone I recently talked to also liked this site enough to join but hasn't posted anything yet.

Yes, I understand. That's not many members. I was just saying though that we have attracted a few people here despite everything.

The main point I'm trying to make is that there is not much chance of this place ever making significant returns on investment, in my opinion, and I'd hate to see you blow all your time and money or get into trouble trying to make it work.
In all sincerity, I do thank you for your concern. I understand you're worried a lot, but it's a little too late for me to go back now after ~8 years of riding this train. I'm gonna see this through to the bitter end. And sometimes, in order to realize something lofty, you gotta be headstrong enough to headbutt your way through the brick wall in the way.

Everybody sees the massive communication problems on the internet, but nobody wants to act. The thing is though, nobody is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves at this point. And in any case, while I have spent some money on this site, I haven't actually spent THAT much. Putting money towards expanding our hosting or advertising will be the first major expense for Sanctuary I've made in a long while. Besides the usual hosting costs of course.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Sanctuary legend
Messages
702
I'd go with ads to grow the site more. What keeps happening for me is I forget to check in, because after a day of idly refreshing to find the next conversation, no one has said anything, and I forget to keep trying while there's nothing new to hold me here. New blood will help with that.

Reddit sounds like both the best and worst ideas for ads. Reddit is insanely stifling for many of the conversations they allow there, so you may find a few people that want more freedom that is offered here, but Reddit is also a competing forum, so you'd have to offer something mind-blowing to dislodge their habits of showing up there.

If there's ad options for like the Daily Wire or something like that, I'd look there. Maybe Tim Pool's website? I think Matt Christiansen has a site too, and his viewers probably would fit in really well with us. Dunno, but you should be focusing more on places people are going due to the lack of freedom.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
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845
Brave ads are also pretty neat, as they bypass ad-blocker stuff, show up in your OS notifications, and you get "paid" in crypto if you opt-in to them, and the sorts of people who might use brave also overlap with the sorts of people who want a "free speech forum".
 
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