Ads on the site and support for the PEBFORUM

Thanks as always for your participation and being part of this PEB FORUM community!

I have gone through a lot of work to update the site over the past few months. Let me explain a bit.

First, when I say "update," it truly is an update. The forum software is Xenforo. (A great software for forums!) The Xenforo platform is what have used for the past several years. It is, in my estimation, the best out there. That said, it has taken a long (or maybe more accurately, a Loooooooonggggggggg) time for me to and the various pieces (software platform, hosting, add-ons, etc., etc., and probably others) to get things working the way I hoped and expected. Along the way, I have had to spend a lot of money to not only maintain but to try to advance the site. To date, I am not really satisfied with the results over the last year or so....but, I am pleased with recent developments).

Additionally, I have changed hosting providers, have increased the site's capabilities, and have done a lot of work to improve the user experience. This site is always a work in progress. And, based on resources (internal and external) it has been a continual process, with some steps forward and some steps back along the way. With a lot of work on the backend and server side as well as the work of designers (and, also the contribution of a lot of the moderators and long time members of the site) I think the site is a helpful resource.

I will be posting more about the issue of supporting the site in the near term. I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars to make the site what it is. About two years ago, I started to show Google adsense ads. They eventually resulted in about $50 per month in revenue. I have put up a link for an "upgrade" (which did not give any additional benefit) for supporting members at $1/mo for six months (which I am grateful for those who have opted for that contribution; just so the people know, it is a net (after fees) of 67 cents a month.

The ads were much more revenue producing. About $100/mo when they were up and optimized. Past 6 months or so, between the new software, the new hosting account, and other issues, I was not able to pull off having ad based support on the PEBFORUM, so that support went away.

Here is where I am at as far as the forum and my thoughts on revenue. I am at a steady net loss personally from the costs of the PEBFORUM. I love the forum, and will likely maintain it, no matter what. Still, it is a cost, I lose money over time on the forum and my aspirations have always been for much more out of the community we have built.

What do I want from the forum? Well, I have always hoped that the information and community help folks in understanding the issues and the process for getting their due. I have hoped that the forum would at least be self-supporting, i.e., not cost me more than it takes in for maintaining the site. But, in the back of my pocket, I had hoped for much more. I had hoped (and still hope) that we could create a self-supporting community that could work to effect change. To advocate for members, to have enough resources to assist and to advocate for change.

We are not there yet. I have re-instituted some ads to help with the costs. I may end up charging for "enhanced" features. I don't know what will come and have to see what additional features I can instute to help folks. We have more than 45,000 members. We have more than 175,000 messages/posts on the PEBFORUM. Many thousands of more folks and many multiples of the member's number have read the forums and have chosen not to sign up.

For now, I have added some ads from outside advertisers. That is the way ahead for maintaining the site and the community. However, if everyone who joined would pledge to give dollar a month (or even $1),al) , I could do a lot. If there were a higher gift of $20 or more, I could set up representation clinics, lobby Congress for improvements and fixes to the problems, and be equipped to fight further for folks. I really woudn't put much hope out that every member would contribute $1. But, if ten percent gave a dollar a month (at least for a year, but on an ongoing basis) the possibilities go up greatly. I am working on establishing a non-profit organization to advance our goals.

We will see what direction the New Years takes. I am interested in any input.

Regards,

Jason
 
Last edited:
Jason Perry

Comments

7869jake

Registered Member
#2
Jason,

I'd first like to say thank you for building and maintaining this site. I completely understand the need for ad revenue to keep the site going, but after the update yesterday, I now have 8 massive ads appearing inside of each person's post on the forum. Not 8 per page, 8 per users post. And I'm not exaggerating while using the term "massive". It has actually made most posts with lots of interaction completely unreadable. Having ad income is great, but if it completely degrades the usability of the site, what's the point?

Would you please consider removing ads from individual posts and instead, institute more banner style ads on the sides/bottom/top of the page?
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
Thanks for the input! It is very helpful and the type of response I need.

I agree about the revenue vs usability tradeoff and want to err on the side of usability.

I was not aware of the amount of ads on each thread. I figured out how to implement ads at all early this morning, so that is a feature (placement and volume of ads) that I need to learn how to modulate. Will look into it soon.

Thanks again for the input!
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
Jason,

I'd first like to say thank you for building and maintaining this site. I completely understand the need for ad revenue to keep the site going, but after the update yesterday, I now have 8 massive ads appearing inside of each person's post on the forum. Not 8 per page, 8 per users post. And I'm not exaggerating while using the term "massive". It has actually made most posts with lots of interaction completely unreadable. Having ad income is great, but if it completely degrades the usability of the site, what's the point?

Would you please consider removing ads from individual posts and instead, institute more banner style ads on the sides/bottom/top of the page?
Made some tweaks. Is it better now?
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
#6
I'll admit that I'm a big fan of Pebforum. It was there for me and had an enormous impact on my case when I was going through IDES. I don't mind an ad here or there, but 5-10 ads between each and every post is excesssive and very distracting. It reduces the site to "click bait" and will turn many more away than it will ever attract.

I suppose I owe a debt to this site. Please let me know how I can PayPal that debt back. But if the current rate of ads continues, I won't stay around long at all.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
Can you confirm if this is still the presentation? I changed some settings. (I am still learning how to implement ad system...I agree about not having a huge amount of ads. Not the intention but will take me some time to figure out how to adjust settings to what I want).

Thanks for offer of support! My PayPal is [email protected]

Jason
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
This is what I'm talking about: I see this between each and every post:
It should just be at the end of each thread. Has your browser been open a long time? If so, can you close and then reload and let me know what you are seeing for ads?
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
#12
Just sent some money PayPal. Keep it the good work! I would have been so utterly screwed in 2015 if it had not been for this site and the great people contributing!
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
Just sent some money PayPal. Keep it the good work! I would have been so utterly screwed in 2015 if it had not been for this site and the great people contributing!
Thank you for the generous support! It is greatly appreciated!
Are you still seeing the ads between every post, or are they just at the end of each thread? I think I tamped the ads down, but, it is hard for me to know what people are actually seeing. (The entire software permissions are an issue, and some folks may see things differently based on their status....I can see some things "globally," but, a tradeoff with the permission system is that some folks are presented different pages based on different factors, including time as a member, number of posts, and other factors. I don't think you should be seeing so many ads, but, knowing if you are or not will help me to troubleshoot and present what I intend to be shown).

Again, thank you for your generous contribution and I am glad to know that the forum helped you in your progress through the disability evaluation system!
 

eps17

PEB Forum Veteran
#17
Jason, this resource you've made has effected SO MANY military members lives in such a positive way. Your reputation as an attorney is also extremely positive as well. Thank you for making this forum happen and for all you do to help out as many people as you can!
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#18
Jason, this resource you've made has effected SO MANY military members lives in such a positive way. Your reputation as an attorney is also extremely positive as well. Thank you for making this forum happen and for all you do to help out as many people as you can!
Thanks for the kind words, and I am very happy that the forum has helped many members. I have that as a primary goal- helping folks! I appreciate your post and it does make me glad to hear your comments!

Jason
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
#19
This forum is a godsend! It certainly helped me in so many ways, from understanding IDES in general, VASRD, all of the different appeals (I literally did appeal at EVERY level), to transitioning issues, SSDI, VA care after the service, just so many levels! This forum is a one stop shop.
 

MLopezEsq

Registered Member
#20
Thanks as always for your participation and being part of this PEB FORUM community!

I have gone through a lot of work to update the site over the past few months. Let me explain a bit.

First, when I say "update," it truly is an update. The forum software is Xenforo. (A great software for forums!) The Xenforo platform is what have used for the past several years. It is, in my estimation, the best out there. That said, it has taken a long (or maybe more accurately, a Loooooooonggggggggg) time for me to and the various pieces (software platform, hosting, add-ons, etc., etc., and probably others) to get things working the way I hoped and expected. Along the way, I have had to spend a lot of money to not only maintain but to try to advance the site. To date, I am not really satisfied with the results over the last year or so....but, I am pleased with recent developments).

Additionally, I have changed hosting providers, have increased the site's capabilities, and have done a lot of work to improve the user experience. This site is always a work in progress. And, based on resources (internal and external) it has been a continual process, with some steps forward and some steps back along the way. With a lot of work on the backend and server side as well as the work of designers (and, also the contribution of a lot of the moderators and long time members of the site) I think the site is a helpful resource.

I will be posting more about the issue of supporting the site in the near term. I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars to make the site what it is. About two years ago, I started to show Google adsense ads. They eventually resulted in about $50 per month in revenue. I have put up a link for an "upgrade" (which did not give any additional benefit) for supporting members at $1/mo for six months (which I am grateful for those who have opted for that contribution; just so the people know, it is a net (after fees) of 67 cents a month.

The ads were much more revenue producing. About $100/mo when they were up and optimized. Past 6 months or so, between the new software, the new hosting account, and other issues, I was not able to pull off having ad based support on the PEBFORUM, so that support went away.

Here is where I am at as far as the forum and my thoughts on revenue. I am at a steady net loss personally from the costs of the PEBFORUM. I love the forum, and will likely maintain it, no matter what. Still, it is a cost, I lose money over time on the forum and my aspirations have always been for much more out of the community we have built.

What do I want from the forum? Well, I have always hoped that the information and community help folks in understanding the issues and the process for getting their due. I have hoped that the forum would at least be self-supporting, i.e., not cost me more than it takes in for maintaining the site. But, in the back of my pocket, I had hoped for much more. I had hoped (and still hope) that we could create a self-supporting community that could work to effect change. To advocate for members, to have enough resources to assist and to advocate for change.

We are not there yet. I have re-instituted some ads to help with the costs. I may end up charging for "enhanced" features. I don't know what will come and have to see what additional features I can instute to help folks. We have more than 45,000 members. We have more than 175,000 messages/posts on the PEBFORUM. Many thousands of more folks and many multiples of the member's number have read the forums and have chosen not to sign up.

For now, I have added some ads from outside advertisers. That is the way ahead for maintaining the site and the community. However, if everyone who joined would pledge to give dollar a month (or even $1),al) , I could do a lot. If there were a higher gift of $20 or more, I could set up representation clinics, lobby Congress for improvements and fixes to the problems, and be equipped to fight further for folks. I really woudn't put much hope out that every member would contribute $1. But, if ten percent gave a dollar a month (at least for a year, but on an ongoing basis) the possibilities go up greatly. I am working on establishing a non-profit organization to advance our goals.

We will see what direction the New Years takes. I am interested in any input.

Regards,

Jason
I’d love to place an ad!
 
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