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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> How much in profit how much in prizes?
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08/08/2002 09:09:50 AM · #1
Now that the poll results are in I have one question. Obviously the days of the free dp are numbered. So, how much of the money collected is going to members for prizes and how much are the administrators keeping as profits?
08/08/2002 09:20:34 AM · #2
i dont think theyre going for profit. the server fees are costing them more and more each month because the site is growing. i would imagine that most of the money would probably go towards that. langdon isnt the type of ass to start charging for this site just to profit from it. i dont know about the other dude, though. he's mean
08/08/2002 10:15:16 AM · #3
Originally posted by guybrowme:
Now that the poll results are in I have one question. Obviously the days of the free dp are numbered. So, how much of the money collected is going to members for prizes and how much are the administrators keeping as profits?

Hi,

In talking with Drew I know his main focus has been on covering costs. Drew and Langdon have put quite a bit of money out of pocket to pay for hosting and bandwidth, and their primary goal is to generate enough revenue to make the site self-sufficient.

I think it's also worth mentioning, though, that Drew and Langdon have put a substantial amount of time into the programming and design of the site. I personally would have no problem seeing Drew and Langdon draw some compensation for that time and effort.

-Terry
08/08/2002 10:18:51 AM · #4
agreed... profit is not a dirty word... :)

08/08/2002 10:40:25 AM · #5
I would have not problem paying for somethign that I enjoy, and spend allot of time with. Also if the owners of this site would like to turn a profit they will get no complaints from me. I am sure they have spent countless hours trying to make this site better. I think they deserve some recognition in the form of dollars. I am just guessing, but if 500 members paid $20 per year there isn't going to be all that much money left over after they pay for software, hosting fees, extra bandwidth, and then pay themselves something. Good Luck to the owners. I think it would be great if they could get a bunch of sponsors and everything.
08/08/2002 11:04:09 AM · #6
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
agreed... profit is not a dirty word... :)


I absolutely agree----should have been $100 year. This might lower the number of entries to a more managable number.

I hope these guys could each earn a mil for their efforts.


* This message has been edited by the author on 8/8/2002 11:04:18 AM.
08/08/2002 11:10:10 AM · #7
I have to say that this is one of the meanest-spirited threads (by the originator) I have read here. What the heck is wrong with a profit by these guys?

Luckily, the responses have been much fairer than the original question.
08/08/2002 11:17:16 AM · #8
I think that Drew and Langdon have been the most un-selfish people I have encountered in a long time. I hope they do make a profit sometime, because I can appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into a site like this. I, for one, certainly appreciate everything that is available to me here...
08/08/2002 11:31:49 AM · #9
It is the curse of the internet costs these days, not much can stay free if it requires over a certain amount of bandwidth. I have seen a bunch of sites I use to belong to be forced to go pay.It does suck that I likely won't be able to stay around when it happens is, but I hope that it does work and they do get something for their hard work.
08/08/2002 11:33:53 AM · #10
I agree that Drew and Langdon should get whatever they need to make this site as self sufficient as possible.

However, there are folks who have a much more casual approach to digital photography than others and it is not unfair of them to wonder if they want to pay anything.

Also, there are other pay sites out there and entering into the pay world of photographic web sites means more decisions people need to make. It easy to drop in here and start playing when its free. It's another thing to a new person when they don't know what the heck is going on and have to anti up some money.

I'm not keen on prizes as incentives as much as services. Services give everybody something for their money and encourage people to stay. Prizes only reward a few and encourage turnover in membership.

If I were to be charged I would like it even better if I had a place to store my photos in addition to weekly contests.

I imagine a place like p-base will go to a pay site soon and I like the idea of online photo storage/display sites.

Anyway, jsut my thoughts. :-)

Originally posted by jakking:
I have to say that this is one of the meanest-spirited threads (by the originator) I have read here. What the heck is wrong with a profit by these guys?

Luckily, the responses have been much fairer than the original question.




* This message has been edited by the author on 8/8/2002 11:34:44 AM.
08/08/2002 11:38:16 AM · #11
P-Base has said it is going pay, unfortunately unlike this site that I think will work out (It offers a lot) I don't think P-Base has a much of a chance. To much competition and an average program. The competition I expect to crush them (That and their are many free sites still).

Oh, and I agree with everything Hokie said.

08/08/2002 11:44:06 AM · #12
I've been out of touch (business trip) most of the week, and this may have been addressed elsewhere... But here is my fear...

I have no problem with D & L breaking even/making a profit/making a killing on the site... They deserve it! However, I'm afraid that "prizes" will attract a bunch of ringers and folks that are less then honest. I won't enjoy it much if my point and shoot in a week photo has to compete against 50 pro shots pulled out of gigabytes of past shots... I also fear that plagerism will rear it's ugly little head...

I kind of wish that all the proceeds went to D & L and that there were no prizes beyond a ribbon :)

But that's just me :)
08/08/2002 11:58:22 AM · #13
Sheesh, I should read the whole thread before I post... <sheepish grin>

Ummm, what hokie said!
08/08/2002 12:06:16 PM · #14
I agree that prizes will change the type users that participate in this contest. I think there should a page (with paypal or something) where users can make donations instead of charging members. They would still recieve enough money this way and new comers would not be scared off.

* This message has been edited by the author on 8/8/2002 12:09:24 PM.
08/08/2002 12:40:49 PM · #15
Admittedly I initailly voted that I would not pay for this site if it came to that, but after reviewing your comments I have changed my mind.

I definetly would pay for the services that this site offers. I have yet to find a site with so many features and the community that this site offers. I am really pleased that everyone here is upbeat and friendly. I have only been here a couple of days but already feel welcome. Many of the other community type sites on the internet have gotten down right mean and ugly. I dont see that here. Also, the format and layout of this site as well as its usability is by far among the best I have seen. It often astounds me that huge companies can dump loads of cash into a site that is utterly impossible to navigate (wow that got wordy). So, considering all that this site has going for it, I would be happy to pay for services provided ...especially bandwith and server space as these can be taxing. I tend to agree with most that prizes would be less desireable than simply paying for the services (and a little profit for the folks who run the place).

Final note: Although the membership fee would be small it would be hard to come by as I would have to take a cut in pay because since I found this site my productivty at work has diminished.
08/08/2002 01:30:58 PM · #16
Originally posted by rdesai:
I agree that prizes will change the type users that participate in this contest. I think there should a page (with paypal or something) where users can make donations instead of charging members. They would still recieve enough money this way and new comers would not be scared off

I agree that having valuable prizes would be a bad idea.

I do not agree that a paypal donation button would generate enough income to run the site.

I run a website that has 125,000 registered users and which receives well in excess of 2 million page impressions per month. I have a paypal donation link on that site and after the initial flush of contributions everything trailed off to almost nothing. Contributions absolutely do *not* cover the costs of hosting the site.

I do also run banner ads but I refuse to take pop-ups. Revenue from banner ads is also fairly feeble but I've found that by putting a notice on my site saying "we don't have pop-ups - please click the banners or make a donation to keep it that way" we are now getting a fair income.

No-one is going to be making any kind of living wage out of running a website any more. Drew and Langdon certainly *do* deserve to make some money out of this excellent site. But I fear that with the internet being what it is that income will amount to little more than pocket change for the forseeable future.

John
08/08/2002 01:47:32 PM · #17
This site is fun, interesting, informative, and lights a fire under me every week to get out and shoot. I have learned more about my camera, and Photoshop/other apps here in the month or so that I've been here, than in the previous 10 months that I've owned my digital.
Yeah - I'd pay, no problem; and I would only hope that D&L actually DO get some serious profits out of this site.
I also find the community here to be generally very kind, friendly, often witty, and very helpful. What's not to like??
More power to 'em!
08/08/2002 02:05:05 PM · #18
Thank you all for your kind words about us and our site. Langdon and I really have put more hours into this site than I could even begin to count, and I wouldn't take it back for anything. Now, let me clear things up...

Free DPChallenge is NOT going away.

Let me try to explain the situation. First, hosting. If we didn't have a friend GIVING us space and bandwidth for our images, there is absolutely no chance we'd still be here today. This site uses so much bandwidth, it hurts :) Like floyd says, we understand that donations can't keep a site entirely free -- we can look at countless other sites to show us this, and we have.

The real idea behind all of this is to help us cover the cost of hosting and perhaps give us some money for all the hours we spend developing the site. We've already outgrown our current hosting option, and we're aware that not long from now, we'll need to be colocated.

We really want to give you the best possible site to learn and develop your skills as photographers. We have a million ideas and features we'd like to build for the site. With a membership option, we'll be able to afford (money and time) to develop LOTS more features and make the site better as it grows.

All the while, we'll continue to give everyone what they've been getting FREE.

I've been really interested in the response to sponsor prizes ... I can definitely see what you all are worried about. Please continue to discuss this topic and any ideas you have about the future of the site and its features.

Drew
08/08/2002 02:28:16 PM · #19
I voted no on the poll because the idea of prize MONEY would have the potential to change the amiable nature of this site to something unpleasant, as described by Hokie and Myqyl. Voting might become more subjective under such a scheme as well.

However, this is an extremely well run site and it is obvious that D&L put in lots of time to keep it that way. I would not at all be opposed to paying something towards the admin. costs involved in running this site.

Some suggestions:

1. Give new users a chance to participate on the site for free for a couple of weeks before forcing them to become a paying member. This way, the site will keep on attracting new blood.

2. Have some flexibility in the membership. Rather than paying an annual membership upfront, add an option to have a membership that allows participation for x weeks (not necessarily consecutive) during the calendar year, or quarterly options. Something like:

annual membership: $ 80
quarterly membership: $ 25
13 weeks option: $ 30 - $ 35

Just tossed out those numbers to show some comparison, no idea what $ D&L are aiming for.

An issue then would become if non-members would be allowed to vote. In my mind, they shouldn't and looking at the statistics that would not have a big impact on the overall score.
08/08/2002 02:35:16 PM · #20
I am not 100% sure but I believe that when Drew said:

With a membership option, we'll be able to afford (money and time) to develop LOTS more features and make the site better as it grows.

All the while, we'll continue to give everyone what they've been getting FREE.


He meant that we are not going to have to pay for what we are getting now, there will just be a membership that can get people a little something extra. It seems that is what he said anyway.
08/08/2002 02:43:46 PM · #21
I'm another vote for no cash prizes. I think it's a bad idea for all the reasons already mentioned. Taking the money and getting a nice, big server with a nice, fat pipe will make everyone happier than monetary prizes.

I like the fact that you are keeping the site free. In my experience with sites, the switch to pay dumps a good chunk of the people worth keeping. Having both free and paid options gives the best of both worlds, especially since it can take a while to hook someone enough to get them interested in paying.

What can you offer the paying customers if not prizes? Hmm...

How about a nifty title to show up in the forums the way "Moderator" does? (I'm not sure if it would bother people to be "singled out", but I thought I'd throw it out.)

The idea of an additional contest for paying members only (both submitting and voting) is a good one. Maybe there could also be a separate critique area for members only.

I can think of a number of new features that people have suggested, but I'm not sure how you would want to divide them between "free for everyone" and "for paid members only".

My 2¢.
08/08/2002 02:46:11 PM · #22
I have yet to answer the poll question on the first page. Mostly, I think, it's because I want some other options. Ultimately, I guess I wouldn't have a problem spending up to $50 a year (though I'd like a quarterly payment option), but I really don't like the idea of prizes. I'd prefer some other benefits instead -- although I'm not sure what those benefits might be. (I'll think about it a bit more...)

My fear in regards to prizes runs along the same lines as those already posted by myqyl and others. There's too much temptation, when something tangible is on the line, for people to cheat. Whether that means pulling from file photos and tweaking EXIF data (easy), stealing other people's work outright (harder to get away with, but not impossible), or spot-touching photos contrary to rules (also not that hard to do if you know what you're about), none would be that hard to do and get away with. So, in order to counter these kinds of problems, I foresee that the rules would have to be changed to allow things like older images or PS work -- and that would change the kind of competition it is.

I'm happy enough winning a ribbon (or at least trying to most of the time) and would continue to be happy with such an "insignificant" prize even if I paid. However, I think for the cash, some other kind of service would need to be offered. Perhaps a members only discount on something that would be offered to those who use the free site as well -- maybe the ability to order prints at cost, if a print service is ever offered.
08/08/2002 02:52:57 PM · #23
Originally posted by Agamemnon:
He meant that we are not going to have to pay for what we are getting now, there will just be a membership that can get people a little something extra. It seems that is what he said anyway.

Exactly. And moreover, new features will be added to both free members and paying members, though the ones that require excessive amounts of development time, hosting, or bandwidth will probably be given to paying members. Prizes, if offered, would be things valued around $30-$50... magazine subscriptions, memory cards, t-shirts, digital prints... you get the idea. Not cash prizes.

We LOVE the free site and we're both very proud of it. It's not going anywhere.

Drew
08/08/2002 03:08:19 PM · #24
Thanks for the clarification, Drew. What you are saying is very fair. Could you be more specific what services could only be offered to paying members?

As Patella already mentioned, the honor of a ribbon, a decent score, useful and constructive feedback is really enough prize for these competitions here. You have no idea how pleased I am to see my score this week significantly better than for my first two submissions. That's really all that matters.

Again, I would be more than willing to contribute monetarily towards you guys running this site but don't feel much motivation towards paying for T-shirts, magazine subscriptions or any other prizes that cost something.
08/08/2002 03:17:36 PM · #25
Possible Membership services/benefits:


Best of Books Perhaps you could get enough winning/excellent photos on the site together to be put into a book that only members could buy. Best of 2002, Best of Lanscapes, ect. I am sure members would be willing to allow their shots to be used in such a way. You could (the site) use mypublisher.com to set up an account in some way... perhaps even get some deal from them for sending them buisness.

Drawings Drew has mentioned prizes, and perhaps some of these would be signed prints. Again, I am sure that many here would donate the use of some of their shots. For other prizes that Drew mentioned I would highly suggest that he talks with those magazine companies to get them to donate some free subscriptions...in exchange for saying "sponsored by."



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