There were some enthusiastic donors when I first put up the donor button, but its been quiet since then. So far, about $120 was contributed.
To answer your question: No, I do not believe donations alone can cover the actual costs of the website over time. They will help tho
quote[quote]how much it costs to run this site, how many volunteers needed, how big the webiste is, the bandwidth requirement[/quote]
We pay www.hostexpress.com about US$25 per month. I do not forsee any extra webspace requirement for the foreseeable future (but then, I haven’t been looking terribly far ahead lately – I’m a bit pre-occupied these days ) – I believe 50MB is more than you’d need. We use more than this, but this is because there’s a lot of clutter backstage here.
It’s a bit more complicated than this, tho. In addition to this website, we can tap the webspace of www.freeclassifieds.com.tw – where we place most of the graphics used on ORIENTED.org. Thus, if you add in the extra $17 for that account, the basic monthly costs climb.
And then, we are not quantifying the amount of time we put into this project. Over the past 3 years, a lot of time has been spent here. A lot. This site was built largely from 3 sources: the founders, direct volunteers (like Mingson, Carson, and the forum moderators) and you folks who use the site (Forum, Jobs and Events visitors).
Bandwidth requirements? Hmmm. This is a tricky one to answer becuase different users have different experiences. Mine, however, have been pretty consistent.
What do you think of your connection to the site right now? Many people complain (particularly dial up users). I guess I’m blessed because I normally don’t have problems (on regular bases, I dial up from Taiwan or the Philippines, use DSL in Taipei and Manila, and have connected via leased line connections from Taipei and Singapore)
We host from the ever friendly, extremely responsive folks at www.hostexpress.com out in New Jersey. On rare occassions, there have been a few performance kinks. Overall tho, I’m happy to recommend them. Please refer to their account guide for the bandwidth we use.
The biggest cost, imho, is the time we’ve all volunteered on this gig. Except for the Forum moderation and the Events of the Week writeups, the site has been administered by two people who normally have very heavy “non-ORIENTED” workloads. Our committment includes a painfully manual weekly bulletin procedure, slow fixes to the various Perl scripts that make up this website, and (not-so-timely) complaint handling.
This is becoming more and more of an issue for ORIENTED.org. Presently, all the banners you see rotating on the site are gratis. They are the result of back-scratching banner exchanges, or they are sites owned/run by friends of ours. THIS MIGHT CHANGE, but only because prudence says we should never rule out anything. Plus, the advent and success of ORIENTED.com should impact this somehow.
All that said, in all honesty I haven’t spoken definately about this with Christine. That building an advertising model for ORIENTED.org has not been a priority for us, however, should tell you something. But ORIENTED.org is meant to be a continuing resource for Taiwan as long as I can cover the US$25 bucks a month. Donations will help, but I think I can cover for now