Tell me how

Just as an intellectual exercise, if you were running the show, how would you make money out of forumosa?

Have a $100 charge for perks. If you want access to photo albums, pms, live chat, the forumosa dating service, the works, etc…

Just like a lot of the websites that are out there, basic membership is free, but a platinum membership costs you.

Some sites charge a flat fee for memberships with additional benefits.

There are some that charge you $1000, and then each pm costs $5. After the $1000 is used up, then you should send some more money.

Basically, it seems like they give away the basics that everyone wants. Everyone is happy enough to keep “tuning in” to the site. But regulars are probably willing to pay extra if there’s some reward for it.

Make a fee for various classified postings of about NT$100 or a little more, not too high to discourage people.

This would be for Job Postings, Housing Ads, Ads Looking for Roommates, Stuff-For-Sale ads. Charge the people that obtain a service from the site.

Surely this will incur loads of logistical problems, not sure if they could even be overcome. The advantage you have over websites that are simply classifieds is that separating it will make the numbers go down. I sometimes just check out what is in the Forumosa classified while I am there reading some threads. A separate site I would less or never unless it had the proper ecomnomy of scale which I doubt it would with it being integrated the way it is now in Forumosa.

Finally, why make money with Forumosa. Stay non-profit. Do a fun run with pledges or beer drink-a-thon with pledges, etc. Just get enough money to pay for the expenses and keep the expenses nothing more than bandwidth and server space. Adding pay areas could incur other expenses.

By the way, how many members are there now? what about a small text add whenever the email goes out that someone posted a follow-up message. Maybe ads are taboo?

Anyone benefited from the current crop of ads I see? Then maybe you guys should encourage them to donate a small amount to the yearly pledge goals? What about making a STICKY at the top of all of the classifieds that mentions that this is a non-profit member supported site. If your classfied posting is helpful in locating a roommate, English Teacher, buyer for your laptop, etc., please make a small donation via PAYPAL or your VISA card or via an ATM wire transfer…This last paragraph should be a must and you guys should start immediately. In the past 3 and half years, I have sold a lot of things on Oriented aka Segue aka Forumosa and I will be making a donation soon…especially if I can sell my phone or washing machine here sometime soon. :wink:

Advertising, definitely. Works for Yahoo! Even just having the one banner at the top of the page provides a lot of exposure for businesses that would otherwise be paying a pretty penny to do the same in a newspaper or magazine.

Think about it, the local English newspapers charge huge sums to run a one-inch square adverisement for a week (somewhere in the range of NT$20,000 for a two week run, if memory serves). The businesses using your banner exchange are reaching the same audience for free. They must be very happy campers!

Just an opinion,

Sure if you only need about NT$60,000 per year (taking into consideration every expanding bandwidth needs), then actually it should be easy with Ad fees at non-profit pricing. They would be an easy sell. OK, sell ads to only two guys, rotate only the two of them. Or do six for the whole year. People pay NT$10,000 for a years worth of advertising. With prices like that, they won’t ask too many questions and you don’t have to go out and sell, they should come to you. Or give out the banners for FREE, but ask for a small donation with your suggestion being NT$1,000 or NT$500. The rest of the money, pass around the hat or ask the Classified people to pitch in NT$100 or NT$200 if they make a sale or find a new employee or find a job even.

Start using the guilt factor, make people think, did I benefit or not? Do I enjoy going to Forumosa? Be like the listener supported public radio in the USA.

Accept donations via Paypal or Amazon donations!


Use affiliates programs like Amazon/Google Ads, etc.

Could raise enough to pay a few bills.


If I were you I would rent and sell the names list.
That if you are collecting a list.

The second opportunity is probably charge your members fee for some premium service. Jeez some of these guys been posting 2500 messages on this board.

Third other method is CPM off sponsors ads. Since you have a pretty narrow demographic it should not be too hard to convince sponsors that you’ve done the hard part of creating a target audience.

They do have a PayPal option. What if there were a small charge for Forumosa Happy Hours like $100 to get a drinks discount with a stamp (sorry, still thinking of life as an undergrad) or some kind of recognition? Get some local sponsors to do a card where showing your card gets you a discount at those places like at Citizen Cain, Alleycat’s, Grandma Nitti’s, Bobundaye, etc. and then charge a membership fee to get the cards.

Of course, in order to really sell the Happy Hours thing, you would need to move it a little closer to a weekend than, oh, say Wednesday night.

Thanks for the ideas. I’m afraid my replies to the following may sound discouraging, but I do appreciate your attention here. There are some basic problems I see with them:

[quote=“ac_dropout”]If I were you I would rent and sell the names list.
That if you are collecting a list.[/quote]

I would be shocked and upset if I learned that a self-styled community website like Forumosa – where its adminstrators claim that its members help one another – was making money off of my contact info.

As one of the admins of this website, I receive a ridiculous amount of spam every day, even after I installed some spam filters into my email. I wouldn’t wish this on my enemy, much less the regular members of this website

Now, I see a fair opportunity in capitalizing upon email alert notifications. This type of spam requires conscious selection (opt-in), and members can stop it at anytime. Adding ‘line ads’ into these messages is less intrusive and certainly will not violate any privacy concerns that we (at least me) have.

Ya, some people post here A LOT. They form core of the community. But what ‘premium’ services do they want? This will take some deeper thinking (a survey, discussions at the next forumosa happy hour) – and hopefully more complete suggestions in topics like this

Very true about the narrow demographic. Frankly, I’ve told friends who have challenged me on this that I simply don’t believe the population is large enough. This was a fundamental reason why I chose not to sign on at – of course, that project intends to pursue a regional audience, and not a Taiwan-based one.

Now, I have not done any serious study about this – just superficial stuff, like seeing the breakdown of foreigners in Taipei City and thinking, “thats all?” And as I moved my finger down the table, I realized how the vast majority of this group were labor (factory, construction) and probably didn’t have ready access to the internet.

Finally, I’ve never been convinced at the viability of a CPM based business. Smoke and mirrors, if you asked me.

If you start charging for things that were previously free (like PMs and classified ads) that’s going to be a real turn-off for alot of people to say the least. You want to attract more people to this site - you can do that by keeping everything free free free. You could charge for fancy new features, but you have to ask yourself would anyone really want to use them?

Appealing for donations is fine if this place is non-profit but if it turns for-profit that’s going to seem a bit cheeky!

Ads do sound like the best way to go - with the big assumption that you wanted to make money off this place, that is.


The server is in Taiwan. I don’t think USA rules applie to selling or renting list from there.

Usually the premium service I’ve seen on sites like this are in-depth interviews with celeberities, businessmen, and politicians that appeal to the core audience.

If this was my site…I would just look for businesses in Taiwan that require native English speakers than charge them for banner rotations or services to recruit from the core audience.

But hey WTF do I know, I’m just an pro-blue guy that got banned once.

Screw the rules. You start trying to make money by selling my details as if I’m a commodity and I’m out of here. We are a community, not a resource.

Allowing potential employers to target the forumosa community is a different matter. I don’t think anyone would have an objection to more job adverts appearing here, and if employers are prepared to pay tealit for the privilege then why should we let them advertise here for free? After all, they’re in business to make a profit so why should we provide this service to them for free?

Question though: how would you attract advertisers?

Even if they did you wouldn’t know it. Unless you keep dummy information to catch that kind of stuff. When it comes to starving or making a buck, human nature already makes these decisions in advance.

Just think of it this way. The server not for free. So you get some junk mail. Just turn up the spam protector.

First you have to organized the traffic here in a coherent manner that make sense to advertiser. Don’t just dump the log print is what I’m saying. If I was targeting a Chinese business in Taiwan that needed native English speakers, I would give the impression that this was the site where you can find these type of people.

If the company wasn’t net savy, I would work with them to collect leads got in this site.

But first start with smaller companies and work my way up as the credibility of the result became more defined. Also I would find the competitor of my advertiser and informed them that this is working for their competitor.

Screw the rules. You start trying to make money by selling my details as if I’m a commodity and I’m out of here.[/quote]
Me too. There’s NO WAY we’ll sell people’s info. NO WAY. NO WAY. EVER. :fatchance:

(Actually, for the right amount of cash, I can tell you where sandman lives, but that’s as far as I go.)


Starve for your principles as you buy a bootleg DVD in a Taiwan night market…

I prosper on my principles, and I don’t own a bootleg DVD.


I cannot believe a person in Taiwan does not have a bootleg version of anything. Unthinkable. I cannot compute…

I’ve got some bootleg gaoliang…

What the most holy of holy movies from the PRC with Gong Li, by famous mainland compatroit Zhang Yi Mou. :wink:

See everyone has a price. yours just happens to be Gong Li.