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Management Update 19

Site statistics

April published article count was down from 14 in March to 7 in April. Published comments fell in line with that from 799 in March to 474 in April - a small amount of the falls relate to nothing much happening over Easter and over the two days when the site was down while moving host.

However, total traffic to the site was maintained at March's high level (as far as can be told, given that it is not really possible to add together statistics from the two hosts, particularly on unique visitors). Unique visitors in March were 25,277, and the April numbers were 19,800 on the old site and 6,500 on the new: total visits were also steady. Once again the Vientiane Times was the primary referring site.

We didn’t publish 18 abusive, content-free or incomprehensible comments, and 3 under the 5-post rule. Total intended for publication and not published: 21/495=4.2%.


Having said last month that monthly running expenses were too low to report monthly, we had a number of one-off costs in April. Google hit us for some rolled up charges for a trial with Adwords, which I was unhappy about, because I'd cancelled the trial fairly quickly when I realised how much it was costing, and they didn't record that cancellation and kept it running while they racked up around $175 in costs. Argument on a rebate on that still running, but they're not looking likely to agree.

We also had the renewal costs for the next two years of registrations of webdiary.com.au, webdiary.net.au and webdiary.org.au, and will have a $200 bill for the annual cost of the new hosting arrangement.

Income in April was $35 in donations, versus expenditure of $415.81.

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Beyond our means

David, so we are clearly not covering our basic costs. Do the figures mean that there will be insufficient to cover outgoes from here on? Clearly we are living off accrued capital, so what is the current state of the balance sheet?

Clearly most commenters think the site can operate without the need for them to contribute a cent. That to me is not good enough.

If we enjoy WD and we would not comment here if we did not, then it behoves regular commenters at least to make an annual donation.

Ian and I have contributed close to a thousand dollars to the site over the past year, and are now loathe to keep donating when others seem to think they should just be given an ongoing free ride at the expense of us and the few who do bother, or have bothered to put their money where their keyboard is. I cannot accept that most here cannot afford to contribute at least twenty dollars a month. The only word for it it meanness. And that on a site where so much self righteousness is sprouted.

Shame to the takers and the non givers I say. It is long overdue that this was said. So I am saying it now.

David R: No, we are not currently living beyond our means, now that we have dropped Project Syndicate. As I specifically noted in the report, these costs last month were one-off or very occasional items. The ongoing costs we do have are $200 a year for hosting, around $300 a year for registrations, and some bank fees, totalling to around $50 a month. Our Google Adsense income is around $70 a month. We have no particular need for donations at this point, and where I had contact details for some donors who paid by monthly standing order, I wrote to them suggesting that they stop.

Donating to WD

David, thank you. It is nice to know that. On the basis of the figures, albeit with the one offs, here we were feeling we should make a further contribution despite clearly being in a minority on that score. So can I suggest that the Donate to Webdiary request be removed and that when donations are required in the future that a specific request is then made at the time of the monthly report, with an invitation in particular to the regular users to respond. And it is reasonable to expect that they should respond. I think people are more likely to respond when there is a clear and specific need for funds. 

One assumes on the basis of what you say that sufficient reserves are held to cover the disputed account you mention if it is not waved and any Adsense shortfall that might occur over the next 12 months. [DR: yes]

Hi all

Great Job, David and all. early birthday cadeau.


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