[theforum] colors & support block

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sun Nov 16 07:02:20 CST 2008

Erika wrote:

> donate is the only other one I remember kicking around the idea of a  
> color to, (yellow/gold). In light of the newist article and other ad  
> research I recall, my tendency is not to make support requests  
> overly bright (I mean, if we do a front page panel) but in fact to  
> make it one of the more subtly colored things. as for the page  
> itself, not sure of yellow. a little goes a long ways.

I think there's a few things here:

1) I'd agree with you if we were showing the support block to  
everyone. But we are (were until it was disabled - BAD idea; I'd also  
like to work out why when re-enabling it, it still fails to appear)  
only showing it to logged in users, ie those who have an existing  
relationship with us

2) Experience shows that potential supporters who *already* have a  
relationship are utterly *fine* with up-front requests for help. I  
mean, obviously there's a limit of not actually distracting from the  
real content, so no blinky/moving stuff, but let's not be scared of  
asking and highlighting that we're doing so.

3) While we do have cash in hand, we also have an ongoing need for  
paying for a server, and it sounds like our Google Ads income is  
dropping. Assuming we won't countenance ads on weo (and I think our  
audience is so used to seeing them elsewhere that that wouldn't be  
such A Bad Thing any more), then we have to get the money from  
elsewhere. Which means our members[2], and we have to get used to and  
be comfortable with asking. As Mark Twain put it:
"The man who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers down a well is  
not as apt to get the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers"

Therefore, we downplaying it and making it the weakest block on the  
page is the exact reverse of what we should do.

Oh, and please, please, let's not call it 'donate' - if 5 years  
working as a professional fundraiser taught me one thing is that it's  
a jargon term that, when used to potential supporters, turns them off  
and reduces the frequency and average amount of donations. That's why  
we use 'support' instead :-) [1]


[1] Speaking of which, I've just re-instated my monthly paypal gift.  
Credit-crunch notwithstanding, I *know* that for many (most?) of us, US 
$10 is less than we spend on coffee a week, or only part of an evening  
in the pub. Members of theforum are just as much members as anyone  
else, and shouldn't consider ourselves as exempt from the shared  
financial responsibility. So - particularly at the moment while we've  
two servers to support -  can you please join me?

[2] Plus of course that people infer that it only equates to money,  
which in our case ain't true.

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