On Friday 16 July 2004 23:45, David Megginson wrote:
> Curtis L. Olson wrote:
> > But any way you cut it, putting advertisements on our web site will
> > change the look and feel of our web site and probably influence the
> > impression our project projects to the world ...
> Yes, it will make a significant difference to FlightGear and a lot of extra
> hassle for Curt.
> We'll look less like a friendly, volunteer Open Source project and more
> like a corporate Open Source startup. That may significantly change the
> kinds of volunteers we attract and the way we're treated by conference
> organizers and the press, as well as users' expectations of code stability,
> support, etc. People don't volunteer to help with corporate OSS projects
> like JBoss the same way that they contribute to, say, Mozilla, Apache,
> Linux, or FlightGear (and even JBoss doesn't have ads on its site, I don't
> think). It's hard to find any really friendly OSS projects with wide
> participation *and* ads on their site.
> When I was paying to keep the main SAX site at megginson.com and getting
> many thousands of hits each day, I was also briefly tempted to run ads to
> help cover expenses, but I realized that doing so would have changed the
> way people saw and used SAX.
> I'd suggest trying some different approaches:
> 1. Set up a PayPal voluntary donation button on FlightGear.org -- no one
> will mind that (but see tax issues below).
> 2. If you cannot cover expenses with the voluntary donations, set up a
> separate *.com site (flightgear.com was already taken, last I checked). You
> can use it to distribute extra information, set up forums, etc., and
> perhaps you can run ads and offer consulting services through it.
> 3. If you absolutely *must* run ads on flightgear.org, please use Google
> text ads and not banner ads.
> That last point is important. Managing an advertising account is a tricky
> job, and not one that you want to do on top of everything else. With Google
> ads, you know you'll get paid and you don't have to worry about the
> advertisers.
> Another important point is tax.  FlightGear is not a legal not-for-profit
> organization, so I think that any ad revenue that comes in will have to go
> onto Curt's tax return, and he'll end up paying a big chunk of it to the
> government. The same is true for a PayPal donation button.
> So, in the end, my advice is not to do it. If you want to make a living or
> partial living from FlightGear, set up a separate commercial site and be
> prepared to learn about CRM, tax laws, incorporation laws, legal fees,
> insurance, NDA's, contracts, and all the other fun that comes with running
> your own small business. If you just want to cover expenses, try posting to
> the list with a subject line like "Need new $500 hard drive", and I'm sure
> that a lot of us will be willing to pitch in.
> All the best,
> David

These are good points.  Glad it's not my call.


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