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Put in perspective - the calls for support 2017 background

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For those not scared of reading,
I have lined up a few items which seem to have raised questions within the community.
Thanks for those who cared to ask or send feedback :)
I'm hoping the provided read and numbers will help "put things in perspective" for you.

Put things in perspective I:
Needed budget for a professionally run community


I asked someone familiar with running community sites what kind of annual budget he'd expect when operating a site like wikiloops. The answer was
“roundabout 100.000 € a year.” (that's 117,000 US-$ for you)
I asked:
Why's that?
And the answer was:
“No one works 365 days a year, so you'll need minimum 2 people on the project,
ideally one with a hand for code and one who is good at tending to the community and taking care of communications.
The two will need some place to work, so you have office cost,
plus you'll need a part of the budget for server infrastructure and other external services,
be it lawyers who review your terms of use or fight down copyright claims, special app coders, graphic designers, translators, promoters and tax accountants.
You can try to invest less, but if you want to keep up with the webs evolution and want to grow, then less budget is not a good idea at all.”


Put in perspective:
The professionals calculation of 100k € per year is 1.26% of what the wikipedia is asking for in Germany this year (they ask for 7 900,000 €).
The assumption that two people are needed may seem questionable, but if you look at soundcloud, who provide a technically similar service (= quite similar development needs)
to a much larger audience (= very different community management needs),
and notice that soundcloud now has 247 employees (after downsizing in 2017, source: wikipedia),
you'll understand our business expert felt wikiloops would have to do with 0.8% of soundclouds personell – that does not seem like an overly generous team, if you get the picture.

Conclusion:
That guy knew what he was talking about. At his budget, we'd look at an operation cost of $ 13,35 per hour.


Put things in perspective II:
Sources of income to cover the budget need de-mystified

wikiloops has one long term sponsor (thank you, Thomann!), and -again since august 2018-
is displaying visual advertisements which generate some income.
If our sponsor sticks to their commitment and if advertising revenue stays within the monitored range, these two sources will amount to roundabout 5,000 $ in 2018.
Then, we introduced the “download tickets” which generate some income - but judging by the current trend, that will amount to another 1,000 bucks in 2018.
There are people who believe there must be some kind of secret music deals going on in the background which generate income. That is a myth, and who ever believes that should answer the question why a service like CDbaby successfully operates by charging musicians money to release their audio onto marketplaces – if there was options to get rich on home-recorded audio, I guess someone would have put such payed submission services out of the game by now.
You may as well send me an anonymous email and try to set up a sneaky background deal where wikiloops gets rich and you get use rights to some wikiloops music. See what will happen, put it to the test and feel free to publish my responding communication here, but please let go of any untested conspiracy theories.

Conclusion:
We will gather 6.000 $ from the named sources,
plus whatever is donated or spent on membership upgrades.

Put things in perspective III:
Why wikiloops must be either a charitable thing or discontinued

So we'll need 117,000 $ minus 6,000 $ = 111,000 $ budget need if we tried to operate wikiloops as a business enterprise.
We currently have 292 active members who uploaded in the past 30 days,
1.739 members signed in for a visit during that period.
If we split the 111,000 $ between the people who came around in the past month,
we would be either looking at:
380 $ per head / year if the uploaders were asked to pay, or
63 $ per head / year if anyone signing in to wikiloops had to pay.

I do not know if you agree looking at those figures, but my feeling was:
That is not likely to work. If you are aware of how many people on this globe (and on wikiloops) can not afford to spend these amounts of money on fun things, and if you shared my experience of how reluctant internet users are when it comes to paying for something, then you will probably agree above chart is completely unrealistic.

Conclusion:
If I want to operate wikiloops, I'll have to face the fact that this will not work when measured as a business enterprise.
The only solution is to see wikiloops as a kind of charitable non-profit thing which by nature does not cover it's cost,
and which relies on outside people who pour in finances and volunteer to help the good cause.

By taking into account that we have some people who volunteer,
that these folks work from home at no budget expense, I can operate with different figures than those offered by the outside business expert, so my conclusion was:
“I'll do it for 40.000 $ instead, and I'll make up for the missing 71,000 by motivating volunteers to help on wikiloops, and by developing for a small salary.”

You can call that insane from the start, but that's how I'm going about, and the 40,000 is pretty close to the $5 per hour we have been advertising thru the shoutbox.

Put things in perspective IV:
Operating on a non-profit budget of 40,000 $ - how?

Let's not forget the 6,000 $ covered by advertising and sponsoring, so down to 34,000 $ we are.
Now let's look at the membership upgrades / donations side of things:
For some time, the number of “supporting members” (worth 5 $ a month each, some give more) has been fluctuating somewhere around 300.
It rises when we have a support rally, and falls as supporting membership statuses time out.
Some new people join the supporters, some old supporters move on to something else.
The evolution is almost impossible to forecast,
since we are looking at a mix of people who follow my calls to donate and give in “charity mode”, while there are others who support as a means of “purchasing an upgraded membership”.
All I can do is hope the trend of 2017 will more or less continue, and if we assume it will, we can do a rough calculation and say we may gather:
300 members monthly fee of 5$, would make 1,500 $ a month, equals 18,000 a year, when there is 34,000 to meet.

Conclusion:
Despite all optimism, user support and volunteered work, the charity project wikiloops has an annual “budget gap” of 16,000 $,
of which even I have no idea where they will eventually come from.

Put things in perspective V:
How have we managed that in the past? And how about the future?

In 2017, one member stepped foreward and payed half of the stated "gap" in a one-time move, so wikiloops could keep going,
and I chipped in with the other half - or simply cut my salary accordingly, so the ship wont sink.
In the end, credit belongs to my wife and parents who have been silently making up for what I'm not earning.

If you wonder about the future, look at it this way:
To make things simple, let's assume all money that comes in during the years-end funding rally during November and December 2017 is meant to fill the tank for 2018.
Then, on November 1st, I am looking at a scenario where I have no telling how much support there will be.
That day, saying “wikiloops will go on in 2018” is equivalent to saying “On top of working for little, I'll chip in with at least 16k $ if no one else helps”, and it could be a lot more if it turns out the number of supporters drops on the way thru 2018.

Then starts the funding rally, and a lot of people out there choose to help and donate some cash.

On November 20th (day of writing), 103 individuals have chipped in with a total of 3656 $,
and if I add that to the expectable ad+download ticket revenue 2018, then I have a safety net of now 9.691 $, leaving me with over 30,000 $ risk to carry (assuming no one will continue support in 2018, which is not likely, but there is no guarantee, either).
Of course there are 10 months in 2018 before November 1st 2018 starts the whole game over again, and there are 40 days left in 2017, but you can probably smell that the weight of the uncertainty is quite heavy.
It is hard to live a relaxed life if you have no idea if your salary will be available two months down the road.
If at the end of the year it turns out I “only” had to cut my salary by 8k (putting me at an hourly rate way below minimum wage in Germany), then that is bitter enough, but having to carry the constant insecurity is even more energy-slurping than having to live a simple life without a lot of luxury.

Conclusion:
Maybe you will agree that there is an unbalance in the “who is carrying the load and doing the work” and the “who is having fun on wikiloops” - but that is again one thing which is absolutely normal in charity organizations. You would not stop to support the red cross, just because the people they treat seldom do, right?
I have been in the situation described here for some time now, and as you can tell, I have not decided to give up so far.
I'm doing the best I can to reach out to people like you,
hoping someone will step forward and say something along the lines of “hey young man, count me in, buy your wife some flowers and make sure not to worry about your salary in 2018 and beyond.”.
And even if that won't happen, you may count on my attempts to keep the 'loops around for all they are good for.
I believe there is some sort of justice beyond money, and I'm hoping for those of you who do support, for my wife and my parents and last but not least for myself that one day there will be a reward for the joy wikiloops brought to a lot of people. Wish me luck, and feel free to join my end of the scale anytime.

Put things in perspective VI:
Given there was a budget of 40,000 $ available on january 1st 2018, what would be likely to happen?

I'd turn off the google advertisement on wikiloops first thing. To me, the revenue is in no relation to the negative effects (such as site-slow-sown and data hogging policies by our “ad partner”).
I'd run a lottery on two flights to the wikiloops meeting from overseas between the supporting members.
I'd roll back to offering wikiloops without usage limits for free in areas (think Africa, South America, Russia, Asia) where the average income is low, or online payment availability is not to be expected.
I'd put some more force & budget into getting more publicity about wikiloops going.
I'd push into releasing the first cross-operating-system mobile app for wikiloops, that could go live by late summer if I put my head to it.
I'd look for a payed someone who would be suitable to substitute myself for some weeks of the year, so I'd be able to take my wife travelling without having to stay in reach of wifi, and without carrying the wikiloops laptop wherever I go.



Thank you once more for your interest, and feel free to comment or ask about a detail which I may have missed to explain.
Edited by Dick on November 20 2017 16:06
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #2
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"I believe there is some sort of justice beyond money, and I'm hoping for those of you who do support, for my wife and my parents and last but not least for myself that one day there will be a reward for the joy wikiloops brought to a lot of people."

Amen!! And thank you for the thousandth time for doing this
posted on #3
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There are people who believe there must be some kind of secret music deals going on in the background which generate income. That is a myth, and who ever believes that should answer the question why a service like CDbaby successfully operates by charging musicians money to release their audio onto marketplaces – if there was options to get rich on home-recorded audio, I guess someone would have put such payed submission services out of the game by now.


Really? That's really disappointing to read but, I guess, the internet isn't short on conspiracy theories and distrust! A shame, nevertheless, that Wikiloops cannot be trusted at face value.

Regarding your wider post, it's always a mixed bag of heartening and disheartening when reading these things. Disappointing and worrying that the 'Loops struggles each year, but amazing that your belief in the project - even when it's, quite literally, at your own personal and financial expense - continues. As I've said previously, the majority of the internet just do not understand what it really costs to run platforms like this. They're used to free. The sad thing is, if you could find a way of data mining everybody's lives and selling on to anyone who'll pay for it, you'd have no problem paying for the site. Furthermore users, ironically, wouldn't care they're giving away their privacy on a plate... There's a remarkable irony to being distrusted for being so open and honest. I don't doubt these dissenters happily use Facebook, Google, et al...

I think your suggestion of becoming a charity may help loosen the financial ropes a bit for you but beyond that, it's hard to offer suggestions. Volunteers are, indeed, likely a good answer but Wikiloops' scope and user base is not like that of Wikipedia! And free tech help, translations, etc., still doesn't pay the hosting costs no matter how much 'loss' a charity allows for... Free help is one thing, paying to keep the lights on still has to happen as well as paying yourself some kind of living!

My only suggestion would be to see if you can muster enough volunteer tech/dev support from around the world in order to allow you to get a 'regular' job. If the Loops can pay for its own existence but not you, and be kept online via a few willing techs supporting it, would that be workable/acceptable to you? It may be heart-wrenching for you to give it up, but perhaps removing the stress of keeping your own family going may help, even if it's at the expense of WikiLoops' continued forward development? The platform, Id say, is in a good enough state to allow the pace of development to slow down?

Just saying...
posted on #4
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I'm glad to see such a straight forward analysis of the current situation, and sincerely hope that more users will get off their asses and help to pay for what they are enjoying. Personally I may stop following or responding to major users who aren't giving proportional support. Come on people...especially those of you who have some rather expensive habits. How many cigarettes or cafe coffees = $5 a month? Not much! Which would you rather go without a couple coffees a month or Wikiloops. Any contest in this question?

I know Richard, his family, where and how he lives. This is the real deal...you've got a genuine giver who has given us this magical place. It's time to give something back and allow him a decent life for all that he's done and is willing to continue to do for us.
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Wade wrote:
I'm glad to see such a straight forward analysis of the current situation, and sincerely hope that more users will get off their asses and help to pay for what they are enjoying. Personally I may stop following or responding to major users who aren't giving proportional support. Come on people...especially those of you who have some rather expensive habits. How many cigarettes or cafe coffees = $5 a month? Not much! Which would you rather go without a couple coffees a month or Wikiloops. Any contest in this question?

I know Richard, his family, where and how he lives. This is the real deal...you've got a genuine giver who has given us this magical place. It's time to give something back and allow him a decent life for all that he's done and is willing to continue to do for us.


What Wade said.
posted on #6
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Dick, I know you do an amazing service for Wikiloopers and I totally recognize the gift I have collaborating and communicating with so many wonderful musicians and just as wonderful, is making friends on Wikiloops. Your description is the stark reality of "life", all worthwhile things in our lives take hard work and $$$$, yes even for the happiness of our families. I, as I do every year will make a donation but bottom line is I can not give thousands of $$. I am amazed your wife/family puts up with the ridiculous hours you must devote to this. I do not play music for a living because my wife would divorce me and I could never have raised 4 children and give some happiness to my grandchildren. You need a better business model to allow yourself a life! I want Wikiloops to go on forever because it is an amazing part of my life after retirement (During my 4 decade working career I did not know Wikiloops existed). I sincerely hope you can find a solution and maybe members should pay an annual fee. I will continue to donate what I can afford. I wish you the very best.
Daniel J Rosati
posted on #7
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Wikiloops is succeeding in unifying the people of world were many political systems and supporters fail maybe they would be interested in helping support a working platform ? We may have different traditions but deep inside were the same music makes this very clear.
posted on #8
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....I'm crying..... I f****n love this place! .,.,.,., and,the people who've made it happen
wish I could give more of myself
he who works with his hands, is a labourer
he who works with his hands and his head, is a craftsman
he who works with his hands, his head, and his heart, is an artist.....(I try not to work)
posted on #9
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GBD wrote:
Wikiloops is succeeding in unifying the people of world were many political systems and supporters fail maybe they would be interested in helping support a working platform ?


If only that were possible. Politicians aren't even interested in funding music education for their own youth. How interested do you think they would be to fund "foreigners"? We are in a struggle that isn't going to be solved by others or "if only" wishes. This is our site, we are the ones using it and benefiting.

Maybe it's time to put real pressure on those regular/heavy users who, for some lame excuse, think that they shouldn't have to contribute. Come on...we're talking a few cigarettes a month or to go without or two coffees a month! It's hard to accept that anyone out there is that poor. If there is someone out there that's that poor, contact me about sponsoring you...for real...but also be prepared for me to ask you questions like do you drink, smoke, or go out to eat often and I'd need to see proof of your financial status. OK?

Sacrificing for something or someone you love is a beautiful thing. Dick has been doing that for us for YEARS. Now it's your turn.
posted on #10
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Here is a idea. Subsidies are an important and integral part of European politics. This means that it probably would be possible to apply for a number of these on different levels (EU, German federation, NRW federate and locally). And yes that would an even bigger job to investigate all possibilities. But there might be a number of people here that might have insight and knowledge of these processes, why not try to find and involve these people.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #11
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Hello Dick

Following a particular creation I could not be present on "W" for a long time and it will continue still for a little: but I will return here again soon, find my musicians friends with their compositions, and I consider this site for wonderful. In a few days, upon my return, I will also feed my account.

Today, I thought to just came to listen to new compositions of my talented friends, and - before I got it - I've read everything that was said here.

At first, I've read these propos about unbelievable "slanders". I think that it's to distract and waste the time to notice the things like that: the people who shared the propos about the "conspiracy theories" as soon as they viewed that something new, beautiful and valuable began to exist, were probably always presented on the Earth. The best thing to do is to turn the head at the side of the valuable and precious things and leave the small authors of the accusations to evolve among themselves.

…Your post which I’ve read here coincide with the time when - and not once – I still regretted that, on my Phone, I can’t have the "WikiLoops" application. Now, reading the post, I saw that you have been thinking about it.
When I watched your estimation about what should cost the use of WikiLoops (« 63S per personne by year, if anyone signing in « WikiLoops » had to pay »), I noted that realizing it is not relevant at all.
This sum doesn’t diverge - and is even slightly lower - from that asked by Deezer, AppleMusic or Spotify (where subscription from every user costs 9,99E per month).
But most people use these websites in the form of an application on the Phone : which « WikiLoops » does not have.
As I just said, many times still I felt that the fact I can not install the "W" application on my Phone is very pity: many times, while on the road, I want to listen to new compositions of my friends and artists, and I would prefer it largely than to listen the music available on websites like Deezer, having their applications, so giving to the listeners the possibility to subscribe (take an abonnement). ...But « Deezer » is here : and not « WikiLoops » - so when I’m on the road, I’m listening the « Deezer »’s Music (or « AppleMusic »’s Music). In the same time, I read the founder of "WikiLoops" calling for help in despair and the artists of « WikiLoops », who put their creations here… blaming their peers for the following (attention…!) lack of the financial engagement (!).
…In my opinion, the creation of the application "WikiLoops" is the thing that the realization is necessary for that « W » could be a music website notable (and percevable by the auditors).
Note: for using the "Wikiloops" application - as this is in the case of Deezer or Spotify – the payments should be taken from the listeners, not from the artists, who – still – are putting here their music, freely and without even thinking to be paid for their creations.

Saying this last thing, I want to finish, by one phrase for always, with the culpabilisations multifarious of the artists for… the fact of their mere existence. It is clearly preposterous : and all the more (what can seem incredible) that the artists - manipulated themselves by I don’t know by which belief that they are the « parasites » and that their creations are worthless - begin finally to accuse themselves, as well as to accuse their confreres.
(I find some posts in this discussion - and I'm talking here about the one of the user's displaced comments – very displaced).
Make people feel guilty because of the fact that they're responding to the discovery and to the existence of an amazing website which was presented to them as free of charge, is the purely unhealthy thing. Nothing on this world will work on the basis of the guilt : apart from some ... initiatives sticking to the label of the "charity" (I will tell below why I’m simply disgusted by the « initiatives » of this kind) and which already at their foundations have had the manipulation of the minds as their rule of the existence.
(Forgive here, but my conviction is following : it's the large difference between being an artist - so having a passion and to follow it - and presenting yourself, on the basis of following this same passion, as a… martyr. The one who sees himself as a martyr always has the facility to become one, and it is not at all difficult)...

I like the notion of "non-profit", but I hate those of all the genres of pretended "charitable". "WikiLoops" does not anything of "charitable organism": it is a place where the artists are meeting and cooperating, on the basis of their passion, and not owing to their « poverty », « wealth », « social status » or its lack, or still on the basis of their wish to feel themselves « better human » for price of the « aid » to anyone who, in the result of that, has to « feel lower » or weaker.
(It is clear for me that what you do, and all what you did for that « W » could exist, you do & did « for free » : but I think you will agree with me that you have created « WikiLoops » not to « feel better » by « helping « the poor » » : the artists are not and treat them like that is always not healthy - but following your passion for music. You love it, and it’s following it you started to do what you do, not for stick to yourself any label of any « charitable » man. Isn’t it… ?)

…WikiLoops has nothing to do with the "charity" site, and I am convinced that - especially for its own dignity, as well as for the dignity of the artists who connect to it and who are meeting here IN CREATING THE POWERFUL THINGS AND NOT IN SEEKING ANY « HELP FOR THE WEAK PEOPLE » - it must stop sticking to itself this misplaced label.
In the same time, I think that it’s not « shoulded » to count on the "donors" FOR the « WikiLoops » itself : but that the most important thing is to don’t stop giving from ourselves (the musicians – the music, the webmasters – the webmastering : and I write it knowing how much of time, of the energy and of the power in life takes to have the passion), and continue; and it’s a only way the money for everything we do will come.
(You wrote that you believe "there is some sort of justice beyond money". I think a little bit differently : I think that justice… includes money (the « means »). I think that when we go with the energy of our heart, the « means » come to us, and it comes without the slightest « physical effort » compté « pour cet effet » or an premeditated action.

…You said also about "many people on this globe, who can not afford to spend of some amount of money (63S par year) on fun things".
What I see in the same time is that it seems that many people on this globe spend money on… the absolute fooleries : and if a good way to reach them is found, they would be ready to spend their money on « WikiLoops » and still enjoy of it. What is the advantage of the website you have created, and which the artists are creating too, everyday, with their music, is that in terms of novelty, diversity and fantasy of the creators, it’s much more interesting than the websites publishing the more « conventional » music.
The experience of « how reluctant internet users are when it comes to paying for something » - when that « something » is a website as « WikiLoops » - means, maybe, that an effective way of reaching the people, and gaining their attention, was not still found… ?

Because one thing is certain : « WikiLoops » is a website deserving so be renowned by the people, that be attended by them and be prospering.


➸ ➸ ➸


With the wishes of all the réussite & the magnifiques créations
pour tous here
BALLADYNA
Edited by BALLADYNA on November 25 2017 17:02
posted on #12
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There is actually an app, I use it on my android... Go to play store, search for wikiloops...
posted on #13
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This story came to mind today - seems very applicable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Red_Hen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTCsL26vob4

supportively,
Anne
posted on #14
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It is sad to hear how bad the finances are. I can only appeal to everyone to give a jerk and to support wikiloops.
Just as Dick has described it and as I would also find it normal that around $ 120,000 would be needed to run wikiloops as a kind of small company so it should be.
Wikiloops would have to radiate more into the Internet so that it becomes visible and interesting even for pure music lovers and listeners.
For this we would need good multipliers on sites like facebook and youtube.
Maybe there's any giant in the music industry who would support a project like wikiloops?
It would be nice to find popular musicians who would be willing to support a project like wikiloops?
No idea how to do that, maybe someone has an idea.
We all play with great joy and there is a lot of good music produced here, we have to somehow bring this music to the people, I think of internet radio stations, maybe the advertising industry is interested in tracks, who knows?
I know, I'm dreaming, but it has to be possible somehow!
Friedrich Nietzsche: "Without music, life would be a mistake."
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Eu não tenho ideia de como funciona o youTube. Eu tenho um canal no YouTube e nunca postei coisa alguma. Em wikiloops; eu tenho um perfil parecido com perfil do facebook e parecido com o canal do YouTube, eu não sei de que forma funciona os três. Talvez: Uns tenham ganho por a sesso de cada usuário. E outros tenha ganho por contribuição de membro. Eu sinceramente não entendo o porque das diferenças entre os três. Seria possível: Cada membro ter um canal no wikiloops parecido com YouTub? onde, do próprio canal, fosse feito os Download e o mix de volta ao mesmo canal e também quem fizer o mix, pode colocar o mix em seu canal. Eu sei que não é uma boa ideia de minha parte, uma vez que eu não entendo dessas coisas. Eu fico pensando coisas pra ajudar, onde; as minhas possibilidades são poucas. As minhas faixa, podem ser usada se os amigos da mesma também permitir. Serve pra divulgar e serve pra ser vendida, uma vez que não tem direitos autoral e sim: Um direito protegido pelo wikiloops. Deste modo: O wikiloops pode produzir e vender para o bem estar de todos os membro que é o wikiloops. As minhas faixa tá liberada pro mundo
não compreendi esta parte: assinatura.
posted on #16
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Lets have a different view on this:
By how much would the number of members have to increase to fill the budget gap?

How do we attract those extra members? For me that would be two aspects to this. How do we make new people visit wikiloops and do we make them stay. Some brainstorming on this perhaps?
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #17
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You deserve responses, so, here I go:

mpointon wrote:
It's always a mixed bag of heartening and disheartening when reading these things.

I know it is, and I know I'm passing on a part of my load into your reality by telling you these things.
What we are experiencing here together is in some ways a learning process, me learning I can't do it all by myself, those who observe the process learning the "all for free" internet expectations are a threat to projects like wikiloops.
In the best of cases, we'll all learn something AND find a way to prove that something as cool as wikiloops can be kept around.
Given, at a high price on some shoulders, but why not "learn" that even in todays world there are some people left willing to pay high prices for something that has a potential to bring people together, let them have some fun and overcome feelings of separation as they are having fun.
The probably most important thing to understand about this thread is that there is no talk of giving up,
so if you feel that "disheartening" way along the lines of "and once again it is obvious: the good things don't survive in this world", then that is only one option. I'd feel better if you would focus on the "heartening" thought along the lines of "it is rare, but this good thing is surviving against quite a lot of odds".
I just wanted to explicitly state these two options, because I know many, many people looking at this thread will feel disheartened.

Itocpogo wrote:
I am amazed your wife/family puts up with the ridiculous hours you must devote to this.

Thank you for stating that - somehow they do, and to see that recognized does give me the feedback that you have obviously understood what the situation is like. I'm sometimes not so sure that many people do, so I was touched to read that.

GBD wrote:
Wikiloops is succeeding in unifying the people of world were many political systems and supporters fail

Again, thank you very much for stating that. That aspect to wikiloops has always been very important to me, too - maybe it is my german heritage that makes me super-sensitive towards the necessity of keeping the downsides of (the again rising) nationalism in focus, and increases my urge to demonstrate the benefits of global peaceful collaboration to create some counter-weight. I'll come to talk about the chances of getting funding support for this aspect in a few sentences.

Nilton wrote:
Subsidies are an important and integral part of European politics. This means that it probably would be possible to apply for a number of these on different levels (EU, German federation, NRW federate and locally). And yes that would an even bigger job to investigate all possibilities.

I do understand and value that this thread seems like an invitation to brainstorm solutions.
There is nothing wrong with that, either, but I would like to ask you to stay focused on the current situation.
We (my mom, to be precise) have done quite a lot of research and contacted various European and German institutions, to no positive result. I will not go into all details here, all we need to realize is that -as you mention- such projects are A LOT of work and unlikely to change the 2018 situation.
Nilton wrote:
But there might be a number of people here that might have insight and knowledge of these processes, why not try to find and involve these people.

Man, are you aware how much time i'm investing on "try to find and involve these people"? :)
Did you see this recent thread of mine, titled "Up for a challenge?":
https://www.wikiloops.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=1637
I do agree with Wades doubts on political will, plus I have read a lot of foundations statutes and their representatives responses, why a thing as wikiloops is not deemed worthy of support when judged by 20th century foundations pre-digital-age measures.

Among many valuable things (I'll only comment on a few to keep it short),
Wade wrote:
Maybe it's time to put real pressure on those regular/heavy users who, for some lame excuse, think that they shouldn't have to contribute. Come on...we're talking a few cigarettes a month or to go without or two coffees a month! It's hard to accept that anyone out there is that poor. If there is someone out there that's that poor, contact me about sponsoring you...for real...but also be prepared for me to ask you questions like do you drink, smoke, or go out to eat often and I'd need to see proof of your financial status. OK?

That shows a lot of passion for wikiloops, Wade, and I do appreciate the passion, BUT:
I have absolutely no intention to, nor would it feel right to me, nor will it help to try to put “real pressure” on anyone.
As BALLADYNA pointed out correctly, I have invited the users to use wikiloops for free in the past, so to “blame” them for making use of that invitation is plain wrong.
I have also invited anyone to take a look behind the curtain by making some background details available to all of you.
I do admit I did not foresee that this would lead to some kind of civil war situation in which it suddenly seems to be justifiable to attack & challenge ones former neighbours.
I do share the thoughts about weather someone who can afford to buy recording equipment can not be asked to contribute, and yes, in dark moments I do wonder weather it would not be possible to remind people they are spending a lot of money on far less cool things than wikiloops, so, there, I'm not saying you were wrong by mentioning such thoughts.
But to rush from mentioning ones own frustrations into attacking people … that is nothing I have any love for, sorry.
If “crusade mode” is your way of dealing with things personally, then that is your choice, but please keep in mind this is definitely not what is supporting wikiloops, neither does it lessen my load.
All such a strategy really does is turn wikiloops from a place where people felt welcome and among friends
into a place where people must fear to be questioned and put under pressure to justify themselves about their financial situation.
I do not know if my position is hard to understand, but to me, putting people under pressure the way you seem to perceive as constructive is exactly opposed to my idea of a healthy wikiloops.
The good old “Fighting for peace is like f... for virginity” slogan springs to mind, or
“Dick is trying to save the forest, let's put fire to the trees to help him!” might be another way to describe the paradox I am seeing in your approach.
To me, “Saving wikiloops” must include hanging on to “mutual respect even in the face of (musical, political, religious, financial or any other) differences”, if that is lost on the way, then I'm not available for managing what is left afterwards.
Let me repeat my initial sentence: I do appreciate your passion about wikiloops, and I know it is real, but seriously: if you can't help but attack people when facing the situation, then I'd rather see you walk away from something you can't stand, then watching you damage something you initially liked.
You know best what would happen if you do walk away, and you are really putting my integrity to a hard test right here, in front of the public. I can deal with someone making a passionate statement that has an edge, but I am not going to allow a culture in which the musicians which I have invited are being subject to the sort of confronting pressure you seem to be in favour of.


BALLADYNA wrote: (concerning my reaction to “conspiracy theories”)
… The best thing to do is to turn the head at the side of the valuable and precious things and leave the small authors of the accusations to evolve among themselves ...

You are probably correct saying this. I will take your advice seriously, and not spend a lot of time responding to the assumptions you have made about my personal motivation in operating wikiloops.
I do understand your criticism and view on the terms “charitable” and “non profit”, these are absolutely valid opinions, and I am very aware “charitable” does not apply by all definitions.
I ended up using that term when trying to find any kind of organizations that also operate in a non-business frame – and I do not really care which term you deem correct: As long as wikiloops depends on individuals who invest a lot more than their individual share, it is a charity thing.
If the community supports, we can make it a crowdfunded non-profit thing, that is (and has been) my favoured solution, too.
If you perceive my attempts to reach such a status by calling out for support as a presentation of martyrdom, then that is somewhere between funny and quite sad. I have never heard of any martyrs who have made attempts in crowdfunding, but let's better not drift into a religious debate here :)
BALLADYNA wrote:
[not getting enough support means...] maybe, that an effective way of reaching the people, and gaining their attention, was not still found… ?

That seems to be the case indeed!
The question which remains is: Who will do the work to change that? Who will create the iPhone-app, get the listeners who are willing to pay 9.90€/month onto wikiloops, get the word out to the press and relevant media, and who will organize the people working on these tasks, take the legal responsibility and present the progress in a more appealing way?
I am not the one saying it is not possible to get there, and I do agree with many of the things you are pointing at,
but for the time being all I'm trying to inform about is that I may not be able to do that without some backup.
I have already offered some insight in what I believe could be achieved with the 2018 budget in my initial post – and I'm sorry, but before we extend that list with more good ideas what would be cool three steps down the road,
it might be even smarter to focus on the one single step the project needs to take first.

As I sit and spend another morning typing,
nilton wrote:
Lets have a different view on this:
By how much would the number of members have to increase to fill the budget gap?


I'll pick up from there now, and try to end my long post with an additional “put in perspective item”, which I felt I missed when re-reading my initial post. (I am thinking self-critically about the communication aspect, believe me).

What I did was to present a line of thought going from:
Expert view on budget →
unrealistic to reach when split among the participants →
present the non-profit approaches budget →
point at the funding “gap”

The mistake was not to have added the per-user-breakdown a second time AFTER I had moved on to talking about the reduced non-profit-approach budget. Let me make up for that now:

Put things in perspective IV.5:
When operating on a non-profit budget, which annual “share per user” are we talking about?

If $ 34,000 are what needs to be gathered from the crowd, and we take the past 30-days stats as our base again,
the we are talking about either:
116 $ per head / year if the 292 uploaders tried to cover the budget among themselves, or
19,55 $ per head / year if anyone signing in to wikiloops (1,739 members did) helped.

That does look a little different now, right?
It falls absolutely within the reasonable range when compared to Deezer / Spotify etc,
and it is resembled in the re-worked supporting membership pricings – the $ 10 / month calculation for the “premium supporter” membership status does cover exactly that, so, to get back to Niltons question,
if all current supporters upgraded to that level, there would be no need to grow at all, no need for martyrdom and me sitting here rallying for support instead of coding the iOS app.
If most of the supporters go for the $5/month variant (as it seems to be the case), we would need to double the size of the supporting crowd to get there.
The “growth” approach will take time and effort, and create extra cost as it happens – we can do our best to get there, but -as I said before- right now it is up to us who are around right now to keep the lights on so that can happen.

Let me end once more by thanking those who took the time to read all of this,
and especially to those who took the effort to leave a remark. I have read all your thoughts several times, so, even if I have not responded to all of you, be assured you have not been over-looked.

For the sake of keeping this thread somewhat readable, I'd like to ask those of you who are brainstorming initiatives or would like to discuss one singled-out aspect to rather open separate threads for that.

Most important, dear friends: Have a nice sunday.
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #18
User Avatar Supporter
Posts: 50
Joined: 22.03.14
I don't have any creative ideas for more funding, but I use Wikiloops a lot and I can afford to pay for the privilege of using this site, so I will pay my share, and I hope the other users will do the same if they are able to. Ultimately I think it's up to the members to make this great place viable longer term.
posted on #19
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Posts: 33
Joined: 03.09.15
still the donations keep growing steady and you will not get all the money for 2018 in 2017 you will also get money along the year 2018 but I agree getting the 34K is a super leap from where we are now
Frenzie
posted on #20
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Posts: 119
Joined: 24.07.14
Maybe it is unrealistic but I just write down every idea ... maybe it would be possible to get a small place for a Wikiloops ad in music magazines as a sponsoring for free. This could increase the visibility of the loops and such magazines there are all over the world ...
Friedrich Nietzsche: "Without music, life would be a mistake."
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