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wikiloops 2012 - the numbers

posted on #1
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Hello there,

to all wondering what this might be about - this is the continuation of a post I issued last year, offering the numbers of 2011 which you may read [url=http://www.wikiloops.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=108]here[/url].

I have commited myself to transparency towards the wikiloops community, so in this thread you will find some real numbers and statistics reflecting on how well wikiloops is developing and how much effort has been put into it.

Beyond fulfilling my commitment, my hopes are some will have a good feeling that their donations where well spent while others might discover donating for this project is something they should think about,
and last but not least I feel its a good move that underlines the so often praised and enjoyed good spirit on wikiloops to have clarity about theese things.

So here we go:


Server Cost:.............................................279 € ($ 378)
Banking fees:.............................................81 € ($ 110)
tax & attorney consultation:.......................376 € ($ 510)
software licensing:....................................15 € ($ 20)
add campaigns:.........................................0 € ($ 0)
sum......................................................751 € ($ 1008)

again, I did not keep record of my working hours. There where quite some big issues taken care of in the first half of the year, which you will find documented in the developers blog
and the screenshot gallery of changes,
and a little less time invested because of private issues in the later half of 2012.
I'd roughly estimate it were around 300 hours on the code in 2012 plus all the time spent moderating and PMing members for several reasons.


Donations:..........................................470 € ($ 637)
Add revenue:........................................73 € ($ 99)
shirts sold:........................................81 € ($ 110)
music license fees:..............................0 (no sales made)
sum....................................................624 € ($ 846)


624 € earned, 751 € spent + 300 hours work. Hmmm.
that comes down to a loss of 127 € ($ 172), and if you had a look at 2011, you know there were 3637 Euros invested then, you'll get a feeling for this...
since we are at it, it means I worked 1300 hours for -2,90 Euros an hour :(
Well, I'm not a businessman really, but I do hope we can at least break even this year... please do consider making a little donation if you like wikiloops!

Ok, enuf moneytalk for 2012, lets look at the positive side of things now, and thats pretty priceless! Music, music, music! Yeah!

USER STATS on the 1.1.2013

Registerred users:...................................3422 (+2483)
relation "ghosts" / active members:.........2654 / 768
members who shared music:.....................225
banned spamming users:............................220
top visiting countries:............................... USA 45%, Germany 23%, Britain 10%, France 6%, Brasil 4%


Number of tracks shared public:.................6273
private tracks:..............................................69

Most played styles:....................................1. Funk (228t views), 2. Rock (220t), 3.Blues (161t)


total visitors:..........................................610.000 (webalizer stats)
average dayily visitors:..................................420 (piwik)
traffic per year / month / day:....................2315 GB / 192 GB / 6,4 GB


almost 2500 new members in one year... that's a growth rate that is remarkable I'd say! Sad to say so, we had quite some spam bot issues in 2012, and this i just the right moment to give thanks to Chris, Lutz and most of all Jan who did a great job fending off theese nasty critters when I was off to other things.
Moderating wikiloops has become a quite busy thing, so if any of you readers feels like helping us out on hat, I would appreciate any help offered.
The wikiloops system itself has run astoundingly stable within the last twelve months, which I of course like a lot, and the very best thing is - even when growing really fast, the good wiki spirit from the beginning days is still alive! Whenever I scan thru the latest comments, I look at hundreds of positive or at least constructive and well meant things people leave as comments, and that is something absolutely unique about the loops. Go visit some other platform and count the pages you need to open before you find bashing and trolling, flaming and harassing - there is none of it here, and we had only a few people removed who had a tendency to bring up that kind of spirit. That is so cool, and thanks to all of you who helped by acting responsible and informing us Mods whenever someone stepped across that line.
I do believe in wikiloops and the concept of it being free and friendly.
There are some nice upgrades I would love to implement in 2013, and there is always a lot of work left when the sun goes down...
Let me end with one last call for your support on this project, if you enjoy your time here and would like to see the development go on, please make a little donation or watch out for my calls for help in the developers forum, there will be some soon.
Again, thank you all for the great soundtrack I enjoyed while coding, you guys are great!

have a good time jamming 2013

your wikiloops coder, admin and general fool on the hill
posted on #2
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Thanks for posting these stats Dick. As a new member it does put things in to perspective.
My Music can be found [url=https://soundcloud.com/ibookmusic]Here[/url]
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posted on #3
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i just made a donation as well ... and this is not really related to your post either ... but i'm still glad you chose this kind of tranparency ! keep it up !! awsome job ;)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #4
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So let's say we take the 225 contributing active users and each of us let's say donated $20.00 US. That's $4,500 US. I realize not everyone could afford to donate that amount but even a fraction would make a big difference. So let's all pitch in and support this great project! ;)
My Music can be found [url=https://soundcloud.com/ibookmusic]Here[/url]
This is where my friends are [url=http://www.agileguitarforum.com/index.php]Agile Guitar Forum[/url]
posted on #5
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I haven´t really thought about all the work you put into this project. Of course I will support this, a donation is on its way right now. You´re doing a great job!
posted on #6
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Thank you Dick and crew. I wear my wikiloops shirt proudly and its definitely a conversation piece. I know its not much of a donation but I discussed it with my wife and explained the importance of donating to wikiloops to contribute since I've gotten so much in return. I respect everyone here and I'm excited for things to come. Your friend always. PeterV
posted on #7
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thank you very, very much people!

To be honest, I have been thinking to take the funding to kickstarter... maybe that would be a way of securing a solid fundament... I'd be interested in your feelings toward that idea, whats is your gutfeeling?
posted on #8
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It would be better to keep this a musician funded project.
I would hate to see this site turn into a commercial paid service.
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posted on #9
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hey Laura and all,

Feels like there is a misunderstanding here - I was not thinking in the direction of a "commercial paid service" at all!
Maybe I need to explain a little more about the kickstarter thought:
There is a platform called kickstarter where people present their startup projects of any kind in a short video and ask people to donate money to them, so they can get the budget they need to move on with their idea without having to sell their souls to anyone.

Crowdfunding is what this is about, and people collect quite astounding amounts of money to do stuff like release a book, a CD, launch a website or whatever else.
As part of the process, most projects offer some kind of reward to the donors, depending on the amount donated- starting with little things like a sticker for a small donation and moving up to other stuff like shirts or taking part in the release party or whatever for bigger donations. After the rally for funds ends, there is no further obligation between the donators and the project, so there is no way the funders would actually mess with how wikiloops would continue (if thats what you were thinking).

I have seen people collecting amounts beyond 50.000 USD for a well presented creative project on kickstarter, people around the world have obviously begun to understand its worth supporting creative people so they dont have to bend and stretch and twist their initial idea to get commercial funding, and why not use that spirit to be able to continue developing the loops...

There has been no thinking to make wikiloops a paid service at any time, like it says in the registration dialogue, no VIPism for money, no paid services planned on wikiloops. Period.
We dont send spam emails, either.
We dont sell your email addresses, or collect info on your musical taste to sell to third party businesses.
We dont sell your avatar pic to anyone, and we dont sack your creative rights on your music.
This is a fair place where "free" means free, read the terms of use.

Still there is need for funds, and I'm talking about enough money to get some experts on board-
- to help ensure wikiloops will stay up to date and to develop some features that will require much more server power/webspace,
- people who can take care of security flaws there might be,
- people who will take care of the community management when there are thousand active people on the loops so the good spirit wont get lost,
- people who will help creating a spanish, portoguese, russian or whatever else interface so more people who speak theese languages can take part
- people approaching the need for a better working mobile device application that would be nice to have in 2013 etc etc...
- yes, and it would be nice to invite Jan and Lutz to a Pizza one day for all the time they invested, I feel bad about taking so much commitment and not being able to send them a free shirt for it...

Of course there are ways of getting all this done with volunteers and without too much budget, but the more I work with volunteers, the more coordinating time this takes. Theese things dont work like "hey, you want to make the italian interface? Cool go ahead and let me know when you are done!" - I'll be writing 30 long emails and coach the volonteers thru such a process, some might then not finish a job they promised to do, and some will not be capable of doing it because its more difficult than one might think at first. So this is becoming a full time job in coordination. And there is limitations to what volonteers will offer, I have some doubts anyone would volonteer to create a state of the art app for wikiloops which requires skills and time few people have...

What I am trying to do is difficult - I want to find a way to get enough money to ensure I can afford investing time in wikiloops without you guys waking up one morning and thinking "where has our good old wikiloops gone and who changed it into this commercial thing full of adds, where you have to pay for uploading more than five jams and you will have smoother looks but banners and commercial videos you have to stand before downloading a track" - I dont want to go there, but I need to find ways of being able to afford not taking that route.

Bottom line - kickstarter could be the place to go to get fundings for the developments mentioned above and to ensure the growing server costs are covered for a year or two to come without bugging you all to donate all the time.
There is just more people out there that would support a thing like wikiloops, but dont know about it, so thats what I had in mind there. Hope this will make things a little clearer to you now.

Looking forward to your feedback, I do hope you will have enough trust in me that this is sincere - look at the numbers and the workload I have invested in this, and please trust me when I say there is a limit to what I can do without a budget.
Its easy to say "well, why dont you do this and that" and walk away. I will have to do theese things to keep wikiloops alive, so if I say "this and that" wont work so easily, it would be nice if you would respect my experienced point of view.
You wouldnt go out and try to convince your neighbour he can build a house or get his car repaired without a budget if he were just smart enough, hope you know what I'm trying to say :)
Edited by Dick on February 08 2013 10:24
posted on #10
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It is totally amazing what you have done here. You've not only put together a really cool site that functions well but you have also created a community of fun, and grace, and encouragement that is a direct reflection of who you are. I'm not sure which accomplishment, the site or the community, is more impressive. You have done a GREAT job!

There is no doubt we all take this for granted. We come and play and have fun while you are so busy most days that you don't have time to post your own remixes. Honestly, that's not fair. If anyone should be benefiting from this site it should be you. You seem to believe it would be wrong for you to profit from this site. I appreciate your desire to make it "free" for all who come but, in my opinion, you have earned the right to profit from all your work. It would be totally appropriate for you to do so even though I know that is not your intent.

Honestly, the kickstarter idea sounds great to me. I'd say "Do it". But I don't see that as being a long term solution for you. As your site grows your expenses will too. And it doesn't look like Ads and T-shirt revenue is going to pay the bills. At some point you are going to have to find some significant income. That may mean "membership fees" or some other source of income. I think you need to seriously consider that before you find yourself burried under expenses and have to shut down the loops because you can't afford to keep it up. That would be tragic. And, at the rate at which it is growing, that day may come sooner than you think.

Also, let me put you at ease, I'm sure we all trust that you are being honest with us. We understand that these expenses are real and we understand that maintaining this site has been very time consuming for you. I personally understood that even before you posted the numbers in an effort to be transparent with us. You need help, you deserve help, I hope we all do what is right and give you the help you need.

So, if I may be so bold as to speak for us all, I'd like to say "Thank you very much for all you do. You've been awesome." :)

My support is on the way!

Edited by Tinkeround on February 08 2013 16:00
Layin' down the beats like a novice
posted on #11
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I go absolutely with Tinkeraound.

Just adding two ideas:
with Kickstarter one should really find out what the consequences are: as far as I understood, after they succeed in funding the project, they have some rights as to archive the whole content, which is then not allowd to alter or to delete. Further info needed.

And: what about creating a status that is called "active membership" or so with a small regular and automatic monthly contribution - but not connected with any VIP status. So everyone can do the same things on wikiloops freely and without cost but you can CHOOSE that status as a way to contribute.
posted on #12
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Hey Dick
I deeply understand what you're saying ... as i already said in my introduction message i am perfectly aware of what it takes to get such a site up and running and of course, i want to be sure you receive my proper thank yous (i have many for you) for all this amazing work you have done so far !
Covering your expenses is certainly an issue that needs to be adressed ! it would certainly not hurt to try different leads on that topic ... kickstarter being one of them.
Further development and the time and skill needed to do so is also a concern that you probably will have to face as you decide to include new functionalities ... did you ever think of a sourceforge like project ?
Once again i'd like to make a point offering you guys (everybody involved) my full gratitude : awsome job with the neat attitude ;)

[small]ps : hint for a next improvement ... hi-res separate track upload ... yea !!! do it !!!
/me walks away whistling innocently ...[/small]
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #13
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thanks again guys, and - as a quick an untypically short response to Olive: that is exactly one of the features I'm thinking about, and now you told my competitors, fool! :@

/me sits down coding twice as fast...

@Lutz - now that needs some research on the kickstarter thing, good point there...

@tink - thanks so much for all you said. It touches me, the way you perceive it, thank you. And there is some truth in your statement that I really havent been making music much for months - thats not necessarily all wikiloops fault, but its true I spent more time administrating than jamming, which is a bit sad.

keep your thoughts comin!
posted on #14
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I agree that the access to music should be free but how about putting together an album of the best of Wikiloops and sell on iTunes on other venues. In return the money raised could go back into WikiLoops.

Just a thought.
My Music can be found [url=https://soundcloud.com/ibookmusic]Here[/url]
This is where my friends are [url=http://www.agileguitarforum.com/index.php]Agile Guitar Forum[/url]
posted on #15
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I did support Andrew York when he was funding his new record on Kickstarter. Money well spent in my opinion. And the funding was almost triple the expected one. I think the goal was reached within 3 days or so, so he expanded the project.
So for a one shot project that has a solid base Kickstarter is definitely a way to go. I more dubious when it comes to securing a solid long term cash flow
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #16
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Thanks again for all your thoughts -

@Laura: We have had a discussion about releasing a wikiloops compilation CD earlier, I believe its still to be found somewhere in the feedback and development board. The idea isn't bad in general, I only have doubts when it comes to selling something that is available for free on wikiloops.
Back then, we figured it would be the hardcased real CD with a nice booklet that would make the diffrence to just grabbing the tracks from wikiloops, but then again there is so much effort behind releasing a real CD it would imediatly be questionable if there was any extra money to be made with such a poject.
The real main reason I dont feel this would be an option is that you cant really go ahead and put 128k-mp3s on a CD and sell it, so there is another strong reason we should consider the high-quality audio uploads for the future development.
I feel the audio streamed from the site should still be compressed harshly so our brothers and sisters in countries where there is no fast internet available are not locked out of the fun, but it would be nice to have high quality files available for download - it would improve the remix quality, too, and maybe it would make sense to allow up to 8 participants in one jam then, which wont make sense with 128k-mp3s either.
So this is definetly the way to go in 2013.

@nilton and all others who mentioned it - its absolutely true a one time kickstarter campaign might do the job to secure another step in development but wont solve the problem of long term costs which will keep growing as more servers and more skilled manpower will be needed to keep the system running while the community is growing. There are some visions on how wikiloops could generate theese continuous funds mentioned here I do feel could become an option, and with the community growing fast, it will get more and more interesting for outside companies to become a sponsor for wikiloops. So, like the germans say, we might "try one way without not trying the other", meaning I think we'll go to kickstarter to fund some development & server costs needed right now and try to build features and concepts that will ensure the future of wikiloops without having to go back and ask for more next year. Of course thats a hard race, but depending on how much support we get via kickstarter, it might be sufficient to get there.
Of course, I will have to research Lutzs hint on possible obligations when using kickstarter first.

For the time being, you guys have fun jamming! I'll keep you updated on whats happening behind the scene. If there should be anyone considering helping wikiloops with non-monetary things, there are still some ideas on what can be done without spending a dollar to be found [url=http://www.wikiloops.com/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=132]here[/url], and if you are a wikiloops regular, you might as well consider joining the moderators team, the more people are on the lookout for spam or inappropriate behaviour, the better!
posted on #17
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I lived through one of the free music resource Russia slow death - and lost a lot of great music and friends ..
This is very bad - we must not let this happen to the wiki
And what about the idea to have such two sections - free with the tracks are not very good quality for beginners and a paid section for quality tracks? Of course the question - who will separate the sheep from the goats - but it can be done automatically - if a few members put the sign YES - the track goes to the paid section automatically ...
I think that many more people would want to buy cheap good quality BT
Do not laugh if I said stupid - just announced an idea ...
And how about $ 20 every month from members? if it work - lets do it.
posted on #18
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I think SlonMusics plan could work, next to thumbs up there could be a "vote for pro-track" option :)

also you mentioned "Moderating wikiloops has become a quite busy thing, so if any of you readers feels like helping us out on hat, I would appreciate any help offered."

I lost my job so i have quite some free times on my hands, if there is anything I can help with I would gladly help out!

but too be honest, i don't think that charging members monthly would do any good.
You will lose all but the most loyal members too other sites that do offer free backing tracks.

I know everyone hates adds, but if we can keep this site in the air by having a few banners I don't think it would hurt us on the long run(maybe adds removed for people that donated money?)
posted on #19
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I think voluntariness and transparency is important. Lets take a look at the numbers. If you look at this years donors they are about 50 or so. I assume the number doesn't change that much from year to year without any campaigns. This means that the average donation is about $15. Lets look at some more numbers, there are about 250 users that share jams, these are the ones that count, because i assume that the same users both produce and consume tracks. This means that about 20% of the active users donate 15$ each.
Lets say we make a internal campaign which results that 40% of the users donate $25 dollars each. That would more or less cover the expenses. I think numbers like that should be achievable, especially in tight community like this.

The interesting is: Are there any users that work with marketing or fundraising or similar that have some knowledge how to make such a campaign? This thread got me donating,lets see what other buttons there are to push
Pure fingerstyle
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