The basic running costs of the new site will include hosting, the annual domain renewal, and other cloud services we don’t want to host or handle ourselves.
Hosting: Digital Ocean — $10 per month for the forum and $5 per month for the news site. It may be possible to get away with $5 and $5, but Digital Ocean is not allowing me to easily downgrade our current package after the recent price cuts (it doesn’t let you decrease your drive space even if you’re not using it, for some reason). I’ll have to do it the hard way.
- I’m looking at switching to Ghost.
- An alternative to self-hosting the news site (for $5 p/m at Digital Ocean), is to use Ghost’s “Pro” managed service option which for MyGaming as it stands today will start at $39 per month, billed annually.
- Similar managed services are available for Discourse, should we wish to consider that.
Domain + basic DNS:
- .win: $25.88 per year, $9.98/year on special right now.
- .co.za: R75 per year
DNS / DDoS protection: CloudFlare, Cloudfront, Google DNS? (undecided)
SSL certificates: Let’s Encrypt — for now, free
E-mail sending: Elastic Email — within its free tier, for now.
- Discourse (and every forum, really) needs a reliable mail sending service to work, so I went with the best one I could find that was recommended by the Discourse devs themselves. We could use this same service to send newsletters and other e-mail updates in future.
E-mail inbox services:
All the techies out there: if you know of solid, affordable, local variants of these services, please let me know and I’ll check them out.
- The Digital Ocean link above is a referral link that gives you $10 of free credit when you sign up. Once any referral spends $25 with Digital Ocean, I get $25 to put towards our hosting. I’ll try and use programmes like that throughout MyGaming 2.0 to help cover costs.
Because I am still permanently employed by MyBroadband, trying to get advertising deals for MyGaming 2.0 presents a bit of a conflict of interest. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and my salary will be providing the stable income I’ll need to ensure this site stays up. This is just a statement of the way I see it — working for MyBroadband may make it difficult for me (and just me) to secure advertisers for this site.
Running ads on a site also presents technical, design, and labour challenges. I’d like to brief everyone who is interested in this issue some more, but for now I’m going to skip the details — ads are a possibility, but it all depends on the types of deals we can strike.
Once the community is at a certain size, it may be worthwhile to create and sell some merch. Cross that bridge when we get there?
Patronage and donations
Patreon and cryptocurrency donations are a great idea, and are the first thing I’d like to experiment with. While Patreon is a generally great platform, I would as far as possible like to build things in such a way that we remain in control of our own destiny. Lots of creators who rely on platforms like YouTube and Patreon to get paid have been burnt in the last year, reaffirming my belief that the centralisation of the web is something to continue to be concerned about. Coinhive with voluntary in-browser crypto mining is also an option.
When the integration of MEW and MyGaming is properly underway, I’ll push the monetisation stuff a bit harder.