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AndyPok1

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12 hours ago, AndyPok1 said:

Look, I'm all for UrbanPlanet making money so we can continue to have this wonderful outlet.  But these interstitial ads are getting to be a bit much.  There's no obvious way to exit them.  I already have Spectrum, and I have no desire to add or remove service.

It's making me visit the forum less, and that isn't good from a retention POV.

There was a bug in the ads that sometimes would not allow you to close. Devs at the agency we use for ads are looking into it and have temporarily disabled interstitials until the cause can be found and fixed.

We do offer a supporting membership plan at $20 a year which removes ALL ads and offers a few extra benefits. Ad revenue has gone downhill considerably over the last few years and especially over the last few months with the pandemic weighing heavily on the financials of many previous advertisers. This site costs hundreds of dollars each month to maintain in hardware, software, etc costs. No one takes a paycheck from the site. I know ads are frustrating, but I figure everyone would rather have a site to go to than not. If I could get folks to not use ad blockers on this site then we would end up with a LOT less ads, but instead those not using ad blockers must pick up the lost ad dollars from those that use them.

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/store/category/3-membership-subscription/

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47 minutes ago, Neo said:

We do offer a supporting membership plan at $20 a year which removes ALL ads and offers a few extra benefits. 

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/store/category/3-membership-subscription/

Thanks for sharing this.  I didn't realize this was an option, and am happy to support (especially considering I am one of those horrible adblocker people.)  Consider me a member.

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55 minutes ago, Neo said:

There was a bug in the ads that sometimes would not allow you to close. Devs at the agency we use for ads are looking into it and have temporarily disabled interstitials until the cause can be found and fixed.

We do offer a supporting membership plan at $20 a year which removes ALL ads and offers a few extra benefits. Ad revenue has gone downhill considerably over the last few years and especially over the last few months with the pandemic weighing heavily on the financials of many previous advertisers. This site costs hundreds of dollars each month to maintain in hardware, software, etc costs. No one takes a paycheck from the site. I know ads are frustrating, but I figure everyone would rather have a site to go to than not. If I could get folks to not use ad blockers on this site then we would end up with a LOT less ads, but instead those not using ad blockers must pick up the lost ad dollars from those that use them.

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/store/category/3-membership-subscription/

I did the supporting thing when I came aboard a few years back and it still shows in my profile. However, I've never noticed if it was recurring on my cc or if one needs to annually renew.

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1 hour ago, AmIReal said:

I did the supporting thing when I came aboard a few years back and it still shows in my profile. However, I've never noticed if it was recurring on my cc or if one needs to annually renew.

Thanks for being honest! Some early subscribers never got renewals or moved back to regular members when the expiration date rolled around. I thought I found them all but apparently not.

BTW, I made subscribing a little easier. There is now a link in the menu to subscribe. Thanks!

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57 minutes ago, Neo said:

Thanks for being honest! Some early subscribers never got renewals or moved back to regular members when the expiration date rolled around. I thought I found them all but apparently not.

BTW, I made subscribing a little easier. There is now a link in the menu to subscribe. Thanks!

Thanks for the response capt!  I never knew about it and just subscribed.  Thanks for all you do.  This is pretty much one of the only sites I actually disable adblocker on, so happy to contribute.

I assumed that it was out of neccessity, but wanted to provide the feedback.  Appreciate it taken in the right manner.

I doubt there's any need, but if there's anything I can do to help with the site, I'm in tech with a certain mouse so happy to help. 

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1 minute ago, AndyPok1 said:

Thanks for the response capt!  I never knew about it and just subscribed.  Thanks for all you do.  This is pretty much one of the only sites I actually disable adblocker on, so happy to contribute.

I assumed that it was out of neccessity, but wanted to provide the feedback.  Appreciate it taken in the right manner.

I doubt there's any need, but if there's anything I can do to help with the site, I'm in tech with a certain mouse so happy to help. 

I appreciate the support! I've been in IT for well over 20 years so the tech side isn't usually a problem...the issue is always that Amazon wants to send me an invoice each month for hosting images on AWS...and they expect me to pay up! The nerve! :tw_sweat_smile:

I know ads are annoying, but it's a pretty small price to pay given the alternative I guess. $20/mo likely doesn't cover the lost ad revenue if someone is a very active user, but in the end it probably weighs out. Before there were ad blockers this site was able to survive just fine on VERY few ads (I think I had 2-3 on each page max and 1 on mobile). Once folks started using ad blockers the ad revenue went to nearly nothing so in order to stay afloat one must adapt...thus more ads. Nothing is free...nothing.

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1 minute ago, Neo said:

I appreciate the support! I've been in IT for well over 20 years so the tech side isn't usually a problem...the issue is always that Amazon wants to send me an invoice each month for hosting images on AWS...and they expect me to pay up! The nerve! :tw_sweat_smile:

I know ads are annoying, but it's a pretty small price to pay given the alternative I guess. $20/mo likely doesn't cover the lost ad revenue if someone is a very active user, but in the end it probably weighs out. Before there were ad blockers this site was able to survive just fine on VERY few ads (I think I had 2-3 on each page max and 1 on mobile). Once folks started using ad blockers the ad revenue went to nearly nothing so in order to stay afloat one must adapt...thus more ads. Nothing is free...nothing.

Oh I didn't even think about the S3 buckets.  Yeahhhhhh.  I've been using self-hosting for pictures for years but obviously most people don't do that.

And for sure.  I don't mind ads in general until they get in the way of experience.  That's wild that it had that much impact.  Good to know.

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3 minutes ago, AndyPok1 said:

Oh I didn't even think about the S3 buckets.  Yeahhhhhh.  I've been using self-hosting for pictures for years but obviously most people don't do that.

And for sure.  I don't mind ads in general until they get in the way of experience.  That's wild that it had that much impact.  Good to know.

Not just the S3 buckets...it's the database mirroring, Redis server for searches, web server for the page generations, software licenses, taxes, corporation filing fees, etc. We're far beyond running the site on a $5 digital ocean instance. I get that most don't see that though...or care to see it, they just see a bunch of ads so I do try to be mindful of that.

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17 hours ago, AndyPok1 said:

Look, I'm all for UrbanPlanet making money so we can continue to have this wonderful outlet.  But these interstitial ads are getting to be a bit much.  There's no obvious way to exit them.  I already have Spectrum, and I have no desire to add or remove service.

It's making me visit the forum less, and that isn't good from a retention POV.

I just hit the back button on my browser and send it back to the previous page. 

Re-click on the original link and problem solved.

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On 1/29/2021 at 12:33 PM, Neo said:

I appreciate the support! I've been in IT for well over 20 years so the tech side isn't usually a problem...the issue is always that Amazon wants to send me an invoice each month for hosting images on AWS...and they expect me to pay up! The nerve! :tw_sweat_smile:

I know ads are annoying, but it's a pretty small price to pay given the alternative I guess. $20/mo likely doesn't cover the lost ad revenue if someone is a very active user, but in the end it probably weighs out. Before there were ad blockers this site was able to survive just fine on VERY few ads (I think I had 2-3 on each page max and 1 on mobile). Once folks started using ad blockers the ad revenue went to nearly nothing so in order to stay afloat one must adapt...thus more ads. Nothing is free...nothing.

I feel bad that as a long time user I haven't contributed, but I guess it didn't sink in the subscription was annually and NOT monthly. Years ago when I was getting ready to buy a home, I regularly came across this site while researching downtown projects in the works. I primarily used city planning board docs to glean more info about future plans, but this site was a  huge help in condensing all the projects that I was looking for. I wanted to live in an area with projected growth and this site was a very useful tool in my research. I'm super cheap, but I'm happy to say that I'm now a supporting member as well!

Neo, as the site owner I'm sure if you explained the situation to users in a frank manner (as you've done here with us), more of your loyal users would modify their behavior or subscribe. Maybe post a simple banner the same way Wikipedia does on an annual basis. Just a thought.

Also, kudos to @AndyPok1 for bringing up this subject.

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Well, I was going to become a supporting member but it seems to require using Pay Pal or Stripe (whatever that is - I’m old). Given my data was compromised on Pay Pal a few years back, I’ve avoided them since. Oh, well.

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On 2/28/2021 at 3:24 PM, spenser1058 said:

Well, I was going to become a supporting member but it seems to require using Pay Pal or Stripe (whatever that is - I’m old). Given my data was compromised on Pay Pal a few years back, I’ve avoided them since. Oh, well.

I guess you'll need to stop buying stuff from Amazon.com then as they use Stripe to process payments. :tw_smile:

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12 hours ago, Neo said:

I guess you'll need to stop buying stuff from Amazon.com then as they use Stripe to process payments. :tw_smile:

OK, I got brave and clicked on Stripe. I’m officially a member of @Neo ‘s army!

Edited by spenser1058
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On 3/3/2021 at 9:27 PM, spenser1058 said:

OK, I got brave and clicked on Stripe. I’m officially a member of @Neo ‘s army!

Much appreciated! The army belongs to you fine folks, not me!

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