28 votes

I got rid of the Bachmann ads (Part I)

Part II: Introducing Daily Paul Subscriptions
Part III: The Benefits of Going Pro on the DP

So last week (or was it a couple weeks ago now? The days seem to meld seamlessly into one another lately), I started getting a lot of complaints about Michelle Bachmann ads on the Daily Paul. Of course I would never knowingly put a Bachmann ad on the site. It turns out they were being served through Google Adsense, so I blocked them. Then Romney ads started showing up, and I blocked those, too. (Do we care about Buddy Rhomer? He doesn't seem to be much of a threat.)

But here's the thing about Adsense: Every ad placement is a real-time auction. The highest bidder wins, and that ad is the one that gets placed. So blocking these high paying ads means an overall reduction in revenue for the already strained resources of the site.

In spite of the incredible traffic that the the Daily Paul gets, and the central place it occupies in this grassroots of this community, chronically low revenue remains problem. The site has long grown beyond my ability to manage it on my own, and for that I rely on critical assistance that needs to be compensated if this site is to continue to grow and improve.

To try to address this, my crack team of programmers has come up with a potential solution: Subscriptions. Subscriptions start at $5 per month, and go all the way to $50 per month. In exchange for subscribing all the ads on the site disappear when you're logged in!

Right now this is definitely in beta, so please bear with us. Patience is appreciated! You have to first be a member of the site to become a paid subscriber. At present, this is the setup.

Basic Level subscribers ($5/month) receive:

  • Ad-free browsing, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to support the Daily Paul.

Premium Level subscribers ($10 / month and up) receive:

  • Ad-free browsing
  • Access to Premium-members only features, such as blocking undesired users
  • The satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to support the Daily Paul.
  • And more, to be announced!

Subscribe Now!

My goal here is to ensure the long term viability of this site, through the current election cycle and beyond. There is a ton of work to do on this site, and I have a ton of ideas and ways to improve it. Without the resources, the site will bump along until the work becomes overwhelming, and the ideas for expansion will simply remain ideas.

If you are interested in offering high level support beyond the subscription levels, please contact me using the form on this site.

Thanks again for your patience, all. Enjoy the holiday weekend. More information on this, as well as other improvements, coming soon. If you have any questions or run into any snags, please post them in the comments below.

Michael

Part II: Introducing Daily Paul Subscriptions
Part III: The Benefits of Going Pro




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Good Sign from Bauchmann Ads

Just a quick web marketing note for a bit of encouragement- the way these Ads usually work is by keyword and website re-targeting.
Which means that the advertising managers in Bauchmann's camp had to submit a list of keywords and sites that they believe will get the best visibility for their message. For these ads to show up on the Daily Paul, it's pretty clear they know whose coat-tails to ride.

ytc's picture

Michael! We received the "L*I*B*E*R*T*Y is the Right to be

WHO YOU ARE" poster and a kind note with much gratitude! We LOVE this cool sky / nature blue-brown design.

What a nice unexpected gift for the little monthly DP subscription. Thank you very much.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I'm glad you liked it

It was a special gift, just for you.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

They're not gone...

And neither are Pawlenty's ads.

But I'm positive Pawlenty is spending a small fortune on internet ads to IA IP addresses anyway, so that probably can't be helped.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Bachmann ads should be gone

I let Romney back, but haven't seen any ads from him.

I know one of those other firms is running ads that say something like "Bachmann for President?" but I think they're trying to get you to vote in a poll.

But Pawlenty I didn't ban, since I'd never seen a Pawlenty ad. Personally I don't think Romney or Pawlenty are much of a threat to Dr. Paul. Bachman though, she irks me, and not only that, she's in the lead and she's doing it on the back of the 'tea party,' which is all the more irksome.

I was surprised so many people didn't mind seeing the Bachmann ads. (On the other hand, as Jon points out below, a lot of people sure hated them, too.)

If you're in IA, I guess that is why you're being geotargeted with the Pawlenty ads. It wouldn't be much use for them to show them to me here in MA. lol.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

I say

Let them waste their resources and dollars on this site where it is not likely to change anyones mind or sway any voters while raising our good friend Michael's revenue for the cause of liberty.

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    Michele Bachmann voted for

    Michele Bachmann voted for the Patriot Act. That's all I need to know. I would NEVER vote for her.

    Anytime I see a Bachmann Ad I check it out

    I think if she is advertising, why not check out her site? Hell anytime you see an ad of hers why not take a peak? Overall it could help PLUS she needs all the help she can get as far as traffic and clicks go.

    I wonder what her ad budget is and daily spending? hmmmnnn..

    Ron Paul or Bust

    http://shelfsufficient.com - My site on getting my little family prepped for whatever might come our way.

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    Live and Let Live

    ACinMA's picture

    Michael

    Im sure you already know how I feel about giving money to help this site, since I try to do just that as often as I can. Honestly, for someone like me, who practically lives on DP, a small monthly investment seems completely logical. This is the source for a good percentage of my daily news, and is really so much more than just that. Im on DP much more than i watch tv, which is why rather than a cable bill, I spend my money voluntarily here for the benefit of DP..
    I always enjoy the new things added to the site, and always look forward to the next new feature that all the brainstorming will bring forth.
    Im not rich by any means.. To put aside a few bucks for the upkeep, and advancement of such a valuable site to me, and to help a great, tireless, selfless person such as yourself, Michael, who puts so much time and effort, sweat and tears into making this place what it was, is and will become.. Well, it is the least I can do! Thank you for your tireless service to the liberty movement and creating a site which has truly changed my life. It is certainly worth much more to me than my small investment.

    Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts

    ℛ[ƎVO˩]ution
    "When one gets in bed with government,
    one must expect the diseases it spreads."
    ‎"It's not like I'm a powerful person. My ideas are."

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    Hi AC

    Thanks for the kind words, your financial support, and all of your contributions to the site as well. It means a lot to me to know that there are people out there who appreciate the site.

    I really want to make the site the best it can be, and to spread the message of Liberty as wide as possible, and all of your contributions help with that.

    I really, really appreciate it, and one day I hope to see you around somewhere!

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.
    jaseed's picture

    Feel like...

    ACinMA's comment could be my own comment!
    Cable not worth diddly squat to me either and DP lifts me up on a bad day like nothing else can.
    Regarding the Bachmann, etc ads...i've become almost immune to them and thanks in great part to the DP community, have an answer to most every one. When this DPer contributes, its won't be necessarily to get rid of the ads.

    Keep up the good work, everyone!
    Please make your move to get to Ames...we're goinna R@CK that place, inside and out!

    "My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them".
    Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator Rand Paul
    and others.

    “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”

    – Thomas Jefferson

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    Thank you

    Nice to know that there are people out there who appreciate what I'm doing. Thank you too for your kind words, your financial support and all of your contributions to the site.

    Indeed - keep up the good work everyone!

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

    No assumptions just one

    No assumptions just one question. Michael, do you currently make enough money off the ad revenues from the Daily Paul for this to be your main source of income?

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    Of course.

    Somerwhere else down there, you asked (actually you assumed) that I have a job. Well, this is my job. This is where I spend the majority of my time - if not working on it, then thinking about it.

    Maintaining this online community for the sake of Ron Paul and the Liberty message is what I do to promote Liberty as far and wide as I can, in the best way I am suited, and in the best way I know how given the resource constraints that I'm faced with.

    Unlike Ron Paul, I am not suited to run for Congress or serve in public office, do TV interviews, or go out door knocking. What I do for Liberty is that I run the Daily Paul.

    To give you another example, the Mox News guy is suited for recording video & putting it on the web. That is what he does. Thousands of people watch and learn as a result of his daily actions. You might say (as you said to me) - oh, the programs record themselves.

    I disagree. And in fact, I donate $10 a month to the Mox News guy because I benefit, and we all benefit from his service. His dedication to what he does is apparent in his actions. Do I care how much money he makes? Do I care if that is his primary source of income? Not really. All I know is that the internet is a better place because of his actions.

    Just as he is not forcing anyone to contribute, I am not forcing anyone to contribute to the Daily Paul. Everything here is voluntary. You can read this site as much as you want to, for free. You can posts threads and comments to this site, for free. This site serves as a resource to thousands of internet users and Ron Paul supporters all over the world, for free. However, as I have explained below, ensuring that the site is here for you, 24/7/365 and running smoothly, and not overrun with spammers and trolls is not free.

    For whatever reason, that logic doesn't seem to work for you, and I suppose next you want to know how much I make, as if it is any of your business.

    I made a crack below about eating ramen, shopping at Goodwill and going without health insurance. Well, I don't eat instant ramen because it isn't healthy, but I am frugal. I go down to the Boston Haymarket every Friday or Saturday where I can load up on cheap produce; I do shop at Goodwill for most of my clothes. The Somerville Goodwill is awesome because it gets all the hand-me-downs from students in town. Pants and shirts are about $5, and that is what I wear. I don't have to go into an office, so I can get away with wearing used $5 jeans and t-shirts. But there is no way I could ever afford health insurance based on ad revenue that the Daily Paul brings in.

    My wife graduated last year with a PhD in Neuroscience, and as a result, we have about $70,000 in student loan debt. We don't own a house. The car I drive is a 2000 Nissan Sentra. Rent for our two bedroom flat is $1400 per month. Boston is expensive. I live in the same apartment as the one you can see me interviewed in the For Liberty documentary. It is just an unassuming working class apartment with a single window air conditioning unit. The space where I am working now gets very hot. It is not a palace - in the event you're worried I'm leading some kind of a decadent lifestyle.

    After paying system admins and programmers, and my accountant, and on occasion a lawyer and my taxes, do I make enough money to scrape by and live frugally? Yes I do. I do not have a bulging savings account. Thankfully now that my wife is working, we do have health insurance again, through her employers plan.

    Your question was: Michael, do you currently make enough money off the ad revenues from the Daily Paul for this to be your main source of income?

    Does that answer your question?

    Yes, it is my main source of income. And beyond scraping by, do I make enough to expand this site and make it what it could be? Can I put all the features I would like to put on this site, to make it an even better community resource? No, I can't. For that I need talent, I need resources, and I need money to pay that talent. User generated content and reposting news from other sites will only get one so far, and for that reason, Daily Paul has basically topped out. What you see now is all that the Daily Paul will ever be.

    * * * Any more questions? * * *

    Since I've answered your question, would you mind answering mine? You said that you do web design and hosting and that you host 20 sites on a shared server.

    Can we please see them?

    Thanks.

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

    You sound just like someone I know very well

    I know that you get tons of email and can't read or answer it all but I will be emailing you and I hope you can answer mine. I so want to help you and maybe I can help you and someone like you just a little bit.

    I figured, thanks!

    I figured thanks! I apologize, I own a business, support mutiple candidate campaigns, run my own campaign, and maintain 10 or so websites, blog and contribute to various websites and work a full-time job. I thought everyone was like me. You are lucky this is all you have to do...

    I'm not going to provide you the opportunity to lambaste me because I asked the very important question, does this site already support you. You are clearly already on the defensive because I dared to ask is this actually your job.

    I don't plan on doing business with you now or any time in the future. As such, I would be providing you information for the sole purpose of your criticism. Now what intelligent person would do that? Like asking you how much you make off the Daily Paul. I’m not going to ask but I do like the new tone of these subscriptions. Voluntary is good. Good move!

    Ok here's one site:
    [removed by request of the poster]

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    You're welcome!

    You are lucky this is all you have to do...

    I don't know what else to say, but this is a lot of work for me. If you were to see what I deal with, I think that you would agree.

    I own a business, support multiple candidate campaigns, run my own campaign, and maintain 10 or so websites, blog and contribute to various websites and work a full-time job.

    Well, not being sarcastic or anything here, but I assume that is your choice. I assume no one is forcing you to do all of that but yourself. Perhaps you are trying to do too much.

    A few years ago I used to be like that also. Since I knew how to build websites, everyone who wanted a website would ask me to build one for them, and / or maintain them. After all, they look so easy. And generally, I would. And soon, it got to be overwhelming, since no one was paying me, and I wasn't demanding any payment.

    Eventually - and learning from Ron Paul helped quite a bit in this department - I decided to start valuing myself more. This is an ongoing process.

    I'm not going to provide you the opportunity to lambaste me because I asked the very important question, does this site already support you.

    I can understand that you'd think I'd be out to lambaste you based on the tone of my earlier response. I was upset, but that is generally not my nature. Many people don't understand how much work goes into a website like this. It looks easy. Like magic. Like most people don't consider how much work goes into getting water to come out of the tap with the flip of a faucet. All the hard work remains so well hidden that it looks like magic.

    But I'm not going to lambaste you. You said earlier that you run 20 websites. I just wanted to see them, to see what you're up to. You can see what I'm up to, so I only thought it was fair. Seriously, you said, "Forums run themselves." Obviously, if you believe that, you've never run a forum. Sorry, but that is just the truth. So I wanted to see the forum that runs itself for you. I wanted to see if you were speaking from experience, or just BS-ing us.

    You asked for transparency and I provided it, yet you are unwilling to do the same. Not really fair.

    You are clearly already on the defensive because I dared to ask is this actually your job.

    Not defensive. I answered you straight up, giving as much context as possible as to what goes into running this site. There are many people who still think there is something wrong with using your own self interest as incentive to further a larger goal. But that is such an integral part of Ron Paul's message, and if you pay close attention, you will hear it.

    As I asked of you elsewhere: Haven't you read Atlas Shrugged?

    No I don't make a lot of money, but yes, I do make enough to get by, and the majority of it comes from this site. I could make more money as a corporate drone at some insurance company or whatever, but then there would be no Daily Paul. I don't have enough time or energy to do both.

    And that is fundamentally the point. I provide a service, but yes, there is self interest involved. I don't have to punch someone else's clock. But I do punch my own clock, and I am here, doing the work, providing the Daily Paul for uncounted tens of thousands of visitor daily, spreading Ron Paul's message, spreading the message of Liberty, as best I know how, as best I am suited to do, and as best as I can with limited resources.

    Is that a fair trade? I think it is, but ultimately, it isn't for me to decide. If the marketplace values this service, the service will continue on. And if not, it won't.

    I don't plan on doing business with you now or any time in the future.

    As is your choice. But I'm sorry to hear it. And if the majority of others feel the same, then the Daily Paul will, at some point down the line, cease to exist. And that, I think, would be sad.

    I’m not going to ask but I do like the new tone of these subscriptions. Voluntary is good. Good move!

    There is nothing new here. Subscriptions to the Daily Paul, like all subscriptions and all transactions, aside from those enforced by government, are voluntary.

    There were some misunderstandings in the original post; thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify them.

    Ok here's one site: www.loraindirt.com

    Thank you for sharing.

    Based on that site, I can understand why you would think that running the Daily Paul must be easy. Wordpress is easy, with its one-button installation. You're using a theme that you downloaded for free from Wordpress. Download/upload/ready to go in 5 minutes. There are about 5 pages of content to your site, and it doesn't have enough visitors to merit a rating from Alexa.

    It would take me about 1/2 hour to set up that site as you have it. (BTW, you might want to change the blogroll links at the bottom of the theme so they're relevant to your subject at hand, instead of pointing to Wordpress. As it is, it looks very sloppy and unprofessional. Not lambasting you, just the truth.)

    Again, not to lambaste you. With this as your frame of reference, I can see where you were coming from with your critique of the DP, and why you think it would be so easy.

    The site you showed us is set-and-forget. Half-an-hour max to get it up and running, check in on it every few weeks or so, use the free Akismet spam filtering service and in the mean time forget it.

    Things get considerably more complicated with Drupal, with dedicated servers, and when you've got 100,000 visitors coming through daily.

    I hope that I have been clear enough for you to understand this. Still you may not believe it, but if that is the case, there is likely no more that I can do to convince you.

    Best of luck to you.

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

    Hmmm.

    That site looks like it might get 5 hits a month. Are you sure it is on-par with the Daily Paul as far as usage and complexity?

    On par with the daily paul?

    On par with the daily paul? who said that? he asked to see a site. I wasn't given a criteria. I can get hits for you. 26,535 hits for June. It was put up in June.

    if only you would collect

    if only you would collect emails and promote money bombs, give reports, etc you'd have 100's of thousands of emails and patriots that would support Ron Paul but also for years you never responded to my offers to help even though I make a living doing this for myself. Also, I placed a $10 ad on your site and never saw the ad ever and never got one email from anyone who ever might have clicked on the ad that never showed up. So ya. Ron Paul has lost out on millions of dollars that could have been promoted through emails collected on this site.

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    Can you tell me which ad?

    We had problems with that ad server and ended up cutting our losses and moving on. One of the problems is that it wasn't serving the ads properly, so my apologies for that.

    I thought I got everyone refunded - if not, please let me know and I will take care of it ASAP. You can contact me by clicking on my name and hitting the contact button.

    I get a lot of emails that I just don't have time to respond to; sorry if I never responded to you, please don't take it personally. If you want to let me know who you are and what it is you do, I'll be happy to consider it.

    Thanks.
    Michael

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

    You also could have done

    You also could have done limited time offers for your sponsors and easily make about 100,000 on this site no problem doing this. but again, you never cared to even respond to my offers to help.

    Oldest first!

    Your comments view, select oldest first, and you'll see what's been said and know, for example, the explanation why clicking Bachmann ads over and over is counterproductive.

    10-15 million more voters need to believe in non-interventionism (liberty) at home and abroad to change America. Minds changed on Syria. Minds changing on privacy. "Printing money" is part of the dialogue. Win minds through focus, strategy.

    Michael why is the cost so

    Michael why is the cost so high? The most I have seen to host a website is $70.00 a year for unlimited everything. I'll host the daily paul for you for $15.00 a year. What costs are you trying to recoup?

    tasmlab's picture

    wide range of costs

    You probably could even find a free option for hosting, but much of it depends on the site and its traffic/use. I run a commercial website and currently pay around $4,000/year for managed hosting (the cheaper plans didn't cut it), and over $40,000/year for engineering and management labor.

    And I presume Michael may also need to consume food, pay rent, send FRNs to the IRS, etc. like the rest of us.

    I know it takes me about a quarter of my work day to enjoy this site, it probably takes him an entire one to manage it :-)

    Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

    I assume Michael has a real

    I assume Michael has a real job. I have unlimited everything for $70.00 a year. Running 20 sites with unimited data transfer. You are getting ripped off. I would like to hear from him so we get the facts. I appreciate your perspective I would just like to hear it from the horses mouth. Forums are easy, they run themselves. The ads are the issue. Getting them in place on the backend. I really don't think it's as expensive as he's making it sound. Sounds more like he wants the site to change to a money maker rather than getting the message out and breaking even.

    Michael Nystrom's picture

    When you ASS U ME

    I had a typing teacher in high school who used to say, "When you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME." He said it often that I remember it well, and it always comes back to me at times like these.

    So I guess now comes the part where be both get to look like asses. Hopefully you too will remember this phrase and this lesson, and in the future adjust your behavior accordingly by not being so quick to ASS U ME.

    First, from your comment above:

    The most I have seen to host a website is $70.00 a year for unlimited everything.

    I guess you're not looking very hard. See what tasmlab said above - $4,000 a year for hosting alone, and 40K for the engineering and labor that goes into the site beyond hosting! That sounds about right for a high traffic site.

    "Unlimited everything" is a marketing gimmick for newbies. Back in 2007, for the first six months or so, the DP was hosted at Dreamhost - one of those "unlimited bandwidth for $5 per month" outfits.

    But "bandwidth" is not the problem. It is the processing power of the server that quickly becomes a bottleneck on a database driven site as large and busy as this. Serving up to 3 http requests per second takes a lot of power, and it takes some skill to optimize a server to produce that kind of output. Dreamhost - and others like it - can host sites so cheaply because it is a "shared" environment, i.e. they'll put 1,000 sites or more on a single server since most people sign up for their service and either 1) never get around to putting up their website, or 2) have so little traffic - a few thousand visits a day or less - that it is practically irrelevant in terms of computing power.

    Right now, hosting for the site is free - donated by NCMarc and his company, Falcon Internet. It is on two dedicated servers - one for the database and one for the web server - that have been tuned to perfection to squeeze as much power as possible out of them. Think of a Toyota Corolla with an engine that has been tricked out to race.

    But if traffic continues to grow, we're going to hit some hard limits and we'll either have to get another server (which means more programming to reconfigure the backend, or making a move to the cloud) So hosting is free, but I pay about $1,500 per month for system admin and programming fees.

    I'll host the daily paul for you for $15.00 a year.

    Really? How many dedicated servers will that include, or are you going to implement it on the cloud? Because as I said above shared hosting won't work for this site. (Do you think Facebook is hosted on a shared server for $15 per year? The Huffington Post? Think about it). If cloud, then Amazon's EC2 or Rackspace, or something else? Are you going to be the one to performance tune it for me?

    Will you move the 2gig database (all 35,000 users, 165K posts and 1.8 million comments) and the website to your hosting platform for me also? For that $15 per year, will you also set up a reverse proxy cache so that delivery is lighting fast, even though we're serving up to 100,000 pages per day? I talked to a programmer the other day who would do it for $125 per hour, and it is about a 40 hour job. Varnish isn't super easy to set up. It requires some real technical skill, and that skill doesn't come cheap. Is that included in your $15 per year?

    For that $15 per year, will you also help me optimize slow MySQL queries that hang the site and gum it up for no apparent reason? This isn't really a problem on average days, but on moneybomb days, or debate days, everyone sees the effects of our current setup. Traffic slows to a crawl. Will you be available 24/7 to troubleshoot when the site goes off line and we have no idea why? Does the $15 per year include offsite backup in the event that the data center goes down due to bankruptcy, fire, tornado, or other natural disaster? Will you coordinate those backups for and make sure they're being done properly and stored safely?

    In terms of hosting, I'd prefer to go with Acquia, since they've got the LAMP stack optimized for Drupal right up at the application level, (including Varnish, preconfigured), where it needs to be. Drupal is very powerful, but also very finicky, so the application level needs a lot of customization and tweaking. For a skilled programmer, that kind of service costs about $125 per hour - that's included in your $15 per year?

    Go ahead and click on this link at Acquia to look at pricing options for what it really costs to host a site like this. I spoke with a sales guy there last week.

    For hardware, put the slider at 13 ECU/7gb. Give it a 50GB hard drive for good measure, and set it at the "Professional Support" level. The price comes in at just over $13K. But since you're paying - make it the Enterprise level support, meaning that whenever anything goes wrong with the site, I just hand it over to them (you) and have them solve it, so I can do what I do best - which is manage the front side of the community. That would just about double the hosting price to roughly $25K per year. Oh, did I mention? Paid in advance. $15 for a $25K trade? I don't want to take advantage of you, but you're the one who offered!

    That must be an eye popper for you, since you've never seen hosting over $70 per year! Welcome to world!

    Speaking of dev servers, does your $15 per year include a synchronized dev / staging / live server setup so that we're not doing development work on the live site (never a good idea). That comes preconfigured with Acquia, but the programmer was going to charge at least another $2.5K to set that up. Currently we don't have anything like that set up (can't afford it yet), so rather than automatically synchronizing updates from staging to live, we do it manually. Which isn't exactly the best solution.

    Forums are easy, they run themselves.

    Really? You know this from experience? Can you post some links to the forums you run -- er, I mean, that run themselves for you? You said you have 20 sites. Can we see them? I'd like to learn from you.

    Please share your experiences of running a forum with 35,000 registered users, 165,000+ posts, and 1.8 million comments? Tell me, what software platform runs itself? I've never heard of such a thing! Do share. So you never have to update the software with the latest security patches? And when you do, do you do it yourself, or do you pay a programer $125 per hour? (Or does it update itself?) What do you do if the update fails for some reason? How do you deal with the inevitable bugs after you do an update. (Or those don't happen with you, on your software that runs itself?) You never have to update the underlying LAMP stack? (Oh, that's right - you're on a shared platform. Nevermind.)

    How do you deal with spam? Do you use Akismet? Mollom? Another service? Because as good as some of the services are, they aren't 100% accurate, which means sometimes spam gets through, and sometimes good comments get thrown in the spam box. Do you monitor that daily? Hourly?

    How about trolls? How do you figure out who is up to what, and booting the disruptive ones, then dealing with their abusive emails - sometimes for weeks - after they get the boot? What about the overwhelming volume of email that comes in daily? Do you just ignore it? What about when members email you and complain about other members? How do you deal with that? Where do you draw the line in terms of 'censorship?' Is it anything goes on your forums (incuding pornograhy?) or do you have a policy in place? How do you deal with borderline posts and members - who skillfully skirt the line of what is acceptable behavior on your sites?

    What about when members post on your board and accuse you of just being a money grubbing pig? How do you deal with those kinds of people? Answering email takes time, just as answering this post takes time.

    How about keeping the site content fresh and relevant? Does that run itself? Where do you find the time to keep up with all the news, with what is going on so you know what content is relevant and meaningful to your audience? How about correcting spelling errors in headlines - or do you just let those go? And what about TURNING PEOPLE'S HEADLINES DOWN A NOTCH? Does that also run itself?

    Sounds like magic! Please, please send us the links to your 20 forums! I want to learn from you! You make it sound so easy, but from my experience, running the Daily Paul is hard, and takes much time.

    I assume Michael has a real job.

    I assume you're a socialist?

    Ok, sorry. I just had to. Do you like it when people assume things of you?

    Is this what you're asking: Because I have a real job I should take on all the stress and responsibility of serving up 2 million plus page views every month on this giant electronic billboard for Ron Paul - for free? Is that your point? Don't worry about me, I'll just eat ramen every day, shop at goodwill and go without health insurance - all for "the cause!"

    Again - just trying to get it straight - are you a socialist? Apparently you don't think the time that I put into this should be compensated beyond "break even" - whatever that means.

    But as far as me having a job: Not in the sense that I punch a clock for someone else.

    The most precious and limited resource that God has granted all of us on this fair earth is Time. It is completely democratic. None of us has any more of it, or any less of it in a day than anyone else. You cannot buy time. Freedom over the use of my time is a most precious thing to me. While I don't have a "job" in the traditional sense I do do a variety of things in which I exchange my time for money. One of those things is the Daily Paul, and I spend a considerable amount of my precious resources here, in fact the majority of my time.

    I am proud of this project, as I think that it has made an impact, and on balance, a positive educational impact for Ron Paul, for the concept of Liberty, and for a great many people who are members of this community.

    Does that answer your question?

    The ads are the issue. Getting them in place on the backend.

    Ads are an issue. Keeping the inventory sold is another issue. With sales comes accounting. With accounting comes legal issues. With all of this comes taxes. There is the legal environment to keep up with. Remember, I got sued? Prior to getting smacked with the lawsuit, I didn't take that aspect too seriously. But in the end, it is my ass on the line here - no one is coming to bail me out. That risk needs to be taken into account. Programming and site issues discussed above are other issues.

    What costs are you trying to recoup?

    In a word time. This is where I spend a good portion of my time each day. And when I'm not here, I'm usually thinking about this place. Here I just killed an hour writing this response.

    I understand that for outsiders, who have never run a website like this, the Daily Paul seems as though it appears by magic. Always there - just like the TV. Turn it on, and there are the shows. How hard can it be to do a news show? It is just some guy talking about news! That is amateur, superficial thinking. The fact of the matter is that it takes an incredible amount of coordination on my part to keep the Daily Paul going - in fact, it consumes the majority of my time. I have given you a small peek at what it takes. You've got it - just as you asked - from the "horse's mouth."

    I really don't think it's as expensive as he's making it sound.

    Base on what? Upon what do you base that erroneous belief? After what I have explained, has your mind changed?

    Sounds more like he wants the site to chnage to a money maker rather than getting the message out and breaking even.

    Again, I don't know what you mean by "breaking even."

    What I want to do is ensure the future for this site, through the election and beyond. To run it professionally, rather than as a hobby from the kitchen table, yes, it will take money. To expand it and make it better, so that it makes an even bigger impact for Liberty, yes, that will take money. To hire top notch talent to help me take it there, yes that takes money.

    If I stopped putting the care that I put into this site each day, 24/7/365, the site would be overrun by trolls, spammers and hackers within days. It would no longer be a pleasant place to come. People would start posting, "Michael - what has happened to the Daily Paul?" When they received no response, and realized that that I had abandoned it, they would stop coming too. Without site updates, the site would be hacked and taken off line. Maybe an enterprising hacker would hijack it and replace it with a porn site.

    And if there is no compensation for me to exchange my most precious asset - time - of course I would be forced to abandon it.

    So I make no apologies that I'm trying to make money. If you think that is wrong - that I am pursing my own self interest while at the same time pursuing a project that I hope will make a GIANT impact for liberty (much bigger than now) - then I think there are some key points to Ron Paul's message that you have either not heard or misunderstood. Go read Atlas Shrugged. The whole point of the title is: "What if the key members of society, the ones who hold everything up through their sheer force of will, skill and determination, those Atlases of the world - what if instead of bearing that weight and responsibility, they shrugged." And that is what they do. Hounded by government regulations and unappreciative public, they decide to do exactly that - they go on strike (the original, working title of the book - 'The Strike').

    Normally I don't like to toot my own horn. I'd rather let my actions speak for me so I don't have to, for actions speak better than I ever could. This site is here, and I am here with it, 24/7/365. I am the Atlas of the Daily Paul who makes that happen.

    This ends our current lesson on the word ASS U ME. You have now heard it from the "horse's mouth," as was your wish. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them.

    All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.
    tasmlab's picture

    Keeping Michael focused and untempted

    If anything, this community needs to keep all and any temptation off the table for Michael to consider an alternative way to spend his time i.e., the temptation to take a more lucrative job elsewhere - think of what he's built and the experience he could bring to another company!

    Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

    tasmlab's picture

    More benchmarks on web hosting

    I wanted to add that my site I run at around $44,000 per year only serves 500-550 users total (each with processing heavy requests). I was able to use shared hosting only with a much smaller population, but I run lots of unpopular sites and have no problem with cheap options.

    In my experience, nothing (or at least nothing good) runs itself.

    I also have done some work for one of the really big corporate portal/search/directory sites, and their largest service expense is 'inappropriate', i.e., dealing with the endless request that someone saw or read something that a user posted that was inappropriate. Armies of people employed to deal with it.

    Lastly, I don't know where the instinct comes from that Michael should live like a Spartan to work on this very important site, or that his labor/time be sacrificed to a 'greater good'.

    Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

    That Was Epic

    I don't know much about web hosting or running a site as big as this but I laughed when I saw those comments because I work in internet marketing and I know its $1000's when you get traffic like this does.

    Thanks for everything you do, I work for myself as well as another company and those who haven't ever been an entrepreneur have no clue how much you actually work.

    I actually feel sorry you had to lose the time to school them.
    There's nothing wrong with earning money from this site and offering a subscription membership option is understandable.

    Thanks again for everything, we all got our families to provide for. I noticed you have a lot of banner space on the right hand side but many banners stay the same. Maybe you ad rates are too low for the traffic? Infowars just went to a CPC model maybe you should too?