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Follow-up To "Your Opinions and Advice Needed"

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats Seaweed Meal
Posted by GoatWorld on August 13, 2001 at 08:47:56:

Thank you to everyone who responded.

From the responses received regarding a "paid forum", I don't think it would in the best interest to charge for the forum. Quite a few of you said that you'd be willing to pay for it but it still leaves out quite a few that would not and that would cause quite a few people to leave. I can't blame them... I too would be reluctant to pay for something that had been free for so long.

Okay, so where to go from here. Well, losing the archives altogether really isn't an answer because for one thing, each archived page shows up in major search engines. Each day I log at least 100 queries from the search engine at google.com. What that means is that alot of people are coming here by way of never knowing about GoatWorld at all and those are visitors that we cannot afford to lose. I'm sure that quite a few of you have found GoatWorld that way as well.

It still leaves the problem however of generating some amount of income for the operation of GoatWorld. The banners and advertising here on GoatWorld just have not done anything - in other words, no one has yet to use these features (in having GoatWorld host a banner or ad for them), but in visiting other goat related sites, I see where people are paying twice and three times the amount than they would here. So in an attempt to hopefully lure a few of you to our banner and advertising program, here is the url:
http://www.goatworld.com/advertising.shtml

I urge you to please consider this as it will help me to continue to fund GoatWorld for the long term.


In the past I've been extremely reluctant to enter into any type of "affiliate" programs because I've not had good experience with these. For those of you who are "new" to computers or do not understand e-commerce, etc., I will outline what they mean and how they affect web sites that use them.

Affiliate programs basically entail placing banners and ads on a web site for products and services that do not necessarily relate to the content of the web site itself. For example, getting low interest credit cards, printer cartridges, low airline fares, lodging, food, you name it. While it appears to be a good idea on the surface, the problem with these programs are that you only get paid if your visitors buy something from the banner or ad. In the meantime, the company that offers the affilaite program is getting free advertising - their name gets out there whether or not they sell anything. And to boot, most of these programs do not put a link back to the affiliate site. It's not a win-win situation like they would like you to think it is.

And moreover, it would not be fair to GoatWorld visitors to be bombarded with "non-goat related" products and services. I have purposefully kept any banners and ads more geared towards the goat industry or agriculture in general because I figure that's what GoatWorld visitors would rather see. Apparently I may have to rethink that strategy and proceed in other ways.

So what's the immediate future of GoatWorld? Well, it will remain free for as long as I can afford to do so but I urge each of you to please consider using it for more than just a message forum or place to meet others. Please try to purchase a product or a banner from time to time to help offset my costs and time. Please consider adding your own products and services to our features. Of course I will always glady accept donations .

I have even considered banning the use of "referring urls" to other sites that offer goat products and services such as Jeffers, Hoeggers and any number of other sites that have products and services available. But this would not really be the right thing to do because it undermines the scope and purpose of the Message Forum in the first place. Yet these are many of the sites that have chose not to be supportive of GoatWorld in the past. Again, that is one of the problems because these sites continue to make money from "our" existence but won't give us the time of day otherwise.

And it boils down to the many of us in the goat industry supporting those entities which operate under a "sell first - information later" way of thinking. Perhaps my problems would have been altogether different if I had started GoatWorld under those pretenses. I think that there have been alot of "pre-GoatWorld" entities that have banded together and made it difficult for a newcomer such as GoatWorld to establish a foothold in the industry. In the end they are only fooling you and themselves because the "goat world" is ruled by the people who own and raise goats. Not by big corporations with an unlimited cash flow to cause you to think or act a certain way. But this is 2001 and not 1901 so each of us has to change with the times and go with the flow.

If I eventually do shut down GoatWorld entirely, I will at least have gained a few things for myself: 1) I have amassed enough information for myself that I seriously doubt I will need to seek advice and 2) I'll know what "not to do" next time so this does not happen again.

Thank you again for your responses and advice.

Best regards,

Gary Pfalzbot





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