Pony99CA wrote:Forumatic may be the favored host due to its ties with phpBB. For example, did Forumatic pay for the advertising on the phpBB Home page (shown below)?
We've never publically disclosed what we get for certain ads, and we won't start now.
That's not quite true. The advertising page
certainly talks about some specific rates (image banners at the bottom of the page, for example) and also talks about relative rates (text link ads being "significantly more expensive than our image banner options").
But I'm not really asking about specific pricing, just about whether Forumatic paid at all
and, if they are paying, whether they're paying "fair market value" (roughly what other hosting advertisers would have to pay for a similar campaign). (More below)
Pony99CA wrote:The people involved in Forumatic may choose to spend less time on phpBB than on Forumatic (especially if Forumatic is a paying job for them). For example, are you spending just as much time on phpBB development as you did before Forumatic, Nils?
On the contrary, as pointed out in this topic, I spend more time on phpBB, as I see it as part of my future job now (afterall I'm not getting any money out of this so far).
That's good to hear.
Between Forumatic and mentoring for the Google Summer of Code, I was worried if that would hurt the pace of phpBB 3.1 (which, as you've seen, many people have complained about regarding the development pace).
Marshalrusty wrote:Unfortunately, ads that sell well, and for which we receive lots of offers, are the content invading ones that we do not wish to implement on phpBB.com (as I'm sure you would agree).
I do not want pop-ups or Flash/animated ads. A pox on those who invented them.
Marshalrusty wrote:So to make this absolutely clear, the Forumatic ads are not pushing out paying customers and I have made absolutely sure that they have not had a negative effect on ad revenue for phpBB.
I wasn't so much worried about that. I was just addressing the conflict-of-interest question. To put it bluntly, if you're the Operations Manager
for phpBB and also a principal in Forumatic, then if you are getting free (or significantly cheaper) advertising for Forumatic, you can understand how others (especially other advertisers) might perceive that as a conflict of interest, right?
The other part of the issue is that phpBB rule 6a
talks about how linking to other sites is considered spam and suggests using advertising instead (linking to the advertising page). So if "normal" users can't promote their sites, I hope that you can see how some might think that Forumatic is circumventing that if they're getting free/reduced cost advertising based on their relationship to phpBB.
However, as you've said (and say again in the quote below), the goal is to help phpBB development. That's why I personally don't care if there is a conflict of interest. I think that the team has earned our trust that you'll do the "right" thing. I just don't feel that brushing the questions away as if there isn't a conflict is right, either.
Marshalrusty wrote:Forumatic provides an entirely separate revenue stream where none was present before and can fill in some of the gaps we have previously mentioned (events, developers, etc.). Obviously, this isn't something that is going to happen tomorrow, which is why we have been very careful not to make unrealistic promises. The way we see it, if other projects can do it, so can we.
And, as I said, I personally don't have a problem with how you're doing this (unless it somehow negatively impacts the free version development). I'm just trying to illustrate why others have raised the conflict-of-interest questions.