Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Help Us Cover Costs

22. September 2005 • Scott Trudeau
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For those of you that aren’t aware, I (Scott) have been covering the hosting costs for ArborUpdate and other, semi- and unrelated projects. I’ve removed the Google AdSense advertisements, which have been a disappointing attempt to recoup some hosting costs.

Recently, an Internet Service Provider with a very solid reputation (TextDrive) began offering lifetime hosting packages for $399 (where lifetime is my lifetime or their lifetime as a business); I trust they’ll be around awhile. This deal would host this site and related projects for the foreseeable future. I am planning to cover this one-time cost myself (since I will also be hosting personal projects w/ this package), but figured I’d give you all the chance to contribute something.

If you’ve ever found this site useful/helpful and worth a few bucks, please contribute. We’re also willing to consider sponsored matching donations from local business (e.g., match up to $50 or $100 of individual donations) in exchange for some form of not-too-obtrusive advertisement (Leopold Bros., the official beer & spirits of ArborUpdate? ;) ) on the site. Any money raised beyond the hosting fees will go into a fund to be spent at the discretion of the active ArborUpdate contributors.

(Also, the nascent New West Side Association and Ann Arbor Alliance will also be hosted on this account when their site gets an overhaul.)

PayPal is the easiest way to donate—click the “PayPal Donate” button on the right. If you don’t want to use PayPal, email ArborUpdate AT gmail DOT com for alternate payment arrangement.



  1. I attempted to donate just now by clicking the PayPal button, and reached an error page at PayPal with the following, in English and five other languages:

    We are sorry that we are experiencing temporary difficulties. Please try again later.

    Message 5302
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 22 '05 - 11:58AM    #
  2. I have not figured out how to enter a new article on ArborUpdate. All I can do is comment on articles entered by others.

    I sent e-mail to ArborUpdate asking how to enter a new article, and I did not get a reply.

    Is this a “closed” site or an open one?
       —David Cahill    Sep. 22 '05 - 12:51PM    #
  3. Larry, I confirmed your experience and recreated the donate button. It’s working for me now. Thanks, and sorry about that.

    David, I thought I saw a response to your question, but perhaps it fell through the cracks. Top-level stories can only be created by “contributors”—so, I assume that would qualify as a “closed” site. Which, in my opinion, is a feature and not a bug. If you’d (or any reader) would like to “apply” to become a contributor, please email arborupdate AT umich DOT edu and describe how you can contribute to the site.
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 22 '05 - 01:05PM    #
  4. Scott, roughly how many contributors are there? Is a contribution of money required to become a contributor of articles?
       —Dave Cahill    Sep. 22 '05 - 04:59PM    #
  5. Dave,

    Just hit the “About this Site” link in the upper right corner of the window.

    Nothing to get paranoid about.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Sep. 22 '05 - 05:31PM    #
  6. Scott,

    The paypal thingy seems to be working. Good luck paying down your debt!
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Sep. 22 '05 - 05:36PM    #
  7. Paying a one-time fee for a continuous service seems kind of bizarre. Are you really sure you know what you’ll want from a hosting service a year or two from now? When standards for bandwidth and disk space go up, will this still seem like a good idea? Etc….
       —Bruce Fields    Sep. 22 '05 - 10:41PM    #
  8. It doesn’t really matter if it lasts his lifetime. It only matters that it serves his purposes longer and more cheaply than re-subscribing for, say, the next ten years. Since we’ve got about 10 years of internet history (a bit more for nerds) behind us, I’ll defer to the computer guys who’ve been paying attention all along.
       —Dale    Sep. 23 '05 - 08:52AM    #
  9. I gladly sent a donation your way. Thanks for keeping at this.
       —JennyD    Sep. 23 '05 - 12:04PM    #
  10. Bruce,

    We use suprisingly little bandwidth, so unless this site starts seeing 2 or 3 orders of magnitude more traffic, I’m not at all worried. That and this deal will cost less than a year’s worth of what I’m now paying for all of the sites I’ll be moving—so even if I move in a year, I’m doing better cost-wise.
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 23 '05 - 01:38PM    #
  11. “We use suprisingly little bandwidth, so unless this site starts seeing 2 or 3 orders of magnitude more traffic, I’m not at all worried.”

    Time to start up the weekly arbor update podcast, then.

    “That and this deal will cost less than a year’s worth of what I’m now paying for all of the sites I’ll be moving—so even if I move in a year, I’m doing better cost-wise.”

    Must have beeb kind of expensive hosting. But if the break-even point is only a year, what the heck.

    In any case, the guy doing the work (thanks!) gets to decide.
       —Bruce Fields    Sep. 23 '05 - 09:28PM    #
  12. re: “ArborUpdate podcasts”

    Anyone want to produce that? Weekly summary of posts and discussions, maybe? Not sure how to make it interesting …
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 24 '05 - 11:05AM    #
  13. Jason Voss at one point wanted us to take up part of his slot on WCBN reviewing the week’s news-in-blogs, but none of us took him up on it.

    I think we’d probably host a podcast …if somebody wanted to make it.

    Volunteers?
       —Murph    Sep. 24 '05 - 12:10PM    #
  14. A five-minute recording summarizing all topics on the front page, a bit of emphasis on the busiest topics, and a feature on the top 3 comments/top exchange of the week? Lemme talk to the media union guys.

    What say you?

    Anybody else wanna intellectually contribute to this?
       —Dale    Sep. 24 '05 - 12:44PM    #
  15. All you need is a microphone and a computer—you could use GarageBand on a Mac or something as simple as Audacity on any platform to do the recording and minor editing. Encode it to mp3, upload and put in an AU post as an enclosure and away we go… If you go nuts on production quality, a good microphone is important and you might need something more garage-bandy or fancier (ProTools?) vs. something simple like Audacity … but if it’s just talkin’, mono one-track … shrug
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 24 '05 - 02:49PM    #
  16. And if you’re interested in spreading the ‘voice’ of the site a little farther, you could always send those ‘casts over to Griff and the gang at annarboralive.com and ask if they would put them on their ‘News and Views’ channel, since there’s not much actual news or talk on it since I stopped being involved…
       —Marc R.    Sep. 24 '05 - 03:59PM    #
  17. And of course, Griff is the go to guy for A3Radio
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 24 '05 - 04:04PM    #
  18. A quick update: so far we’ve raised $150 in donations, more than tripling what AdSense brought in over three months. This will help cover the hosting costs, so thanks to all who have donated!
       —Scott Trudeau    Sep. 26 '05 - 10:03AM    #
  19. Murph – Paypal is working fine. I have sent my money as promised.
       —Leah    Oct. 2 '05 - 09:51AM    #