SkipIRC - Donations & Sponsoring

(Note: This is a WIP document and the finer details of donations and sponsoring for the network have not yet been hammered out. An actual discussion will go up on 05's forums before this is official. Please do not act on this page's instructions while this note is live.)

I've had a number of people ask about helping to pitch in for the cost of running our own network. I'm going to lay out the costs here and give you ways to contribute if you so choose.

The network is made up of 7 servers: 3 client servers, 2 hubs, 1 services server, and 1 management server. They are all built to run as efficiently (read: cheaply) as possible. I can commit to a long-term contract on these servers to lower the cost.

Each one also has 16GB of storage. Times 7 servers = 112GB at $0.10/GB/mo = $11.20/mo in flat charges that do not scale with contract length.

No-contract: $3.38/mo * 7 + $11.20 = $34.86/mo ($4.98/server/mo)
1 Year agreement: $2.09/mo * 7 + $11.20 = $25.83/mo ($3.69/server/mo)
3 Year agreement: $1.44/mo * 7 + $11.20 = $21.28/mo ($3.04/server/mo)

I am intending to commit to the 3-year agreements. These are minimum costs. Actual costs are higher in certain regions like Sydney, but are simply a cost of providing a good experience worldwide. But those numbers are within 2 bucks of the grand total I believe.

There are additional ancillary charges for traffic but they are minimal, on the order of pennies per month for something like IRC.

In addition, the webchat server (The Lounge) is specced identically to the above calculations, except its disk is only 10GB or $1/mo. So the cost to run The Lounge is currently about $4.38 as I don't have it under contract, but would like to, particularly as we move to making it the official webchat solution we're offering.

So, it doesn't take a ton of money to run the network, but if people really want to help defray these costs, I will accept the help.

What I'm envisioning is a sponsorship system for the servers, where you can sponsor a server for anywhere from a month to a year and cover its costs. It won't confer any benefits outside of the ability to put a small silly note in the "sponsored by" table that says whatever you want, within reason.

Example:

Server Sponsored By… Until… A Word From Our Sponsor: Reserve Sponsorship
Blackjack (Hub) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2020-11-30 Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Link
Hookers (Hub) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2021-06-30 Call 1-800-DISCOUNT-OCELOTS Link
Safe (Ohio) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2020-10-31 You ever just write some stupid bullshit on the internet? Link
Euclid (Ireland) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2021-10-31 Rise up. Punch your masters. Link
Keter (Sydney) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2020-12-31 Zelda games are overrated, change my mind. Link
Services (Virginia) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2021-03-31 In the future, there are hats. Link
O5 Command (Tokyo) Nobody N/A This server could use a sponsor! Link
Webchat (The Lounge) pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul 2021-02-28 The humble bat, the chicken of the cave. Link

I do not want this to be a space for any plugs or other links that could be construed as such. This is intended to be purely a fun way to help offset some costs.

Actual payment could be handled a number of ways. I have a Patreon account used to fund SCUTTLE to the tune of about $200 a month as it is. Patreon funds go into my LLC's account and that account doesn't do anything but pay server bills. I could set up additional tiers allowing people to choose a particular server, and perhaps make them limited to 1 person at a time. I have a ko-fi account that I set up that drops funds into the same bank account. The trouble with ko-fi is that unless I pay them $6 a month, people can't do a monthly subscription, just one-off donations. I could set up unique items in the SCP Cafe Store, that's probably the most work for an unclear payoff and has nearly the same fees as Patreon.

I think overall I like the 1-of-1 sponsorship opportunities via Patreon tiers best. It's clean, it's intuitive which are available and which aren't.

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