Infopackets May Be Forced to Shut Down by June 1, 2012 -- Please Vote | www.infopackets.com

Infopackets May Be Forced to Shut Down by June 1, 2012 -- Please Vote

Dennis Faas's picture

February 15, 2012

Major Announcement from: Dennis Faas,
CEO, Chief Editor and owner of Infopackets.com

Dear Infopackets Readers,

After 10 years of publishing online and having produced over 8,000 original articles, Infopackets may be forced to close its doors due to lack of funding. The site may shut down as early as June 1st, 2012.

I do, however, have a plan to save this website and make it ten times better than it was before -- but, it requires an extraordinary amount of effort, as well as consensus from our readers.

Note: The article below describes our situation in detail. Please read it carefully. At the end of this article, you are encouraged to vote.

Google Drops Infopackets Traffic, Revenue 50% Overnight

The lack of funding to our website is a result of a continuing depressed global economy, and a policy change by Google that cut our web site traffic by upwards of 50%, which began early last year (2011). The loss in traffic has been financially devastating.

The traffic -- literally -- dropped overnight and has not returned.

The only exception to this is at the end of last year (which always ramps up due to the holidays); however, the traffic is once again declining.

Statistics are as follows:

Click the above photo to enlarge.

The idea of having to halt operations is a highly emotional decision and one that has not been taken lightly.

Financially, however, we're stuck in a rut. And without major, sweeping change, we can't survive.

The Idea of Funding: Using Micropayments (or Equivalent)

What I'm about to propose will revolutionize this website. But it requires consensus and commitment on the behalf of our readers.

I've discussed our current situation with my wife (many times) and we both agree that I need someone to take my position as editor / web site operator so that I can focus on developing the website and make it grow.

That's when the idea of using micropayments to fund the website came about.

Micropayments are essentially small, recurring payments. Micropayments (say, $5 a month) are affordable to most folks, even on a tight budget.

You can think of using micropayments to fund our website similar to donating a cup of coffee each month for a good cause. A $5 micropayment a month isn't a lot of money, but if enough people join in, we can bring about major change.

The great thing about micropayments is the fact that they can be ongoing. That means I don't have to continually campaign for funds to the site, which also means I can continue to stay focused on what needs to be done.

And, since the funds would be immediate, I can get started on making these critical changes straight away.

Free Versus Paid Subscriptions

Introducing micropayments into the mix means we'd be offering a two-tiered subscription system: those who agree to fund the site through micropayments, and those that do not.

My wife Luci then asked me what would happen to those who do not fund the site. My answer is as follows:

All users would still have access to everything they have now, but enhancements to the web site from this point on -- including additional content -- would be focused on those willing to financially contribute.

Short and Long Term Plans

Moving forward, my plans are as follows:

1. Find someone to take my position as editor. My role as chief editor is more than just editing and involves (essentially) running the entire website, aside from producing the content (which is done by the writers).

To eliminate my role as editor realistically will involve hiring 3 or 4 part time workers. It won't come cheap, which is why I really need everyone to commit to this change, pitch in, and make it work.

2. Develop the website / hire programmers. This will be an ongoing effort and the task will be split amongst myself and others. I have a big list of projects I'd like to see come to fruition -- some of which are listed further down.

3. Advertise the site. The huge loss in traffic we've experienced means we've lost a lot of new, potential readers. To sustain revenue and keep our operating costs manageable, we must advertise. Advertising online, however, is very expensive.

The Future of Infopackets: Positive Change

For those willing to contribute, I also pledge to:

(a) remove Vibrant media ads from the site. These are the blue double-underscored links that pop up when you place your mouse over them. Many users have complained about these ads in the past.

(b) remove 1 banner ad by Google (160x600).

(c) change 1 banner ad by Google (160x600) to text-only (no Flash ads). We cannot remove all ads online the site because we still rely on ad revenue.

(d) produce 3-5 more articles per week.

If we receive the appropriate funding, upgrades to the website will also include:

  • an HTML email newsletter
  • a secure login / subscription center
  • public commenting on articles for all subscribed members (other than Facebook)
  • a printer-friendly version of our articles
  • a forum for our users to discuss issues openly
  • a mobile edition of our website for users with iPads, mobile phones, etc

... and things of this nature.

The Number of Users Required to Make The Plan Work

Our current operating costs are $4,500 a month to keep this website online (without advertising), which pays our web hosting fees, writers, maintenance, and more.

Thus, I calculate we need at minimum 1,000 people contributing $5 a month to start.

This would bring in $5,000 a month in revenue to the site, which would allow us to maintain current operations, forge ahead, and bring forth the change that we desperately need.

It's not going to happen overnight, but the time is now to make this monumental change.

Please join me in making it happen.

Conclusion

Because this change requires such a large consensus amongst our readers, we are taking a vote before deciding the fate of our website.

Please cast your ballot below. You may optionally leave a private comment, question, or concern along with your ballot and I will read it. Your comment will not be published on the proceeding page, but I may share your comment in a future article.


It has been my honor and privilege to serve all of you, and I look to forward to many more years.

Sincerely,

Dennis Faas
CEO | Chief Editor
www.infopackets.com

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