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05/30/22, 09:06 AM   #1
cyxui
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TTC website issues thread

Please post any web site related issues here instead of using the addon section

To answer your question of why I have decided to force ads:

Feels like I need to explain the situation here a bit. So I started TTC 7 years ago, built an addon + website for everyone to use for FREE. I have quit the game for more than 4 years already but I am still maintaining the site using lots of my free time.

The business model is simple. People uses the addon to collect data and the website's ad revenue will keep the whole project going. From day 1 I already knew people are using ad blockers and the percentage is not low. But I wanted to believe in people, I wanted to believe people will help the project they really love so I did not force ads for the past 7 years.

I have tried like 5 different banners to explain the situation and the need for Ad revenue to keep the project alive. But 7 years past and the result was pretty disappointing. Percentage of ad block users went up significantly and the number of people who donated was less than 0.02% of the entire user base.

The donation I have collected over the course of the past 7 years was just barely able to pay for 2 years of the server's cost. If everyone was using adblocker it will mean that I would have paid 5 figures out of my own pocket in additional to all the free time I have spend to maintain and develop this project.

Based on the growth rate of adblock users I will probably have to shutdown the entire project in about 2 years from now. So there are only 2 options before me if I do not want that to happen

1. Force ads on everyone and allow people to sub for ad free content
2. I start selling the data by offering premium(paid) customers access to real time API when a cheap item is made available.

I do not like the level of P2W #2 brings even though it will probably yield me much higher revenue compared to #1

It was a hard decision but something has to be done. Prior to turning the anti-ad block wall on I further reduced the ad load (slider is dragged to about 20% mark) and made the change so that you will never see more than 2 ads on your screen (1 for smaller screen) and there are at most 3 ads per page (2 for small screen). Full page ads are set to about <1% chance of appearing. Regular users shouldn't see the full screen ad more than once per day.

So please. I am not asking for too much. Having some ads on your screen is not the end of world but no ads will be the end of TTC.
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05/30/22, 09:17 AM   #2
DakJaniels
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I'm all for option 2

You could probably handle this like TSM from World of Warcraft does. https://www.tradeskillmaster.com/premium
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05/30/22, 09:47 AM   #3
Sharlikran
 
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I am sorry that people (including myself) are suggesting ways to keep the site up and asking questions rather then post site issues. However, I sympathize with your situation and support having to find some kind of way to fund the site.

May I ask, do you have a way to keep the site and the file people download with the client.exe separate? It would be a shame if the lack of site revenue affected the ability to download the price table.

If you are able to keep the site separate could you experiment with a login that only allows you to search a certain amount for free like 5 searches and then have a paid structure to search more? Do you have a way to know that someone is abusing the ability to have a certain amount of free searches by creating new accounts?

Do you have any site statistics to see what kind of traffic you have? Meaning some people will probably visit the site and search on occasion. For others maybe they search for common items they want to flip for the traders and contribute more to the site traffic. Maybe knowing what people search for and how often would help determine how to resolve your funding issues.

I feel bad for the situation you are in and I hope there is a way to keep the price table available to download for free, while having some kind of funding for the site to enable people to search for items they are looking for. Having the ability to search for items is a convenience and people should understand that it requires some kind of revenue to provide that convenience.

Last edited by Sharlikran : 05/30/22 at 10:11 AM.
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05/30/22, 10:12 AM   #4
cyxui
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Originally Posted by Sharlikran View Post
I am sorry that people (including myself) are suggesting ways to keep the site up rather then post site issues. However, I sympathize with your situation and support having to find some kind of way to fund the site.

May I ask, do you have a way to keep the site and the file people download with the client.exe separate? It would be a shame if the lack of site revenue affected the ability to download the price table.

If you are able to keep the site separate could you experiment with a login that only allows you to search a certain amount for free like 5 searches and then have a paid structure to search more? Do you have any site statistics to see what kind of traffic you have? Do you have a way to know that someone is abusing the ability to have a certain amount of free searches by creating new accounts?

I just feel bad for the situation you are in and I hope there is a way to keep the price table available to download for free, while having some kind of funding for the site to enable people to search for items they are looking for. Having the ability to search for items is a convenience and people should understand that it requires some kind of revenue to provide that convenience.
Addon/Client and price table are unaffected. They are still free to download and can be used even without ads. The forced ads potion only applies to the search and details section of the site.

idk about the 5 searches/account is a good idea. I can see people will either register bunch accounts or rage even harder about membership only.

People who are willing to pay are probably paying the $2 sub for ad free content already. The ones who complains are the ones that does not want to see ads and does not want to pay either.

The main problem is the growth rate of adblock users. Right now TTC sees around 70% in EU and 60% in NA of users using ad block. If you plot the rate of growth it will reach 90+% in 2024. Doesn't matter how efficient the infrastructure is 90+% adblock rate is not going to fund the project at that point.

Last edited by cyxui : 05/30/22 at 10:18 AM.
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06/01/22, 06:29 PM   #5
SainguinLibras
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No one of the site admins, namely me, deleted it. The author of the addon hasn't done a damn thing wrong. They aren't charging for the addon. Hell, they aren't charging for their website. Websites cost money to run. - Cairenn




I don't care if he charges for his site. Absolutely do that. He deserves to have enough money to keep it running.

He's forcing people to disable anti-viruses though and is running intrusive scripts.

These aren't accusations. It's what's happening. It's everywhere in the ESO community right now. All my guilds are talking about it, reddit is talking about it, etc etc.

Why are you guys squashing feedback and criticism of this? I haven't insulted him a single time. - Sainguin

Last edited by SainguinLibras : 06/01/22 at 07:17 PM.
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06/01/22, 06:44 PM   #6
SainguinLibras
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Lol cool so ESOUI is okay with an addon creator admitting he'll take money for VIP data AND he's selling players data from his website?

woof
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06/01/22, 06:48 PM   #7
Dolby
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Originally Posted by SainguinLibras View Post
Lol cool so ESOUI is okay with an addon creator admitting he'll take money for VIP data AND he's selling players data from his website?

woof
No rules are being broken that I can see, no one is forcing you to use the AddOn.

Meow
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06/01/22, 06:50 PM   #8
SainguinLibras
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Originally Posted by Dolby View Post
No rules are being broken that I can see, no one is forcing you to use the AddOn.

Meow
Yea somehow both of you missed this forum post was specifically supposed to be about website feedback.

But thanks for deleting my feedback and ebing guard dogs for the guy selling people's data.
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06/01/22, 06:47 PM   #9
Cairenn
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This website deals with addons, not other websites. That is our concern. What happens on some other site is not. Plus, you obviously have not bothered to read what the author said. You can still use their site absolutely fine for free, just just have to deal with seeing some ads. If you want an ad free experience, you pay a fee. It's pretty reasonable. Sites aren't free.

Last edited by Cairenn : 06/01/22 at 06:50 PM.
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06/01/22, 06:49 PM   #10
SainguinLibras
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
This website deals with addons, not other websites. That is our concern. What happens on some other site is not.
Uhhhhh this forum post is literally to talk about the website issues????????
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06/01/22, 06:54 PM   #11
Cairenn
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Feedback is one thing. Accusations are another.

Also, see the edit to my other response.

(I type really slowly right now, just had surgery on my shoulder so I have to hunt-and-peck type everything one handed.)
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06/01/22, 06:55 PM   #12
SainguinLibras
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You guys do realize it's not just disabling ad blocker right?

It's also demanding people disable their anti-viruses and people have found data scraping scripts running.

It's a lot bigger than you're making this out to be.


I'm fine with him making money to keep the site running.

This is some really low stuff.

Also I'd love to know how it's "accusations" when he admitted he's thinking about selling VIP status for first access to data. It's in the first post.

Last edited by SainguinLibras : 06/01/22 at 06:58 PM.
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06/01/22, 10:13 PM   #13
Sharlikran
 
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The comments thus far violate #1 and #2 of the site rules.

From the Nexus Forum and Commenting Guidelines even though that is a different site, there is also flame baiting under Be Civil!

Last edited by Sharlikran : 06/01/22 at 10:24 PM.
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06/01/22, 10:37 PM   #14
SainguinLibras
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I'm not defaming, name calling, or spreading rumors.

I'm being perfectly respectable.

The creator themselves said they considering adding paid VIP for early listing data.

Explain to me how I'm creating a rumor or defaming them or being uncivil.

I'm giving feedback.

Why is this so awful?

Why don't you guys just say the truth and tell me I'm not allowed to criticize a decision I disagree with.

Or better yet, point out where I broke those rules.

Last edited by SainguinLibras : 06/01/22 at 10:42 PM.
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06/01/22, 11:08 PM   #15
Sharlikran
 
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Cyxui created a site that is used by tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of users for over 7 years. Thousands of users a day. How many people have thanked him?

Some players are members of smaller guilds in small out of the way locations. Guilds that aren't in major cities or guilds in Outlaws Refuges. These people depend on visitors using TTC to find what they are selling.

Make a TTC website and see how you will finance it with the traffic that it gets for people searching for items to purchase. Then you can have an opinion.

I worked on TES5Edit with Zilav and Hlp back in 2012 and brought a tool that was directly responsible other then the fact mod authors had to use it that directly impacted the modding community for the last decade. I can empathize with doing thankless work for the benefit of others not once asking for anything in return.

Besides that he may find a way to fund the site differently. He may also have others help him host the search capabilities on another site. Which could also have adds and they may have a better way to still show adds even with adblocker. Now that the author has asked for help there are people trying to come up with alternatives to help him.

People trying to resolve the issue, that is constructive and has a meaningful purpose.

Last edited by Sharlikran : 06/02/22 at 06:33 AM.
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06/01/22, 11:18 PM   #16
SainguinLibras
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Originally Posted by Sharlikran View Post
Cyxui created a site that is used by tens of thousands of users for over 7 years. Thousands of user a day. How many people have thanked him?

Some players are members of smaller guilds in small out of the way locations. Guilds that aren't in major cities or guilds in Outlaws Refuges. These people depend on visitors using TTC to find what they are selling.

Make a TTC website and see how you will finance it with the traffic that it gets for people searching for items to purchase. Then you can have an opinion.

I worked on TES5Edit with Zilav and Hlp back in 2012 and brought a tool that was directly responsible other then the fact mod authors had to use it that directly impacted the modding community for the last decade. I can empathize with doing thankless work for the benefit of others not once asking for anything in return.

Besides that he may find a way to fund the site differently. He may also have others help him host the search capabilities on another site. Which could also have adds and they may have a better way to still show adds even with adblocker. Now that the author has asked for help there are people trying to come up with alternatives to help him.

People trying to resolve the issue. That is constructive and has a meaningful purpose.
Ok but why does any of that give him the right to pull shady practices like forced ads and data selling?

I appreciate the free work. I appreciate everything a lot of you have done for the community.

Even if I disagree with you strongly right now Sharlikran, you're absolutely prolific in the ESO community and you've done some great work.

Regardless, none of you are free from criticism.

I'm not the only person who disagrees very strongly with what is going with the TTC website. I'm just the only person who managed to find this thread.

And I have given constructive feedback, the ESOUI moderators deleted it.

I literally asked him to create a Patreon. There's no way the community wouldn't rally around that.

But it wasn't even a option and cyx won't even respond to it.

So it's kind of hard to give him any benefit of the doubt in this situation.
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06/02/22, 10:14 PM   #17
cyxui
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Originally Posted by SainguinLibras View Post
Ok but why does any of that give him the right to pull shady practices like forced ads and data selling?

I appreciate the free work. I appreciate everything a lot of you have done for the community.

Even if I disagree with you strongly right now Sharlikran, you're absolutely prolific in the ESO community and you've done some great work.

Regardless, none of you are free from criticism.

I'm not the only person who disagrees very strongly with what is going with the TTC website. I'm just the only person who managed to find this thread.

And I have given constructive feedback, the ESOUI moderators deleted it.

I literally asked him to create a Patreon. There's no way the community wouldn't rally around that.

But it wasn't even a option and cyx won't even respond to it.

So it's kind of hard to give him any benefit of the doubt in this situation.
I can't reply to every single post. But I can address couple issues you mentioned.

1. You dont need to turn off your anti-virus. However some antivirus providers have ad block module built in. For example Malwarebytes has something called Browser Guard and kaspersky has a module called internet security. Those modules blocks ads and needs to be either turned off or whitelist TTC.

My privilege inside your browser is very limited. I can't even reliably tell which browser you are using so let alone checking what you have installed on your PC. All I am able to check is whether ads are being loaded or not.

2. I failed to see why Patreon would work when Paypal donation button failed miserably hard.

If we are being realistic here we can look at how many sites in the history have managed to survive purely on donations. Only one website comes in mind: Wikipedia. And it is in fact one and the only one that ever came close.

Even for a site as famous as Wikipedia this is what they wrote on their donation page

"We're a non-profit that depends on donations to stay online and thriving, but 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If everyone who reads Wikipedia gave just a little, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of a cup of coffee is all we ask."

Public donation was actually not the only source of income for Wikipedia. Company sponsorship, federal funds, and services are playing big parts.

So back to the question: was there any website that survived solely on donations? Sadly none.

3. So what are the options for publishers nowadays with the rise of ad blockers? Well not many.
a) bite the bullet and hope the revenue can sustain
b) requires paid membership
c) other revenue stream like selling data
d) put on banners to request users to remove ad blocker and support the site
e) ask for donations
f) anti-adblock

Based on the growth rate of ad block uses we already know a) is not an option.
No explanation needed but we know b) is not going to work
Just like you I dont like c) either
d) and e) have already been tried for 7 years and failed

This is not a TTC specific problem but the internet as a whole. More and more sites are choosing f) with no better choice. So if you have a better idea please do not just limit it to TTC. Share it with the whole internet and you can potentially have your name written in the history book as the savior of all publishers.
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06/02/22, 10:34 PM   #18
Valve
 
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Can you reduce DB load with a Redis layer or are you strictly reliant on the DB for getting and storing up-to-date information?
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06/03/22, 05:27 AM   #19
sirinsidiator
 
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I don't mean to discourage you, but 150-200 queries per second is next to nothing for a database server. Of course it highly depends on your actual queries, database scheme etc, but usually SQL servers should be able to handle 10k+ queries per second even on small virtual servers that go for like 5$ per month.

As for running a patreon, you can't really compare that to a PayPal donate button. Patreon is different in that you build a community around whatever you are doing and offer rewards to increase willingness of people to donate to your cause.
Take esologs.com for example. I'd say it's rather similar to TTC in a sense and they run a pretty successful patreon: https://www.patreon.com/warcraftlogs
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06/03/22, 10:36 AM   #20
SainguinLibras
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I honestly think if you had just tried the Patreon route first, you would of got supporters and this would of went completely differently.

I'm not sure if you still have the community goodwill to go that route, but I'd really like to try one last time to persuade you.

There are better options than forcing ads and selling data.

It couldn't hurt to try it, ya know? Like what do ya have to lose? Some time setting up an account and putting a banner in your addon page?
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ESOUI » General Discussion » Chit-Chat » TTC website issues thread

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