I'm surprised more people don't start things. Internet things. New ideas. New opportunities. New websites.
There are a lot of super-smart people in New Zealand. Super-smart designers, developers and business people working hard to maintain the status-quo.
We can do more.
Good news! Since revealing last month that nzflatmates received just six voluntary donations from members in a little over five months, I can now report that we've received an additional 52 donations in the short time since writing that post. While we're still a way off where we need to be, it's certainly trending in the right direction.
Here's how we did it.
The first change was to stop using the word donation and swap it out for contribution. When members deactivate their profile, instead of asking for a donation we ask for a contribution at a price they think is fair. This saw an immediate increase.
When we relaunched nzflatmates earlier this year we took the opportunity to conduct a small social experiment. We made the service completely free, but invited people to make an optional donation when they deactivated their profile. We were interested to learn how many people would would pay vs. not pay when presented the choice to do either.
The results were less than spectacular. A total of 10,311 profiles have been created since the new site went live on January 6th this year, and of those six (6) have made a voluntary donation. Not a typo.
The good news is that revenue from display advertising made almost enough to cover hosting and other miscellaneous expenses, but it's clear we're going to have to do better than six donations to cover the time spent working on the site by myself, friends, co-workers and contractors.