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contalis
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Message 1341424 - Posted: 27 Feb 2013, 22:49:50 UTC

So I've been considering making a donation for some time now and have been recently perusing the message boards again to get a sense of how the project is currently developing. Someone in another thread suggested starting a thread for fundraising ideas. I'm not sure its as simple as brainstorming fundraising ideas, but also ascertaining the reasons people may be reluctant to donate. Or, maybe more important, what drives their interest in participating in the project.

Its clear there is a bottleneck on the server side, though I'm not so clear if its a technical or political matter (and, if its political, what the political issue is.) Regardless, if it is political, then I'm not sure how making a donation would open the bottleneck (and therefore if a donation would be put to good use.)

Personally, I'd like to see the NTPCKR fully operational. After "crunching" for over 10 years, I'd like to see the project provide more feedback than just how much work I've "crunched." In other words, I'd like to have a better idea of how much science we're accomplishing.

The possibility that there may be some politics getting in the way makes me wonder if there is a possibility that donations (cash or hardware) may be redirected to some other unrelated project at some point in the future.

I can understand why someone would rather put money into their own hardware rather donate to the project. Some of it, of course, is that people take pride in building faster machines. You also control how the machine is used now and in the future. So, I guess my reluctance to donate has to do with being comfortable that the donation is being put to good use.

Why do you think participants that can afford to donate, are not donating?

My suggestions for fundraising are:
1) Like a kickstarter.com fundraiser, the ability to make a pledge towards some specific goal (i.e. an operational NTPKCR), where the donation would be refunded if the money needed to achieve the goal isn't realized within a set time.
2) Since there apparently are limits put on how many WU are sent to each user per day due to the bottleneck, give those who have donated higher limits than those who haven't.





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Message 1341437 - Posted: 27 Feb 2013, 23:31:05 UTC
Last modified: 27 Feb 2013, 23:37:20 UTC

GPUUG (GPU Users' Group) is currently fundraising for a combination upload/download/NTPCKR server. It's currently over $19K away from goal, only just over $1K raised, so that would be ideal. It's also tax-deductible (for you at least... not me. I have to donate through the SAH page but I'm quite happy that that is a tax writeoff for Canadians.)

If I can ever find out what's required for the Green Bank Project I'd like to have a fundraiser, probably a weekend for that. But if nothing needed, I might kick in for this server package... it's badly needed as the downloads are swamped and NTPCKR isn't being run enough, as you noted.
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Message 1341440 - Posted: 27 Feb 2013, 23:38:08 UTC

Not just one new server really helped as promised.
Its getting worse.

Sorry.

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Message 1341588 - Posted: 28 Feb 2013, 10:22:21 UTC

The project is starved for funds and donations are slow. Perhaps it's easier to get people to donate their time rather than their money.

GPUUG is looking for people that can apply for grants and chase sponsors for example. From what I can tell GPUUG is basically a one man show at the moment, not much happens when Slavac is unavailable.

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Message 1341651 - Posted: 28 Feb 2013, 16:02:53 UTC
Last modified: 28 Feb 2013, 16:09:53 UTC

A quick read of GPUUG past projects will show that quite a lot has been done... one man show is better then none, right? :^)

Also the current issues with failing downloads are due to bandwidth, so the new servers haven't helped. I can live with that. What I can't live with it all our results sitting unused and unanalyzed, so I think it's a high priority to get NTPCKR running constantly and the archived results looked at... who knows what's in those dozen years' of findings.
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Message 1341689 - Posted: 28 Feb 2013, 17:20:05 UTC - in response to Message 1341651.

A quick read of GPUUG past projects will show that quite a lot has been done... one man show is better then none, right? :^)

Also the current issues with failing downloads are due to bandwidth, so the new servers haven't helped. I can live with that. What I can't live with it all our results sitting unused and unanalyzed, so I think it's a high priority to get NTPCKR running constantly and the archived results looked at... who knows what's in those dozen years' of findings.

Yes, GPUUG has done a lot of good. I participated in a few of those donation drives myself. The hardware was sorely needed. And more hardware is needed.

But what's really needed is more staff and bandwidth. Those come with a (high) monthly cost, that's not something that can be covered with donations. That's where grants and sponsors come in.

I'd also like to see more of the results of the project, but for that staff hours is needed.

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Message 1343317 - Posted: 5 Mar 2013, 22:28:52 UTC

Since last post, I've yet to find any clear explanation of why some are claiming politics between the project and the university are preventing the project from moving to the next level. The big hurdle, as already mentioned by others, appears to be lack of resources.

My guess is that those posting on the message board begging others to donate are largely "preaching to the choir" ... hence, 0.27% donation rate.

IMO, SETI isn't taking full advantage of its large user base and would benefit from more frequent communications with existing participants. Once installed, BOINC projects become very much "out of sight, out of mind."

My suggestion... When there is a news update, take advantage of the BOINC notification system to drive more participants to the website where they might see a bright, eye catching "donation" graphic.



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Message 1344076 - Posted: 8 Mar 2013, 16:21:40 UTC

These kinds of threads goes eerily quiet after people realize donations can't solve the problem.

If you listen carefully you can even hear a cricket chirping. And look, there's a tumbleweed.

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Message 1344228 - Posted: 8 Mar 2013, 22:13:24 UTC

Donations can solve the problem IMHO.
We just need more in my consideratiion.

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Message 1344253 - Posted: 8 Mar 2013, 22:56:24 UTC - in response to Message 1344228.

Donations can solve the problem IMHO.
We just need more in my consideratiion.

Well you would need a lot more donations. Not really realistic in my view, the donations haven't changed much over the last few years.

See my number crunching here and Eric Korpelas here.

Sure, we can donate money for one-off hardware drives that can go on until they finish. Staff and bandwidth needs money each and every month or they're gone.

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Message 1344269 - Posted: 9 Mar 2013, 0:06:28 UTC - in response to Message 1343317.

Since last post, I've yet to find any clear explanation of why some are claiming politics between the project and the university are preventing the project from moving to the next level. The big hurdle, as already mentioned by others, appears to be lack of resources.

My guess is that those posting on the message board begging others to donate are largely "preaching to the choir" ... hence, 0.27% donation rate.

IMO, SETI isn't taking full advantage of its large user base and would benefit from more frequent communications with existing participants. Once installed, BOINC projects become very much "out of sight, out of mind."

My suggestion... When there is a news update, take advantage of the BOINC notification system to drive more participants to the website where they might see a bright, eye catching "donation" graphic.

Look, The last few years 5 servers have been bought and payed for by us the users. If that dosent tell the UC Berkley big shots that they have a winner with Seti@Home I dont know what will.
There is no other BOINC project that gets it members to pony up big bucks like we do here. The others have big ass sponsors.

The only thing I can believe is that looking for little green men is so politically uncorrect that The UC bigshots are embarrassed.




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Message 1344553 - Posted: 9 Mar 2013, 14:30:49 UTC - in response to Message 1344269.

There is no other BOINC project that gets it members to pony up big bucks like we do here. The others have big ass sponsors.

Perhaps if this project had big ass sponsors the members wouldn't pony up big bucks. But we don't and we do.

The key to getting big ass sponsors is people with the right skills and/or connections talking to big ass companies. What the project needs is that kind of people.

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Message 1344560 - Posted: 9 Mar 2013, 14:43:00 UTC - in response to Message 1344553.

There is no other BOINC project that gets it members to pony up big bucks like we do here. The others have big ass sponsors.

Perhaps if this project had big ass sponsors the members wouldn't pony up big bucks. But we don't and we do.

The key to getting big ass sponsors is people with the right skills and/or connections talking to big ass companies. What the project needs is that kind of people.

I think that no matter how skilled someone is about getting sponsors, he/she will have hard times answering the fundamental question of any possible sponsor:
What profit Im going to get sponsoring this project?
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Message 1344585 - Posted: 9 Mar 2013, 15:35:52 UTC - in response to Message 1344556.

There is no other BOINC project that gets it members to pony up big bucks like we do here. The others have big ass sponsors.

Perhaps if this project had big ass sponsors the members wouldn't pony up big bucks. But we don't and we do.

The key to getting big ass sponsors is people with the right skills and/or connections talking to big ass companies. What the project needs is that kind of people.

The GPUUG has proposed that, and has asked for help in doing so.
Grant proposals, appeals to companies with big pockets for donations with some commercial notice of their doing so on the Seti home page.

Not much has come to fruition so far.

For as long as this project has been running, and with the following it has, you would think that corporate sponsorship would be a reality by now.

In the terms of corporate sponsorship, what it would take to sustain this project would be small change for them.

From what I can tell you are right. GPUUG have a hard time getting anyone to help. I haven't even seen Slavac post anything in a long time, is he ok?

I'd like too se a more organized effort to get sponsors.

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Message 1344596 - Posted: 9 Mar 2013, 15:49:04 UTC - in response to Message 1344560.

There is no other BOINC project that gets it members to pony up big bucks like we do here. The others have big ass sponsors.

Perhaps if this project had big ass sponsors the members wouldn't pony up big bucks. But we don't and we do.

The key to getting big ass sponsors is people with the right skills and/or connections talking to big ass companies. What the project needs is that kind of people.

I think that no matter how skilled someone is about getting sponsors, he/she will have hard times answering the fundamental question of any possible sponsor:
What profit Im going to get sponsoring this project?

Well a sponsor hunter would have to have guidelines what he/she can and can not promise in return for their support.

Sponsorship is almost always about using it in their advertising to show how nice/cool the company is and have their logo on what they sponsor.

Some companies would be more interested in SETI than others of course. Perhaps Alienware (part of Dell) for example. Or perhaps NVIDIA/ATI would like to use SETI@home to showcase the computational power of their GPUs. Et cetera.

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Message 1344971 - Posted: 10 Mar 2013, 16:06:35 UTC

What about makeing a deal with some online hardware stores?
you know, when buying new hardware, you can insert a "discount ticket" or whatever.
Instead of the discount, SETI would recive a certain % of the sale.

Eg. if I buy 2 new GFXcards at each 500 USD, 1% of that ammouth could go from the store to SETI as a donation. The shop maby just sold those 2 extra cards due to the SETI ticket.

Those shops could be sponsors to SETI.

We would need a semi big online shop that would do a thing like that in the US, Canada and Europe. Maby more places would be needed.

--------------------------------------------

Take contact to server supplyiers like HP, maby they are willing to sell hardware at discount prices if we advertise that

"SETI uses HP quality"

- whatever.
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Message 1345599 - Posted: 11 Mar 2013, 22:35:22 UTC

Slavac has also mentioned he needs skilled/experienced grant writers.
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Message 1345804 - Posted: 12 Mar 2013, 12:49:06 UTC - in response to Message 1345599.

Slavac has also mentioned he needs skilled/experienced grant writers.

And he's not gotten any from what I can tell. Although I believe he mentioned that in one of the donation threads, so not many have seen it.

If the project could help the GPUUG with a news item on the front page and perhaps even a newsletter appeal things could really start rolling. Probably needs a project manager too since Slavac appears to be very busy.

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