Raising money for "art" in the desert

It's not MAD science...just disappointed.

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Postby the Siliconopolitan on Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:04 am

Gav wrote:One amusing thing, though, is that it appears my Mom entered today! Boy, it's going to be tough if she wins and I have to claim it was really random.
It couldn't possibly be more of an embarrasment than the laptop-raffle at last year's IUCr-meeting.

Gav wrote:As for Paypal, yeah, I guess I should have set it up so you could buy multiple tickets at once. I might give that a shot. But it'll only save me 30 cents. Paypal charges a 30 cent flat rate, plus a percentage. I'm losing about 10% of the ticket price to them right now. If a lot of people wanted to buy many multiple tickets, it would be worth fixing, but now I don't know...

Thanks, for actually implementing this. I just feel stupid when I see a series of $5 items on my VISA.
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Postby Gav on Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:40 am

Well, I feel a little bit better about the raffle now, due to a couple of multiple-ticket purchases by some nice people. Although, I genuinely hope it was because they wanted to enter multiple times and they weren't just throwing money at me to be nice.

Still not up to $100 yet, but getting really close. Of course, I wouldn't cancel the raffle even if I only sold one ticket, but I was just saying the whole endevour will definitely be a failure if I can't raise more money this way than just selling a sketch for a flat rate.

The girl I'm going with has suggested I draw two sketches and save one for next year. That way, it won't be this nebulous vaporart that doesn't exist yet. It would be nice to know, though, if it's the raffle idea people don't like, or if people just don't want the original art at all, or if it's the fact that there is no physical product yet.

If people don't like raffles, then I wouldn't do it again. I'd do an auction. I wouldn't be surprised, either. I don't particularly like raffles myself.

If original art from me has no value to anyone but Wafath, then I'd sell something else. What, I don't know.

If it's the fact that the product doesn't exist yet (I know this must have a big effect), then I can keep that in mind in the future and just don't bother unless I have time to do it beforehand.

Then I also wonder if maybe more than five times as many people would have entered if the price of a raffle ticket was only $1 (though this is not cost effective with Paypal).

Unfortunately, to learn the answers to these things, I'd need to hold four different raffles, changing only one variable at a time.

Well, live and don't learn...
Last edited by Gav on Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wafath on Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:46 am

Gav wrote:If it's the fact that the product doesn't exist yet (I know this must have a big effect), then I can keep that in mind in the future and just don't bother unless I have time to do it beforehand.


I'm in software development; I'm used to buying & selling things that don't exist yet. :)

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Postby the Siliconopolitan on Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:02 pm

Gav wrote:Although, I genuinely hope it was because they wanted to enter multiple times and they weren't just throwing money at me to be nice.
A little from column A, a little from column B.

Gav wrote:If people don't like raffles, then I wouldn't do it again. I'd do an auction. I wouldn't be surprised, either. I don't particularly like raffles myself.
An auction might be more effective, and I'm not terribly fond of raffles myself. BUT in an auction I'd be outbit almost immediately, I'm sure, so in the raffle I actually have a chance at scoring some genuine Bleuelart. And the randomness appeals to me, since it seems nicely in line with Agnostica -- that doesn't help you rake in the cash though.

Gav wrote:If original art from me has no value to anyone but Wafath, then I'd sell something else. What, I don't know.
That's most certainly not the case. But he may have more throw-away money than I (surely a temporary issue).

Gav wrote:If it's the fact that the product doesn't exist yet (I know this must have a big effect), then I can keep that in mind in the future and just don't bother unless I have time to do it beforehand.
I know your Nukeeswork and I've seen your other stuff, so I don't have a problem with this. Saner people prob'ly do, as you point out.

Gav wrote:Then I also wonder if maybe more than five times as many people would have entered if the price of a raffle ticket was only $1 (though this is not cost effective with Paypal).
Even had it been costeffective I couldn't picture myself buying just one ticket then. This may in part be fuelled by the fact that I can't just transfer cash to PayPal, so every single transaction shows up on my bankstatement, and too small amounts make me feel stupid -- even if it's no skin off my nose.
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Postby Gav on Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:27 pm

Hooray, we're over $100 now! I feel much better. Even if no one else buys a ticket, I'll feel like it was worth doing.

I didn't want to have to shill it as much as I did, but actually, it was a good excuse for a newsbox, as I was three months overdue for one.

the Siliconopolitan wrote:A little from column A, a little from column B.


Ah, don't tell me that, you'll make me feel guilty! ;)

Gav wrote:An auction might be more effective, and I'm not terribly fond of raffles myself. BUT in an auction I'd be outbit almost immediately, I'm sure, so in the raffle I actually have a chance at scoring some genuine Bleuelart. And the randomness appeals to me, since it seems nicely in line with Agnostica -- that doesn't help you rake in the cash though.


Yeah, I'm not sure if I would support the idea of an auction over a raffle, especially considering webcomic readership is >50% students. With an auction, you only get money from a single person, which limits the amount you can collect. But of course, with a raffle, only one person "wins" and everyone else gets nothing for their money, which is bad, but it brings it within financial range of everyone. That's why I figured a compromise would be to make sure everyoone got something for their money.

It's an interesting question though: Which would have made more money, an auction or a raffle? I figured the raffle was the best best with my audience, but the equation depends on how many people are interested and how much money they are willing to spend. If only, say, 20 people are interested enough to spend $5, but two of them are willing to bid up to $200, then the auction is the better bet. But if no one will put in more than $50, then the raffle is the better bet.

Gav wrote:I know your Nukeeswork and I've seen your other stuff, so I don't have a problem with this. Saner people prob'ly do, as you point out.


Yeah, and it's a mistake to ask the forum people these questions, who obviously have a greater interest in Nukees. The trick is to figure out what will sell to the masses.

Gav wrote:Even had it been costeffective I couldn't picture myself buying just one ticket then.


Well, that just lends more support to the idea. If I had done a $1 raffle, then I might have had a lot of people buying five tickets or more, as well as people buying $1 tickets.

Suddenly, I want to be a psych major and study these things. Like, what would happen if I held a raffle (assuming the Paypal issues don't get in the way), in which you could bid as little as a penny, versus a raffle with a $1 or $5 entry fee? Would people bid more, because they are now consciously thinking about exactly how much they want to spend, versus their odds? Or would you get a whole lot of penny bids, from people who just want a finite chance, no matter how small?

Entities such as the lottery would suggest the latter. People are far more likely to take the "low odds, high payoff" route than the "reasonable odds, medium payoff" route?

But what if, then, you assigned some kind of increasing weighting function to the amount you spend? Like, your chances of winning go up as the square of the amount you spend on your ticket?

Thus, if you put in $10, you'd have a four times higher chance to win than someone who put in $5. And a million times the odds of someone who put in a penny?

Would that encourage people to spend more? Or is the illogical "low odds, high payoff" drive stronger in the human psyche? Or would no one want to play at all, figuring that it would only take one guy with deep pockets to sway the whole thing?

Surely, some psych student somewhere has done this study...
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Postby kiga on Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:36 pm

I just didn't get around to entering until just now.

At least with Agnostica there's a bit more time to prepare (especially since it happens each year).
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Postby the Siliconopolitan on Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:44 pm

Since Radioactive Panda (if that isn't worth a cameo, I don't know what is) kindly pointed me in the right direction, and I thought people might like to see what Dr. Bleuel can whip up at the spur of the moment.
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Postby Gav on Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:58 pm

the Siliconopolitan wrote:Since Radioactive Panda (if that isn't worth a cameo, I don't know what is) kindly pointed me in the right direction, and I thought people might like to see what Dr. Bleuel can whip up at the spur of the moment.


Heh. It should be noted that I have no idea what Tim Buckley looks like. I think I gave him too much hair. I do like the caption I came up with though. Not sure at all that I understood the theme, but it's always fun to see a large number of webcartoonists all doing the same thing.
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Postby CodeGuy on Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:31 pm

Gav wrote:But of course, with a raffle, only one person "wins" and everyone else gets nothing for their money, which is bad, but...


The funny thing is, that's not true for everyone. A lot of people view it this way and have no interest in gambling. However, those people realise this naturally and don't take part in any kind of gambling. So they don't actually lose anything.

For others, the *chance* to win is a real thing in itself. So even if they don't get something tangible, the experience is worth something. It doesn't even matter how good the odds are, because the thing they're getting from the experience isn't logical to begin with. It's one of those things that's hard to quantify in the same way that the enjoyment of a piece of art (including a webcomic) is hard to quantify.

Me? I'm not one of those who enjoy gambling. However, I did enjoy throwing something into the collection plate. So I end up feeling like I got something.
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Postby Gav on Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:58 pm

CodeGuy wrote:Me? I'm not one of those who enjoy gambling. However, I did enjoy throwing something into the collection plate. So I end up feeling like I got something.


How very ironic then! Maybe you'll enjoy gambling from here on out!

Congrats!
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Postby CodeGuy on Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:15 pm

Yay Gambling! Woo!
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Postby the Siliconopolitan on Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:34 am

Congrats to CodeGuy and GavMom.

At least I had the thrill of the chase. And I can cry myself to sleep knowing that at least I did a good deed by forking over money for those less fortunate.
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Postby Atanamis on Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:41 pm

Value of Product vs Cost to Producer
Gav wrote:Well, my scientific consulting and webprogramming time has gone for over $100 an hour before, but I'm not really about to say that one of my skills is equivalent to another in terms of value. What is my time worth as an artist compared to my time as a physicist? Who knows? It has yet to be established.

Value of time at one task has no direct relation to the value of time at another. The only meaningful application is whether it is worth the producers time. If one gets equal "intangible" benefit/cost out of working as a physicist as working as an artist, and can arbitrarily choose at any given time which to do, the "logical" conclusion is to do what makes more money.
    Intangibles to consider:
  • Emotional Elements (how does this make you feel)
  • Psychological Burden (the stresses of each)
  • Growth Elements (the skills you improve doing each)
  • Diversification (the benefit of a "change of pace")
  • Opportunity Cost (what are you not able to do or do as well because you are doing this)
None of this really has ANY effect on the VALUE of your work, merely whether it is worth your while to do it. No matter how valuable (or worthless) your work, whether it makes sense for you to do it requires consideration of numerous intangibles that it would be hard for anyone else to address.


Calculating the Value of a Product
Gav wrote:An interesting side note this reminds me of: I always think about what the "breakeven time/readership" ratio is. What I mean is, the number of readers I would need, after which more collective time is spent reading a particular strip than drawing it.
Gav wrote:Well, "art" is a tricky thing to value. I mean, famous paintings sell for millions of dollars, while some street people try to sell drawings for spare change. Art is something that can really only be truly valued by the cut-throat down'n'dirty laws of supply and demand. The "value" of art is really "what people will pay."

Do not assume all "time spent" is of equal value. I may spend the same amount of time eating a meal at a fine restaurant as at McDonalds, but the meal at McDonalds is worth far less to me. How LONG I spend reading your comic has almost no connection to how much value it imparts to me (a reliable schedule is valuable to me, as are interesting characters and nice artwork). If you want to see whether your art is a net positive influence on the human experience, consider whether the value (tangible and intangible) imparted to your readers is greater than the net cost (again, tangible and intangible).

Of course, this consideration only matters if you view your work as a charitable act for the net benefit of mankind. From your own personal perspective, all that really matters is whether the benefit you get out of your artwork offsets the cost it imposes on you. Benefit can include praise from others, expressed gratitude, a sense of well being based on size of readership, financial exchanges, and any enjoyment or improvement in skill the art contributes to you. According to capitalism everything is worth what others will pay for it. I can spend millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours making something, but does that make it really worth millions?


Making "right" purchases
Gav wrote:Does that mean I got ten times more enjoyment out of the Opera than I do a night at the bar? Or is it as enjoyable as 20 movies? I'm not sure the fun/$ ratio is linear with $.

I would say that at the time you made the purchase, you either believed you would gain 20 times more from the Opera than a movie, or alternatively you bought without thinking. I often have such debates in my head "Hmm, I kinda feel like a wine with this meal, but it would be somewhat expensive. Would the increased enjoyment I had from the meal offset the cost to me of spending the money on the wine. What is the opportunity cost of getting wine? Will it prevent me from doing other things I'd like to do? Hmm, I wonder whether my date would run screaming from the room if she knew how much analysis I was giving my drink decision..."
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