Mine4erf Day 4 report - Holy hole in the ground, we're halfway there

Thursday's over and like every day since we started, it was the best day in the mines so far. Hashrate has grown every day and we're regularly seeing 45-65 people mining at a time on the pool dashboard. Amazingly, if every day going forward is like today, then we are at (a little) over 50 percent of our target.

What's the target for killing ads? There actually wasn't an obvious answer to that question, because ads go up and down with the seasons and ebbs and flows in our page views and probably sorcery somewhere. We also don't know if a whole bunch of people are going to get tired of mining and drop out. I would really really like to avoid saying, "um, we have to bring ads back because Mine4erf stopped being a better option."

We finally settled on average historical performance for March, April and May of last year, which (if I'm putting up numbers I might as well paint the whole picture) was $137.56 a day.

You make $50,000 a year on ads?? You greedy boop

...I did mention it was a lot of money. Ads are a hard drug to quit. Tools don't see ads (if you're logged in), but lots of people read Erfworld and don't subscribe, so I've had to sell your eyeballs. I don't sell 'em cheap. It's like a buck and a quarter for every thousand ads served.

I want to say two things about this number, though.

First, keep in mind that we are not trying to raise $50,000 or add $50,000/year by mining crypto. I'm desperately looking for a way to give up $50,000 a year, so you don't have to put up with ads here anymore (and neither do I). A relatively tiny number of people loaning their processor power can essentially buy AdBlock for everybody else on this site.

Second, that ad money is why we have a website. It's how half the team gets paid. The tech half. The half that makes us go. As much as I want ads gone, I can't kill them until I can answer, "well how do we pay Red, John, and Brendan?"

So far, Mine4erf is making a good case for itself as an answer to that question.

Gem sales were also active! This wee beauty was bought for 1899 Shmuckers. One of a bunch of gems that were bought on the market in the last 24 hours.    




Gems being mined: 23 yesterday not counting free spins.


And I am happy to report that in 40 total spins this week, on the second to last one, I got a small green gem with no glow, worth one point. I'm a marbit, and this gem is the color of a dirty green gobwin. I called it "Little Booger" to match "Little Booper." That's 1 point for Team Marbit, and let's GO PINKZ!



Any offers? Wanna boogie?


    • Professor Harmless

      3 days near constant, no gems. Will be amazed if i see any at this point.

      • No one in particular

        I blew all my shmuckers nabbing Bandaid's hard work for my fellow Gobs. I'll make a bid next month, when I get my Tool stipend, unless I manage to earn some scratch from fanart or something before then.

        • deus EX

          Is there anything I can do with these gems? Or is it just purely digital tinsel?

          • balder

            At the moment, the collect and appreciate bits are nice. Other things you can do with gems have been talked about and will come up. The main thing we haven't rolled out yet is a better way to display your collection to others.

            • wren1024k

              I'm sad that I can't mine4erf :(

              I'm happy to see that things are going well.  :) 

              • Dusso

                @Sarda same issue, all my spins produced nothing.

                How can I access ge market? I have one gem, so I cannot sell it, but I also have shmuckers, so I could buy me another one, but don't know how?

                • j scheibel

                  I'm on an old I pad 2 right now. I'm not really sure if the Ui Worked like it was supposed to . The 1 free spin didn't do anything, just immediately gave me a pop up that said I got gem. Does everyone get one the first time? It seemed under whelming, kinda wish I did it on my pc...

                  • j scheibel

                    Yeah clearly just not built to work on this device. I can't view it either (Small ,Glow: Dusky , Color: Lavender) guess I'll just have to wait till I get home. :/

                    • DukeBG

                      I'm really happy to hear that mine4erf is on its way replacing ads! The amount of active miners is about what I expected.

                      I mean, Rob, in the previous update you wrote very prominently how all nay-sayers are wrong. But I don't think anyone (and definitely not me) was nay-saying to mine4erf itself, just cryptocurrencies and their place in sosciety in general. We're all going to be glad to know ads are gone for good. I was dubious about how mine4erf felt advertised for all the readership, while only a tiny fraction (much smaller than the toolcount, which itself is really small compared to the full readership) would be able to run it (and for some of those it would be "unprofitable" in a hidden way). With the numbers you give, 45-65 people, that's the right figure. If that's looking good and with ~100 people we'll get rid of the ads, then awesome!

                      • JBeshir

                        Right now mining for gems to sell on the market is probably a better way to get shmuckers than buying them in the store.

                        Not sure it's going to stay that way forever- but if anyone's got a nice GPU and wants shmuckers it's not a bad gig for the time being.

                        • Tathar

                          I'd still like to see the value of specific gems and to be able to set my collection visibility to public.  If we mine enough gems, can we make that happen?

                          • Matthias

                            > You make $50,000 a year on ads?? You greedy boop

                            That's quite the understatement.  You are trying to pay the wages for an entire team here, a team geeky enough that you could easily land cushy well-paid nine to five software industry jobs, if it wasn't for your commitment to providing glorious comics.  (Setting up the whole mining operation is proof enough.)

                            By the way, out of interest: what's wrong with using Google text-only ads (if they still have those)?  They might pay less than whatever you currently have, but they are generally unobtrusive and are almost as good as killing off ads, but with less of a financial impact.

                            • Omnimancer

                              For people that can't mine because of hardware limitations, would you consider letting people pay you directly in USD to simulate that they're mining, giving them spins for gems and allowing them to contribute points to a team? Whatever the average miner is earning you each month, you could charge that amount as a flat monthly fee, and give a proportionate amount of spins/points. I think there are a lot of people (myself included) who would love to participate in the mining contest but simply lack the graphics card to make it practical.

                              I don't think that would run afoul of lootbox comparisons, if you charge a flat fee for a set period of time for a precise amount of points/spins. And it wouldn't let people Pay2Win at the mining contest, if they can only pay to be involved at the average level of a single computer. More like Pay2Participate. People who can actually mine could earn vastly more points by mining on an above-average computer or multiple computers.

                              Anyway, just a thought.

                              • Senjiu


                                can you add an option to mine at a reduced speed to the miner? I basically can't use the computer while mining (the mouse movement isn't smooth any more and it takes me about 10 seconds to click on something for example and even longer to scroll to a certaim point in a document).
                                It would be nice if I could write mails or code or so and mine at the same time, even at a reduced speed. Currently I'm only running the miner at night or when I'm not at home and not always. I think on average I mined 3 hours per day or so, since the start.

                                • Yshl

                                  Omni - you can actually rent rig time from cryptomining outfits out there and buy a certain # of MH/s per hour, and there's a $ value associated with that.

                                  Game theory-wise, and if you want a gem, that's actually the best way to mine a gem. Think about it like this: I was running a card with a 1.8 MH/s hash rate. That's maybe 1-2 chances per hour, out of 1024, to get a gem. Not great odds, even if I run it for 1024 hours.

                                  Now, if I rented a rig and had it do an insane amount of calcs, say it's pushing 512 MH/s, then every hour is closer to a coin flip to get a gem. Push that even higher, and if the rented rig can produce 1024 share in a hour, well, that's a guaranteed gem.

                                  If the $ cost for renting is based on MH/s, and I believe it is for most sites but could be wrong, then you can basically "buy" a gem by renting a lot of power for a short period of time.

                                  And you are, in fact, donating to Erfworld by doing so, albeit indirectly.

                                  • JBeshir

                                    @Senjiu: A reduced speed mining option would be good to have, but I'm not sure how to build it- it isn't something that the open source miner for this cryptocurrency can do, and I'm not sure how to go about modifying it to support it- definitely would require a lot of research.

                                    We experimented with various "light mining" modes and flags, and another miner which had more flexibility there, and none of them could go lighter than it is as stock now- most of them just crippled performance with little if any improvement on the machine's responsiveness. It is definitely something a lot of people want and I'd like to be able to help with, though.

                                    • Omnimancer

                                      @Yshl - True, but I'd rather give to Erfworld directly than go through the trouble of hiring an online crypto miner to mine for Erfworld on my behalf. It's an extra unnecessary step, and I doubt it's cost effective in terms of what Erfworld actually gets at the end of the process.

                                      The point of this whole thing is to utilize the idle computers people already had. Not to get people to convert their cash to crypto before giving it Erfworld. 

                                      • Yshl

                                        @Omnimancer - well...while that may be the point from an Erfworld support perspective, I know for a fact that there are people renting rig time to mine, because it's how they'd decided to spend some money in the shot of mining a gem and support Erfworld at the same time.

                                        I don't know the #s well enough to say you're right or wrong on the donation side. I would -hope- that when one spends $50 on renting a rig to mine that it generates more than $50 equivalent in ethereum. I would agree that if you want to be certain that your donation of X dollars goes to Erfworld and is worth at least X dollars, then yes, give directly.

                                        I was in the boat that I needed a new graphics card, literally having games in the house that were sitting in their box because they'd been purchased by some of the locals without a thought for whether or not our tower could run them. Well, now it can, and I can also support the site. :)

                                        • Omnimancer

                                          @Yshl - I don't know the profitability of rented mining. But my guess would be that it isn't profitable, since the owner of the rig is taking a profit. Why would they rent it out to other people to earn money instead of them, if the crypto the machine could mine was worth more than the rental fee?

                                          My guess is that the point of rented mining is as a speculative measure, if you think a currency is going to rise in price soon and want to stock up on it while it's still cheap to mine. But that would only apply to a new currency or unpopular currency, not something more established like ether.

                                          • Brony83

                                            I see, so when you said 1/6th in the previous mining update it was a "per day" thing then. I am impressed that you've managed to gain 50.000$ per year from ads and even more impressed that that kind of money is enough to pay 3 people plus other expenses. That is one heck of a tough business model and it's amazing that you've managed to make it through this far, considering that the past was even harder than today.

                                            At some point in the future I am going to buy a proper gaming desktop PC for myself. VR sounds really tempting (even the "boring" stuff like diving, mountain climbing or visiting ancient temples, where you don't shoot any zombies and hack at monsters and stuff), but I'm not sure yet when I want to afford all of that. But once I have it I will consider joining the fun every now and then. :-) An option to make the miner use only 25% of my GPU's cores so I can keep playing stuff would definitely increase the time I'd use the miner. I just don't want to run my PC without doing anything with it, especially not when I'm sleeping or not at home.

                                            • Morsious

                                              You know, with the information on ad sales, we can figure that Erfworld generates 210k plus any merch sales. With 7? employees I think, I am not sure, That nets each employee less than 30k per year (I'm obviously not figuring ANY expenses, so these should be less, probably by quite a bit). 

                                              So, I am still concerned about the long term viability of erfmining, but I will participate on and off for now and see how it goes.

                                              • balder

                                                @Morsious Yep and don't forget taxes in there. 3 out of 7 Team Erfworld members have other professional gigs. Lillian is a tattoo artist! Store orders and smaller revenue streams do add a significant piece, but yeah, expenses are monsters. Everybody's got groceries paid, roofs overhead, and health insurance (mine and Linda's Marketplace plan costs $1100/month now). Nobody's gettin rich on Erfworld. Everybody's got a lot of love for what we're doing. Pretty proud we got this far. Viability of mine4erf is a whole other topic, but if it falls off we can always fall off the no-ads wagon.

                                                • balder

                                                  @Matthias Google text ads and also integrated text ads, we both tried out and didn't see them as worth the space they were taking up. Sad truth about ads is the worse it behaves, the more it pays. What's happening with spending by advertisers is that there's been a steady movement away from static banners and into video. We had some video ads paying $3 CPM for a while and they were too terrible to live. The more we tell our ad companies "no ads that do this, no ads that do that," the smaller the monthly check becomes. I could live with that fact and plan around it, if it really kept ads from misbehaving and causing problems for site visitors, but they still get through. And all the truly safe forms of ads like text pay more like $0.15 CPM and falling.

                                                  • FuzzyZergling

                                                    Wish I could give it a shot, but my computer is an old HP Pavilion with no graphics card...