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First Sponsor means new Giveaway Items

Announce uCHobby has its first sponsor! To celebrate we are giving away some very nice prototyping boards. Not just one board but a collection of six which represent the products available from Wright Hobbies.

Wright Hobbies is our first sponsor and we hope to have a few more in the future. At uCHobby we are about helping the hobby community and this is true of any sponsor we feature. Instead of accepting payments for ad space we are doing something different: a uCHobby sponsor gets ad space in exchange for giving away items of interest to the electronics hobby community.

A followup article will detail the new prototyping boards and announce a contest where you can win a package of these boards with a comment to the article. This package of prototyping boards also becomes an option for the โ€œHobby parts for articles programโ€.

In the past uCHobby has been funded by Google Adsense ads along the right side of the site. This has worked well so far and the revenue from Google Adsense ads continues to grow. It takes a while to collect enough income to pay for a round of giveaway items but I am not complaining. I think it’s great that Google is there to make uCHobby’s giveaway program work.

Over the last year or so we’ve received a few requests for ad placements. We have always said no to this in the past but I got the idea to try something new: instead of collecting money for ad placements that then get used to purchase giveaway items, why not have the sponsors do the giveaways in exchange for ad space… I mentioned this idea to Eddy of Wright Hobbies and he jumped on the opportunity. Eddy is a strong supporter of the hobby community focused primarily on robotics so he was the perfect fit for the idea.

The Sponsored items will be given away with contest and as part of the ongoing โ€œHobby parts for articles programโ€ at uCHobby. When an item is to be shipped, we will send the sponsor the shipping details so that the item can be sent directly to the recipient. The contest will run for one month (30 days) so the winners should be notified by mid-May.

A followup article will review the prototyping board package. We are also having a comment contest (actually, two of them), so read the comment request below and in the review article to see how you might win a collection of these prototyping boards.

Win with a Comment
Post a comment with your thoughts on this sponsorship idea. We will randomly select one winner from all the valid comments received. We will also select one winner for our favorite comment. So there are two chances to win a package of prototyping boards just for good comments. I am the judge of what’s valid and what will be the favorite comment. We are looking for your general opinion of the idea, pitfalls, suggestions etc….

We will also be giving some away with comments to the review article, but those are a separate giveaway. There will be many opportunities to win a package but you can only win once. The other contest will be more along the lines of ideas for using the prototyping boards. Read the review article for those details. I hope to get the review article posted today.

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24 Responses

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  1. dfowler says

    The comment contest winners have been announced in this article. http://www.uchobby.com/index.php/2008/04/29/prototyping-board-contest-1-winners/

    This contest was great fun and I am sure we will have more contest in the future. You still have a chance to win a board set with comments on the Review article so get your good ideas in as comments soon. We may end that contest next week, depending on comment activity.

    The winners are: DU for the best comment, and RSBohn was selected at random. DU and RSBohn, I will send each of you an email today. Please reply with your mailing address so we can get the 6 prototyping board packages sent to you.

  2. Max says

    This is a really awesome idea! It really seems like a win-win for all parties. If a company is cool enough to support an idea such as this, they will definitely be getting my business.

  3. Chris Osborne says

    This is a supper idea. I’m more likely to visit Wright’s and uc because of this. Good synergy.

  4. schill says

    I think this is a very good idea. It gets some good exposure for people who support hobbyists without costing them too much. I’ve purchased from Wright Hobbies before so I think that’s a good starting point.

    The proto boards look very interesting. I’ll have to pick some up (contest or not).

  5. InetKen says

    Site sponsorship is a fantastic idea. Sponsors get exposure, you get more readers, we (hopefully) get new stuff to work on. I write for a free software site and get books from article sponsors, which works for me.

    Now if you could just get Ferrari as a sponsor…..

  6. Skyler says

    I that your sponsor plan is very thoughtful. It not only results in a quicker supply of parts to be donated, instead of waiting on the ad trickle. It also gets rid of the overhead of you having to purchase parts in the first place. And the sponsor still gets ad space on an absolutely fantastic website.

    This is definitely a win-win-win situation ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Gio says

    Hi, I just found your site (as a result of this contest) and subscribed via RSS. Giveaways are a great way to increase readership (hey, it worked on me!).

    Another thing, you should ask the winner to submit a picture of what he uses the boards for.

    Cheers

  8. BrandonU says

    @ DU
    Just be careful about how much time you spend on electronics, or you may find yourself forced into celibacy by your significant (or insignificant) other if they start feeling a little jealous of the amount of time spent on this hobby. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ David
    I really like the sponsor idea, especially given that the ads seen on your site are going to be relevant to our hobby, and are going to generate more interest and some more excellent content from your โ€œHobby parts for articles programโ€. I also think it is a great idea for the sponsors, as they get their products into the hands of folks who will use them and will probably be coming back to them for more, in addition to the advertising exposure they get on a site dedicated to the electronics hobby.
    Another thought for you- You may want to consider a donation button for individuals or groups to support your site. This is a great site with a lot of good original content, and I would think being able to make even a small donation would be a good way to say “Thanks, keep up the good work!” while helping to make it possible.

  9. Adam Wolf says

    I think this is a very generous idea–and sounds like it could definitely help build a community.

  10. Macaba says

    – Thee who bringeth gold, frankincense and ROHS-compliant parts is truely blessed.

    Great potential, I see, for this concept to spiral out of control in a good way- people love free stuff, come view the site/click ads, ad-sense then gives you even more money and you give away even more free stuff! It can’t go wrong.

  11. The Fallen says

    I think adSense is great for most sites, however I find for technology websites it invariably fails bringing up what invariably seem to be spammers or VERY large wholesalers.

    However I’m not the greatest fan of prototype boards, I thought an actual object to experiment with; LEDs, LCDs and Arduinos was a great thing, however your now offering a tool as it were, something to mount your creations on.

    I quite like the look of this Wright Hobbies Electronics, I’ll have to buy something some time.

  12. Berni says

    These prototype boards shure come in handy when doing a real quick project.I use them all the time (but the simple circle kind)

  13. PhilipT says

    Parts for ad space seems the perfect fit for your site. Thanks for helping to build a stronger electronics hacking community with your ‘parts for articles’ program.

  14. RSBohn says

    Finally, a board I can build stuff on. I’m tired of the ‘bend the wires to make connections’ stuff. Go uC Hobby!

    P.S. I’m dropping links to uC Hobby all over the net in PMOG http://www.pmog.com (user u37566)

  15. dfowler says

    I fixed the celebrate typo…

    DU’s commet is my favorite so far!

    David

  16. Felixe says

    I concur with Steve Chamberlin –you’re being quite generous.

    Projects like yours really encourage people to take the hobbyst route instead of buying everything ready-to-go.

    Kudos!

  17. Mathieu says

    I like the idea that I won’t just be exposed to products from someone who paid for ad space, but that you’re going to have to put some thought into why I should care about them, provide some context or example applications… Whether that’s the case, or I’m being naive, in either case, I’ll be more receptive.

    Very smooth, dudes, very smooth.

  18. Steve Chamberlin says

    I think it’s actually quite generous of you to give away hobby parts, either those received from sponsors like Wright Hobbies, or purchased from Google Adsense revenues. Either way, you’re giving up some (all?) of the income you would have otherwise pocketed yourself. Having run a few web sites myself, I know it’s no easy task, and a trickle of Adsense revenues is often the only reward.

    I believe you’ll be much better served by direct sponsors than Adsense anyway. Of the five Adsense ads I see on uC Hobby as I type this, none of them are even related to electronics, and one of them is an ad for Adsense itself!

  19. Ford says

    I love this idea. Not only does it have the potential of winning me some free stuff, I just found a new source for parts (Wright Hobbies). Thanks again, uCHobby.

  20. DU says

    to celibate we are giving away some very nice prototyping boards

    Electronics is fun, but not quite enough fun to give up sex.

  21. Scott says

    This does sound like a great idea. Especially that I bet you will only let companies sponsor the side if you thing they have a good product. This makes it easier to find new and interesting products and suppliers.

    -Scott

  22. Belril says

    Sounds like a fantastic idea. As a Firefox (and Adblock) user, and self-proclaimed hater of internet ads, it looks good, along the lines of Lifehacker’s weekly “Love and Money” post for their sponsors, only with an innovative twist. I’m looking forward to seeing what this brings in the coming month.

    On a different note, I believe “celibate” might not be the word you’re looking for in the second sentence of this post ๐Ÿ˜‰

    -Belril

  23. Curtis says

    Great site! I found the RSS on the GoogleReader suggested feeds page and look forward to see what you post on the site. Thanks again!

    I had found the Wright site when doing research for an undergraduate design competition on robotics and think that they you be a great sponsor and fit in well with the content of the site. Great move!

  24. Florin says

    That is a great idea and i must say very original. It’s great when publishers care so much about their community of readers.
    Congratulations and good luck with the campaign.