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 Post subject: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:53 pm 


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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5971
Location: UK
Hi all,

Well - things at my job have changed and I won't have as much money as I used to going forward. That means I'm looking at all my outgoings and trying to make changes where I can, and one of the areas to look at is the forum hosting.

A few years ago very generous donors helped us to buy a really good physical server which we're running on now. However, the monthy cost for co-locating this is £72 per month, so x12 and it costs me £864 ($1233) per year to run, which I've been paying for the past decade. The total donations across the last year were: $123 - no I didn't make those numbers up, they just kind of fell in that pattern.

I'd like to look for opinions on the following ideas:
1) Offer hosting to another forum/site to split the cost - of course there would need to /be/ another forum who want this kind of hosting option. The capacity is there, it's hugely over spec.
2) Run a Patreon - would people sign up to this? I don't know if this would count as a second income and be taxed at the highest rate though.
3) Sign up with viglinks - again not sure of the tax ramifications.
4) Add 'supporter' badges as seen on some other forums.
5) Downgrading significantly to some kind of virtual server option. I'd be interested in input from people currently doing this, at the last place we did that I used to get regular nastygrams about the size of the database.

What do you think?
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:33 pm 



Joined: 13 Sep 2014
Posts: 171
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Working in the cloud server space, I'd def recommend the last option you stated.

Let's you scale up the number of instances, based on traffic, as you need. Plus you don't incur the overhead of maintaing a physical server/space. There is a bit more setup involved to get it running, but once you're up, you should be golden.

As well, for areas that rarely get visited, you could have that on a single instance serving what little traffic it gets while another instance serves up the heavier trafficked areas.

Just my .02 cents ;)

p.s. if you ever decide to move away from php and into something like Node lemme know ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:45 pm 


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Location: St. Louis, MO USA
I'd suggest trying to have an annual funding drive with some sort of digital reward for each account that gives certain amounts. Maybe if people contribute each year without fail, there's another sort of reward.. I guess those are the badges you mention. They do that at gamerswithjobs.com..

I'll donate extra if you implement the ability to ignore users. Over time I just got annoyed with certain posters and just don't follow the forum (much) any longer.
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Last edited by brentsg on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:51 pm 


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Joined: 15 Mar 2007
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In my opinion no. 4) and 5) sounds good to me!


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:00 pm 


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They all sound fine to me, so whatever is easiest for you is best. You can count on my support (financial, or otherwise!)
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:06 pm 


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I'd be more than happy to support a Patreon or pay into some sort of supporter programme.

As someone who isn't very familiar with web hosting - would option 5 mean losing the existing forum content?
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:34 am 


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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
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Location: Germany
definitely downgrading to what's neccessary without impacting the performance.

Once you got that done, let us know what the costs are and I'm sure you'll find enough support. I'm definitely in. Personally I'm not a fan of monthly payments, so if you're looking into Patreon, try to offer something else as well. Some kind of bling (4) can't hurt.....


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:00 am 


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I don't know shit about the technical side, but would be happy to help things going forward.
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Last edited by Stevens on Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:35 am 


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You can count on me to throw in.

Switching to a VPS with enough bandwidth and DB freedom to support the site, plus an annual funding drive to cover the cost sounds like a good combo.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:41 am 


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Yeah, funding drive plus whatever else you need to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:37 am 


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I'll give monies too !

As long as stuff like the old attached pictures and links don't get filtered out during the switch; anything's good.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:25 pm 


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Joined: 01 Feb 2013
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I'd have no problem throwing a couple bucks a month your way.

As of today there's 13060 members, lets say 10% are regular forum users, so 1306 users, at a buck a year... more than covers it.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:40 pm 


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supabok wrote:
Working in the cloud server space, I'd def recommend the last option you stated.

Let's you scale up the number of instances, based on traffic, as you need. Plus you don't incur the overhead of maintaing a physical server/space. There is a bit more setup involved to get it running, but once you're up, you should be golden.

As well, for areas that rarely get visited, you could have that on a single instance serving what little traffic it gets while another instance serves up the heavier trafficked areas.

Just my .02 cents ;)

p.s. if you ever decide to move away from php and into something like Node lemme know ;)


As someone who also works in the same IT space I agree with the above. No reason to not go virtual.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:31 pm 


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broken harbour wrote:
As of today there's 13060 members, lets say 10% are regular forum users, so 1306 users, at a buck a year... more than covers it.


You'll never get 10% to pay a buck. More like 0.5% or less.

As much as I like that the forum is super fast to load, the current setup seems over kill.

Number 5) would be my choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:26 pm 


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Downgrading seems like a good idea if you have people that can help you figure it out, and I'd be more than happy to keep contributing monetarily. (I admittedly often forget how long it's been since the last time I did :()
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:28 pm 



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 34
Another vote against recurring payments, it's OK if you add them as an option but I personally prefer funding drives via sticky threads like these. Nag us every so often, I forget to donate for long periods of time unless reminded.

If you change hosting/forum software, please avoid JS-heavy stuff and Tor-blocking CDNs (Cloudflare, etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:14 pm 


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Location: Germany, Berlin
I have donated in the past and have no issues in donating in future to keep the forum up and running.

I'm sure something like a raffle for a shmup item would entice a couple of would be donaters to donate too :P
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:00 pm 


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Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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Location: Colorado Springs
I think a funding drive would be a great way to do it. I would definitely donate. Honestly, after I donated when the button went up, I never thought of it again and I happily will contribute knowing its needed.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:31 pm 


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Should set it up so you have to do a yearly $5 or you can't use the marketplace. All of the people with like 10 posts who creep the marketplace for deals would surly pay the fee along with all the long standing members.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:55 pm 


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Strikers1945guy wrote:
Should set it up so you have to do a yearly $5 or you can't use the marketplace. All of the people with like 10 posts who creep the marketplace for deals would surly pay the fee along with all the long standing members.


I support this idea.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:57 pm 


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You could get a DreamHost account for $15/month. You have done the same thing I have done, which is overpay for my hosting because I have had it for so long. I just transitioned xona.com to DreamHost, if you want to check out the speed and whatnot. Transitioning over is a huge pain in the ass. But worth it to save this money.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:09 am 


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Second/thirding etc the regular donation drive idea. Would help keep me and no doubt fellow shitbirds honest. :oops: :wink:

Strikers1945guy wrote:
Should set it up so you have to do a yearly $5 or you can't use the marketplace. All of the people with like 10 posts who creep the marketplace for deals would surly pay the fee


Also, stamp 'em with a badge of shame removable upon donation. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:51 am 


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Be happy to donate if that's the way forward :D
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:50 am 


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Tarma wrote:
Be happy to donate if that's the way forward :D

+1


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:17 am 



Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 381
Location: Riverside, CA
Where's the donation button/topic/thing? If I'd known donations were a thing I'd have donated /something/ by now. Don't generally have a lot, but I can spare at least 5 bucks a month for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:20 am 



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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:19 pm 


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You could also try a yearly donation run like Wikipedia does. It helps raise everyone's attention to the issue.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:44 pm 


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Problem with the donation thing is 80% of the people who actively lurk the forum and trading station would never donate. If you made a mandatory $10 a year in order to view and use the trading station I guarantee you'll see way more money coming your way to cover the site. All of the members who have been here for years but only have 30 posts ALL in the trading station would be forced to pay the fee so they can keep browsing it everyday hoping to scoop up a rare game or a good deal. All the regulars would be happy to donate the $10 regardless.


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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:59 pm 


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I would vote against mandatory donation to view the site, to leave it open to newcomers. The users with a few posts still add value to the site. It is good to be in touch with more than only the hardcore posters. The value of this site varies for different people. Most people do not donate to Wikipedia, but enough do to handle the costs. I would vote for non-mandatory donation, only because I feel it will continue to grow the site.
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 Post subject: Re: Future funding of the forum
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:01 pm 


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Also, I would push for cheaper hosting too. I already mentioned this, however I mean I would focus on both cheaper hosting and donation/fees together. A penny saved is a penny earned.
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