It seems to me that an annual fee is the easiest way, notwithstanding some Frenz concerns with that. Deb has to manage the payment process and so it should be as easy for her, and us as possible.

The trouble is with having a fundraiser or some sort of regular event of that ilk, as suggested, is that someone has to organise it. My experience is that these sorts of things fall down when based on a volunteer (that's us) basis - we mean well but it just slips away. Leaving Deb to pick up the pieces and the bill.
Deb - this is the best forum on the net.I'd be more than happy to contribute to it's upkeep - especially at the very low suggested fee.

Sorry it's taken so long to post - I normally only go on Crowded House and Neil Finn - haven't been on the general bit before!
In order for BART's idea to work, there would have to be 2000 new fan club memberships each year (to pay for this forum). I didn't think there were that many.

We have just under 8000 memberships here, and we've been using this board system for I think about 12 years now.

I don't think the math works on that idea. Smiler
Deb, I don't understand.....'upthread' you said :

quote:
Originally posted by DebAsWas:
I expect the new, cheaper version to run me around $1500 per year. So 300 people paying $5/yr means I can break even. Smiler

Thanks everybody!


So.... a $1 levy on fan club membership would generate way in excess of this? So, costs covered, payment for your time, token payment for all the mods efforts and balance to charity

Apologies if I'm missing something/have misundertood....
Maybe we just do math differently.

I don't expect Peter to cover any of this. It's not fan club run or controlled, so I think dumping this on the fan club is flawed from the start.

Even if we did, the forum is going to cost me roughly $1500/year. Every year. Until it costs more. Smiler

I wouldn't hit every current member with $1. So you'd mean new members. That means I'd have to hope Peter gets 2000 new members every year to cover my costs after money transfer fees and a few squid to Peter for dealing with it.

I could be wrong but I didn't think the fan club got 2000 new people every year. And if they did, it's still not their job to pay for this. Smiler
Nope, we do math the same way....

'dumping'??? not a word I'd use! PG is collecting subs anyway, so to cut down on admin costs/time I thought a $1 additional annual fan club levy (for current members) would be an easy way to fund theforum. I can't imagine any current members would have a problem with that -we all use the forum; it's our first port of call for info. etc and we all appreciate the work you/the mods do.

I appreciate that the forum is independent; the running of it still would be, just a pooling of resources to collect funds. Most fans view the 2 as inextricably linked anyway - I'm sure PG would agree?

Anyway that's enough from me......
Bart, I'm not sure what I said that made you think I am having trouble remembering that some people are trying to help. Smiler Just because we don't like the same ideas doesn't mean that I don't appreciate your input and care!

There are just a few ideas I think that DON'T work:

1) Running ads or selling sponsorships.

2) Charging it to the fan club.

3) Forcing every member to pay. I'd LOVE to make new members pay even $1 to cut down on the spammers we get. I think we got five in the last two days. But I only know they're spammers by researching their email addresses and sometimes IP numbers. I'd love to get that off my plate.

But whether or not new members here are charged anything, I don't think I can FORCE everybody to pay SOMETHING. So that idea is certainly out.

4) Running a fundraiser. That takes SO much time and effort by me and others that the money I'd bring in probably wouldn't cover that time!

I'm open to any other ideas or variations on ideas. Thanks.
Deb, I'm more than OK with $5/year on a volunteer basis. I had no idea you have been paying for the forum yourself! Thank you for being so generous with your own time and money, but I don't think that money part should continue. And even though I use the forum far less than I used to, it is an important communication tool and an archive of lots of information that cannot be found anyplace else.

The fundraiser idea is nice, but not if it is going to use up more of your time (see above reference to generosity with your time and money). If getting the new and improved version of the forum is not worth the equivalent of a grande mocha, then I don't know what is!
quote:
Originally posted by DebAsWas:
In order for BART's idea to work, there would have to be 2000 new fan club memberships each year (to pay for this forum). I didn't think there were that many.

We have just under 8000 memberships here, and we've been using this board system for I think about 12 years now.

I don't think the math works on that idea. Smiler


Why would they have to be *new* memberships? Other than the life members, everyone else pays their fanclub membership yearly and the $1 would be added to that that cost. How many yearly memberships are there? Isn't there something like 10000 members? Maybe I'm wrong but that's the number that comes to mind. I'm pretty sure the math adds up a few times over.

However, if the fanclub does not want to be so officially associated with the Frenz forum as to be involved in collecting funding for it, I guess the numbers don't matter.
I guess there is still confusion on this topic: the Forum and the Club are two totally separate entities. Good relationship between them, but completely apart.

There's no reason one should give money to the other. In Italy we say "money apart, good friendship", because the issue of money can cause any kind of problems or misunderstandings. So I deeply understand Deb stance on this.

At this point the only way seems to be to go on with a voluntary payment. From $5 on, if only the most active 100 give $10 you cover 2/3 of the costs Smiler . A couple of hundreds more giving $5 and you have something left for charity... To me is the best option.

I suppose we can pay through PayPal?

-
quote:
OPB DEbAsWas:

I tried to create a button but the forum wouldn't post HTML.

So if you want to donate, you can PayPal any amount to webmaster@frenz.com.


Done.

As suggested in the thread I guess it would be useful to have a "donation month" (if you migrate at the end of this month could be every June), just to remember to everyone it's time to help.

An year pass so fast I'm not sure I will remember the date: just a memento for the willing ones Smiler

-
quote:
Originally posted by Eudoxia:
Done.

As suggested in the thread I guess it would be useful to have a "donation month" (if you migrate at the end of this month could be every June), just to remember to everyone it's time to help.

An year pass so fast I'm not sure I will remember the date: just a memento for the willing ones Smiler

-


Up to date now,

Will you send out an email to all members Deb so they know? as I know many people who don't check here unless something is happening in Frenz world. PG could maybe help with that?
Deb,

The voluntary versus compulsory thing is a difficult one. I don't much like the idea of a mandatory fee, but I think that if you want to completely cover the cost, then the 'email everybody' option might be worth considering. I just had to read through all 5 pages of what appears, from its title, to be a techy topic to find the PayPal address, and I'm still not sure whether the currency is US or Australian dollars - I'm assuming US since that's where you live! Smiler

There's nothing wrong with asking! People enjoy the forum and it's a compliment to you that they would pay to use it. Go on Deb, put the idea out there! Smiler

So which flavour of dollar should I send you?

J
Deb--I've not been around for a while and am just coming up to speed on this. Had no idea what kind of expense you have been incurring to provide this fabulous service.

Thank you so much for your work and dedication--it is deeply appreciated.

Off to Paypal to kick in...

Thanks Smiler
Deb, I'm late to this (thanks Kittybear for the heads up) but firstly must offer sincere thanks for keeping this place up and running. As many have said, I had no idea...

So now, brass tacks: I'm happy to pay but I'm with Painaporo that I don't think charging is the way forward. For some, it's simply about the principle of paying for something that can be had for nothing; for others it isn't about the money. It's about who we give our information to. Accepted, you're looking at using Paypal. Even then, there will be some (maybe a minority) that just don't like to give their bank account details to anyone (Paypal or otherwise).

Also, I think that many places on the internet walk a fine line between being fun and essential. I can't speak for everyone but I'd argue that we fall into two camps: those who consider this place a key part of their lives and those who don't.

Personally, I don't want to lose the contributions of anyone, even those who only pop by occasionally, rarely comment and wouldn't miss the place if it were gone.

I recall many years ago that there was much discussion about what topics were OK and which weren't. Many left because they didn't like the then-new rules.

True, we survived, but it knocked a big hole in the site and took a long time for it to heal. Let's be fair, time moves slowly in the World of the Enz.

Bottom line? Ask for donations by all means. Do it once or twice a year. Now that more of us know why you're asking, I think you'll get a better response.

If that doesn't work, well maybe we'll have to go your route but I worry that some will leave and "recruiting" will become more difficult. If the site becomes the haven of only a handful of diehards, even they will drift away...
There are forums out there that have voluntary annual contributions - Galifrey Base is one that I use occasionally.

For the annual fee of US$10 you get:

Honorary Badge showing under their name on every post.
Profile Picture: You can upload a photo for your profile. Regular members can not.
Larger Avatar than regular users and in addition, donors are allowed to upload animated avatars.
Invisible Browsing
Expanded Private Message Inbox
Custom Title: Instead of the basic set of fixed user titles, you are able to create and freely edit your own custom title
Poll Posting: Regular members are unable to create polls. Patrons can create custom polls to be used in our message threads.
Patronship ID: Your user name on individual posts and in "Who's Online" will be a different color.

Many of the newer pop bands (I know I sound really old) also have subscription areas to their sites - I know of one that charges £40 for the subscription area and an additional £29 for a meet and greet slot.

So quite frankly $5 is peanuts for such a great site Smiler
I fully acknowledge and respect that this forum is yours, Deb, and that you have been running it from your own pocket for a long time now. However, as you said yourself, it was many years ago that you looked at the free forum options. I can't help but wonder if it might not be time to take a second look at this option - see what the landscape is like now.
It sounds like you have already made your mind up, though.
I can only speak for the forum I have been on for about 5 or 6 years now. It seems to have very high degree of functionality (TBH, it looks fancier than our current forum) and has no advertisements. I have seen no evidence of safety concerns in the time I have been on it, either.
This forum is not "fancy" because I never designed it past icons. I didn't think it needed to be fancier. I preferred easier to use, especially since back in the day, we were worried about dial up speeds for people in other countries. Smiler

If I move to another system, we lose like 12 years of posts here. So I'm not sure that's a great idea.
quote:
Originally posted by Beajai:
I fully acknowledge and respect that this forum is yours, Deb, and that you have been running it from your own pocket for a long time now. However, as you said yourself, it was many years ago that you looked at the free forum options. I can't help but wonder if it might not be time to take a second look at this option - see what the landscape is like now.
It sounds like you have already made your mind up, though.
I can only speak for the forum I have been on for about 5 or 6 years now. It seems to have very high degree of functionality (TBH, it looks fancier than our current forum) and has no advertisements. I have seen no evidence of safety concerns in the time I have been on it, either.


Which forum is this, Beajai?

I'm thinking of setting one up myself, so I wouldn't mind taking a look.
quote:
OPB DebASWas:

If I move to another system, we lose like 12 years of posts here. So I'm not sure that's a great idea.


If we're going to lose the older post, The only thing I can say is "please, don't do it". Not everyone grew up here for the last 10 years, and this is truly a mine of information.

Let other Forums to be fancy.

-
Thanks for reminding me to post, Kitty.

I have to put it off. They want me to learn all the new forum system before we migrate, and I won't have time for a few weeks.

So I WILL still migrate the forum, but it looks like I may need to wait about another month to have time to learn the new system.

I don't want to put it off since I hate being charged over $200 per month for this one, but I just have no time. So hopefully end of July.

Thanks.
Hey, Kitty. I was just going to post here. Thanks for the reminder!

As planned? No, I wanted it done in June. But based on what was going on in my life, I couldn't fit it in. And I won't bore you with the details. I'll only say that a zillion great things have been happening to me all at the same time. Smiler

The problem here is that before they can migrate it, I have to set up the new home. It's a TOTALLY new system, so I have to learn it. THEN they will move our users, posts, etc... And making time for that was hard.

But they're about to bill me over $200 for August, which I'm not looking forward to, so I will definitely move in August. I've gone down to part time hours at my job, which means more work from home time like the old days. That will help give me some time back.

So August FOR SURE. I am tired of paying over $200/mo!

I will keep you posted once I have things set up and the move date.

Sorry!
Just a note that we have a real move date:

Tuesday 21 August 2012

For real. All set. Gonna happen.

This means you may not be able to access this forum for part of that day during the American work day. Please just know that once it comes back up, it should be the NEW forum. I'll be scrambling to clean up settings and other things.

Thanks, everybody!

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