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  1. #1
    Grand Prix Champion owl's Avatar
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    State of the Union

    This is a post to let everyone know what’s happening - a sort of ‘State of the Union’ speech.


    When we purchased the forum all of 6 or 7 years ago (for those of you who don’t know, the then owners were going to close it and it came within weeks of shutting down) we decided to try and run it on a ‘no advertising and no sponsors’ basis, to keep it free from those annoying ads and pop ups, and to make sure we were beholden to no one.


    Therefore, we decided to try and fund it by asking for voluntary contributions - gold, silver and bronze designate the levels of donation.


    That worked very well for a few years, but as various members have left the fold and new members have decided not to donate, the number of donors has been slowly falling.


    I have just had our accounts audited for the last financial year, and for the first time, we ran a year at a loss.


    At the present rate, and assuming we do not lose any of our existing donors, we have enough capital to last us for about 5 more years.


    If we lose any more of our existing donors, that time scale will shorten.


    If things show no improvement, in 5 years time (at the most) the forum will cease to exist.


    Just to reassure people, the 3 current owners have not taken a penny profit from the donations, nor any expenses. Every penny raised has gone into the pot and used for the running costs of the forum and nothing else.


    We have 7442 registered users of which 6701 have not logged on for over a year.


    That leaves 741 active users.


    Of those 741, we only had 16 people who made donations in the last 12 months.


    As I see it, and I have not discussed this with the other 2 owners, advance planning can go one of two ways (there are probably more, but at the moment I cannot think of any).

    1) Maintain the status quo and allow the forum to come to a natural end as we run out of funds.


    2) Encourage new donors


    We can tinker with a few bits and pieces, but the above two options are the crux of the matter.


    I do not see that seeking advertisers and/or sponsors is an option.


    One thing I can do, in the short term, is make it easier and more transparent regarding how to donate.


    At the moment there is no actual ‘donate here’ section on the forum, and that is remiss.


    As far as I’m aware, the ‘donate’ button only appears on the front page for those who are not actual donors. I can’t see that, as I’m obviously a donor myself.


    I will task one of our techs to hopefully implement that change shortly.


    Open for discussion.
    IBA # 51221


    Don't wait for your ship to come in.
    Swim out and meet the bloody thing.
    Barry Sheene


  2. #2
    Dirt Racer
    Ruzzle's Avatar
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    I reckon your idea of a "permanent" DONATE HERE button is good. You mention that new members are "deciding not to donate." Perhaps they simply do not think of it, and there is nothing to prompt them?

    Maybe the Donate button could include/lead to a bit of text about the self-funding nature of the forum.. I see that Boris' BIKE ME site has a similar button with a brief note... (he calls it a "Beer Fund!")
    The Old(est?) Fart.

  3. #3
    Track Champion TriumPhil's Avatar
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    I'd like to see this site thrive, but that probably won't be feasible without some better administered rules and regulations - something I'm all for within reason.

    That said, I intend to make a donation sometime in the near (2-3 months) future as I've gained much more from this site than I've given, including some real friends, something that I cannot put a price tag on if I wanted to
    A Man's Reach Should Always Exceed His Grasp

  4. #4
    Street Racer pjsmithres's Avatar
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    I don't see the financials and don't want to, but don't pay enough attention to the avatar either, and don't see the donate now alarm.


    My OP

    There are 7000 members, 700 bloggers and 100 regulars. and less than 20 pay. That's worse than taxes. Thanks for the one-percenters.

    I like the volunteer to contribute.

    Solve this in 60 seconds!!!!

    *****

    This is your/our forum. You can't find a better one.

    A note to the non supporters.

    A Friday at the pub is more than the minimum contribution.

    There are many. I would guess at least 50 of the 700 have put their verbage into the put regularly (too often) without contributing any cash.

    This is a simple thing.
    PayPal is incredibly easy and if you can't figure out how to operate it, you probably shouldn't be posting anything here or anywhere.

    Annual donation of a dollar a month is definitely taking food from your mouths. NOT!

    ******


    Quit acting like Bernie and Hillary and Trump and Cruz or any of the other criminals that TAKE you money.

    Contribute. It's like charity without the church. 100% return on investment!

    There is no free lunch!

    Throw a bone to keep this (semi) solvent.

    We have to keep it up as a testament to the Rocket.

    Rise up from the ashes of poverty and find a few dollars to support the few administrators and the cost of the WEBSITE.
    This is not being pummeled by advertisers and trash


    Also if you post more than 500 per year you should be putting in more than the minimum.
    Phil

    Retired
    Most Southwestern Rocket III in the lower 48
    San Diego on the LEFT COAST

  5. #5
    Track Champion TriumPhil's Avatar
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    Well, while I agree with much of your post, Philip, I must disagree with any mandatory standards or requirements for voluntary contributions. If the membership here returns to its former robustness, that will all even out in the wash, so to speak. No offense intended, but it appaers that your suggesting a Marxist model, which is essentially advocating a progressive "tax": "From each according to their ability; To each according to their need."
    A Man's Reach Should Always Exceed His Grasp

  6. #6
    Street Racer pjsmithres's Avatar
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    My post is only my opinion and this is my last on this issue.


    My suggestion is not a request for policy and merely suggestion to solve a common problem.


    There is nothing mandatory! You have missed the point. That is the basis of voluntary contributions.
    It's like church. You don't have to tithe and no one measures you by your contributions.

    From a charitable sense, most every one can contribute something, but are not required.

    Honestly, how hard is it to put in a days drink for the continued companionship that this forum provides.



    I do not see the Marxist model, rather the Bernie/Hillary model.
    Let the ones with the biggest voices pay something.

    Cruz/Trump model of whatever you can and to keep the forum alive. It's not a welfare platform.

    It's like going to a live concert in the park. Buy a ticket, and choose where to sit.

    Or listen from the parking lot

    Phil

    Phil

    Retired
    Most Southwestern Rocket III in the lower 48
    San Diego on the LEFT COAST

  7. #7
    Track Champion TriumPhil's Avatar
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    I respect what your saying, Phil... and adding a "like" button for posters might create a stronger sense of community, too.
    A Man's Reach Should Always Exceed His Grasp

  8. #8
    Street Racer pjsmithres's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriumPhil View Post
    I respect what your saying, Phil... and adding a "like" button for posters might create a stronger sense of community, too.
    [LIKE]
    Phil

    Retired
    Most Southwestern Rocket III in the lower 48
    San Diego on the LEFT COAST

  9. #9
    Street Cruiser Boog's Avatar
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    I vote for a like button, and I sent you some electricity funds...
    Boog
    2014 R3T/TORs
    21 year retired sailor
    42 countries
    28 bikes...and counting...

    R3T States I have visited...

  10. #10
    Street Racer Captain Rich's Avatar
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    Tom, just thought I'd chime in here: Awareness and Ease of Use - that should be all we need. Something (a banner on the page header perhaps) to make everyone aware that this is a member supported site and a button to make a donation simple and easy. As my wife likes to say: "If you want to, you will - if you don't, you won't". No need to create anything complex or conscience-shaming. I have enjoyed this site since I joined - I ignore what I don't care about and participate in what I do; also, I've got more than my fair share of useful advice from the experience of our community.
    The beatings will continue until Morale improves. Arrgh!

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