Forum running costs

General discussion about learning languages

If financial support is needed for the forum...

Poll ended at Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:18 pm

I would prefer to make an occasional donation such as a one-off gift or for specific projects
47
64%
I would happily make a small regular donation
19
26%
I wouldn't/couldn't make a contribution in the foreseeable future
6
8%
I would not want to donate full stop
2
3%
 
Total votes: 74

Rhian
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Rhian » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:00 am

Carmody wrote:I am of the opinion that emk and all mods are magnificent and long overdue for some financial support.

Let me know how to move money to support your great efforts.

Thanks.


Thanks :)

We have some stuff to sort out before we start taking donations. As a bare minimum we need to make sure we meet any legal requirements (regulations, declaring income, etc). Equally necessary is the need to set ourselves a set of standards. Sure, the mod/admin team is lovely and made up of responsible individuals (all my opinion) BUT a) things can get funny when it comes to money b) the forum will hopefully live for a while, that means new mods at some point and it'd be easier to already have a precedent for financial conduct c) it's good sense. We also, need to come up with an idea of how much the forum needs and for what.

Thus actually asking you to put your hands in your pockets is a little way off. I wanted a poll so I could get an idea of the general feeling and so I had something to take to Rdearman and Emk when I raised the idea of fundraising.
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:44 am

I would be willing to donate either regularly or occasionally, but I meant that when we discussed this earlier, rdearman said it wouldn’t be worth the tax hassle unless the costs increased a lot.
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Rhian » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:08 pm

We think it unlikely it'll be taxed as we won't be asking for much. Once we've got the framework in place hopefully the "maintenance" ie any info we need to submit annually should be relatively low-key.

But this is stuff us mods can worry about it! (Unless any of you happen to be experienced in this area in which case PM me)
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Beharrlich » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:38 pm

I was a member of a forum a long time ago that took donations to support server costs. They basically had it set up so that on the main page, there was a counter, showing where the community stood in regards to donations for the current month. So it would show, say, that $20 had been donated towards the needed $60 (or whatever the costs were). This typically worked very well; the community was big enough that the load was shared between users. Sometimes someone would feel very generous and pay for it all at once, and then the counter would show 100% paid until the start of the next month. Other times, people would chip in $5 here and there - but the need was always met one way or another.
Last edited by Beharrlich on Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rhian
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Rhian » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:42 pm

I'd like something like the counter. We don't want to end up carrying too much of a balance (accounting reasons) but we also don't want people to forget about donating after the first few months and for funds to dry up.

This is where we need to have a clear idea of what we want and need so we are not either hoarding or wasting people's money.
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:56 am

A counter sounds like a great idea. It could be either like josht described with a countdown showing how much we still need for the month or year, or as someone suggested earlier, that it show that the forum is fully funded up to such-and-such a date, or both. Anyway, I have no objections to contributing. I just wanted to make sure you’d considered the possibility of taxes and regulations and paperwork. I’ve actually said no to money before because of the paperwork involved. (I’m not a fan.)
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby zenmonkey » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:13 pm

Something like the following may do the trick:

"The website hosting is paid for ... months." and limiting the donate button so that it won't be clickable if the counter is 6 months or more.
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby Carmody » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:27 am

No one has greater respect and gratitude to emk than I. He is simply magnificent.

That said, having spent about 20 yrs. in the computer field, it was my experience that the people in charge always were eager to focus on more money for software and hardware, and not consider the actual human workers. As if concern for the human element were not also important. My point is, yes, emk is magnificent, but he is only one person. What happens if emk has a car accident, a heart attack or burn out? Should we not also consider ways to assist emk not just with money but also on the human side so that his burden will be shared and lightened? I know that I don’t have the computer skills to help him but I worry to have all the weight of this Forum on just one man’s shoulders.

Am I the only one worried about emk?
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby emk » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:45 am

Carmody wrote:What happens if emk has a car accident, a heart attack or burn out?

This is why there are two of us! Rdearman and I both act as admins. There are three critical pieces to the site:

  1. The code. This lives on GitHub, in the language-learners organization account. Anybody can access this.
  2. The database. Rdearman and I can both access this.
  3. The disk volume with uploaded images and user avatar images. Usually both of us can access this, but I broke rdearman's login and haven't fixed it yet.
So as you can see, any forum member can propose changes to the code underlying the site, and rdearman or I can approve those requests and deploy the changes just by hitting buttons. (Some great improvements have been submitted by IIRC zenmonkey, astromule, and several other users.) And if one of us admins is eaten by a giraffe, the other has access to basically everything, and can always redeploy the site with a new account if necessary.

The actual server running the site is totally disposable and can be replaced in a few minutes using the terraform scripts.

All that said, pull requests with code improvements are strongly encouraged so I can just be lazy and sign off on improvements. :lol:
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Re: Forum running costs

Postby crush » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:03 am

I'd prefer to pay a small amount every month, i think that is more maintainable and reliable in the long run. But i'd be happy to help out either way.
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