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A Statement Regarding the Future of the Forum


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19 hours ago, James R Gordon said:

Hi,

The Energy Crisis is now a serious problem for me. Costs have gone up for me in the last few days and I am having to make decisions I hoped not to make. My electricity company has today suggested that I immediately raise my payment by 30%. One implication of this is that I have a personal web site that I am possibly no longer going to be able to maintain the costs of.

Put simply I am facing financial oblivion if I do not take steps now. I am probably going to loose my website because I am likely to be unable to pay the firms Hosting charge [ as well as other charges ] for the site. And an energy increase of a further 30% is just not possible in my present conditions.

And that is before January when rumours suggest a further even higher rise in energy prices.

I know I have suggested pulling out before but this time I am facing a personal financial disaster unless I act now. I will pay the EF August 2022 payment but someone else will need to fund from September 2022 onwards.

On previous occasions members have very kindly raised monies but it is not just funding the EF that I need to reconsider. The total impact of the energy crisis - both now and in the coming months - is beyond the cost of funding the EF.

Sorry. But after August 2022 others will need to provide the EF funding.

James

 

Jim, may I suggest that under the current economic situation you consider adding a fee of $60 per year ( $5/month ) for members who wish to post. Lurkers and non-members could continue to read the postings for free, but those who wish to participate in the debate and post would need to pay a fee. This would also serve to filter out the "riff-raff" and retain only those posters who are serious about the evidence. Current members would have the option of paying monthly or yearly or not paying at all and just read for free. I've been a member of this forum since 2005 and I realize that this forum gets a lot of exposure so its importance to all of us is quite obvious. I'd be willing to go the yearly route. I hope you and our members will consider this option to save our forum.

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40 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

I would like to see Ty take over ownership of the forum, and post monthly finances. 

I would do it, but I think a group of 3 or so would be better. 

One person to manage finances/fundraising and dealing with Invision or another host.

One person to head up the tech end of things. I am sure this place could be cleaned up a bit, plus it would be nice to figure out a system to backup content frequently.

One person to head up moderation and administration of the forum.

This group could work together to make decisions and no single person would be able to make major decisions without a consensus between the group.

I would be glad to head up the finance position and work to get a team together!

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1 hour ago, James R Gordon said:

Chris and Jean Paul,

It is true that in 2019 the reserve balance was  $4, 774:00. The end date of December 2024 was based on a monthly extraction of $70:00 per month. I see the reference to £89 per month. That is not the contract that is presently in place.

At present our band width requires a fee of $70:00 per month, that was not always the case. In 2019 we had a larger membership and for a period our band width exceeded the requirements of the present charge which is the 100 user plan. For a lengthly period of time - I believe somewhere in the range of 14 months - our charge rose to the next charge of $120:00 per month. That quickly depleted the reserve funds.

Because our present active users is smaller than it was in 2019 our charge has reduced. The image below is yesterday’s usage. If the band exceeds the boundaries two days in succession our payment rises to $120:00 per month.

As you can see we are getting close to the boundaries. If we exceed these boundaries two days in succession we will be charged $120 per month. Unfortunately the image does not display on the EF.

The reserve is depleted, but I appear to have made mistakes because the sums do not make sense to me. Currency exchange certainly lowered the sum. The monies collected were in $. But moving them into my account, the funds had to be transferred to £. I recollect when I transferred the sums the total sum was in excess of £3,000.

We were in the enhanced payment period for around 14 months. That cost £1680.
We have been in the standard payment for around 18 months. That has cost £1260
                                            Total £2, 940

I can see there is a discrepancy and I am not sure how it has come about. I know I have been making the last few months payments out of my own funds, yet according to those figures I should not have been.

I cannot explain that.

James.

I see you mixed up the dollar versus GBP/£

"We were in the enhanced payment period for around 14 months. That cost £1680" (this is dollars, not £, 14 x 120 USD is 1,680 USD or some 1344  £ 

"We have been in the standard payment for around 18 months. That has cost £1260" (same, this is dollars, not £, 18 x 70 USD is 1,260 USD or some 1008 £ 
                                           "Total £2, 940"  (same, is dollars, in £ it's some 2,352 )

If you paid over 3,000 £ something went wrong, don't know

Of course the above is all circa.   I do not have the data, I used 0.80 conversion rate as an average, I know it has been lower 0.70 and higher, would have to make the conversion monthly.  Anyway, just wanted to help in finding out what happened

To make sure the company did not make a mistake, I would ask Invision a copy of the A/R for this forum (that lists each amount charged and paid to it from 2019 up to current, should not be more than just a couple of pages for 4 years (one or two pages/year)

These companies DO make mistakes.   Also beware of extra banking-charges in paying from the UK to the USA (not just the currency diff.)

I would not mind checking it out If you want to be sure nothing went wrong their part

 

Edited by Jean Paul Ceulemans
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34 minutes ago, Paul Cummings said:

I would prefer an annual fee which would help aleviate trying to get people to pay monthly.

So would I 

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2 hours ago, James R Gordon said:

Chris and Jean Paul,

It is true that in 2019 the reserve balance was  $4, 774:00. The end date of December 2024 was based on a monthly extraction of $70:00 per month. I see the reference to £89 per month. That is not the contract that is presently in place.

At present our band width requires a fee of $70:00 per month, that was not always the case. In 2019 we had a larger membership and for a period our band width exceeded the requirements of the present charge which is the 100 user plan. For a lengthly period of time - I believe somewhere in the range of 14 months - our charge rose to the next charge of $120:00 per month. That quickly depleted the reserve funds.

 

 

 

Thanks James,

This is just a guess, but basing it on the info from above it sounds as though the monthly fee from say "the beginning of 2019" has been $120 per month.

Jan2019 -Jan2022 = 36 months x $120 = $4320

$4774-4320 = $454 remaining(circa Jan2022) and you realized we were falling behind "big time" with the reserves.

$454/120 = good for approx 4 more months after Jan2022, unless more funding could be obtained.

I'm not sure how much was raised in the Jan2022 fundraiser, but take that total and divide by 3(equals months after the $454 would have been used up) bringing us to July/August 2022.

If you don't have any reserves left, the following would be close to what the monthly charge has been for these past 3 months.

After the fundraiser, you gave an estimate of being paid up through April 2024.

Based on $70 per month, I assume we raised about 26 months worth(Jan2022-Apr2024) x $70 = $1820

$1820/ last 3 months = $606 per month which would extinguish the fundraising reserve.

Just one way of looking at it.

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

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Chris and Jean Paul

What your contributions have made clear to me, is that I have had a poor control on the money donated.

I applogise. It appears to me money has gone missing.

Regarding 2022 I believe the toal sum was under $1000.

I understand your criticism and maybe we need to tighten up what happens to the money donated.

 

It might be possible that I could stay - if members are happy with that - provided someone - other than me should hold the money - and passes the monthly subscriptions on to me.

That way I deposit the monthly subscription - but I do not hold the subscriptions. I have a terrible feeling I may have spent some of the money.

What needs to be answered is will what do we need to raise in order to have sufficient funds - at least for a year.

I am committed to paying the August deposit - so we have until around 5th September to collect the funds

James

 

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3 hours ago, Ty Carpenter said:

I would do it, but I think a group of 3 or so would be better. 

One person to manage finances/fundraising and dealing with Invision or another host.

One person to head up the tech end of things. I am sure this place could be cleaned up a bit, plus it would be nice to figure out a system to backup content frequently.

One person to head up moderation and administration of the forum.

This group could work together to make decisions and no single person would be able to make major decisions without a consensus between the group.

I would be glad to head up the finance position and work to get a team together!

This sounds great. Thanks Ty. I am also happy to occupy one of those positions (if required). Either a monthly membership or annual thing makes sense to me as @Paul Brancato suggested. Monthly may be better as we have to also think about affordability. We have enough contributors here to make this work seamlessly. 
 

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1 hour ago, James R Gordon said:

Chris and Jean Paul

What your contributions have made clear to me, is that I have had a poor control on the money donated.

I applogise. It appears to me money has gone missing.

Regarding 2022 I believe the toal sum was under $1000.

I understand your criticism and maybe we need to tighten up what happens to the money donated.

 

It might be possible that I could stay - if members are happy with that - provided someone - other than me should hold the money - and passes the monthly subscriptions on to me.

That way I deposit the monthly subscription - but I do not hold the subscriptions. I have a terrible feeling I may have spent some of the money.

What needs to be answered is will what do we need to raise in order to have sufficient funds - at least for a year.

I am committed to paying the August deposit - so we have until around 5th September to collect the funds

James

 

James,

I believe any misplacing of funds would be forgiven as you have funded the forum out of your own pocket previously. I would be willing to head up the fundraising efforts and work with you to get the bill paid each month. Also, I am sure they have an annual option which may save a bit of money. 

If we work this plan out, I still believe we should make an effort to cleanup some of the forum and try to setup a system to archive or backup the forum data at least weekly. 

Can you check to see what a yearly subscription would cost?

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Here is a link to Invision's pricing matrix https://invisioncommunity.com/buy . It doesn't appear any price break is given for prepayment, but I think this would be the best way to do it. That way it is paid for the year and we don't have to mess around with paying another bill each month and transferring funds.

I believe we would either need the Creator or Creator Pro package. For creator we would need $1,068.00 and for the Pro we would need $1,788.00.

Anyone have thoughts?

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It is definitely a thought Ty. If I understand correctly we will pay the annual charge in advance and are  free from monthly the subscriptions.

What I do not know is how many active members we have- or indeed who they are - in order to calculate the value of  individual contribution.

I\ll check if the other admin members know the answer. or if Invision know.

Although these are standard prices having been with Invision since - I believe the 1980's - we might get a preferential price and not be lumbered with the full cost.

But it is certainly a thought. Quickly looking at it I believe we also gain a more advanced membership.

James

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6 hours ago, Ty Carpenter said:

Here is a link to Invision's pricing matrix https://invisioncommunity.com/buy . It doesn't appear any price break is given for prepayment, but I think this would be the best way to do it. That way it is paid for the year and we don't have to mess around with paying another bill each month and transferring funds.

I believe we would either need the Creator or Creator Pro package. For creator we would need $1,068.00 and for the Pro we would need $1,788.00.

Anyone have thoughts?

I've noted before I'm technically inept compared to many here.  It seems there are features on just the Creator that would not be used, E.G. sell digital products, blogs.  However the Pro features Hosting in EU or US could be important (?), I don't know how many views per year the site gets, over 750,000, less than 2,000,000?  Do we need over 750 GB of media storage?

Using James original figure of $120 a month, as opposed to the $70 I was thinking 12 X 120 = $1440 a year.  At $50 a year that would require 29 contributors.

Rounding the $1788 up to 1800 that would be 36 contributors at $50 a year or 30 at $60 each.  Well worth it imho.

Edited by Ron Bulman
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