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Macrosill
08-04-2011, 08:01 AM
So the day has come that we have grown so large we can no longer go on hosting this site on a shared hosting service. We have too much data, and so many visitors that we gobble more bandwidth in a month than most sites use in a year.

I am looking at a number of ideas to help ease costs. People have suggested adding higher levels of Supporting Memberships. I think it may be useful but would like some input. What privileges would you guys like to see in a higher level of support? Larger PM box? Only Supporters can run Group Buys? Shorter search intervals. Custom user titles? DIYC email addresses? Maybe an entire new support structure? Maybe a private forum or forums that only Supporting Members can access?

I am also considering adding some ads to the site that will only be seen by non-supporting members. I did not want to put adds anywhere but it seems it may be necessary and if you do not like ads then you can support and solve the issue.

You can PM your suggestions if you would rather not post them in this thread.

I am looking into maybe setting up an advisory committee for this. If you would like to be considered and have the time and are willing to put in the effort send me a PM about it.

chelmuth
08-04-2011, 08:10 AM
+1 For Quicker Search Times.
Only Supporting Members Can View the ForSale / Trades forum..
Ads for Non-Supporting Are Good also..
This might be over kill, but say different very small supporting levels.. $5/10.. just get's rid of ad's nothing else extra use the walmart approach sell 1000 at 5/10$ instead of 10 at 1000$

boyelroy11
08-04-2011, 08:29 AM
Past forums I have been (or am still) a member of had structures that included Gold, Silver and Bronze memberships. They also offered a lifetime level for substantially more. Membership gained access to a "clubhouse" where it was "anything goes." This particular forum had a family friendly structure, which included bans on talking about religion and politics, as well as any adult type material. This was all free game in the clubhouse, which morphed into a political discussion area more than anything else. There were larger inboxes for each level. I think t-shirts were involved for the top levels at one time.

I also like the shorter search :)

Just some ideas
Bruce

Mactayl
08-04-2011, 08:30 AM
I wouldn't mind paying extra for some added services, anything to help the situation is fine with me.:)
Since I am one of the major bandwith problems.:shock:

WakeFan
08-04-2011, 08:34 AM
I think ads seen only by non supporting members is a great idea. I think what chelmuth suggested is good as well, maybe a cheaper supporting member just to get rid of ads, more to get all the bells/whistles. More PM's would be nice for people running group buys.

IdunBenhad
08-04-2011, 08:38 AM
Hi Brian:
While this forum welcomes visitors, maybe their time could be limited as well as the number of times they may log in. I realize there would be ways around this, but the amount of information and the unlimited help for "newbies" should certainly be worth something.

I personally do not want anything (money) for what I contribute and it is clear that all of the supporting members do not, but we do want to be able to continue to develop and freely distribute our ideas and help.

Considering that most displays can cost hundreds of dollars to implement, the $20 to become a supporting member is small compared to that cost and certainly most people realize much more worth than that with just one visit.

Unfortunately, growth never pays for itself and apparently this is the situation we find ourselves in. This hobby is rapidly growing and a way to sustain it must be found.

Raising Supporting Member fees may be a Catch 22 situation, but if visitors are encouraged to join and their "visitor" time limited, then maybe a solution can be found.

Don't give it to Congress.

IdunBenhad
08-04-2011, 08:49 AM
Hi:
I don't know what happened. I erased this, as it was supposed to be a PM to Brian.

Wayne J
08-04-2011, 09:11 AM
Only supporting members can start new threads in the Buy / Sale forum.

WakeFan
08-04-2011, 09:20 AM
Only supporting members can start new threads in the Buy / Sale forum.

+1, I like that idea

Mactayl
08-04-2011, 09:23 AM
+1, I like that idea

Me too:)

dpitts
08-04-2011, 09:28 AM
I may have been blind. but, I did not know what supporting member meant until yesterday. I thought it meant the user was supporting the forum with designs and had contributed enough to the forum with knowledge to be considered a "supporting member". Once I knew it meant throwing in a few bucks I became a supporting member. There are probably more people like me that are willing to help but did not know there was a great need.

Wayne J
08-04-2011, 09:28 AM
Something else that may help is to make the link to supporting more accessible. Like a button at top that says "Support DIYC".

ctmal
08-04-2011, 09:47 AM
Can there be something(like a button or an ad) that appears for all non-supporting members pointing them to becoming a supporting member? This would also help notify you when your subscriptions ends(I've been guilty of not noticing when my subscription ended).

LabRat
08-04-2011, 10:13 AM
Perhaps a Group buy/co-op tax? (oops.. did I use a bad word there?)
- cost to participate in a group buy is $1.00 - collected by the operator of the group buy and remitted to DIYC
- cost to RUN an OFFSITE group buy is $x (choose a number) - remitted to DIYC at the time that group buy is announced

I was remiss in paying my support fee for a while. Partially due to my absence, and partially due to the DIYC make-over. I was waiting for things to settle before signing up again (didn't want to get my payment lost in the ether). I guess the question is .. what % of DIYC members are currently "supporting", and do we really need to increase the fees or would simply increasing the % supporting rate cover the costs?

g2ktcf
08-04-2011, 10:19 AM
we only have about 100 supporting members! Wayy too small a group.

IdunBenhad
08-04-2011, 10:19 AM
Hi:
The number of visitors and members is always shown on the opening page. Usually there are about twice the number of guests as members.

For example, right now the post says: "36 members and 52 guests."

Oh, Yeah: NEVER refer to a charge as a TAX: Everyone knows it's a FEE! We can put FEES on for everything under the sun, but not a TAX!

ukewarrior
08-04-2011, 10:21 AM
Brian,

PM Sent.


However, I forgot one thing:

We need to make it much easier to join. A 'join now' button needs to appear in the banner at all times for non-members.

ErnieHorning
08-04-2011, 10:36 AM
Membership should be part of the sign-up process. It should state the benefits of membership. The default would be non-membership but at least they will know that it is an option.

I agree with using ads that only non-supporting members would see and maybe just slightly intrusive. One of those ads could be one of our own that states the benefits of membership. There could be several short ads that state just a couple of the benefits.

Iíve seen some sites that donít allow the use of hyper-links or viewing pictures for Non-members.

Only members:

Can Use Advanced Search
Can Post New Threads (topics)
Can Post Replies
Can Subscribe to Threads
Can View Currently Active Users
Can View Who's Online
Can Use Signatures
Can Upload Attachments
Can Upload Photos
No Ads
Faster Page Loading Time

How about removing that annoying 30 second wait when searching for the higher level members only?

rjchu
08-04-2011, 10:52 AM
I'm on a shared hosting provider, dreamhost.com, and don't have storage or bandwidth limitations. It appears that DIYC is on totalhosting.com which according to their front page does have limitations on both. Has another shared provider been considered? I'm game for talking about rolling it under my account as well if that helps.

Thanks,

-joni-

JamesL85
08-04-2011, 12:02 PM
I'm on a shared hosting provider, dreamhost.com, and don't have storage or bandwidth limitations.

I was just going to suggest them myself...LOL

Very good rates and very good uptime.

James

dirknerkle
08-04-2011, 12:34 PM
I use Hostmonster.com for my shared web sites and it has no limitations... have never had a problem with it, either.

I like all the ideas presented so far and have little to add other than to make sure it's manageable. From the administrative point of view, having all manner of options for different membership levels will require more administrative time for our good friend and host, Brian and that's a concern.

Anything we can suggest that would also keep it simple for him would be a good idea.

ukewarrior
08-04-2011, 12:41 PM
IF we restrict usage of forums and such, we may kill this community.

It is a very slippery slope.

I really like the idea about ads for non-members.

I suggested to Brian that Commercial (for profit) enterprises be required to join to post anything.
This would not include folks that are doing offsite group buys. It is VERY obvious in my opinion what a commercial vendor is and is not.
I also think their join fee should be more then $20 a year. It should be more. Not a lot more, but more.

After all, why provide access and free advertising space to a for profit enterprise?
This forum represents a direct advertising vehicle to thousands of folks that are already interested in the vendors product !

We also need a 'contribute now' button on the top banner page. I see many sites that support themselves this way.
We need to make it easier for folks to contribute.

BuzzKill
08-04-2011, 12:52 PM
I think ads are a nessesary evil to help offset the costs. Different supporting member levels are certainly do-able. But differentiating he levels with "perks" may be a challenge. Frankly I don't care about perks too much. Maybe offer more blog space or something. I definately would like shorter waits for searches as a paying member.

Another idea is since the hardware is used for so many other purposes that maybe promote other uses more. I actually don't use my REN's for Christmas much. I have one special project which is The Magic Ship of Christmas that uses a light controller now. But I mainly use my stuff for Halloween. So maybe a new section with a little less red and green and more orange and black to draw in more members for that slant on things.

ChiefWarrant
08-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Ads for non-supporting memebers that are semi-intrusive....popup every 5-10 pages accessed by non-supporting members. More often for visitors.

I hate any tax, but a group buy tax maybe needed, I would be willing to pay something extra to support. Does anyone really complain about PayPal fees (taxes!) when they use it?

BuzzKill
08-04-2011, 12:54 PM
I also use Hostmonster. But my sites don't get the kind of traffic this site gets. I have hardly ever had issues with Hostmonster. And the support has been good the few times I have ever had to contact anyone.

cobraman44
08-04-2011, 01:41 PM
Wow, had my head in the clouds. Never even noticed that you could become a paid member. I corrected that. Maybe a recuiting post once in a while would do the trick. I would think most people like me would like to make that right.

tweist
08-04-2011, 01:42 PM
IF
We also need a 'contribute now' button on the top banner page. I see many sites that support themselves this way.
We need to make it easier for folks to contribute.

I agree with the "Contribute now" or "Become a Member" button on the top menu bar. Maybe even make it flash until you become a member.
If people see it, they will want to join. Its a small price to pay for all the knowledge you get in return.

mattrob
08-04-2011, 01:51 PM
Few thoughts, some of which echo other's ideas:
-Ads that show up to guests (until they register and login) - If there really are that many people browsing without a login, this could help generate some revenue without intruding on most of the "permanent" community
-Reduced time between searches at one of the member levels (Is the search function server intensive?).
-Publicize the "Supporting Membership" option. Not to bug people about it constantly, but as a gentle reminder.

That being said, I'll become a supporting member when I have some more time this evening.

ErnieHorning
08-04-2011, 02:19 PM
If there really are that many people browsing without a login ...


There are currently 90 users online. 35 members and 55 guests
Most users ever online was 355, 04-20-2011 at 06:59 AM.

Yes, I would say so. :neutral:

Greg Young
08-04-2011, 02:37 PM
Yes, I would say so. :neutral:
And that is a perfect example of why folks should all be required to log-in before they can read (not just post), which is a separate issue from a paid membership of course.
On the paid issue - I think there should be differences, but do not agree that limiting access to coops, or buying/selling is a good move, as you will limit your quantities, and perhaps savings.
You can always have adds non paid members see that paid don't, have special chatrooms that are limited to paid members only (that being said a number of forums have tried that, and abandoned it, as most complained the added rooms offered no real benefit), keep a "please support this forum" button visible to non paying folks, and make sure any vendors are required to be paid members, etc.
Some folks visit multiple forums, amd may decide to join some/but not all of them, based on their activity levels. To restrict non paid members from accessing some of the main forums will only drive away folks that over the long haul may be capable of adding value to the forums. You never know...
Clearly the forums don't support themselves, so you need to strike a balance somewhere.
I am confident given Brian's competent leadership, along with suggested from the experienced members, that the right approach will be determined.
Greg

Skunberg
08-04-2011, 02:43 PM
I had to hunt out how to become a supporting member after it came up in a thread. The opposite should be true. To be a member to post buy/sell I agree with, but not to view. No reason to limit who the members can sell to. Ads along the sides, top or bottom for non members is O.K. but not popups or ads with video or ads that change during a page. I know that stuff chases me way from a site before I know if it's a useful site or not.

Brian

ailgup
08-04-2011, 04:57 PM
IF we restrict usage of forums and such, we may kill this community.

It is a very slippery slope.

I really like the idea about ads for non-members.



+1 on this

Here is my 2c

As a younger member of the forum I use most of my spare money on components and by placing more restrictions on regular members would not be very enticing or inviting to people starting out who according to some of the ideas floated here will not be able to do rather simple tasks or start a thread to ask a question, it may just result in many people going to other forums where they could have free access to the entire forum and all it has to offer. Ads are a great idea and i think they should definatly be implemented for all but supporting members. One thing another fourm that i am a member of does, is that they have paid sponser ads (usually filled by hobby specific vendors) on the sides of the fourm see link (http://motorbicycling.com). This way the end user does not have to pay, and the business gets a great amount of publicity/business. The bills defiantly need to get paid as as a growing forum I think that newer members or those who are not flushed with cash, should not be thrown by the wayside, Ads are a great idea and not that difficult to implement.

maffeirw
08-04-2011, 06:13 PM
As a younger member of the forum I use most of my spare money on components and by placing more restrictions on regular members would not be very enticing or inviting to people starting out who according to some of the ideas floated here will not be able to do rather simple tasks or start a thread to ask a question, it may just result in many people going to other forums where they could have free access to the entire forum and all it has to offer. Ads are a great idea and i think they should definatly be implemented for all but supporting members. One thing another fourm that i am a member of does, is that they have paid sponser ads (usually filled by hobby specific vendors) on the sides of the fourm see link (http://motorbicycling.com). This way the end user does not have to pay, and the business gets a great amount of publicity/business. The bills defiantly need to get paid as as a growing forum I think that newer members or those who are not flushed with cash, should not be thrown by the wayside, Ads are a great idea and not that difficult to implement.
I took a look at the attached site and I think sponsor advertizing in a side bar is an excellent idea for guests and non-supporting members. As a supporting member I would like an option to turn the sponsor sidebar on and off at my discretion as I would prefer to do business with vendors who support this site.

I believe that had I been restricted from looking at the threads or had my searches limited I would not be the binky flashy addict I am today and my wife might be a little happier :))

chelmuth
08-04-2011, 06:21 PM
5265 * .02 = $105.30 in 2.5years.. I think Dirk on track for about $40/year..

dirknerkle
08-04-2011, 06:28 PM
5265 * .02 = $105.30 in 2.5years.. I think Dirk on track for about $40/year..

ROFLMAO!!! Interesting concept. Charge by the posting! Going forward, nobody would post anything, there'd be no traffic, and the performance problem is solved!

That's one thing I like about Cory -- always comes up with a creative solution!!! :lol:

Matt_Edwards
08-04-2011, 06:39 PM
So far I have read a lot of good ideas here.
Fees have to go up $20 is way too low, ( i may even suggest worthless - check the real meaning before flaming)
Ads for non members - good idea provided there are not so many they don't come back.
Guests HAVE to be able to start posts and add photos to a limit - otherwise they won't be able to get help nor will they bother. (BTW I believe this makes DIYC better than some of the other Christmassy forums)
Only members can post is restricted areas - like trading, Lounge, Development etc etc - better brains can suggest better topic areas.
Vendors should PAY - pure and simple - the forum represents a captive market. However other benefits to Vendors should be vendor specific forum areas where they advertise their wares and of course where their product is critically appraised.


This forum is about Open Source designs and sharing information. What ever we do, lets keep on track and make sure we welcome as many new comers as possible.

macebobo
08-04-2011, 07:54 PM
What about a donation button? Doesn't get you anything except that warm feeling that you know you helped. -- John

Dougp
08-04-2011, 07:58 PM
Ads for non members - good idea provided there are not so many they don't come back.

As a vendor I would want a ad that I paid for to be seen by everyone.

Vendors should PAY - pure and simple - the forum represents a captive market. However other benefits to Vendors should be vendor specific forum areas where they advertise their wares and of course where their product is critically appraised.

I'm willing to pay as a Vendor as long as the cost is not too high. I'm just a one man show trying to make a little money to help maintain and improve my own display.

....

macebobo
08-04-2011, 08:03 PM
And that is a perfect example of why folks should all be required to log-in before they can read (not just post), which is a separate issue from a paid membership of course.
<snip>
Some folks visit multiple forums, amd may decide to join some/but not all of them, based on their activity levels. To restrict non paid members from accessing some of the main forums will only drive away folks that over the long haul may be capable of adding value to the forums. You never know...
<snip>

I am confused. On one hand you're saying keep accountless users out, then you say it may driver users away.

My opinion is that you want to keep it open. I lurched here for almost 9 months before I signed up. I wanted to see if this was really for me. I saw the supportive people in this community. I observed the activity. Then right before Christmas almost 2 years ago, I took the plunge. I have not been able to contribute like some of the others, but I have contributed.

I would vote to keep it open to anonymous users. -- John

michaelc
08-04-2011, 10:26 PM
Is it just a matter of cost of the site or does this provider have a technical size/bandwidth limit?

N7XG
08-05-2011, 03:42 PM
Brian,

Please provide me some basic information about how much space and bandwidth you need. I do internet hosting and perhaps I can give you a much better rate than you are getting.

mrpackethead
08-05-2011, 03:55 PM
How about some corporate sponsorship. I'd probably come to the party. Single Simple solution..

bcstuff
08-05-2011, 05:49 PM
How about a fund raiser or money drive? I bet many that "can" wouldn't mind giving a little more to keep the site free for others.
I know the DIYC Scholarship had prizes, how about a lottery of some sorts. I'll bet many would donate items for a lottery.

Brian, tell us how much you need and lets see if we can get to that amount.

Just my 2 cents.

Sincerely,
Brian

P.S. I would pay extra for faster repeat searches and I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of ads if it helped support the site and helped Brian.

dirknerkle
08-05-2011, 06:02 PM
IMO, I think that goes against Brian's MO. Certainly we're eager to help out, he just has to figure out what he wants to do. All we can do is continue to show him that we support him and we'll make it work.

boyelroy11
08-05-2011, 06:07 PM
Not to mention the 'legalities' of a lottery.

We'll do what we need to when the time comes.

Bruce

Greg Young
08-05-2011, 08:01 PM
I am confused. On one hand you're saying keep accountless users out, then you say it may driver users away.

My opinion is that you want to keep it open. I lurched here for almost 9 months before I signed up. I wanted to see if this was really for me. I saw the supportive people in this community. I observed the activity. Then right before Christmas almost 2 years ago, I took the plunge. I have not been able to contribute like some of the others, but I have contributed.

I would vote to keep it open to anonymous users. -- John

John - I guess I wasn't very clear.
I started off by saying there are 2 issues. Let me take them one at a time.
1) the guests - all I was saying here is that for folks to come in as guests, have full access to all the information, and leave without even registering hardly seems fair. You can register and lurk without ever posting. Many of us do that when we first join a forum. When I joined the first Christmas decorating forum, back in 1999/2000, I lurked for about a year, and didn't start posting until around mid 2000/early 2001!
Why should folks have to at least register? The forum admin then have an accurate count of actual membership, and should there be any issues further down the road, the registration information and ip addresses are there. Having run a holiday decorating forum for a few years, that information proved to be invaluable to us!
You are not asking the guest for any money, merely to register their name, etc with the admin. That information is not visible to the users. By limiting the forum read access so that only registered users can view postings, you eliminate spybot/webcrawler/spammer access, which can help cut down on registered users getting spams. MAny guests are actually spybots, and not real folks. They search for content, extract it, and then list it on search sites, etc. With the other forum I admin'd, over the several years I did so, there was only one case where an individual refused to register. The only way we even knew (because guests only could read the welcoming forum section where the forum was explained, the rules existed, and the request to register was), was that we kept getting emails from him demanding access to the forum, or he was going to "badmouth you and your forum". We tracked his ip, and it turned out he was a known problematic individual on a couple of other forums, so we ignored his emails. He never registered.
So in conclusion the reason I feel all folks should at least be required to register is to protect the existing community members.
2) On the pay side of things, as I said above, and most seem to agree, I think if you limit forum content access to only those who can afford to/are willing to pay, you will lose folks in the long run. I suggested several options that paid folks can have/avoid in my previous post, without limiting access to content for the non-paying, which I agree is not the best way to go.
In any case it's up to Brian and his mods how he should best proceed. It is nice to see he has polled his memberhsip for ideas on how best to implement that.
I hope that clarifies my thoughts.
Greg

mattrob
08-05-2011, 08:30 PM
John - I guess I wasn't very clear.
I started off by saying there are 2 issues. Let me take them one at a time.
1) the guests - all I was saying here is that for folks to come in as guests, have full access to all the information, and leave without even registering hardly seems fair. You can register and lurk without ever posting. Many of us do that when we first join a forum. When I joined the first Christmas decorating forum, back in 1999/2000, I lurked for about a year, and didn't start posting until around mid 2000/early 2001!
Why should folks have to at least register? The forum admin then have an accurate count of actual membership, and should there be any issues further down the road, the registration information and ip addresses are there. Having run a holiday decorating forum for a few years, that information proved to be invaluable to us!
You are not asking the guest for any money, merely to register their name, etc with the admin. That information is not visible to the users. By limiting the forum read access so that only registered users can view postings, you eliminate spybot/webcrawler/spammer access, which can help cut down on registered users getting spams. MAny guests are actually spybots, and not real folks. They search for content, extract it, and then list it on search sites, etc. With the other forum I admin'd, over the several years I did so, there was only one case where an individual refused to register. The only way we even knew (because guests only could read the welcoming forum section where the forum was explained, the rules existed, and the request to register was), was that we kept getting emails from him demanding access to the forum, or he was going to "badmouth you and your forum". We tracked his ip, and it turned out he was a known problematic individual on a couple of other forums, so we ignored his emails. He never registered.
So in conclusion the reason I feel all folks should at least be required to register is to protect the existing community members.
2) On the pay side of things, as I said above, and most seem to agree, I think if you limit forum content access to only those who can afford to/are willing to pay, you will lose folks in the long run. I suggested several options that paid folks can have/avoid in my previous post, without limiting access to content for the non-paying, which I agree is not the best way to go.
In any case it's up to Brian and his mods how he should best proceed. It is nice to see he has polled his memberhsip for ideas on how best to implement that.
I hope that clarifies my thoughts.
Greg

You make several good points on why people should have to register, but I think doing so would limit the number of new-comers to this hobby! Several years ago when I saw an animated light display, I went to the internet to find out how to do it. I found the LOR products (with their high pricetag for a student starting out) and decided against making a display. It was only when I later found this site (and its' DIY/affordable solutions), probably by Google search from those crawlers, that I joined the ranks of Christmas light addicts.

Additionally, when I tend to come across sites that hide the info and want me to stop and spend a few minutes creating a login, I tend to to elsewhere. Personally, I feel this site's approach of blocking images and attachments to guests is a good way to go about it. People searching about animated displays can view some forum threads and look through the wiki and decide if they're just browsing here for a few minutes or sticking around for a few years.

Wayne J
08-05-2011, 09:03 PM
How about a fund raiser or money drive? I bet many that "can" wouldn't mind giving a little more to keep the site free for others.
I know the DIYC Scholarship had prizes, how about a lottery of some sorts. I'll bet many would donate items for a lottery.

Brian, tell us how much you need and lets see if we can get to that amount.

Just my 2 cents.

Sincerely,
Brian

P.S. I would pay extra for faster repeat searches and I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of ads if it helped support the site and helped Brian.


Here's a great idea, even better a raffle. I know I would assemble a couple or more SS boards to raffle off.

mlkren
08-05-2011, 11:56 PM
You make several good points on why people should have to register, but I think doing so would limit the number of new-comers to this hobby! Several years ago when I saw an animated light display, I went to the internet to find out how to do it. I found the LOR products (with their high pricetag for a student starting out) and decided against making a display. It was only when I later found this site (and its' DIY/affordable solutions), probably by Google search from those crawlers, that I joined the ranks of Christmas light addicts.

Additionally, when I tend to come across sites that hide the info and want me to stop and spend a few minutes creating a login, I tend to to elsewhere. Personally, I feel this site's approach of blocking images and attachments to guests is a good way to go about it. People searching about animated displays can view some forum threads and look through the wiki and decide if they're just browsing here for a few minutes or sticking around for a few years.

That it what happen with me in two respects.

1. When I first looked at animated lighting, I also found LOR which was way too expensive at the time and there was no way the my wife would condone to suck an expense.

2. When I came here I registered to see the attachment and images. I do not think that we should have all people have to register. If they are interested they will register, but if they can not see anything they will most likely move on.

Just my 2 cents. :)

macebobo
08-06-2011, 01:08 AM
I hope that clarifies my thoughts.
Greg

Very well! Thanks for the well thought out response. -- John

caviar
08-06-2011, 08:35 AM
My brother wants to become an supporting member but he doesnot have a paypal account. I am sure there are others that are in the same boat.

Macrosill
08-06-2011, 09:45 AM
contact me via PM

underdog
08-06-2011, 11:53 AM
Brian, whatever you decide...some say that "absence makes the heart grow fonder". When I got the account suspended window yesterday, I realized that my way of life was about to change...Time to support the cause!

intwoit2002
08-06-2011, 09:05 PM
The great thing about this site is that it promotes the DIY concept and lets a lot of people exchange information. I have a few thoughts.

1. Do not allow corporate or vendors to advertise on here. The great part of this site is that it is basically an engineering and idea sharing place. Once advertisers are allowed in, the neutrality of the site goes away, IMHO.

2. Raise the membership costs it does not seem unreasonable that $50 to $75 is too much for all the enjoyment I get and assume many others.

3. People running Coops might pay a commission to DIY christmas, and this should be included in the price of what ever is being sold.

4. Fund raisers are something that can be considered, and auctions could be handled thru Ebay if that is even an option.

I am really concerned that we maintain our neutrality for example, Renard, Vixen, DMX, etc. all are represented fairly and without judgement.

Everyone on this site has been so helpful to me that I hope it can be maintained in the same manner as when I joined, only a couple of years, but really worth it.

Thanks,
Al

Jrd
08-06-2011, 11:18 PM
I don't think coops/group buys should be taxed because in some cases that could eliminate the savings of the coop/group buy.

BF210
08-07-2011, 11:22 AM
Some of the problem seems to be lack of awareness of the meaning of "supporting member". Perhaps a support drive once or twice a year, with a convenient button in that big red area at the top of the page? Raising sell-through is usually better than raising prices.
I also find it interesting that this thread includes supporting members with fewer than 50 posts and some currently non-supporting with more than 1000. Are reminder messages getting sent? Do you need to intercept the front page with a full screen "PAY UP, LEECH!" and clickthrough to the payment methods?:)

macebobo
08-07-2011, 05:16 PM
I also find it interesting that this thread includes supporting members with fewer than 50 posts and some currently non-supporting with more than 1000.

Now there is a great idea. You can post 50 free, then after that, to continue enjoying the benefits of the site, you must become a supporting member.

Another idea might be to have monthly memberships for say $5.

Matt_Edwards
08-07-2011, 05:59 PM
Some of the problem seems to be lack of awareness of the meaning of "supporting member". Perhaps a support drive once or twice a year,
Brian,
This is definitely an good option, especially if you create the advisory panel. I don't think you should be the one to asking for payment. if you introduce ads. the advisory committee could then post suitable ads twice a year or so.


I also find it interesting that this thread includes supporting members with fewer than 50 posts and some currently non-supporting with more than 1000.

Yep there are all sort of ppl here, variety is good. I guess what you are really saying is some of the newer members have caught on to the value of the forum quicker and want see it continue, that is great to see.



Another idea might be to have monthly memberships for say $5.

I am afraid monthly fees probably aren't a good option for me, as I know I will forget. Should we limit the number of posts? maybe worth considering provided we get the level correct.
Matt

Jrd
08-07-2011, 10:46 PM
You can post 50 free, then after that, to continue enjoying the benefits of the site, you must become a supporting member.

Another idea might be to have monthly memberships for say $5.

I'm sorry but I cannot agree to this you become like any of the "expert" answer sites if you do this and I would be forced to leave or be painfully silent if either of these were enforced. Not all of us have jobs and many of us have information to share.

bud29
08-08-2011, 12:25 AM
It's been mentioned lots already, and I agree, it was months before I even realized what the supporting member thing was. A membership drive once in a while might help. I also wouldn't mind paying a little more for a membership (but not a lot please).

As for other ways to encourage people to "pay up", I thought restricting the for sale or group buy forums might be a good one. They could still read all the other areas to gain the knowledge, and get to know the site, but if they want to get into it and start building or buying it would help encourage them to buy a membership. It's just my opinion, but its not a lot of money to ask someone to contribute when they are probably already spending a fair amount on display stuff.

macebobo
08-08-2011, 12:42 AM
I'm sorry but I cannot agree to this you become like any of the "expert" answer sites if you do this and I would be forced to leave or be painfully silent if either of these were enforced. Not all of us have jobs and many of us have information to share.

I understand what you're saying and those that offer help and assistance to others are needed here. I am not trying to flame you or anyone here, however, if one can't afford $20 a year, the current supporting member price, maybe they should look at their priorities. Maybe they don't need that radio or just one more controller. Maybe they could help support Brian keep this beast running, or we will all be forced into silence. After all is said and done, this is not a cheap hobby, but for $20, the knowledge that I know I have gained, is a bargain.

-- John

underdog
08-08-2011, 02:02 AM
If we look at the value that we're getting from a membership, $20 isn't much (considering that's an entire year)! If money is an issue, I sympathize completely, use that time to focus on the forum & wiki, read, comprehend,learn, and save your pennies. Then, ask a few questions. Finally participate in a Co-op and buy a controller, and while you're waiting to receive your package, become a supporting member.

If money is an issue, this hobby isn't expensive, but not really cheap, $20 would be easy to cut out, scale back, buy 1000 less lights and get a membership here!

If you've read here, or bought your controllers here you'll know that there are people here who sacrificed much more than $20 to develop a controller, firmware, software...etc. THEN they generously give their plans and schematics for FREE for you and many others enjoyment! People please be inspired...don't feel like this is an entitlement, without the work of many others, only a few people would have pretty blinky-flashy!

-Josh

ErnieHorning
08-08-2011, 07:33 AM
This is not directed at any one person.

I'm having difficulty imagining how $20 ($1.66 a month) is going to break anybody. You couldn't buy a book that could tell you what you can learn here in five minutes. Even though it's the off season, this site is still receiving more traffic than all the other major Christmas sites put together.

I'm not saying that you have to become a member but if you've logged on more than a hundred times there's really no reason not to.

caviar
08-08-2011, 08:42 AM
There are a lot of people that are maxed out or worst. That's what brings people here: to save money and learn how to do it at a low cost. Otherwise, we all would be using LOR. I personally feel like this is my website and I should pay to keep it going first, then by the lights second. That easy to say when you have money to do both. I think a small ad on the homepage for all to see that changes each time you log in would be fine, if the ad was from the venders that we use.

Macrosill
08-08-2011, 09:05 AM
Lets not let this get personal. Lets no longer discuss how someone can afford to help support the site or not. That is not what this thread is about.

Lets keep the suggestions rolling in, but nothing more. If you can think of a way to help then post it. If you think a suggestion someone posted is not a good idea then post that, but lets not argue.

I am putting together a committee to help me decide what path to take in the future. I always have, and always will, look to you, the members, the community, for guidance. This is a community built on the participation of you, not me.

If someone can help support the site, whether by posting, contributing designs and ideas, contributing funds or any other way, it is helpful. We are not a charity, we are an online community and there are more ways to support us than monetary.

The absolute best way to support this community is to help make it larger. Tell everyone about us, get them to join. Go elsewhere and rave about how great this place is. The more members we have the better we will be.

Please continue to make suggestions, as I can not think of it all and I can not perceive every perspective, I need you, you need you, We need you!

Wayne J
08-08-2011, 10:45 PM
So far, I think, one of the best suggestions would be the "fund raiser". Either once a year, or every six months.

macebobo
08-08-2011, 10:52 PM
It's been mentioned lots already, and I agree, it was months before I even realized what the supporting member thing was. A membership drive once in a while might help. I also wouldn't mind paying a little more for a membership (but not a lot please).

As for other ways to encourage people to "pay up", I thought restricting the for sale or group buy forums might be a good one. They could still read all the other areas to gain the knowledge, and get to know the site, but if they want to get into it and start building or buying it would help encourage them to buy a membership. It's just my opinion, but its not a lot of money to ask someone to contribute when they are probably already spending a fair amount on display stuff.

+1 on this. I had to do a post asking how I could join :)


I have and would ask other supporting members to put a link to the sign up page right in their signature line.

Also, what about a Join tab right next to the Library tab right at the top of this page?

Jrd
08-09-2011, 12:07 AM
So far, I think, one of the best suggestions would be the "fund raiser". Either once a year, or every six months.

Definitely the best suggestion. With optional higher levels of support after that.

dirknerkle
08-09-2011, 11:44 AM
I like the idea of giving members full access to almost everything, but only supporting members have access to the file library. Supporting members could have multiple levels of financial support but the privileges would be the same regardless of the amount of financial support. I suppose it would be nice to have a larger PM box, but as I keep it cleaned out anyway, that's less important to me. If the base level of support were $24 ($2/month) then you might have $36, $48, $60 and $100 levels. Name them differently (silver, gold, platinum or whatever...) but the only difference between them would be the individual's "good personal feelings" about supporting DIYC.

It might also be a good idea to be able to give the "gift" of support to another member. For example, kychristmas' scholarship program could include a "gift" support that members could donate to Kelly's program.

...just more ramblings from an old guy...

LabRat
08-09-2011, 12:00 PM
Out of interest... how many of you were aware of "DIYC merchandise"?

Due to the ever lovely Mrs. LabRat, I have no less than three pieces of DIYC apparel. (Two polo shirts, and a sweatshirt)
I wasn't even aware that the option existed, and yet she tracked them down.
Did you even know it existed?
As the existing site doesn't appear to highlight these offerings, are they still considered a valid product?
Would advertising for DIYC merchandise provide a reasonable additional revenue stream?
Would you find advertisements for these more (or less) offensive than for an offsite vendor?

So many questions...

:)

dirknerkle
08-09-2011, 03:11 PM
I was in the clothing/retail business for about 5 years, and it's a crapshoot. The cost of owning stock and "betting on the come" that somebody will walk into your shop and buy something is not a good bet. Sizing, returns, damage from humidity or other poor storage.... it's a dog that won't hunt. I'd recommend to the committee or whoever is chosen as an advisory committee to help DIYC's future that the concept of clothing sales, trinkets, and "souvenir" items be eliminated from consideration. It's not a liquid value as it ties up too much money in inventory.

LabRat
08-09-2011, 03:25 PM
I believe the existing method is "manufacture on demand". The majority of the profits probably go to the manufacturer, but I would hope that some it found it's way back to the site. (cafepress.com as I recall) So there's no inventory etc. It simply may not generate a reasonable income either.

g2ktcf
08-09-2011, 03:27 PM
I believe the existing method is "manufacture on demand". The majority of the profits probably go to the manufacturer, but I would hope that some it found it's way back to the site. (cafepress.com as I recall) So there's no inventory etc. It simply may not generate a reasonable income either.

Labrat beat me to it...this is the new model for this type of stuff.

djulien
08-09-2011, 06:03 PM
Out of interest... how many of you were aware of "DIYC merchandise"?

Due to the ever lovely Mrs. LabRat, I have no less than three pieces of DIYC apparel. (Two polo shirts, and a sweatshirt)
I wasn't even aware that the option existed, and yet she tracked them down.
Did you even know it existed?

Would it be possible to add certain PCBs, parts or other commonly needed items to the "DIYC merchandise"? Shirts and mugs are nice collectors' items, but they do not actually help to build a light display, whereas actual PCBs would, and would therefore have a larger "market".

It seems like this type of "merchandise" could still be offered within the scope of a not-for-profit site, if the small margin was being used to actually run the site itself rather than going to any individual.

don

dirknerkle
08-09-2011, 08:07 PM
Hey, Don.... that's an interesting idea. Let's see, if we tacked on $1 per order that would be the "fee" for advertising the group buy on the site, that would amount to a couple hundred bucks annually... and all the accounting is done by the seller (so brian doesn't have to monitor it)... not bad!!!!

chelmuth
08-09-2011, 08:40 PM
How about a Bake Sale? Dirk can make lutefisk cookies / brownies..

WakeFan
08-09-2011, 09:59 PM
Would it be possible to add certain PCBs, parts or other commonly needed items to the "DIYC merchandise"?don

I like the concept, but sellers would be on the honor system, which should be ok, after all this is a Christmas site. Sadly though, I don't think everyone would be fair about it. There would also be the offsites and other sites to "compete with". I do like the idea though, just thought I would throw some thoughts into it.

Closer to Thanksgiving, I think a membership drive would do well. I don't know how much we need to raise, but if it's around what I'm thinking we should be able to get enough supporting members to raise what we need. If all 8000 just donated 1.00, we would be ok right?

dirknerkle
08-09-2011, 10:05 PM
How about a Bake Sale? Dirk can make lutefisk cookies / brownies..


Cory, Cory, Cory.... the idea is to get people to JOIN, not chase them away!!! :lol:

LabRat
08-09-2011, 10:22 PM
Brings us right back to the notion of a $1.00 group buy tax/fee... doesn't it?

chelmuth
08-09-2011, 10:34 PM
What about one of those fund raising thermometers those are always fun to watch and make move..

Jrd
08-09-2011, 10:49 PM
I am aware of the store but there is no link in the page header and I don't remember where it is now.

Materdaddy
08-09-2011, 11:28 PM
I like the concept, but sellers would be on the honor system, which should be ok, after all this is a Christmas site. Sadly though, I don't think everyone would be fair about it. There would also be the offsites and other sites to "compete with". I do like the idea though, just thought I would throw some thoughts into it.

Closer to Thanksgiving, I think a membership drive would do well. I don't know how much we need to raise, but if it's around what I'm thinking we should be able to get enough supporting members to raise what we need. If all 8000 just donated 1.00, we would be ok right?

I actually think that Thanksgiving time might NOT be the best time. I have a feeling newbies like myself will be in a mad rush of over-budget spending to get our shows up and running. I have SPT on order, I have hardware, I have vampire plugs, etc. Somehow I have a feeling I'll need more of everything come Thanksgiving time. Splitters, inline GFCIs, enclosures, lights, etc. I bet that come setup time I'll be dumping money at the hobby in an attempt to get going. I'm not sure I'd have an extra $20-$50 to throw at the site at that point, no matter how appropriate it would be.

WakeFan
08-10-2011, 07:55 AM
I actually think that Thanksgiving time might NOT be the best time. I have a feeling newbies like myself will be in a mad rush of over-budget spending to get our shows up and running. I have SPT on order, I have hardware, I have vampire plugs, etc. Somehow I have a feeling I'll need more of everything come Thanksgiving time. Splitters, inline GFCIs, enclosures, lights, etc. I bet that come setup time I'll be dumping money at the hobby in an attempt to get going. I'm not sure I'd have an extra $20-$50 to throw at the site at that point, no matter how appropriate it would be.

That is true, I was thinking of the number of people on the site at that time.

djulien
08-10-2011, 09:02 AM
I also vote for the higher inbox count as a special feature.

Also, depending on the hosting provider, we may be able to offer simplified web site capabilities to members. For example, for members who do not have the time or expertise to set up their own web site, then just provide some tools and web space to allow a simple web site to be set up - an HTML editor, web site template with an About page, Show Times and Map, About My Display page, Photo Album, etc. Many hosting providers offer some of these tools already, and we could just add a Template for the 3 - 4 web pages listed above to give it a DIYC flavor.

don

tjetzer
08-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Note - This post is coming from a former supporting member, so I may offer a little bit different insight...

The reason I am a former supporting member is because I had no idea my supporting member status had expired. I received no email alerting me of my status expiring. Until recently, I haven't frequented the forum enough to pay attention to such details. Maybe an email alerting supporting members that their support is expiring would help?

I did a very quick glance at the forum today and see no obvious link to become a supporting member. How does one become a supporting member when there is no easy way to do so? I *know* about being a supporting member, but there are many that don't. If they don't know, and there isn't an obvious link, how will they ever become a supporting member?

I also disagree with a "tax" or "fee" on group buys. As a group buy facilitator, I find it would be difficult to properly assess this fee. There are quite a few people that have placed multiple orders with the group buy I am currently involved with. Should these individuals be charged the "fee" or "tax" for each order?

Here are my thoughts....

Supporting members should get access to the following:

Chat
No search time limit
Larger private message boxes
Group Buy forum
Posting in the buy/sell forum
Access to the Development forums

I will once again become a supporting member...just as soon as I figure out how.

Mactayl
08-10-2011, 10:44 AM
Here are my thoughts....

Supporting members should get access to the following:

Chat
No search time limit
Larger private message boxes
Group Buy forum
Posting in the buy/sell forum
Access to the Development forums

I will once again become a supporting member...just as soon as I figure out how.


I somewhat agree except for the Group Buy Forum, as it is now a new member could become a supporting member as soon as they pay the $20 but they should still have to wait at least six months or longer to start running a Group Buy.

jlowe
08-10-2011, 11:46 AM
I am quite new to DIYC. This Christmas will be my first. But I have been reading these forums for a while now. Until I read this thread, like other posters, I had no idea why some people had "supporting member" under their username.

This feature obviously needs to be more prominent.

Thinking some more on this... I have been a member of the Something Awful forums since '01, and it is quite successful, yet charges 10$ one-time membership. Some ways that they continue to draw in income:

To search (which uses a lot of processing power), you have to pay for a higher level account. Not saying levels are appropriate here, but search could be limited to "supporting members". Non-supporting members can still find things, but it's not as easy.

Archives: That forum "archives" old threads that haven't been posted to in a month. Obviously, here some threads may not be posted to in a long time, but they still are relevant, so it might be better to do a "one-year" thing and then archive them. If you want access to the archives, you have to be a supporting member.

Avatars: Only allow avatar selection for supporting members. This is a change that really wouldn't affect non-paying members, but it's important to some people.

As others have said, limit certain posting privileges to paying members, such as the buy/sell/trade & group buy type stuff. Only paying members can start a thread in that area, but non-paying members can post there.

I agree that vender advertising would be a great way to raise money, as this is a very targeted audience. Allow supporting members the ability to show or hide those advertisements.

For guests... allow them to read most of the forums, but hide some areas, such as "general". Put a notice at the top of every forum page for a guest asking them to register to access all areas of the forum.

Just some thoughts...
But I think limiting posts, or restricting things in a way that hinder the awesome resource that this site is would be a mistake.

chilloutdocdoc
08-10-2011, 12:46 PM
I somewhat agree except for the Group Buy Forum, as it is now a new member could become a supporting member as soon as they pay the $20 but they should still have to wait at least six months or longer to start running a Group Buy.

Rules require that you are a forum member for minimum 1 year before running a Group Buy.
Personally, I think the chat is a very useful tool for new members to use when diagnosing a problem, I don't think it would be wise to require supporting membership to use it.

tjetzer
08-10-2011, 12:47 PM
I somewhat agree except for the Group Buy Forum, as it is now a new member could become a supporting member as soon as they pay the $20 but they should still have to wait at least six months or longer to start running a Group Buy.

I am not proposing the waiting period to run a group buy be changed, I'm proposing access to the group buy forum is only granted to supporting members.

lowrider3121
08-10-2011, 12:57 PM
I wouldn't mind paying more to help out. I think we should have 3 levels of membership and a limit on how many time a new user can log in.

Mactayl
08-10-2011, 01:16 PM
I am not proposing the waiting period to run a group buy be changed, I'm proposing access to the group buy forum is only granted to supporting members.

That's OK, I was just wanting to make sure that someone would not get the wrong idea about group buy rules and think they could run a group buy without understanding how they work and some of the rules involved with one.;)

underdog
08-10-2011, 01:20 PM
To search (which uses a lot of processing power), you have to pay for a higher level account. Not saying levels are appropriate here, but search could be limited to "supporting members". Non-supporting members can still find things, but it's not as easy.

Archives: That forum "archives" old threads that haven't been posted to in a month. Obviously, here some threads may not be posted to in a long time, but they still are relevant, so it might be better to do a "one-year" thing and then archive them. If you want access to the archives, you have to be a supporting member.

IMHO the issue with this is that newbieís would FILL the forum with posts that have already been fully and completely answered. This happens fairly often as is (not complaining, we all have to start somewhere) and single replies with a link to a past post from a supporting member is just a extra burden, it comes across as "let me google it for you". The greatest reference I have, is the 'SEARCH' button on the forum, and the wiki!



Avatars: Only allow avatar selection for supporting members. This is a change that really wouldn't affect non-paying members, but it's important to some people.

This is the case I believe, As soon as I became supporting member I added my avatar!

tjetzer suggested the following for supporting members:
Chat - agreed
No search time limit - that would be nice, YES!
Larger private message boxes - sure
Group Buy forum - dicey, I was guilty of using the group buy, thatís where it began!
Posting in the buy/sell forum - perhaps, sometimes I feel some people are buying in a group buy, assembling, then reselling at a profit.
Access to the Development forums - no opinion.

I'd be ok developing some decals "DIYC, Danger High Voltage!", "Doityourselfchristmas.com University" for cars, and perhaps some channel number decals for enclosures, something that could be sold for forum profit. I like the DIYC gear idea.

bcstuff
08-10-2011, 05:34 PM
It's funny but just having this discussion is increasing the amount of supporting members.
Brian, I vote for a button on the title bar "Become a Supporting Member".

I like the thermometer idea Cory.

Click here to become a Supporting Member (http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/payments.php)
Help us reach our
http://thermometer.fund-raising-ideas-center.com/thermometer.php?currency=dollar&goal=1000000&current=100&color=red&size=medium
Provided by
Fundraising Ideas Center (http://thermometer.fund-raising-ideas-center.com/)

tlorek
08-10-2011, 06:17 PM
How about a DIYC email account for higher levels of support? (Sorry if it has been mentioned already...)

dowis
08-10-2011, 07:46 PM
I've just recently become a supporting member. But, I have to say that I'm happy that I did. It is a minimal cost to be able to help support this community. I don't have much else to offer being fairly new to the hobby.
I would lean toward the following if the decision were mine:

-Chat exclusively for contributing members
-The Lounge restricted to contributing members
-E-mail accounts would be a big incentive!
-Hosting of Group Buys only by contributing members
-Additional membership costs applied to commercial members

I also like the idea of a link on the main page for easier access to becoming a supporting member.

just my opinion

Thanks Brian for all that you do to keep this great community open to all of us and keep it running in the great condition that it is! You're hard work is appreciated!

Jrd
08-10-2011, 08:46 PM
I wouldn't mind paying more to help out. I think we should have 3 levels of membership and a limit on how many time a new user can log in.

A limit on how many times a user can log in would be a bad idea IMHO. And could encourage multiple accounts. Also such a limit would probably require an addon for the forum which may not currently exist.

blurp
08-11-2011, 09:41 AM
Whatever the advantages to becoming a Supporting Member wind up being, put a link on the forum that says "Click Here to see the Benefits of becoming a Supporting Member." Or something to that effect. Then spell them out on the linked page. But above all else, advertise the desire for Members to become Supporting Members. For most people, just asking them is enough. Most people who can support, and feel that they are getting a wealth of useful info in exchange for their support, will be happy to support. I also must echo the request for notification of expiring support. Mine was expired for several days or weeks before I realized it. Thank you, Brian, for providing this community a gathering place to share ideas and learn from each other.

Mudsculpter
08-11-2011, 08:48 PM
Automated reminders to supporters that dues are DUE. (personally I don't know when mine are up) small increase to regular yearly membership... $25? more?

Require that non-members see a log-in page that has the benefits of membership detailed. I do like ad supported non-membership. Must log in each visit. No "remember me" tick box. Timeout for session inactivity.

chelmuth
08-12-2011, 07:55 AM
I was having a chat with brian this morning and had an idea.. What about vendors being able to "sponsor" their own forums.
Also I agree with all of the comments on here about there being a become supporting or donate link on the navbar.. something like below.

chilloutdocdoc
08-12-2011, 08:43 AM
two good ideas cory, plus a nice plug :P

Skunberg
08-12-2011, 09:16 AM
I was having a chat with brian this morning and had an idea.. What about vendors being able to "sponsor" their own forums.
Also I agree with all of the comments on here about there being a become supporting or donate link on the navbar.. something like below.

I really agree with both of these. I like the navbar link being big and stand out without being obnoxious. Donate suggests other thoughts, "Become a Member" or similar wording to give people the feeling of becoming part of this community would be better. IMHO
A charge to group buys is a bad idea, lots of the group buys barely happen, and some of the marginal ones wouldn't happen with this charge added on. This is a big part of what goes on here and a limiter does not make sense to me. Again IMHO

Jrd
08-12-2011, 01:57 PM
I was having a chat with brian this morning and had an idea.. What about vendors being able to "sponsor" their own forums.
Also I agree with all of the comments on here about there being a become supporting or donate link on the navbar.. something like below.

I like that idea Vendors could sponsor/rent a forum for their business .

Also a donate/become a member link is definitely a good idea.


I really agree with both of these. I like the navbar link being big and stand out without being obnoxious. Donate suggests other thoughts, "Become a Member" or similar wording to give people the feeling of becoming part of this community would be better. IMHO
A charge to group buys is a bad idea, lots of the group buys barely happen, and some of the marginal ones wouldn't happen with this charge added on. This is a big part of what goes on here and a limiter does not make sense to me. Again IMHO

I agree with you, adding on to group buys is a bad idea.

mrpackethead
08-12-2011, 06:20 PM
I'll start by putting US$200 into the hat, no strings attached. Who will match me, who will just put up some cash, and get this thing sorted out. I a day or less i bet theres a thousand bucks of pledges.

Pyrotech
08-12-2011, 06:31 PM
I'd love to be a position to match that MPH, but I'm not so I'll offer up $20 to add to the kitty. If I'd had to pay for the help and info I've had off of members here I doubt I could afford it.;)

Aurbo99
08-12-2011, 09:31 PM
As a member of various forums, I'd toss this out there..

First off, I think we pay little for the resources we get here. I'd have no objection to upping my annual subscription fee to ~40 bucks to keep this place going strong.


Subscribed Members;

-posting capabilities in the Buy/Sale section
-posting of images/attachments on any thread
-Live Chat access
-in Forum CO-OP operator capability (Off-site only means you need to join that forum/site/store as well, which I find very annoying.)
-increased messagebox
-increased picture gallery



Oh and immediate access to Peggy at USA Prime Credit.. I hate being put on hold..

djulien
08-12-2011, 10:06 PM
I'd love to be a position to match that MPH, but I'm not so I'll offer up $20 to add to the kitty. If I'd had to pay for the help and info I've had off of members here I doubt I could afford it.;)

Can this type of thing be done via PayPal? (ie, make a contribution separate from just using the Supporting Member function) If so, how? (ie, can we just use the same destination as when becoming a Supporting Member). Or, maybe something like just hit the Supporting Member button several times?

don

Jrd
08-12-2011, 10:22 PM
-posting of images/attachments on any thread

Please elaborate, which forums do you have in mind to restrict image posting by Members?

mrpackethead
08-12-2011, 10:33 PM
How much money do you you brian?

a158946
08-12-2011, 10:47 PM
My thoughts:
It just took me 30 minutes to find out how I could become a supporting member. Definately wasn't easy to find. I didn't even know there was a member-supporting community going on here until I read this thread. I think ads on non-supporting members would be great. With or without the ads, it needs to be much easier to find a way to become a supporting member. how about a forum / search redirect page where it sits you on a page that tells you about the membership for 5-10 seconds, and then redirects to your result?

I'll be honest...Experts-exchange.com is very determined to have you become a member, but I don't use it enough to justify $150/yr...so I deal with having to scroll down through ads, and always find a google link to get me to the page I need. I have no hard feelings againts experts-exchange because of the trouble it is to find content...as a matter of fact, I am very grateful that they exist when I have a problem I'm trying to research.

I also agree with the idea to remind members to re-subscribe when their 1yr is up.

Random Ideas:
only allow external links for supporting members
non-supporting members get pre-set avatars
signature features restricted on non-supporting members
limit number of watched threads for non-supporting members
keep the registration at $20 for now...I think $20 is just low enough that people can say "ah, that's nothing...why not?" - speaking of which....I've got to go become a supporting member.

a158946
08-12-2011, 10:52 PM
speaking of which....I've got to go become a supporting member.
ooh...The site immediatly shows me as a supporting member....

Can "supporting member" be in sparkly red, white, and green LEDs?

buymyemu
08-12-2011, 11:55 PM
Given that this is a DIY forum, the suggestions to reduce cost by moving to less expensive hosting sites, by allowing members that can host/program help would seem to be the right way to go.

A question I would have to ask, is what is the size of the cost that is to be offset. Are we looking at 5000 members paying $20/year for $100,000. Or more like 500 members at $20= $10,000 year. Is the goal strictly cost offset, or is the site intended to generate a profit.

It is always hard to solve a problem without knowing the parameters: need more bandwidth, need more speed, need more paying members to buy more bandwith....

Disclose! I have always wondered what it costs to run somthing like this..

djulien
08-13-2011, 12:05 AM
Can "supporting member" be in sparkly red, white, and green LEDs?

Almost ... you could do that with your Avatar, which appears beside the Supporting Member status. (use an animated GIF)

don

Jrd
08-13-2011, 12:21 AM
Given that this is a DIY forum, the suggestions to reduce cost by moving to less expensive hosting sites, by allowing members that can host/program help would seem to be the right way to go.

A question I would have to ask, is what is the size of the cost that is to be offset. Are we looking at 5000 members paying $20/year for $100,000. Or more like 500 members at $20= $1000 year. Is the goal strictly cost offset, or is the site intended to generate a profit.

It is always hard to solve a problem without knowing the parameters: need more bandwidth, need more speed, need more paying members to buy more bandwith....

Disclose! I have always wondered what it costs to run somthing like this..

Good point, before "Member" privileges start being taken away how much is actually required to keep DIYC up? A "Donate" or "Become a Supporting Member" link may be all that is needed to keep enough money coming in to pay the bills. Plus there could be higher levels of support for members that are able to and feel lead to support more offering more PM and Blog space and maybe anything else that is currently limited.

Mudsculpter
08-13-2011, 12:24 AM
Can "supporting member" be in sparkly red, white, and green LEDs?

You can now get an avatar with sparkly red, white, and green LEDS


OOP,... sombody beat me to this answer.

g2ktcf
08-13-2011, 06:26 AM
Given that this is a DIY forum, the suggestions to reduce cost by moving to less expensive hosting sites, by allowing members that can host/program help would seem to be the right way to go.

A question I would have to ask, is what is the size of the cost that is to be offset. Are we looking at 5000 members paying $20/year for $100,000. Or more like 500 members at $20= $1000 year. Is the goal strictly cost offset, or is the site intended to generate a profit.

It is always hard to solve a problem without knowing the parameters: need more bandwidth, need more speed, need more paying members to buy more bandwith....

Disclose! I have always wondered what it costs to run somthing like this..

At the beginning of this thread we had 100 supporting members out of 8,000. This site is not about making money (and I do not even have to pass this by Brian before saying it!). The upgrade to a dedicated server is expected to be in the $1500 range above and beyond what we are spending now. Any monies over this will simply be used to upgrade and improve the site.

Macrosill
08-13-2011, 07:51 AM
Thank You Chris, for your support.

We only need what is required to support the site in the future.

Macrosill
08-13-2011, 08:04 AM
Given that this is a DIY forum, the suggestions to reduce cost by moving to less expensive hosting sites, by allowing members that can host/program help would seem to be the right way to go.

We can not go this route as we need tech support 24/7 and we utilize too many resources for any type of shared hosting. We currently are on a VPS and the only other step is a dedicated server. I do not think anyone has any idea as to what happens of there is a problem with the site for an hour or 2. My mailbox fills up rather quickly, people expect DIYC to be here 24/7 and nothing less will be accepted.


A question I would have to ask, is what is the size of the cost that is to be offset. Are we looking at 5000 members paying $20/year for $100,000. Or more like 500 members at $20= $1000 year. Is the goal strictly cost offset, or is the site intended to generate a profit.

No profit necessary.


It is always hard to solve a problem without knowing the parameters: need more bandwidth, need more speed, need more paying members to buy more bandwith....

Disclose! I have always wondered what it costs to run somthing like this..

It cost a couple thousand to run this site, as it sits now. It costs me about 200-300 hours per year on the administrative end. This is not a business, just a site run by a guy with thousands of members who gain knowledge and joy from it. I get some of that and lots of headaches. It is not always a walk in the park. There are more than just hosting costs involved. Sure, hosting is the big nut but lets not forget about all the other stuff, like vBulletin licenses, vbadvanced dynamics, vbadvanced cmps and Addon chat to name a few. Sometimes we have promotional items sent to gatherings and given away to promote the site.

ctmal
08-13-2011, 09:29 AM
Has the member count gone up since the creation of this thread? If so that somewhat proves the concept the awareness might be part of the solution. I.e. A 'become a member' button on non member's pages.

Macrosill
08-13-2011, 09:34 AM
If you have sent me a PM requesting to be on the Advisory Committee you have been promoted and should have received a PM from me. In the event I have missed anyone please send me a PM.

Thank you to all who replied with ideas, they are all being considered.

budude
08-13-2011, 11:40 AM
"Advisory Committee" - what is that?

Mactayl
08-13-2011, 11:49 AM
"Advisory Committee" - what is that?


See post #65 of this thread and also under the Quick Links tab click on view forum leaders

Macrosill
08-13-2011, 12:28 PM
Or the 1st post in this thread

a158946
08-13-2011, 01:58 PM
I like the idea of the advisory committee, but how about a poll to get feedback...The advisory committee might have a slight bias since they've been around a while. If you get 500 responses on a poll with say 75% non-supporting members that are all saying "hey, do this thing" then I think that would be a pretty good indication that it would be widely accepted.

Macrosill
08-13-2011, 03:41 PM
Well, I put the invitation out to anyone and everyone to PM me if they want to be on the committee. If only people who have been around a while responded and take an active role in the community then that is the feedback I want. If people are lazy and only want to "help" by clicking on a button instead of thinking and providing feedback then that is their loss. Participate and let your voice be heard. If you do not then that is fine but do not complain later on.

The above is a general statement, not to anyone in particular.

a158946
08-13-2011, 04:18 PM
I think that the feedback from active members is very important, and should have more weight than feedback from other members. I just think a poll would be a good way to collect feedback. I think that Brian and several others have done a mighty fine job of getting the DIYC community where it is now. Collect the data with something that lends itself to participation, and then let the active members (or the committee) decide how to interpret the data.

dirknerkle
08-13-2011, 04:52 PM
I think that the committee already has enough information to discuss and make a recommendation. I don't think a poll is going to add anything meaningful and has a good chance to muck it up. It may seem more democratic to have a poll, but I feel that the decision is ultimately Brian's to make. He's been very gracious in seeking input from users and I'm comfortable with whatever direction he wishes to go.

BTW, I am not on the advisory committee.

g2ktcf
08-13-2011, 05:00 PM
I think that the committee already has enough information to discuss and make a recommendation. I don't think a poll is going to add anything meaningful and has a good chance to muck it up. It may seem more democratic to have a poll, but I feel that the decision is ultimately Brian's to make. He's been very gracious in seeking input from users and I'm comfortable with whatever direction he wishes to go.

BTW, I am not on the advisory committee.

Very well said Dave!

ErnieHorning
08-13-2011, 05:25 PM
Poll's are also only as good as the selections.

Ever take a poll where you didn't like any of the selections but you still had to pick one?

Pyrotech
08-13-2011, 10:04 PM
Its only viewing this thread, then doing a search for "supporting members", that I found out they existed, and how to join....I wonder how many members are like me, I browse my areas of interest or use the search facility. So with all this talk of rising prices, I joined up for the year before the TAXES go up. :idea:

I survive on what I believe you Americans call workers comp, here industrial injuries benefit, I would ask that what ever changes you make, please keep the wiki and knowledge bases free.

zztopmo
08-14-2011, 12:36 AM
I agree.

dunnsr
08-14-2011, 05:11 PM
Brian,

I have said some of this to you before, but I am one of those that strictly believes that you need to be a member to participate... now this doesnt have to be a full "supporting member" but you can charge everyone 5 bucks to be a member... and that will give them access to the chat, the wiki, and the forums. as a NON member or Guest they would have access to the forums for a certain amount of time per day or something... helping each other out is what this site is all about, but wihtout the money there will be no site... therefore they need to be members to get help!!! and let me tell you, there are lots of places out there to get info but this is by far the biggest with the most helpful and willing people... thats a drop in the bucket.

so... non members... no pms, no wiki, no nothing except for the forums for a certain time
members, access to everything with limited pms ability to post new threads in certain categories
supporting members can post anything, have no 1 minute pm limit, have no limit on pms... or a much higher one... and possibly a link to their site on a seperate "supporting member sites" page.

just ideas... but i would make multiple levels of membership if the coding is easy enough... also i would think that when you become a supporting member, that you would have a box that allows you to pick a larger amount if you wanted to donate more to the cause.

might also have a yearly drawing similar to what KC does with his scholorship... for new members that year any leftover membership money buys a couple kits or something for a drawing for a prize of DIY goodies like a full SS pcb and kit or something... not much but a way for the site to entice new membership.

again my modest opinions.

seth

Mudsculpter
08-14-2011, 05:21 PM
I like the way you think

Jrd
08-14-2011, 09:14 PM
Brian,

I have said some of this to you before, but I am one of those that strictly believes that you need to be a member to participate... now this doesnt have to be a full "supporting member" but you can charge everyone 5 bucks to be a member... and that will give them access to the chat, the wiki, and the forums. as a NON member or Guest they would have access to the forums for a certain amount of time per day or something... helping each other out is what this site is all about, but wihtout the money there will be no site... therefore they need to be members to get help!!! and let me tell you, there are lots of places out there to get info but this is by far the biggest with the most helpful and willing people... thats a drop in the bucket.

so... non members... no pms, no wiki, no nothing except for the forums for a certain time
members, access to everything with limited pms ability to post new threads in certain categories
supporting members can post anything, have no 1 minute pm limit, have no limit on pms... or a much higher one... and possibly a link to their site on a seperate "supporting member sites" page.

just ideas... but i would make multiple levels of membership if the coding is easy enough... also i would think that when you become a supporting member, that you would have a box that allows you to pick a larger amount if you wanted to donate more to the cause.

might also have a yearly drawing similar to what KC does with his scholorship... for new members that year any leftover membership money buys a couple kits or something for a drawing for a prize of DIY goodies like a full SS pcb and kit or something... not much but a way for the site to entice new membership.

again my modest opinions.

seth

In my honest opinion an all or nothing approach like this will break this community. Also it's Kelly (kychristmas) that does the scholarship.

tjetzer
08-14-2011, 09:20 PM
In my honest opinion an all or nothing approach like this will break this community. Also it's Kelly (kychristmas) that does the scholarship.

I completely agree with this. If newbs aren't given an opportunity to see what this is all about, they will never see what it is about. If I would have come to this forum and saw "pay pay pay" I would have left left left!

yosemite
08-14-2011, 09:50 PM
I joined this forum about a year ago and never knew there was a supporting member option. I saw the supporting member logo on several of the members names but thought they were the support for the subjects they knew so well. I saw this post about a week ago and looked for a place to put my money up to
support this forum.I looked a few times but could not find a place that I could sign up. Today while looking at this thread again I saw a link from one of the members to become a supporting member so I did! I would like to suggest a link on the home page to at lease let non-members know its out there and why they should join. This is one of the best sites for this hobby and I have asked a lot of questions and helped answer a few. everyone is very helpful and some of the members put in a lot of their own time and a lot of effort to keep this going. Last year this time I wasn't even sure if I could pull this off but with the help of this forum I did. I just finished my Renard boards for this year and am looking foward to vixen 3 this year.
I want to thank everyone who helped me make this journey , so a little monetary support is well worth it.

Yosemite.

BF210
08-14-2011, 11:49 PM
Let's try simply raising awareness before we start raising prices. For example, the FAQ is a nice button at the top of this page, but right now it's mostly a generic vBulletin support document. The word "supporting" does not appear anywhere in it, according to the FAQ Search. I don't know difficult it might be to maintain, but some effort to mention "supporting membership" should be worthwhile.
How about adding a menu entry for "Support this Site" next to "Chat Room" in the Community and Quick Links submenus?

Materdaddy
08-15-2011, 12:19 AM
I completely agree with this. If newbs aren't given an opportunity to see what this is all about, they will never see what it is about. If I would have come to this forum and saw "pay pay pay" I would have left left left!

As a newb, I also agree completely with this. I was searching around for alternatives to the high cost LOR equipment, and on designing my own equipment (I'm a software guy who wants to play with hardware) and if I had to pay just to see what was going on here, I would have clicked right through and found some place else to land.

Everybody always talks about the wiki, points new people to the wiki, etc. Why not have a big "Support The Community" link at the top above the categories table?

budude
08-15-2011, 12:30 AM
I agree with many of the comments - ALL visitors/members should have read access to everything here. I lurked here and other places for a year or more before plunging in. I suggest we stick with one of the earlier premises of putting in ads for guests/non-supporting members, a low-level membership to rid you of ads ($10), a supporting membership similar to what we have now ($25) and a top-tier membership level ($50). With the top-tier comes a few extra perks - deeper PM box, ability to change name/title, quicker search, etc. It would be good to see that with top-tier membership comes some more responsibilities as well such as helping to keep the Wiki up-to-date, providing more how-to's, actively recruiting folks, etc since most of these folks will probably be the people with that have been around longer and have the most to offer.

Aurbo99
08-15-2011, 06:47 AM
the other way 'round,

restrict posting of images and attachments to non-subscribed members.

missed the quote thingy again.. see post 107.

bcstuff
08-15-2011, 09:22 AM
I saw someone elses signature with a link and I decided to also take the proactive approach....
See my sig below

dunnsr
08-15-2011, 04:04 PM
In my honest opinion an all or nothing approach like this will break this community. Also it's Kelly (kychristmas) that does the scholarship.

Well I wasnt really referring to an all or nothing approach, I must have worded it wrong... I just think that since the community does cost money then the members should contribute... and if your a guest you should have access, but just more limited...

I originally looked here just because i didnt want to pay LOR prices for equipment that I could build myself... so I searched and searched... and this was the best spot... once people come to the realization that this is the ultimate community, that is when i think a small fee should be implemented... heck it doesnt even have to be much... with over 8k members it could be 1 dollar a year

i just didnt want everyone to think that i was saying, the site would put up a stop sign unless you were a member.

caviar
08-15-2011, 10:19 PM
I agree with many of the comments - ALL visitors/members should have read access to everything here. I lurked here and other places for a year or more before plunging in. I suggest we stick with one of the earlier premises of putting in ads for guests/non-supporting members, a low-level membership to rid you of ads ($10), a supporting membership similar to what we have now ($25) and a top-tier membership level ($50). With the top-tier comes a few extra perks - deeper PM box, ability to change name/title, quicker search, etc. It would be good to see that with top-tier membership comes some more responsibilities as well such as helping to keep the Wiki up-to-date, providing more how-to's, actively recruiting folks, etc since most of these folks will probably be the people with that have been around longer and have the most to offer.

That sounds like the best thing I haved heard yet. The top-tier is a title that should be earned and only offered by Brian first, and then, Brian and the other top-tier members. That way you could keep trouble makers like me out. LOL

WireWrap
08-17-2011, 05:17 PM
How about a Bake Sale? Dirk can make lutefisk cookies / brownies..

BAD idea...

Homeland Security would be charging Dave with transporting terrorist materials:D:roll::D



:)

dirknerkle
08-18-2011, 12:12 AM
I just logged in and along the menu bar there is a new option: Donate.

Nice. I'm going there now to do my part.

bcstuff
08-18-2011, 05:02 PM
New spot also to view who donated from the main page, under quick links, view donations.

a158946
08-29-2011, 05:30 PM
Does anyone have an update on this? Have the new member sign ups and / or donations helped make a reasonable dent? what are the next steps?

intwoit2002
08-30-2011, 03:14 AM
I agree I have made a donation on top of my membership and have not received a thank you, not a thing. The administrator needs to let people know what the needs and goals are!

I would like some specific data not speculation or inference.

Thanks,
Al

Mudsculpter
08-30-2011, 08:36 AM
I want to say on behalf of the community a BIG thank you for your support in keeping this site running with your donation. It is the generosity of you and others that make this site a worthwhile place to visit and gain knowledge of DIYC.

a158946
08-30-2011, 09:02 AM
I agree I have made a donation on top of my membership and have not received a thank you, not a thing. The administrator needs to let people know what the needs and goals are!

I would like some specific data not speculation or inference.

Thanks,
Al

I trust that they are managing their resources wisely. I just want to know whether we are getting close to the target, or if we all need to start going door-to-door selling Dirk's cookies / brownies to raise some funds.

g2ktcf
08-30-2011, 10:01 AM
I agree I have made a donation on top of my membership and have not received a thank you, not a thing. The administrator needs to let people know what the needs and goals are!

I would like some specific data not speculation or inference.

Thanks,
Al


Just an FYI, a list of donors can be found here http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/misc.php?do=donlist

And I would like to thank all of you for your continuing support.

Penfold
08-30-2011, 11:05 AM
I agree with increasing the supporting membership fee, I am suggesting $30/year ($2.50 a month) and $20 for six months.

I agree with the ads for non-member individuals (guests).

Guests should have access to the forums, but not to see attachments.

A Become a Supporting Member button should be noticeable as mentioned in earlier posts. There should be some kind of flashing button on top to grab your attention and it doesn't have to be ginormous.

Perhaps, a little housekeeping could be in order (getting rid of "members" that have never once posted and are at least two years old) I know that makes us look bigger, but we should really only view people that contribute as members. Perhaps if an email was sent out asking them to respond to determine if they are in fact members with a time table.
Housekeeping on threads. Lounge threads not too pertinent should be deleted after six months. Again that is just a suggestion and I know that would be a HUGE undertaking.

Just my 1/2 cent after taxes.

Macrosill
08-30-2011, 09:18 PM
I agree I have made a donation on top of my membership and have not received a thank you, not a thing. The administrator needs to let people know what the needs and goals are!

I would like some specific data not speculation or inference.

Thanks,
Al

You should have received a Thank You reply when you made your donation. If this did not occur then I apologize. I would like to express my sincere thanks to you publicly. Thank You to all who made donations. You are helping ensure the future of DIYC. If each and every one of you who made donations did not receive the Thank You message please contact me and I will personally ensure you do. If anyone donated and is unhappy I am willing to return the donation with no hard feelings. There are always going to be glitches when new system are setup.

I would love to tell you we need x number of dollars to reach our goal but right now the Advisory Committee is still trying to figure out exactly what are future needs and goals are. We have already implemented some of the more direct functions but need time to iron out the rest. The committee is making progress and we do not want to rush into the wrong direction.

I have told the committee and I think I even publicly posted that the mere discussion about the lack of Supporting Members has increased Supporting Memberships by about 50 percent. If I did not publicly post it I apologize again. On top of my regular admin work load I have 52 threads in the advisory committee forum to watch over and read every single post. The I have to go reread a lot of the threads in their entierty to understand the last posted perspective.

Thank You once again to all who went above and beyond by making a Donation to the future of DIYC.

erm213
08-30-2011, 10:04 PM
Brian,

I don't recall if I got it or not. I don't need one, but I did want to say thank you to you. Being an admin can be a thankless job, but I do appreciate what you do for this site.

THANK YOU!!!!

Erik

dmcole
08-31-2011, 03:36 PM
Thank You once again to all who went above and beyond by making a Donation to the future of DIYC.
No, thank *you* Brian, for all your hard work. Having led a committee or two in my time, while I understand the need to have advisors, I don't envy you the chore of keeping them all in line ;) ...

So, thank you for your continuing hard work and thank the committee for getting involved and helping you plot out direction for our little community.

\dmc

Art
08-31-2011, 07:53 PM
That's what I'm talking about big subscribe button on main page. I became a member today, before that didn't know or didn't look on how to become one, This site has been very helpful for me, that 20 bucks is beyond worth it I hope a lot of people pitch in as well. and keep this thing going just the way it is:cool:

dirknerkle
08-31-2011, 09:00 PM
Well done, Art. Thanks for your support!

Matt_Edwards
09-01-2011, 06:22 PM
I don't recall receiving a thank you message for my donation, but I will do a search of my emails when I get a chance. For me, it is no biggy. I donated because I perceived the need to keep the piece of the web going and I was able to spare some extra cash.

The likes of Brian and those that were active in Computer Christmas have made this hobby what it is today - accessible to all.

We should all appreciate their effort in as many ways as possible. Some financially, some by service to the wider community, others by just getting in boots and all.
Thanks you.

Macrosill
09-02-2011, 06:39 AM
I must have missed a switch when I initially setup the donation system. I have gone through it and verified the settings again. Anyone who makes a donation from this point on should receive a Thank You PM when the donation is made and another when it is confirmed.

Thank You to those who brought this oversight to my attention. No disrespect was intended and I am sorry about my mistake.