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Macrosill
01-11-2008, 11:02 AM
This community has seen some enormous growth over the past couple months. I never dreamed it would get so large so fast. I honestly never thought it would get this large at all. Since my vision was for a small group of people sharing in a hobby it was logical to keep costs to a minimum. So far everything has been free as the software is free and the hosting is on my personal account. Now it seems we have outgrown the home we have. The software we use has about 14 different modification to the core code to get what you see here. This poses the 1st problem. There is no way the software can be upgraded without either loosing the mods or long hours of manual coding, again! The 2nd issue is having the url of www.doityourselfchristmas.com...... I think DIYC should have its own identity at this point. Now it may be my fault we are at this juncture because I did not see the growth we have experienced. However I feel we should make a change and make sure this does not happen again. I think now is the time to do it for if we wait things may just get more difficult.



Now my plan of attack.
1. Move the hosting over to the DIYC url account. The url for the current location would either show a 301 error, telling search engines the site has permanently moved to the new url and/or a redirect and/or a page just informing the user that the page has moved and give the new url. Most external links may be dead, I am not sure, but that will only get worse in the future.
2. Change the bb software from phpbb to vBulletin. This would give up a more complete feature set from the start. vBulletin is a paid for software package and has professional support. phpbb is free and the only support is in a forum nature with responses from other users and some coders. vBulletin has less security concerns and patches are released regularly if the need be. Most mods made to vBulletin are not made to the core code but are add-ons. This allows the continued upgrading of vBulletin without the loss of add-ons and is a more streamlined process.
3. As vBulletin is not free but a much more pwerful package that I feel meets our needs better I think it is worth the cost. There are a few ideas I have to offset the costs. One is to have a "Supporting Member" rank with some extra priveledges assigned to it. Things like a larger sig size, larger pm quota and a banner under your rank. This would help make the site self sufficient. I am willing to start things off in the beginning as the DIYC bank account is empty, :lol: .

The migration would be pretty easy. vBulletin has a import tool available that would "read" the existing bb info and import it into the new vBulletin install on the new server. I am not going to lie, there have been some minor issues on occasion with import but nothing that causes data loss. Like I said it only reads the data, it does not extract it. From reading the issues that arise are minor and can be fixed in a couple hours of manual work. Thats my job so you need not worry about it.

So that is the grand plan I have at this point. Like I said earlier it may not be completely painless as far as links and things go but it would be easier to do now than if we wait longer. The longer we wait the worse and harder it will get. The only reason I can think of not to migrate over to new software and server is if we think we will never need to upgrade anything ever! So I think it is a no brainer. What are your thoughts?

edit: I forgot to say this. One of the features we may be able to bring over is the photo album. However it is not used asa much as I anticipated and do not think it is a detrimental effect.

Trepidati0n
01-11-2008, 11:08 AM
I'll be the first to say this...do what you think is the "right thing to do". You have been on the mark so far...don't see a reason to question your aim now. I have a few founding fathers I can send your way...I saved enough on christmas lights because of this place :)

kostyun
01-11-2008, 11:39 AM
I would support this 101%!

wjohn
01-11-2008, 11:40 AM
i second that, and put my money on the Blinky Blink Bar.

tstewart
01-11-2008, 11:41 AM
Sounds like a great idea. The site having its own URL would be great.


Todd

Trip
01-11-2008, 11:42 AM
I am for it. vb is a much better software package and will be a welcome change. Supporting members is also a great idea to let us help you offset the cost of running this board we all benefit from.

good call!

pete
01-11-2008, 11:56 AM
You Lead Boss I will follow, and let me be the first to ask...Where do i send my membership fee?

Pete

Michael
01-11-2008, 12:04 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Do It. And publish the paypal address to send money to the blinkey bar.

- Michael

hutchijw
01-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Im in for the change. It will be good for the community and it's better to be done sooner than later

tconley
01-11-2008, 01:13 PM
What about the Wiki you integrated the login into the wiki will that be affected

jderba
01-11-2008, 01:16 PM
Go for it Brian, and don't forget the PayPal button!

Jack

Macrosill
01-11-2008, 01:23 PM
The wiki would move too and should function as it does now. The chat would follow as well.

pete
01-11-2008, 01:48 PM
Ok, I'll start packing. :D

scharbon
01-11-2008, 01:56 PM
I'm in. Most of us early birds promised to help you defray the cost of setting up the new forum when you started this in May anyway - so this really doesn't come as a shock. Can you give us a ball park as to how much the whole migration cost will be? It would help me size my donation to get you started.

I also assume there would be annual maintenance fees charged to the forum for the software, domain name, and server where the forum will be located? Again, not a problem, but you shouldn't shoulder the entire burden of running the forum because you are the moderator. I just would like to have a little information so I know what I have already signed up for :D

I appreciate all of your hard work on this forum. Keep up the great work

Steve

Macrosill
01-11-2008, 02:17 PM
The vBulletin license is 160.00 for life. An annual fee after the 1st year of 30.00 for updates. The hosting should be around 60.00 per year for the same package I am currently using for my personal account and it seems to be working well.
So 160.00 + 60 = 220.00 for the 1st year, approximately.
Then 60 + 30 = 90.00 annually there after.

Not big potatoes but they are even smaller when spread out among hundreds of people.

Walden
01-11-2008, 02:34 PM
I just type in doityourselfchristmas.com anyway

lbro
01-11-2008, 02:50 PM
The vBulletin license is 160.00 for life. An annual fee after the 1st year of 30.00 for updates. The hosting should be around 60.00 per year for the same package I am currently using for my personal account and it seems to be working well.
So 160.00 + 60 = 220.00 for the 1st year, approximately.
Then 60 + 30 = 90.00 annually there after.

Not big potatoes but they are even smaller when spread out among hundreds of people.

well, if everyone here sends you $1. you should be set for years.
All in favor?
I

RavingLunatic
01-11-2008, 03:02 PM
Just an idea:

One time "Life Time Contributing Member" status for $10 or $15

Yearly "Contributing Member" status $2


Yes, this method would get you a lot more cash now than what you currently need for this year but I don't think small yearly contributions would do anything except make paypal richer (since they would get .30 + 2.9% for each transaction).

This would also give you a cash reserve for the annual updates/upgrades that you wouldn't necessarily need to remind the community to chip in for.

Even tho we are over 1200 strong now I don't think all members will kick in since they can get all the info for free and many only visit occassionally.
But I'm sure the majority of "seasoned" members will have no problem in making this happen.

ikabod
01-11-2008, 03:49 PM
That's a good idea. Even I'm just a new member I'm willing to shed ff $10 for a lifetime membership fee. Every penny is worth the time joining in this great forum. I've learned alot and will learn more.

My suggestion is to keep every board open and free even for those non-paying members. Payment of membership should be all voluntary we can have a private board for those members that contributes but support should be the same for everybody else.




Just an idea:

One time "Life Time Contributing Member" status for $10 or $15

Yearly "Contributing Member" status $2


Yes, this method would get you a lot more cash now than what you currently need for this year but I don't think small yearly contributions would do anything except make paypal richer (since they would get .30 + 2.9% for each transaction).

This would also give you a cash reserve for the annual updates/upgrades that you wouldn't necessarily need to remind the community to chip in for.

Even tho we are over 1200 strong now I don't think all members will kick in since they can get all the info for free and many only visit occassionally.
But I'm sure the majority of "seasoned" members will have no problem in making this happen.

JEEPGUY
01-11-2008, 03:50 PM
Count me in to ante up for defraying the cost! I think the lifetime and/or yearly cost idea is great.

shocker
01-11-2008, 04:01 PM
you should have section for contribuating member so if u want to acces it pay a small yearly fee, you could put the coop for example, or files, chat whatever u want

by the way i could spare a 5 $ anytime for this site

grages
01-11-2008, 04:16 PM
Brian,

How ever you wish to handle it, you have done and are doing a tremendous job. Just tell me where to send the money. Paypal or Check, your call.

Shawn

wbuehler
01-11-2008, 06:28 PM
Sign me up for a lifetime supporting member account
I'm in

Bill

holtm
01-11-2008, 07:13 PM
Whenever you are ready to accept $, I'm there.

RJ
01-11-2008, 07:16 PM
And the paypal account was?

Ronp
01-11-2008, 07:25 PM
no way not going to pay :twisted: Ill go elswere

Jeff Millard
01-11-2008, 07:32 PM
no way not going to pay :twisted: Ill go elswere

HA! I just fell out of my chair on the floor!
Brian, say the word and my PayPal account will fill your pockets!!!

Jeff

Macrosill
01-11-2008, 07:40 PM
I can only assume that everyone willing to donate is supportive of the proposed changes.
Thanks to all. I will let this go another couple of days to make sure it gets the exposure to most of the regular visitors before anything is started.

This thread is not intended for people to sign up for donations. It is intended for people to voice their opinion of the proposed changes, either for or against. You control this forum so make sure you are heard.

Wayne J
01-11-2008, 07:42 PM
no way not going to pay :twisted: Ill go elswere

I'm with him!^^^^^^^


:wink:

dnesci
01-11-2008, 07:53 PM
I'm new, I'm in. I got $10 worth of knowledge on day one. And at my age it's getting harder and harder to learn.

XmasInGalt
01-11-2008, 08:52 PM
Just say when and $$$

Greg in Canby
01-11-2008, 08:59 PM
I'm in for the lifetime gig. PayPal or check - doesn't matter.

Member's only area may be a nice touch, not a deal breaker for me though.

RJ
01-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Brian or Brain .. Which ever you like better.

I think what we are saying is that you are the man. You are the one running this forum and leaders must lead. If this is what you feel is the right thing to do then we are ready to fund it. You can't get much more supportive than to open your wallet to fund a plan. No one so far can see any reason it doesn't make sense to do this so take the bull by the horns our leader and lead us that way. Give us a paypal account and let us send you some money so you can begin the process.

RJ

stempile
01-11-2008, 10:25 PM
Agreed.

ms

DynamoBen
01-11-2008, 11:44 PM
This is just a cautionary tale.

I'm all for the idea, in fact I don't think there is much choice with the recent increase in population. However I've seen this happen before where a group decides to go the pay route with their forum. Everyone pays diligently for the first few years and then it gets to the point where the admin is paying out of pocket. I would hate to see that happen.

What if there is a coop "surcharge"? Basically a tax added to each coop item to fund the forum. Once the financial needs for the forum are met for that year the surcharge would be rescinded. This surcharge would only occur when private donations don’t cover that year’s expenses.

RavingLunatic
01-12-2008, 12:19 AM
Ben - I agree that the pay route may have some potential pitfalls. That is why I believe that trying to handle it on a year-to-year basis could have problems.

If Brian goes with a $10 "Lifetime Member" fee and 100 of us dedicated/addicted types pay then he has a $1000 fund to handle the website issues. Using the figures he quoted earlier, it would mean that we would be covered for the next 8 years during which time hopefully more folks join and kick in.

The 2 biggest problems I see for Brian under this plan would be:
1) Keeping track of the DIYC fund and paid members
and
2) future members who might get the idea that Brian is raking in huge $$ from the community and vactioning in the Bahamas with the DIYC fund :D

If that fund did dry up and our growth slowed/stopped, then something like a coop fee could be developed. But that of course could lead to many more issues/problems.



I'm sure that Brian will come up with a plan to take us to the next level with the least amount of pain to the individuals.

daviddth
01-12-2008, 12:23 AM
I cant see EVERYONE signing up to help - I'd expect maybe 10% to 20% to say yes, and probably 50 to 80% of them to actually help when the time comes.

That should still add up to some serious $, and enough to add up for the hosting.

Sign me up as a definate yes for the changes and as a financial supporter. Be nice if those that actually financially supported the site could have a special sig (or the option of one), or added to a user group with a "Blinky-Bar" exclusive area in the forum that the non-supporters dont have. I dont want you to make those that support "More special" but have a little something as a bonus for the bill-payers.

Dan Ross
01-12-2008, 12:33 AM
Sounds good to me. I say go for it and let us know where to send the $$ to.

hmm larger sig size, I guess I can come up with something.

Northern Lights
01-12-2008, 10:35 AM
Brian, count me in for support as well.

Great forum, great people, great information, great job!!

Thanks... Mark

Macrosill
01-12-2008, 11:38 AM
Step 1 is complete. I have added a hosting account to the domain www.DoItYourselfChristmas.com .

Step 2 is purchasing and setting up the new bb software.

Step 3 is importing the data from this forum into the new one.

We are on our way.

Macrosill
01-12-2008, 11:48 AM
Well I forgot to list a step.

Step 1.1 Set up a paypal account is complete.
Any wanting to send donation to help fund our new home can do so now. All monies will be used soley for the support of the DoItYourselfChristmas.com website.

You can send a paypal payment to admin@doityourselfchristmas.com

The supporting member features of the new bb software have not been decided on or configured yet. I will retain a list of all contributors and each will be assigned the appropriate account enhancements at the proper time. There have been no support thresholds set up yet. So any donations at this time are done so at your discretion without promise of any particular benefits at this time.

edit: if you decide to help out please indicate your diyc username in the comments section of the paypal screen so I know who the donation is from.

All these separate accounts are being set up in the event I can no longer properly administrate the community it can easily be turned over to another to continue on the future of DIYC.

RavingLunatic
01-12-2008, 12:26 PM
A contribution has been sent!

If you decide a larger amount is needed for "contributor" status let me know.

shocker
01-12-2008, 12:26 PM
my 10$ is sent hope it help

lbro
01-12-2008, 12:41 PM
no way not going to pay :twisted: Ill go elswere

I'm with him!^^^^^^^


:wink:

Now that I think about, Your right Wayne. Lets start a revolt! :twisted:

hutchijw
01-12-2008, 12:58 PM
My contribution has been sent as well.

Thanks for doing all the hard work for us Brian.

Trepidati0n
01-12-2008, 01:49 PM
Another echo...donation sent boss.

RJ
01-12-2008, 02:52 PM
Done!

jderba
01-12-2008, 03:12 PM
Donation sent with many thanks

Northern Lights
01-12-2008, 03:17 PM
Donation sent.

Thanks again... Mark

scharbon
01-12-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm paid up.

And on the topic of enhancements for paying members, I would propose nothing more than just an annotation to the member skill level (optional at the members request - talking about Lighting sequencer, lighting engineer, ...).

I don't think we are paying to be recognized, we are paying to help all. Giving us special access to other areas is pretty close to making this pay for service which is not the intent of Brian's plan and perhaps inconsistent with the whole concept with which the forum was set up.

A lot of you guys develop hardware and software and that is how you contribute to the forum. Lots of guys run coops, that's how they contribute to the forum. Lots of you guys contribute in multiple ways. I have neither brains nor time so all I can contribute are slightly humorous statements, some vacuous comments, and on rare occasion - a good question. I want my contribution to help all on an equal basis.

I would hope the rest of the forum members who, like me, have limited ways to contribute, step up and help eat this bill. It would be great if we got enough money that the developers and coop runners wouldn't feel compelled to contribute (notice I wrote this after most of them already contributed :D ). Anyway, that's my two cents worth. I could be wrong - I often am - just ask my wife. Whatever Brian decides I am fine with it.

Steve

ben
01-12-2008, 06:19 PM
do what you want, just make it so it passes my schools blocks as a personall page. :D

Ben

RussSTman653
01-12-2008, 07:50 PM
I'm paid up.

And on the topic of enhancements for paying members, I would propose nothing more than just an annotation to the member skill level (optional at the members request - talking about Lighting sequencer, lighting engineer, ...).

I don't think we are paying to be recognized, we are paying to help all. Giving us special access to other areas is pretty close to making this pay for service which is not the intent of Brian's plan and perhaps inconsistent with the whole concept with which the forum was set up.

Steve

I agree, becuase if certain features are only available on pay it is pay for service. That might deter a lot of growth and talented people who could potentially come up with great new concepts for the site.

Greg in Canby
01-12-2008, 09:48 PM
Done.

Brad Riley
01-12-2008, 09:54 PM
Donation sent.

Thanks to you Brian, not only the members of this forum get to enjoy the result of what we do for a hobby. Thousands of people world wide get to enjoy also. I am humbled.

Brad Riley

wbuehler
01-12-2008, 10:05 PM
Money Sent

Bill

grages
01-12-2008, 10:11 PM
Donation sent with many thanks, let me know if you need more.

Shawn

kylec
01-13-2008, 12:22 AM
Donation sent! Don't spend it all in one place :wink: .

teberle
01-13-2008, 01:04 AM
Brian,

Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. What kind of space will be permitted on the hosting servers? Is there any limit on the bandwidth?

Monies will be sent shortly.

Tony

Macrosill
01-13-2008, 08:54 AM
100GB storage and 1TB bandwidth. We also get 1,000 email addresses.

Some of the ideas for supporting members I am considering is larger pm box, larger sig line, "supporting member" logo under you rank and possibly a diyc email account. Just an fyi. I am not fond of the special locked forum area idea.

jwells
01-13-2008, 09:55 AM
My contribution has been sent. Looking forward to the changes.

Brian thanks for all your efforts to provide this board for our
hobby/obsession/addiction

Jim

PacMang
01-13-2008, 10:17 AM
I know i have only been here for a couple weeks but i feel like i have already gained much knowledge on the hobby. My Donation has already been sent in.

Last year i looked around the web for how to comupterize my lights but all i found were sites that pushed premade systems... I knew i could not afford to do what i wanted if i was paying 30+ per channel....

Unfortunatly i did not find this site last year...

I am gratefull for all the members here that freely share their knowledge and ideas...

thanks
PacMang

pixeldigger
01-13-2008, 01:13 PM
Brian,

I have not read the entire thread, but I own a vBulletin License, and have never actually USED he BB software.

Maybe we can use this?

grages
01-13-2008, 01:48 PM
Brian,

I have not read the entire thread, but I own a vBulletin License, and have never actually USED he BB software.

Maybe we can use this?

Very Generous Offer, What a community! :D

kmiller
01-17-2008, 08:25 PM
contribution sent. Thanks for all of your work.

rstehle
01-18-2008, 01:30 AM
I'm a newbie, but very glad to contribute. You all have managed to get me hooked on a fantastic new hobby, and potentially saved me hundreds (or thousands.......) of dollars in equipment costs! Count me in!

Randy

hutchijw
01-18-2008, 08:34 AM
I'm a newbie, but very glad to contribute. You all have managed to get me hooked on a fantastic new hobby, and potentially saved me hundreds (or thousands.......) of dollars in equipment costs! Count me in!

Randy

Just think of all the money you could say you saved especially if you switched to Geiko also 8)

blurp
01-18-2008, 09:38 AM
Count me in! Paypal sent. I'm more than willing to pay for the wealth of knowledge I have found here.

rstehle
01-18-2008, 12:18 PM
I'm a newbie, but very glad to contribute. You all have managed to get me hooked on a fantastic new hobby, and potentially saved me hundreds (or thousands.......) of dollars in equipment costs! Count me in!

Randy

Just think of all the money you could say you saved especially if you switched to Geiko also 8)

Darn, you guys are smart. Wish I would've thought of that! :lol:

deplanche
01-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Once I pay off all the credit cards bills from the holidays (3 birthdays in my family within 1 month of Christma), the gas bill to heat my home, and the electric bill for running my static light display, I'll be sending a donation. Have to take care of obligations before I take care of fun! :)

And I definately would contribute rather than having to deal with things like ads all over the website/forum. Here I have been able to find some very good information quiet easily. On some other similiar sites, I have had a very difficult time finding what I am looking for with ads, pop-ups, etc.

On a side note, I saw a thread a while ago about possibly putting the DIYC name and logo and things like hats or shirts. Since anyone willing to buy/wear those would likely be in favor of support the site, you could add a few bucks to the cost of those to go for the website. I know I gladly pay $15-$20 for T-shirts at benefits that I know cost around $5 to make. Just a thought.

Another idea is to have an "offical" DIYC member banner, sticker, template (not sure exactly what to call it). But something that you put on the bottom on the "Tune to" signs everyone puts out. Even if you people who didn't pay put it on their signs, it would help to increase the number of visitors to the site, and even if only 10% join and/or contribute, that's 10% more than you would have had otherwise.

Ok, I'll stop babbling now.

WWNF911
01-19-2008, 07:25 AM
Contribution sent.

Thanks Brian!




Leon

Macrosill
01-19-2008, 07:25 PM
Alright, settle down. This has gotten way off topic. If you want to argue about paypal fees then do so in another thread.


edit: Since some people do not listen or read I had to split this topic and move the off topic posts to another thread.

BillAd
01-20-2008, 02:31 PM
Brian,

Best money I've spent in a long time. Thanks for all your efforts, payment sent.

Bill

Dan Ross
01-20-2008, 03:44 PM
Money sent. Thanks again.

omzig
01-20-2008, 04:46 PM
Sent my donation. Thanks for an awesome forum!

tconley
01-21-2008, 06:18 PM
I sent my $15 Macrosil

Elmo2resc
01-23-2008, 01:22 AM
Brian, Money sent....Thanks for the great site... Jerome