Donate to help the cause!

If you want to help us move Yamaha Forums to the next level you can do so by donating here.

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Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:52 pm

No doubt you will have noticed there is a donations link in the menu as shown in this screenshot
donate.png
donate.png (13.23 KiB) Viewed 1922 times
and a progress bar along the top of the forum indicating how far we have got, although I do have to update it manually so if you do donate please bear with me. You will also find two 'Donate' links in this post

Normally I am not comfortable with asking people to donate as many of you already give up a lot of your time to help out on the forum. However in this case I am looking to port the entire site over to VBulletin, which unlike PhpBB is not a free open source system. The current license is$399 but that does also give us a mobile app which considering 47% of our visitors are now coming via mobile devices might be a very good thing indeed.

So why the jump from a free system to a paid system? Well if you have been keeping up with current events re the updating of the forum saga you will know that right now we are stuck on phpbb 3.1.10 and cannot make the jump to version 3.2. This is a limitation of both the server it's running on and bugs in phpbb which prevent the update completing properly. This caused us a LOT of trouble over the last few weeks with lost posts and memberships and I definitely do not want to go down that road again.

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For me then, phpbb has reached it's limits. We need a more stable platform and one which can be more easily updated and modified.

VBulletin provides us with a lot more features than we currently have...take a look at the Gearslutz forum for a good example and I think our member will appreciate the functionality that will become available to them. This in turn leads to growth of the forum which is a win/win for all of us. The recent changes I made to the registration process has increased membership but I want to take it a lot further than that.

So I have a lot of things in the pipeline but first we need to tackle the move to a new platform. I can do all the technical stuff but I don't have very deep pockets at the moment. We can raise funds through advertising but a lot of that depends on people visiting the forum and clicking on adverts and right now that is not being particularly fruitful. So if you can give, please do but also please do not feel pressured into doing so. I know times are hard for all of us right now. I'm sure we will get there eventually but obviously the sooner the better :)

All the best

Saul
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:30 pm

Just wanted to thank all those who donated to help us move to a new platform. We had a fantastic response and the goal was reached in just two days!

Will crack on with sorting out the migration and update everyone when we are ready to push the button.

Thanks again.

Saul
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by parametric » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:59 pm

Any chance of making member's LOCATION visible again? It's SO useful when offering advice on appropriate sources for goods/services etc . . .

Perhaps this can wait 'til after migration?

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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:43 pm

parametric wrote:Any chance of making member's LOCATION visible again? It's SO useful when offering advice on appropriate sources for goods/services etc . . .

Perhaps this can wait 'til after migration?

parametric
Can do that but of course it's always been voluntary so if people don't give their location it won't show. I think I did try making it a required field on the sign up but either people didn't fill it in properly or they ignored it. Ignoring it should not have allowed them to proceed but of course this is phpbb and things don't always work.

Will check the options in VBulletin and see what can be done.
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Davhol » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:22 pm

I want to donate but can't see how! Please advise Saul.
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Davhol » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:27 pm

I found the Donate link but I want dollars, NOT pounds! Any help please?
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:56 pm

Davhol wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:27 pm
I found the Donate link but I want dollars, NOT pounds! Any help please?
Hi Dave, it should let you select dollars. There is a drop down box to select currency :)
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Davhol » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:57 pm

Hi Saul...saw the "Donate now" button and was able to donate in US $.
Fyi, if you use the "Donate now" link in your long post, I do NOT have a dropdown. That's why I was confused...
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:02 pm

Ahh I see :) Thanks for the heads up on that. The whole donate thing is a bit clunky to say the least but phpbb which this forum runs on is not very flexible in that regard. Most "extensions" are not exactly smoothly implemented.

Oh and thanks so much for that very generous donation! That's incredibly kind of you and very much appreciated.
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Davhol » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:28 pm

Happy to help keep this forum going! If everyone would just give $10 now and then, what a difference that could make!
It's a great site!!
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Davhol wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:28 pm
Happy to help keep this forum going! If everyone would just give $10 now and then, what a difference that could make!
It's a great site!!
It certainly would Dave but as you probably know when something has been free to use for so long people get used to it and forget the amount of time and effort not to say cost that goes into keeping the show on the road. That's why we started the T-Shirt thing. So at least people would also get something tangible in return for supporting the forum. Unfortunately even that doesn't work.

Still, I guess that's just the nature of things and how the web works these days.

Thanks again and do remember you can always contact me direct as well as on the forum :)
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Davhol » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:55 pm

Hi Saul...how does one.contact you directly please.
Thanx!
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Derek » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:14 pm

The problem is, if I can be so bold, Dave, is that it is not that simplistic. Some of us did donate money for the forum migration, and it never happened, for reasons I understand, but it sort of makes me reluctant to offer more, and then there is all the free time I give answering queries over the past ten years (is it really that long?). If I were to charge for that even at a modest dollar rate per hour .....

Having said that, I would not be adverse to paying a modest subscription to keep things going, but that would need to be a uniform cost to all users as it would not be fair for dedicated few to take the burden. And I can pretty much guarantee that the already sparse traffic would vanish quicker than rocking horse doo doo if Saul were to charge.

T-Shirts and mugs is a bit of a niche thing that people will want or won't want. Personally I don't need a DX7 T-Shirt or mug, so do not wish to pay for something I won't wear. I can appreciate why Saul is trying this model of course.

All of which makes it a tricky job and a dilemma for somebody like Saul who has ongoing costs for running a forum. There is no easy or simple answer. One option is doing something like Sharp over at the Korg forums managed (not sure how) which is that Korg pay for and provide the web hosting for his independent Korg forum. Seems to work.....
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by Saul » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:31 pm

We still have that Vbulletin license and had VB support been more honest when I asked them about migrating from phpbb to that platform we would not have been in a situation where we have a license and nothing to use it with. If anyone can port the forum to Vbulletin that would be great, would love to hear from you. As that is unlikely to happy though as soon as I have enough spare cash I will be happy to return the few donations we had for it and then I will use the software for something further down the road.

Yamaha definitely won't be paying for our hosting anytime soon and even if they did they would want some sort of editorial control on the forum and that is not happening. Anyway I'm lucky if I can get a reply from them these days. We have covered that ground and the reasons behind it in other threads though so won't go into it here.

As for traffic we don't have sparse traffic at all, in fact we have more traffic than yamahasynth.com. What we don't have is consistent USER participation although that has certainly picked up over the last few months. There is nothing anyone can do about that the majority of people come here because they can get the info they want without registering and posting on the site.

Unlike our two main competitors we didn't start out as a business. They had that model from the very beginning and also had financial backing to put it into practice. They now employ teams of people to develop the sites and promote them. With this site it's just me and it's a full time job. Anyone who thinks running a site like this and getting it where it is in the search engine ratings AND keeping it there is easy really ought to give it a try. There is much I do every day behind the scenes that none of you ever see. But I love doing it. That's a dilemma for me because it IS a full time job and that impacts on my, what I would call "day job". the one that pays the bills...or rather often doesn't these days.

So like many other site owners who are trying to balance things I am attempting to get the site to a point where it generates enough revenue that not only I can work on it full time but that I can pay others to do likewise. Going by current levels of income that won't be happening during my lifetime :(

I would never go down the route of charging for anything on this site. Subscriptions would be great IF everyone subbed but as Derek pointed out it would most likely be a handful of people basically subsidising everyone else.

Community sites like this are a nightmare to generate revenue from..which in part is why we also have a front end site as it lends itself more to that type of thing.

If people don't want to donate that's fine, plenty of people give in other ways with their time and expertise.

In an ideal world I would be independently wealthy and would not have to think about donations, adverts or generating revenue but short of a lottery win that is not a situation I am going to find myself in. So we juggle ideas around and hope it won't impact on the site too much. But I can tell you none of it is working right now and I am pretty much out of ideas.

Just wanted to add that the T-Shirts are not all 'DX7' and in fact most of them have no musical theme at all. There is a wide variety of designs there. Sure not everyone wants a t-shirt and there are plenty about these days but, the point is, for those that do want one and they can find something they like in the selection we have then not only are they getting a great t-shirt but it does also help the forum at the same time.
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Re: Donate to help the cause!

Unread post by parametric » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:04 am

Just bunged you a little to be going on with. :wink:

Chris
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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