A-U Revival: funding
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Author:  [ January 21st, 2011, 3:30 pm ]
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I know!! Lothy asked back on page one for people who wanted to donate to PM her but I think the money issue is so important that we need to promote it more so everyone who might want to donate, actually gets aware of this.

We absolutely need to know if anyone signed up to be a part of a donor team or how we actually stand on this.

Author:  Eruraina [ January 21st, 2011, 3:58 pm ]
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In which case maybe Lothy should say how many people pmed her about being donators...

Author:  Arwen the webmaster [ January 22nd, 2011, 9:51 pm ]
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Ye gods I'm on a posting spree, but thought I'd add in my two cents (for the funding thread...hahahahaha) here as well.

It's wonderful that so many people might be able to donate a few dollars every so often, but for A-U to run and stay running, someone unfortunately needs to be an official treasurer. This means having one's bank account / credit card / debit card tied to the server (and chat room, if you decide to continue paying for it). It's a monthly charge, so it's not that bad, but there really needs to be ONE person in charge of this who has some small source of income / savings so that if people forget to / can't donate, A-U doesn't go crashing down into smithereens.

As I said when this revival started, I'm willing to continue contributing a bit financially, since I use server space for some personal projects. I've paid for the domain name through January of 2012, so that's all sorted for a while, and if the world ends then it doesn't matter anyway :laughbounce: But maybe if there could be sort of a rotation - ten different people scheduled to chip in about $3 USD each month - it wouldn't fall on just one person's shoulders. Still, that person should ideally have the finances to keep things going for a bit if it all goes to, um, Mordor.


Author:  Larael [ January 24th, 2011, 1:15 am ]
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All I can say is thank goodness we have till January 2012!

Author:  Arwen the webmaster [ January 24th, 2011, 2:40 am ]
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That's just the domain name =P The server itself is still a monthly bill, and that's the part that needs sorting.

Author:  [ January 24th, 2011, 5:02 am ]
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Thanks for those two cents, Arwen, we seem to be in need of every penny we can get! :teehee:

So what we need right now is to lay down a payment of $30 every month.
A couple of people have come forward and offered to pay a couple of dollars once in a while but we haven't got anything definite sorted and we're far from those $30 still.
We need to work on some serious fundraising!


a) Could we write to the community here via PM? Create a short letter explaining the current situation and how the members are going to run the site but only if we can raise the money. I have no idea if that might work. The problem is that all the regulars have probably been by this thread by now and they know the situation and I doubt that people who have left long ago would be interested in coming back before the site is updated and prettiful again... but you never know.. perhaps it's worth a try.
Perhaps even Arwen could send out the PM - getting a personal message from the webmaster herself might inspire people. :-)

b) The other thing I've proposed is banner ads/Google ads. I know people haven't thrown their hands in the air to praise this idea but it is a stable income source (even though it might not be a lot) and we might consider looking into it in and use it in the beginning to help us restore the thriving community and attracting the wealthy donors!! :P

c) Could we get a sponsor somehow? Some LotR/fantsasy business/shop/something who would be interested in sponsoring us in return for having their ads on the site...

Comments, other ideas?

And yes, we will need a treasurer and set up a system of trust around that person.

Author:  Johnny's Fan [ January 25th, 2011, 12:57 pm ]
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^ I think the generally we need a PM sending. I am concerned that there are members out there who a) don't know this is happening or b) haven't posted here yet for whatever reasons. Whether they like it or not, it is for them that AU is going to be changing for the better and we really need their opinions and advice. So a mass PM might be good all round.

Author:  Arwen the webmaster [ January 25th, 2011, 3:12 pm ]
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I don't actually think I have the ability to send a mass PM. There's the mass e-mail option, but I bet that would get a LOT of spam complaints. What I can do is probably have a banner (I use the term loosely, considering our normal definition =P) at the top of every forum page announcing the revival and directing people toward the Suggestions/Comments board. I can also post something on the main site. Ideas on what to say?

Author:  [ January 25th, 2011, 3:43 pm ]
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JFish, I've thought about the mass mail before when we started reviving the forum but I figured that IF people who haven't been here in ages, IF they would want to come back and have a look now with The Hobbit and everything they would leave all too soon again because they could see that nothing was happening at all and that the forum was nearly deserted. But like I said, it might be worth a try. Even if we get only a handful of people interested it might be the people who can chip in so I'm willing to give it a try.

Arwen:: I remember recieving a message from you or the mod-account once. I really liked it because it was a one time thing so it didn't feel like spam at all.
I think having a banner on the main site might direct traffic to the board but might not generate real donors... I mean as soon as there is money involved people need to be more committed to the site already or thinkin that what they see is worth paying money for... :)
And the way I see it.. what they want to pay money for.. won't be coming up before.. the money is there...

Arwen, I really hate to ask you this... but seeing as you've already posted quite a lot here. I understand that you won't keep paying the bill to a site that you don't manage anymore but is there any chance that you could be interested in being involved in the beginning so we could start cleaning up and updating the main site - and that way generate more traffic and helping hands and MONEY!! Or might you even be interested in a kind of shared ownership where you take the position as the facilitator/president/overseer until we cover the payment... Sort being involved in decisions regarding the site but having other people to carry out the tasks... that's gotta be an offer you can't refuse!!
I know it's a lot to ask but it's your baby after all and we would love to have you. :hug:

Author:  Johnny's Fan [ January 25th, 2011, 7:11 pm ]
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I like the idea of the banners both on the forum and on the site, and I also can see why we might not want to attract the attention of those who haven't been on AU to see the "decline" as it were. But we may have to take the good with bad, a mass email or site advertising, might be just what we need to get some members interested, both people who do pass by fairly regularly and those who hardly come at all anymore.

Perhaps... as Ea said... maybe a site update, just to let everyone know what is happening, and that even Arwen is endorsing it. If Arwen posts about it, then people will know it is happening.

Author:  Arwen the webmaster [ January 26th, 2011, 12:32 am ]
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Hrum hroom. Well, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea. I can continue being your benevolent dictator for a while longer at least in name :teehee: However, as I have stated previously, I really would like to be involved as little as possible. It's not because I hate you all, but because my least favorite part of running A-U has always been the tech aspect, and I already have work that involves being a techie (and too much tech-ness = brain-asplode). What I <i>do not</i> want to have happen is have members unofficially take over running things, but then automatically come to me for help if something goes wrong because I'm still technically in charge. Seriously - I'll help as much as I need to in getting you guys off your feet, but I can't be a default go-to person.

So, pitch me a plan. Does everybody know what their job is / how to do their job? Who needs specific access to what? Just because a lot of people may be helping out with news-gathering/layout-designing/etc. does NOT mean everyone should have total access to modify anything. Recipe for utter disaster.

The revival's been off to a great start so far, but I can see it starting to trail off from the initial enthusiasm now that we need a hard plan. So...plan? Half a plan?

Author:  Johnny's Fan [ January 26th, 2011, 12:51 am ]
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Yes, I can see what you mean about that. I would be very annoying if you got called back etc, everytime we needed some help. :yes:

I guess this conversation should be in another thread but anyway...

Can the current Mods do anything technical to the forum and site?

Because that means there will be two kinds of Mods (if we decide we need them), ones with forum only authority or access and ones who are both involved in the site/forum from a technical aspect as well as the forum and the locked mods dungeon area.

The coders and layout makers will need access to the main site, and also I guess the forum. Although technically, to have fewer people with passwords etc, if the layout maker was not in the coding *team*, then they could pass on their plans to someone with access.

I suppose the same could be said for anyone willing to tidy up the site, re-arrange things and add new content. But alternatively, we don't want too many people swamped with pages that need new stuff adding to it. I think a happy compromise would be X amount of people who will be.... The Coders.... but anyone who has spent time gathering new things, writing new things etc, should have some say in how things are displayed. I think that would only be fair. (And I don't mean major things like page width but more like "hmm... I'd like that wallpaper page arranged a little differently as there are 2 Arwen's next to each other). If people with access would allow those who can't do anything but have ideas, to share them to make things better, then that would work really well and prevent too many people having the power to change things. [you'd have thought after watching Obama's speech tonight my wording would have been more inspiring :P]

I think ultimately, a lot of us know what we would like to do if we had the access now, and I think judging by the discussions, a lot of us are thinking on the same wave length about what will be best. ;)

Author:  Taurquende [ January 26th, 2011, 1:23 am ]
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If I may... a To-Do List:

● Mods: Need to get together and choose new mods
● Committees/Teams need to be formed
● An Editor/President/Authority figure needs to be elected
● A Treasurer needs to be chosen
● Coders: Begin cleaning up the site

These seem to be our immediate concerns. :) I don't think we can do much else before these are done.

Arwen the Webmaster wrote:
It's wonderful that so many people might be able to donate a few dollars every so often, but for A-U to run and stay running, someone unfortunately needs to be an official treasurer. This means having one's bank account / credit card / debit card tied to the server (and chat room, if you decide to continue paying for it). It's a monthly charge, so it's not that bad, but there really needs to be ONE person in charge of this who has some small source of income / savings so that if people forget to / can't donate, A-U doesn't go crashing down into smithereens.

You've said something I've been wanting to mention. :yes: Mainly the fact that should the donations/donors come up short, whoever is Treasurer must be prepared to pay the difference or even the entire payment if worse come to worse.

Author:  [ January 26th, 2011, 5:29 am ]
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Thanks for explaining, Arwen.
The thing I wasn't sure about was how little or how much you'd want to be involved and the exact conditions if you should keep helping out with the payment.
So, you are saying that you can keep paying for the server a while yet while we work on updating the main site and get things started. Only IF we can present a plan for how to run things and how decisions will be made..? Otherwise, you'll keep paying for the server hosting the un-changed site? ;)

Yes, true that people are not on a posting spree like in the beginning. I believe most of the work rests on the shoulders of the handful of people who have posted continuously in the coding/layout and content threads - possibly with a few other helping hands along the way. I don't think this is so because people don't care about the site or disagree with what have been discussed, but simply because they don't have the time or share the dedication.. especially maybe for the practical part. So I take it as a green card from the community. :-)

Eä's idea of a to-do list
We need to establish whether we can do the coding ourselves. A lot of people have offered to help out with the coding but the question is whether they actually have the knowledge to do it. I know Arwen mentioned it's based on WordPress and 'should be quite simple'... As I know nothing of coding we'll need to ask the coding-peeps. I mean if none of us can do it anyway... we can't do anything. How can we know? I mean is it like maths, show an equation and ask if people know how to do it?? :teehee:

THEN we might have a look at Taur's list. Though shiny and pretty it is I don't see all this happening... in the near future. :P I mean planning is all good and in the perfect world we would have the entire A-U community being involved in the process. I know I was very eager for that to happen, having everyone to have a say in everything... but I think that the topics have been open long enough for everyone to express their opinion...?

I believe for this to get off the ground we need to start working on cleaning/updating the main site. Because this is the least 'controversial' and this is something that people agree on is needed. We simply need to go through it section by section and make it prettiful - and it may take a while seeing as we are so few people to do it. In the meantime we can talk about funding and management. But I believe the key to getting more people involved is to start working on the main site so they can see that things are actually happening.

Arwen, I understand that you would like to see it all sorted - gods know so would most of us here - but with so many people with varying degrees of commitment and involvement in the site I don't see that happening now. How can we discuss having new moderators when we have no idea how many of the old moderators would be willing to help us, how can we decide on the new layout when the discussion every time ends up in whether to have multiple skins or not?! :teehee:
This way there will never be a set and ready, Grand Plan for the New A-U run entiely by members. However, what I do see happening are small, gradual changes on the main site made by a handful of committed members (not a closed, exclusive group but a team made up of people who are willing to dedicate some hours of their time). We might never be able to restore A-U to its former glory but we can still run a decent site with the appropriate updates and content it deserves. We are enough passionate souls for this to happen! :)

Author:  Nurrantiel Mashiara [ January 26th, 2011, 12:04 pm ]
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The problem is we all post ideas, but no one wants to come out and say, "Let's do it this way" because we're afraid of people thinking we're taking too much power onto ourselves. :teehee:

Ea wrote:
We need to establish whether we can do the coding ourselves.

From what I've gathered in the coding thread, there are enough of us who know basic coding to run the main site. I don't know who knows forum coding. At any rate, we can work on the main site.

Taur wrote:
● Mods: Need to get together and choose new mods
● Committees/Teams need to be formed
● An Editor/President/Authority figure needs to be elected
● A Treasurer needs to be chosen
● Coders: Begin cleaning up the site

Why don't you see this happening soon, Ea? These are things that have to happen for us to move forward. It makes sense that the teams and manager come from the group of people that have been posting here regularly enough. Obviously, it would be a bit much to expect forum-wide elections for things at this point. But we are all reasonable people, so I think we can work this out among ourselves. We all are passionate and skilled with different things. I know that I have much less interest in running the forum aspect of the revival as opposed to the site aspect.

We (obviously) cannot do the Mod thing by ourselves. Someone needs to be definite and figure out exactly how the new mods will be chosen.

Forming teams: Somebody's gotta step up. The teams we should probably form would be much like our threads:
Main Site
Inside these teams there can be sub-teams, like different aspects of the site, but we need a person to lead those teams. It makes sense to do that in the threads already there, but whatever. We just need people to make a move.

Once we have the teams, we can get to work. It would make sense if the team leaders (so, 4-7 people, depending on how things pan out?) had access to the behind-the-scenes stuff - putting up the new content, tidying, etc.

Again, we're reasonable people. I don't think many people will freak if start taking responsibility for things. Let's not let this just stagnate!

(On a side note, the layout section had stalled a bit. I put up a poll in Your Life for definite color choice for the new layout.)

Author:  [ January 26th, 2011, 1:36 pm ]
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Sorry Nurr. I just looked into the palántir and saw the worst outcome of all this: that all our effort and work were destructed because of those bloody $30 USD that we couldn't raise every month and how the members would scatter for the wind and A-U would end up deserted and forgotten to sink into the depths of the world wide web... And that was a rather discouraging scenario. :P

I shall try to wear the Postitve Hat from now on! I know we've already come a long way and there is no reason why these plans shouldn't be carried out as long as we believe in it. :)

EDIT: Oh by the way, like I said I'd help with cleaning/content to the best of my ability and time. I didn't post in the content and layout/coding threads about it again because I've stated my will to assist before. ;)

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