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Dizzy Gosnell

Forum Supporters (Split From Gallery Change)

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Dizzy Gosnell    876
Dizzy Gosnell
7 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

Dear All

 

My deep and sincere apologies, but the recent changes to the way we display photo topics (moving from forum Topics to Gallery Albums) has been poorly handled - I will accept some of the blame, but I cannot accept full responsibility.

 

I tried to edit a photo topic that had a lot of photos in it. The software hung and after a long interval gave me an error. I reported this to Technical Support and was told in no uncertain terms that forum Topics were not meant to hold large numbers of photos and that photo topics should be hosted in the Gallery. The Gallery was sold to me as the answer to all our problems and that we would continue to experience issues with forum based photo topics. On the basis of this information I instigated the change from forum photo topics to Gallery Albums. There was initial reluctance from some members, but we persevered with it.

 

I have had a constant and on-going struggle with the Gallery - features I considered basic were missing and I've had to buy plugins to get them (even having custom plugins made). I have been in dispute with Technical Support since day one and STILL have outstanding support tickets. Due to my vocal disappointment in the quality of the Gallery module Tech Support did a u-turn and changed their initial advice and are now saying it was "advice" and could have been handled by better management of forum photo topics. Had I been in possession of this information before the change to Gallery Albums, I would not have made the change. Nevertheless, having come this far I decided to persevere.

 

However, over the past 48 hours my position has changed. Firstly there was a new round of bugs discovered. Secondly I was made aware of the way that the Gallery stores images and it is this one fact that makes the Gallery very unattractive as a storage method. Although you upload one photo, the Gallery environment uses the photo in four different sizes in different places (Thumbnail, Small, Medium and Large). I reasonably assumed that the one photo was displayed at different sizes in different places. I now know that your one photo is resized and stored FOUR TIMES. Our recent change in photo hosting policy was made to address two issues: (1) The types of photos members wanted to see and (2) To manage our hosting/storage bills. This latest news on Gallery images totally wipes out any saving in storage cost achieved by the policy change.

 

As I see it, we have four choices:

  1. Persevere with what we have set up - However our storage bill will become an issue far quicker than it would do if photo topics were forum based. This will need to be managed and archived older photo albums will have to be deleted at a very early stage
  2. Raise more money - supporter numbers have been dropping and despite pleas we have been unable to encourage more donations and this doesn't appear to be a  viable option
  3. Do nothing and wait till we go bust and the forum ceases to be - Not what I personally want
  4. Revert back to forum based photo topics

 

Whilst I appreciate it is a complete u-turn, I have decided to revert back to forum based photo topics, slightly changed to take account of the result of the recent poll at http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/topic/86667-forum-photo-collections-your-views-please/. All I can do is apologise profusely and assure you that all the way through this process I've had the best interests of the forum and it's members foremost in my mind. 

 

From now, the forum Gallery will NOT be used. ALL photo posts should be made on site, in the relevant forum. The only slight change is that there are now two photo forums for each category (Fairground Transport, Non UK Funfairs, Theme / Amusements Parks, Photos Forum and Circus). One of these forums is for any and all photos that you wish to post and will appeal to the 30% of members who voted to see them. The other forum is for more compact photo albums, one shot of each piece of equipment, correctly framed with captions that was voted for by the other 70% of members. The full policy is explained at http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/topic/86764-posting-photo-albums-new-policy/ but will be re-written to take account of the fact that no photo topics will now be deleted (as non-complying albums are) - they will simply be moved to the correct forum and no photo collections will need to be hosted off site in the supplementary gallery.

 

The only change that we will need to make is that each photo topic will HAVE to be limited in the number of photos it holds so we avoid the technical issues that started this whole episode off. Unfortunately there is no software setting where I can limit the amount of photos per post. I can only limit the total KB size of posts and I will investigate a setting that works for us. In the meantime, you should not post more than 100 photos per post. If that means making multiple posts to post the entire collection, then so be it.

 

I again apologise for this situation, but I hope we've now found a solution.

 

I thank you for your continued support.

 

All the best

 

Bill

I think what you personally Bill and the other mods do on a constant basis is borderline heroic. I wish there was a way to enable people to pony up the odd couple of quid here and there, gofundme, crowdfund etc, maybe collections at model shows for this forum. The price of a Macdonalds burger or Starbucks per year can't be much to ask.

 

With you all the way Bill

 

Diz

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
11 minutes ago, Dizzy Gosnell said:

I wish there was a way to enable people to pony up the odd couple of quid here and there, gofundme, crowdfund etc, maybe collections at model shows for this forum. The price of a Macdonalds burger or Starbucks per year can't be much to ask.

 

 

There is :)

 

Please see http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/store/

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
5 minutes ago, Trojanhorse11 said:

Hi Bill,

 

I think what you have been doing for the Forum is wonderful: trying to cut costs and keep it running well, whilst at the same time keeping as much on it for the members as possible - a difficult balancing act!

 

With regards to the photos, I actually much preferred viewing photos on the Forum rather than the Gallery to be honest. The Forum photos are easier to view, easier to scroll, the images look larger on screen and the whole process just seems so much nicer to use than the gallery. I'm sure there will be a lot of other members that agree (but simply haven't commented on it, like I have), so I think this change back to Forum-based photos may a "blessing in disguise" ! :)

 

With regards to funding, I am amazed people won't give a measly tenner (or there abouts) for a whole year old this Forum! Come on people - you won't miss that tenner, but you would miss this Forum!

 

Speaking to people it seems to be about 50/50 for Gallery -v- Topic photos. I was on the fence, I can see advantages/disadvantages to both systems. A bit academic now though :)

 

I hope that other's see it as you do and decide to help out with a little cash - it doesn't have to be a lot - "every little helps" - the next step is to limit parts of the site to supporters only - we're currently looking at the rides list, historic reports and a few other sections.

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Simon Deery    1,032
Simon Deery
8 minutes ago, Bill Edwards said:

 

Speaking to people it seems to be about 50/50 for Gallery -v- Topic photos. I was on the fence, I can see advantages/disadvantages to both systems. A bit academic now though :)

 

I hope that other's see it as you do and decide to help out with a little cash - it doesn't have to be a lot - "every little helps" - the next step is to limit parts of the site to supporters only - we're currently looking at the rides list, historic reports and a few other sections.

I have to admit that I let my supporter package slip since May, no excuses just never took the time to do it and lazyness on my part but I have rectified that this evening. If this forum were to be lost it would be nothing short of a disaster. If it means limiting sections of the site to supporters only it is certainly a better option than cutbacks to the site.

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Ron Wood    1,957
Ron Wood

I entirely agree with you Chris.  Being a Senior Citizen for the last 6yrs. it does't break the Bank [£10 a yr]  A packet of Cigs or a couple of beers  would cost you more every week, not once a yr. which is what is  being asked. Come on you tight wads dig into your pockets before its to late. 

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Gary Parker    76
Gary Parker

Having looked at the Forum Supporters list I am gob smacked that only 87 members cough up. The Silver supporter is less than 10p a day!

 

Maybe a compulsory £1 a year subscription would be the way forward given the amount of members this would solve any funding issues and everyone can afford a pound.

 

The problem with a voluntary system is its all too easy to ignore it or think I'll do it tomorrow and we all know tomorrow never comes.

 

So come on support the forum as I'm sure no one wants to lose it.

 

 

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Ormester101    1,658
Ormester101
12 hours ago, Gary Parker said:

Having looked at the Forum Supporters list I am gob smacked that only 87 members cough up. The Silver supporter is less than 10p a day!

 

Maybe a compulsory £1 a year subscription would be the way forward given the amount of members this would solve any funding issues and everyone can afford a pound.

 

The problem with a voluntary system is its all too easy to ignore it or think I'll do it tomorrow and we all know tomorrow never comes.

 

So come on support the forum as I'm sure no one wants to lose it.

 

 

not the way to go a compulsory  subscription means people leave quite simple 

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Gary Parker    76
Gary Parker
9 hours ago, Ormester101 said:

not the way to go a compulsory  subscription means people leave quite simple 

And if the forum closes everybody leaves!

 

People don't take what Bill says seriously but there would be plenty wishing they had paid a little if all this information disappeared.

 

lf not a compulsory subscription maybe another tier like Forum supporter for £2.50.

 

 

Edited by Gary Parker
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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards

I've split this thread from the Photo Posting Changes thread. I am always grateful for feedback and these are both important subjects - I think it will be easier to follow if we're discussing them in separate topics.

 

All the best

 

Bill

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
10 hours ago, Ormester101 said:

not the way to go a compulsory  subscription means people leave quite simple 

 

I'm curious as to what you see as a possible solution to this?

 

Move the entire site to free hosting? That would mean going back to poor performance (our last server went down three times a week!) and severe restrictions on what we can store.

Continue badgering members for contributions? It gets tedious and seems unfair on those who will pay a little allowing the majority a free, useful resource.

I get a second job and provide everything free?

Sponsorship? I can't find a sponsor, but if anyone can suggest anything.

Adverts? I can look into plastering the site with Google (or another) adverts.

 

Believe me, I rack my brains looking for a cheap and easy way to finance the forum and as I've said, I don't really want to go down the route of paid subscriptions or restricting major features to supporters only, BUT the bills HAVE to be paid. At present we survive (just), but that assumes the storage/hosting bills don't rise and the supporter numbers don't fall.

 

We have members who visit almost daily, take information and NEVER post a thing, NEVER contribute a even fiver - is that really fair?

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Chris Russell    20,668
Chris Russell
19 minutes ago, Bill Edwards said:

We have members who visit almost daily, take information and NEVER post a thing, NEVER contribute a even fiver - is that really fair?

 

No it isn't!!

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Steve Barton    14,533
Steve Barton
12 hours ago, Ormester101 said:

not the way to go a compulsory  subscription means people leave quite simple 

If we don't cover costs we will all be leaving . That is why we NEED supporters.

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Gary Witcomb    16,317
Gary Witcomb
17 hours ago, Ormester101 said:

not the way to go a compulsory  subscription means people leave quite simple 

 

Don't agree, i think the members who actually use / Need this site,bearing in mind a lot of the info on here you cant get else ware  would pay a compulsory Subscription, and FRANKLY the 3750 members who do not contribute on a regular or never basis would not be missed, it has been said many times we need supported to keep this site up and running, currently members do it Voluntarily, they don't do it because they have to they do it because it the right thing to do perhaps a few more should

 

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Richard Flynn    377
Richard Flynn

Would it be too complicated to have free members and premium members - perhaps the difference being that those who pay get more access to photos and perhaps a few topics/

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Chris Russell    20,668
Chris Russell
53 minutes ago, Richard Flynn said:

Would it be too complicated to have free members and premium members - perhaps the difference being that those who pay get more access to photos and perhaps a few topics/

 

To be honest, this is very common with all kinds of forum sites and perhaps is the way forward. How complicated, only Bill and the team could say.

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
1 hour ago, Richard Flynn said:

Would it be too complicated to have free members and premium members - perhaps the difference being that those who pay get more access to photos and perhaps a few topics/

 

10 minutes ago, Chris Russell said:

 

To be honest, this is very common with all kinds of forum sites and perhaps is the way forward. How complicated, only Bill and the team could say.

 

We already have free and Premium members, however at present they have equal access to the forum and the same facilities. It's fairly easy to restrict parts of the site to "Supporter" only and the same amount of facilities (PM's, upload limits etc). If anyone cares to suggest what we should give supporters that non-supporters don't get, I can consider, discuss with the Forum Panel/Mods and implement. 

 

The Rides List has already been suggested as suitable for limit to Supporters only - I am aware that several "commercial" concerns use the information provided regularly as part of their everyday business and don't contribute either with finance or content. They are using the info we provide in the course of their business (and presumably profit from it) without giving anything back at all!

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Trojanhorse11    2,867
Trojanhorse11
10 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

 

I'm curious as to what you see as a possible solution to this?

 

Move the entire site to free hosting? That would mean going back to poor performance (our last server went down three times a week!) and severe restrictions on what we can store.

Continue badgering members for contributions? It gets tedious and seems unfair on those who will pay a little allowing the majority a free, useful resource.

I get a second job and provide everything free?

Sponsorship? I can't find a sponsor, but if anyone can suggest anything.

Adverts? I can look into plastering the site with Google (or another) adverts.

 

Believe me, I rack my brains looking for a cheap and easy way to finance the forum and as I've said, I don't really want to go down the route of paid subscriptions or restricting major features to supporters only, BUT the bills HAVE to be paid. At present we survive (just), but that assumes the storage/hosting bills don't rise and the supporter numbers don't fall.

 

We have members who visit almost daily, take information and NEVER post a thing, NEVER contribute a even fiver - is that really fair?

 

After reading your post Bill, it made me realise a couple of things:

 

Restricted access to certain parts of the Forum (such as the Rides List) to Forum supported only I think could make a difference and you may see an increase in Forum Supporters because some people will want to see what rides / owners exist in the UK and will be willing to pay (even if it's just a small amount). It could all add up.

 

How about offering even more choice in Forum support? The top amount is £20 I believe. If that was increased (£30 / £40 / £50) I am sure there would be members who would be more than willing to pay even more. (Although that does conflict with your argument about certain members paying for this Forum whilst other members get everything free!)

 

If there was a smaller amount (£2.50?), that could help too - some members may be willing to contribute that amount, and it could all add up.

 

If adverts help a lot (I'm not sure what sort of amount you get from ads), then why not? If the amount is negligible versus the interference on the forum, then I think you probably wouldn't want to go that route!

 

Basically, anything that can add to the annual amount you receive for this Forum has got to help. :)

Edited by Trojanhorse11

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Ormester101    1,658
Ormester101
10 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

 

I'm curious as to what you see as a possible solution to this?

 

Move the entire site to free hosting? That would mean going back to poor performance (our last server went down three times a week!) and severe restrictions on what we can store.

Continue badgering members for contributions? It gets tedious and seems unfair on those who will pay a little allowing the majority a free, useful resource.

I get a second job and provide everything free?

Sponsorship? I can't find a sponsor, but if anyone can suggest anything.

Adverts? I can look into plastering the site with Google (or another) adverts.

 

Believe me, I rack my brains looking for a cheap and easy way to finance the forum and as I've said, I don't really want to go down the route of paid subscriptions or restricting major features to supporters only, BUT the bills HAVE to be paid. At present we survive (just), but that assumes the storage/hosting bills don't rise and the supporter numbers don't fall.

 

We have members who visit almost daily, take information and NEVER post a thing, NEVER contribute a even fiver - is that really fair?

 

just dont think charging is the way forward   maybe jamie peters  could  help in finding a new  way like a new server etc  and formembers that contribute  maybe get rid of people that dont contribute  say in the last 5 years ?

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Gary Witcomb    16,317
Gary Witcomb
5 minutes ago, Ormester101 said:

 

just dont think charging is the way forward   maybe jamie peters  could  help in finding a new  way like a new server etc  and formembers that contribute  maybe get rid of people that dont contribute  say in the last 5 years ?

 

out of interest are you a member of the FAGB or/& Fairground Society 

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Gary Parker    76
Gary Parker
2 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

 

 

 

 

The Rides List has already been suggested as suitable for limit to Supporters only - I am aware that several "commercial" concerns use the information provided regularly as part of their everyday business and don't contribute either with finance or content. They are using the info we provide in the course of their business (and presumably profit from it) without giving anything back at all!

 

Can you not politely ask these people to pay for the privilege I'm sure they can afford the top rate of £20 if the lists are that important to them.

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Steve Barton    14,533
Steve Barton
30 minutes ago, Ormester101 said:

 

just dont think charging is the way forward   maybe jamie peters  could  help in finding a new  way like a new server etc  and formembers that contribute  maybe get rid of people that dont contribute  say in the last 5 years ?

Do you not think that Bill hasn't explored other options.

Deleting members who haven't contributed isn't going to generate anymore income is it? It's more supporters / income we need.

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Gary Parker    76
Gary Parker
51 minutes ago, Ormester101 said:

 

just dont think charging is the way forward   maybe jamie peters  could  help in finding a new  way like a new server etc  and formembers that contribute  maybe get rid of people that dont contribute  say in the last 5 years ?

That would be a great way forward lets pick someone who doesn't contribute content but pays to support the forum and get rid of them. Classic idea!

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