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Dizzy Gosnell

Forum Supporters (Split From Gallery Change)

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
2 hours 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 ?

 

The way that it currently works is that I pay the Software Supplier a monthly fee for the server, included in that fee is the software licence (discounted because I'm using their server).

 

What we are currently paying is less than the last server I had, and that performed poorly and crashed with monotonous regularity. The software supplier blamed the server. The server supplier blamed the software. I (and all the members) were caught in the middle. The biggest advantage that I now have is that regardless of weather it is a software or a hardware problem, I report it to the same place and they sort it out. Whilst I have some knowledge of servers, I am a long, long way from having the expertise to run a server and configure it to run properly efficiently.

 

In any event whatever server we have, even if Jamie can sort one and configure it, the forum is massive, the database huge, the attachments are in excess of 14gb - whatever is going to cost money. Nothing is free. If you can find a free server, that will host and run our forum to the same standard we currently have and can source the same software for free, I'll stay up all night and move the whole lot. I'll then refund all the contributions received and we'll say no more about it :)

 

2 hours ago, Ormester101 said:

maybe get rid of people that dont contribute  say in the last 5 years ?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean members who haven't contributed financially in the last five years? So, one £5 contribution every five years - you're suggesting that the forum is worth only 2p a week? If I got rid of anyone who hadn't contributed financially in five years would you still be a member ;)

 

Or are you saying contributed content? Again, one post every five years would satisfy you that they are worthy members to be valued?

 

In fact, re-reading your contributions to this thread, I'm having trouble believing that you are posting seriously - is it a micky take or do you genuinely believe that the forum can be supplied for next to nothing and that it's OK for  a small percentage of members to contribute financially and with content while the majority take, take take?

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
3 hours ago, Trojanhorse11 said:

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!)

 

You've very much answered yourself there :) The generous (who already help out a great deal) would pay more whilst the rest sit back and let them. I don't see that as fair.

 

3 hours ago, Trojanhorse11 said:

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.

 

Although we have over 4000 members, only about 1000 are "regular" visitors. If HALF those regular visitors contributed £2.50 a year we would be absolutely fine :)

 

3 hours ago, Trojanhorse11 said:

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!

 

I'm not entirely sure what we would earn from adverts - ours is a bit if a niche interest. It would also impact on the forum. Also, I have heard of people having nightmares dealing with Google and adverts. It wouldn't be my preferred option, but when the wolf arrives at the door, I will try anything :)

 

2 hours ago, Gary Parker said:

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.

 

One of them, which I know about isn't approachable - I won't name publicly, but we won't get any money. The others I don't know specifically who they are, I've just heard through a third party. But I am in no doubt that the rides list is used by commercial organisations who contribute nothing - not content and not money - and use our info to make money. If it's wrong for a private individual to take from the site, but not contribute, then in my opinion it is 100 times worse for someone to do it and make money from it. Rant over on that one :)

 

2 hours ago, Steve Barton said:

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

 

Spot on :)

 

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Ron Wood    1,957
Ron Wood

Why worry about Members who don't  Contribute a small amount of cash towards the Forum or put in any content. They are hardly going to be missed!   It might be the kick up the A*&^%e these so called members need when they can't see whats happening at  "ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR"

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Mike Rule    507
Mike Rule

Heres my thoughts on the subject..

  I have tonight signed up to donating a tenner, I would of done it years ago but the whole concept of doing anything online scares the hell out of me, I would rather change a gearbox in a lorry or paint a Galloper Horse than do something with a computer.

 I have in the past contributed restoration topics on a previous server but have got another forum member to post on my behalf, I simply do not have the computer ability to do these things. I would of loved to have posted pictures of my dodgem restoration but it is just beyond me. I know somebody will now tell me that it is really easy, for some of us it isnt!!.

 Whilst I totally appreciate all the work that Bill and the other Mods do, I strongly suspect that the number of people like myself who have never received any formal computer training and are too old to have had computers at school is actually a larger proportion of Forum members than you think and maybe greater allowances need to be taken for this?

 Would it not be worth the Forum having a small table at Churchdown in January and accepting cash donations? I do believe that this might work.

With regards the commercial concerns using the Rides List could they not be blocked as you are aware who they are?

It would also help if a simple donate button was on the menu.

 

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
8 hours ago, Mike Rule said:

Heres my thoughts on the subject..

  I have tonight signed up to donating a tenner, I would of done it years ago but the whole concept of doing anything online scares the hell out of me, I would rather change a gearbox in a lorry or paint a Galloper Horse than do something with a computer.

 I have in the past contributed restoration topics on a previous server but have got another forum member to post on my behalf, I simply do not have the computer ability to do these things. I would of loved to have posted pictures of my dodgem restoration but it is just beyond me. I know somebody will now tell me that it is really easy, for some of us it isnt!!.

 Whilst I totally appreciate all the work that Bill and the other Mods do, I strongly suspect that the number of people like myself who have never received any formal computer training and are too old to have had computers at school is actually a larger proportion of Forum members than you think and maybe greater allowances need to be taken for this?

 Would it not be worth the Forum having a small table at Churchdown in January and accepting cash donations? I do believe that this might work.

With regards the commercial concerns using the Rides List could they not be blocked as you are aware who they are?

It would also help if a simple donate button was on the menu.

 

 

Hi Mike

 

Many thanks for your contribution and the feedback - much appreciated!!

 

Talking about the forum software generally: I know that I am sometimes guilty of assuming everyone has the same level of knowledge, but I am always willing to help when a difficulty is pointed out or someone asks for help. Over the years I've used a variety of methods to assist members - Detailed instructions by PM, talked members through stuff on the phone, produced screen shot tutorials, video tutorials. I've not yet failed to assist a member in doing what they want to do. As an example, there is a detailed screen shot sequence showing how to post photos, but at it's simplest it's a case of dragging and dropping the photos into a post, the software does the rest. We'd love to see the Dodgem restoration photos :)

 

Specifically with regards to donations. The software ISN'T intuitive when it comes to money and I have recently trialed an add-on to simply things. Unfortunately it isn't working correctly at the moment so can't be used, but I am looking at the problem. If a member is able to send or answer a PM then they can donate. It really can be that simple. Send me a PM saying "I want to donate", I'll give you my address, you send cash or cheque and I'll do everything else. Or PM me and I can send a direct link to PayPal, simply click it and donate. Occasionally I'm handed money on a ground and again I do the rest, so it needn't be complicated. A table at Churchdown could be possible - some do already catch up with me there and donate!

 

With regards to commercial concerns using the Rides List

9 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

One of them, which I know about isn't approachable - I won't name publicly, but we won't get any money. The others I don't know specifically who they are, I've just heard through a third party. But I am in no doubt that the rides list is used by commercial organisations who contribute nothing - not content and not money - and use our info to make money. If it's wrong for a private individual to take from the site, but not contribute, then in my opinion it is 100 times worse for someone to do it and make money from it. Rant over on that one

 

 

Again, many thanks!!

 

All the best

 

Bill

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Gary Witcomb    16,317
Gary Witcomb
5 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

 A table at Churchdown could be possible - some do already catch up with me there and donate!

 

 

 

Bill i go to Churchdown with the FHT (Dingles) every year i would only be to pleased to offer my services at churchdown i can collect donations from members who which to pay cash and i can simple forward members name and money onto you , all we would need is a simple form for said member to fill in so you know which member has paid) we can only give it a go 

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David Frosdick    50
David Frosdick
On 05/10/2017 at 08:34, 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?

Would it be possible to have adverts on the site - but make it advert free for supporters? I use a free video downloader which has adverts, but the paid for version is advert free.

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Dizzy Gosnell    876
Dizzy Gosnell

If you can afford a mobile phone and a plan, or a computer and online access, you can afford 2p a week. You can find that behind the cushions on the sofa.

 

Ideas for fund raising.

** Have a photo competition where the top 12 x photos from this forum go onto a calendar for the following year, sold to anyone and the proceeds go to the forum.

**  ATFOTF swag, beanie hats, lanyards, mugs, T shirts. Sell at fairs as well as on here.

**  Have a small 'nag window' pop up for non-contributers with a one click 'subscribe' button.

 

 

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Andy H    11,833
Andy H
8 hours ago, Dizzy Gosnell said:

If you can afford a mobile phone and a plan, or a computer and online access, you can afford 2p a week. You can find that behind the cushions on the sofa.

 

Ideas for fund raising.

** Have a photo competition where the top 12 x photos from this forum go onto a calendar for the following year, sold to anyone and the proceeds go to the forum.

**  ATFOTF swag, beanie hats, lanyards, mugs, T shirts. Sell at fairs as well as on here.

**  Have a small 'nag window' pop up for non-contributers with a one click 'subscribe' button.

 

 

Bill has tried selling ATFOTF merchandise and the take up was very small and wasnt worth the cost of producing the mugs and hats if i remember right.

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
3 minutes ago, Andy H said:

Bill has tried selling ATFOTF merchandise and the take up was very small and wasnt worth the cost of producing the mugs and hats if i remember right.

 

That's right @Andy H. The difficulty with small run personalised merchandise is that it is already expensive, adding a reasonable profit makes it unattractive. I was making perhaps a pound on a t-shirt or a mug. The only other way is to buy in bulk and get a discount, but I don't have the initial outlay and can't afford to take the risk of it not selling.

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Steve Graham    61
Steve Graham

Seems you have no choice Bill. With only 80 or so paying members all this banter is a waste of time and you must be sick of carrying on about it. I ran a Greyhound racing tipping service for 3 years but had to shut it down due to costs. People were pleased to use the information with a healthy profit I may add but when I asked for subs then they disappeared so I couldn't keep it going even though it was successful. The bottom line is if you don't ask for subs the likelihood is that it will fold so what have you got to lose. Just charge a yearly fee for membership say £5 and if members don't want to fork out then it's there loss. There are some members who contribute a huge amount of content to the site but are still not paying a contribution. Better to get a few members keeping the site afloat rather than a few thousand non payers and it becomes untenable. No brainer. The site is brilliant and a great source of information and deserves to keep going. The site mirrors today's society, people want something for nothing all the time! This post will probably irk a few people but you can't keep banging your head against a brick wall! Good luck.

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
9 minutes ago, Steve Graham said:

Seems you have no choice Bill. With only 80 or so paying members all this banter is a waste of time and you must be sick of carrying on about it. I ran a Greyhound racing tipping service for 3 years but had to shut it down due to costs. People were pleased to use the information with a healthy profit I may add but when I asked for subs then they disappeared so I couldn't keep it going even though it was successful. The bottom line is if you don't ask for subs the likelihood is that it will fold so what have you got to lose. Just charge a yearly fee for membership say £5 and if members don't want to fork out then it's there loss. There are some members who contribute a huge amount of content to the site but are still not paying a contribution. Better to get a few members keeping the site afloat rather than a few thousand non payers and it becomes untenable. No brainer. The site is brilliant and a great source of information and deserves to keep going. The site mirrors today's society, people want something for nothing all the time! This post will probably irk a few people but you can't keep banging your head against a brick wall! Good luck.

 

Thankfully we are not at that stage yet. We are afloat, just. Providing we don't lose anymore supporters - and this debate has pricked a few consciences - and providing the storage and hosting doesn't go any higher, we'll be OK for the time being. If/When we do get to that stage, I will examine all our options, including paid membership.

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Nick Attwell    118
Nick Attwell

One brilliant feature Bill has is payment by cheque

 

There are very few forums where you can do so

 

So those of us who do not have internet payment accounts such as Pay Pal can donate/subscribe also

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Trojanhorse11    2,867
Trojanhorse11
2 hours ago, Steve Graham said:

The site mirrors today's society, people want something for nothing all the time!

 

So true Steve. Especially if it's an "online" thing.

 

Slightly off topic here, but I am proud that I have never illegally downloaded a film or music album for free. I have always paid for what I own. I only own physical DVDs and CD albums that I have paid for at a shop (or Amazon etc)!

 

Back on topic... :D

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Gary Witcomb    16,317
Gary Witcomb

The problem is simple, there is no reason or incentive for you to pay anything towards the upkeep of the Forum, as everything is available to ALL for free so why pay !!

 

I,m not a fan of the current 3 tier system at 3 different prices as you get no more for your money at each level,, it should be the more you pay the more you get, what is the incentive to pay the top price (if you are given a quote for what ever and they offer the exact same service why would you pay the higher amount, we have just hoped the membership would pay towards the upkeep as its the right thing to do, well the facts speak for themselves they don't do the right thing !!

 

As long as the few pay and keep the Forum afloat the majority will just sit back and reap the benefit at others expense (you cant be a member of the FAGB or Fairground Society without paying) so they should pay here

 

Just My Opinion

Gary  

 

 

 

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
1 hour ago, Gary Witcomb said:

The problem is simple, there is no reason or incentive for you to pay anything towards the upkeep of the Forum, as everything is available to ALL for free so why pay !!

 

Whilst I appreciate what you saying, the point of paying is to keep the forum available. If no one donated, there would be no forum. 

 

1 hour ago, Gary Witcomb said:

I,m not a fan of the current 3 tier system at 3 different prices as you get no more for your money at each level,, it should be the more you pay the more you get, what is the incentive to pay the top price (if you are given a quote for what ever and they offer the exact same service why would you pay the higher amount, we have just hoped the membership would pay towards the upkeep as its the right thing to do, well the facts speak for themselves they don't do the right thing !!

 

As you are aware, I know about this issue and am trying to solve it. I posted in this topic at 17.46 on Thursday:

 

Quote

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!

 

It is also being discussed by the Forum Panel.

 

2 hours ago, Gary Witcomb said:

you cant be a member of the FAGB or Fairground Society without paying) so they should pay here

 

I'm not sure how or if this would work. My first concern is that we have a vast amount of information available on the site, provided in the main by non-supporting members. If we then charge those members to access the information they supplied, how will that go down? If members don't subscribe, but merely turn to Facebook etc, it will kill the forum very quickly. In any event we will not get 100% payment, so that would mean a loss of information/photos etc. What about new members? How many new members do you think we'll attract if they have to pay from day one to access the forum? I would not pay to access an internet forum unless I could check it out, see what was available and weather it was value for money. We could, of course, allow members a "free trial", but then members will use that, access what they want and leave, only to return for another free trial the next time they have a question. I also suspect shared logins would become a problem. I'm grateful for the suggestion, but in practice I just don't see it working at all. 

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Paul Needham    863
Paul Needham

1/ how about a page briefly saying what one gets from accessing the forum and what the minimum supporter package costs per day or so compared with say, some other popular spends, a page that you have to scroll down to the bottom and say click continue in order to then view the rest of whatever you came here to look at, then at least one is reminded of all this

2/ a reminder that comes up, or there is something on ones own page to tell you when it (supporter) runs out, as I havnt a clue for mine personally, and FAGB, FSOC, insurances etc all remind you,

3/ make it easier to do it, now some long time ago I mentioned that I spent about 15 mins trying to find out how to, and I'm minded to do so, yet I felt like not bothering to keep looking, imagine if you just think oooh I'm gonna sign up, and then its a York minster job, are you going to press on? now I realise someone rather sarcastically ( but humourously) said that "they just click the big red button to join", well either its not displayed on my brousers version of ATFOTF or what but, if it topped every page perhaps more would do it (please don't tell me it already does top the page because if it did on my version I would hardly be suggesting it)

just my 10p worth

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards
On 10/11/2017 at 01:08, Paul Needham said:

1/ how about a page briefly saying what one gets from accessing the forum and what the minimum supporter package costs per day or so compared with say, some other popular spends, a page that you have to scroll down to the bottom and say click continue in order to then view the rest of whatever you came here to look at, then at least one is reminded of all this

 

I've started work on this - at the moment it just says what benefits there are to being a supporter, but I will add to it as time allows. Please see http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/supporter-benefits/

 

On 10/11/2017 at 01:08, Paul Needham said:

2/ a reminder that comes up, or there is something on ones own page to tell you when it (supporter) runs out, as I havnt a clue for mine personally, and FAGB, FSOC, insurances etc all remind you,

 

On 10/11/2017 at 01:08, Paul Needham said:

3/ make it easier to do it,

 

The software ISN'T intuitive when it comes to donations and that is a problem that I am constantly trying to solve. I recently found a plugin that would simplify things, but unfortunately I can't get it to work properly. The plugin author is working on it, but I don't know when (or if) it will be available.

 

However, if ANYONE wants to donate and is having difficulty please send me a Private Message - I can make it very simple on an individual basis. It can be as easy as putting cash/cheque in the post and I will do everything else or I can send a direct link to my PayPal donate page. 

 

Many thanks to those who have persevered! 

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Bill Edwards    11,889
Bill Edwards

I've now looked at what benefit's members receive and what the benefits are from making a donation (apart from the obvious one of keeping a useful and unique resource available!).

 

Silver, Gold and Platinum supporter's now get added advantages and these are listed at http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/supporter-benefits/

 

I've also added a page with additional ways to donate - I'm now hoping that it is easier to support the forum financially if that's what members want to do. Please see http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/support-how-to/ if you are having difficulty using the software subscription method.

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