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Bill Edwards

Restricting Access To The Rides List

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Bill Edwards    11,831
Bill Edwards

All The Fun Of The Fair is primarily a message forum. However, over the years it has grown into so much more. We have A Rides List with details and photos of over 3500 UK Rides, A Transport List, Funfair Reports Archive and loads more. As far as I am aware, the information we provide is unique online. Providing adequate hosting and storage requires funding which I am unable to finance solely on my own.  Fortunately Forum Supporter donations are currently covering our costs - however this assumes that our hosting/storage bill doesn't go any higher and supporter numbers don't drop. Forum Supporters have been discussed in the forum recently and this has had a positive effect and numbers are up - we are secure, for the time being at least.


I don't however want to be complacent and I've been discussing with the Forum Panel various methods of encouraging donations. One suggestion was to look at the benefits of donation (apart from the obvious one of keeping this unique resource available!). And I have now enhanced the benefits available to forum supporters (please see http://www.fun-fairs.co.uk/supporter-benefits/ for details)


Also discussed was making the Forum "Member Only", that is only accessible to those who do contribute financially. For various reasons, I don't want to implement this. However, if push comes to shove and the level of donations drops below our hosting and storage bills I WILL reconsider this option.


Another option discussed was restricting access to our biggest and most used feature - The Rides List - to paid subscriber only. I can see merit in this idea, but I still have reservations, primarily that the list was compiled and the information and photos supplied by a mixture of supporters and non-supporters and to exclude those who contributed to its success would be grossly unfair. I believe that it is important to balance who has access to the Rides List with those who have contributed to make it the success it is. I hope that I have achieved this with the following change in policy. 


Having considered all the advantages and disadvantages I have decided that access to the Rides List will eventually be restricted to Forum Supporters only, but this won't be done until it is necessary. I believe that by phasing in this restriction it will be fairer and I won't have to restrict access anymore than is necessary to achieve our aims.


Phase 1 - Has been completed. All new members to the forum will have unlimited access to all of the site except the Rides List - if they wish to access this additional feature they will need to support the forum financially (and with our lowest donation of just 10p a week it can hardly be described as expensive!)


Phase 2 - Is proving more difficult than I anticipated. If a member doesn't financially support the forum and has never contributed with content (that is has never posted) they will not be able to access the Rides List. I had a plugin to identify and move these members automatically, but it was unreliable, moving members who didn't fit the criteria. This is now a manual process and will take some time to complete.


Phase 3 - On 1st January 2018, the Rides List will further be restricted to the following:

  1. Forum Supporters
  2. Members who have contributed to the Rides List
  3. Members who submit Funfair Reports


The software is able to automatically give Supporters Rides List access, so there is no work to do on this aspect. However, there is no way for the software to identify Rides List or Funfair Report contributors, so these members will have to be given access to the Rides List Manually.


If you are NOT a Forum Supporter, but have contributed to the Rides List or have submitted Funfair Reports I will have to manually give you access to the Rides List. Please drop me, @Bill Edwards or @Jamie Peters a PM indicating which Rides List Entry or Funfair Report you have contributed to and we will do the rest. I've announced this now so that I have time to allow all those members who should have access to be able to access the list when it's restricted in just over two months time. 


I hope that you understand why this change of policy has been thought necessary and hope that you feel as I do and the Forum Panel does, that by restricting access to Forum Supporters and Contributor's to The Rides List and Funfair reports that the policy is being implemented fairly. 


Many thanks for your continued support.







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