Community News – Some financial stuff

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Shade
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Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Shade » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 pm

Dear Community,

the last days you may have already noticed the new donation button in the top right corner and the adverts showing up for guests.[donate][/donate]

With this announcement I want to give you some information about the recent thoughts and changes.

My thoughts about financing UT99.org.
I host this community for over 6,5 years now. Since UT99.org is destined to live forever ( :wink: ), I don’t think about to stop hosting it. So my idea was either to generate income with adverts for guests or to give the community the opportunity to contribute some coins to the UT99.org piggy bank. Somehow I would be really glad if I don’t bear the costs alone in the future.
By now, the adverts you may have seen the last days has been removed completely. I tested this concept and it looked like it would be contraproductive in the end: The potential income was not worth the displeased users it would come with and the energy needed to be invested in optimization. Thank you for your feedback here!
With staying ad-free, the best solution is a piggy bank, that can be filled by anyone who likes to support this community. At the moment there is a PayPal donation button available in the top right corner. Since PayPal claims over 7% of the donated amount, I am open for better solutions. (Bank transfer may be an alternative, please pm me.)

The new group “Community Supporter”.
Like we have a group for Honorary Members, who contributed something special to the community, we also have a group for members who support the community financially. If you donate something, just inform us about it. Community Supporters will also be added to this overview: http://www.ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1125
(If a donor wants to stay anonymous or doesn’t want the donated amount shown up there, we will accept it of course.)
If you have any cool ideas, how I can give anything else back to the supporters, you are welcome. :tu:

For some orientation: The actual financial situation of UT99.org.
With giving the opportunity to support the community financially, I want to give you some transparency.
Since January 2008 to today, this project did cost me over 1300 Euro. The monthly costs were redurced over the years.

Current monthly target: 10,00 Euro

________________________________________

I am open for any constructive critics, feedback and suggestions.
Every donation is highly appreciated. :highfive:

Best regards
Shade

JackGriffin
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by JackGriffin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:28 pm

Shade, I'll pay for the site for the next 12 months to give you time to settle things. Email me and I can either pay it all now or set up monthly autopay. Let's get this issue moved from something that needs immediate attention into something you can discuss handling with a long-term solution. If a decent core of guys step forward over the next year with a very minimal repeating donation there's no need for this to be an issue ever again. You just need time to set something up without having to hurry.

Yeah, it means that much to me not to see ads on this site. It will ruin the entire place if you allow it.
So long, and thanks for all the fish

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Carbon
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Carbon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:18 pm

Sent in a month's target. Hope it helps Shade.

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by TheDane » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:44 pm

I'm very pleased that you removed all the adds again :tu:

I have send 50 euros via paypal to you to help you pay the bills - seeing that others have donated as well makes me happy and your PM confirms me about that this site will stay online forever!! 8)
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Chamberly » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:46 pm

TheDane wrote:I'm very pleased that you removed all the adds again :tu:

I have send 50 euros via paypal to you to help you pay the bills - seeing that others have donated as well makes me happy and your PM confirms me about that this site will stay online forever!! 8)
Dang, u and Jack beat me for the most donation. :P haha

Glad to see some of us willing to help! :thuup: :mrgreen:
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Carbon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Dang! I had to beef up my donation a bit so not to look like a cheapskate! :P

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Shade
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Shade » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:52 pm

Wow, thank you all very much! :)

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by papercoffee » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:15 pm

How is it?
Any news on this issue?

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by JackGriffin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:13 am

I spoke with Shade privately but no way can I carry that kind of cost for anything but the short term. What he is paying for this is what it would cost a small business to run it's web presence. I have no idea how he has afforded to keep it this long.
So long, and thanks for all the fish

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Carbon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:53 am

I am quite ignorant on these types of costs. Roughly how much per month is it then?

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by papercoffee » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:00 pm

We should maybe start a Patreon account http://www.patreon.com/
...it's aimed more for artists but maybe can we finance that way our community.
maps, textures and code are art too, right?

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by JackGriffin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:38 pm

I suggested Shade seriously downgrade the site, maybe even move it to a hosted server. There are much cheaper solutions but I think he worries about the actual move and whether or not it could be done without some data loss (or even if it's technically feasible as an option). Now I don't mean downgrade the service, just the way the site it hosted. There can't be a tremendous amount of bandwidth involved and I'm sure phpBB with the database can always be exported to another host, it just may take someone with knowledge and time to do it. Shade's RL is very busy and I don't know if he has anywhere the time, knowledge, or intent to take any of that on. It's a lot to ask of one guy.

I mean not a single iota of disrespect but I can't see this going on without changes if financial issues are part of the picture. Short term donations are not going to fix this when you could cut the financial costs by an order of magnitude just by making some (maybe a little painful) changes.

Shade, there are people here that can do what you need done but it's going to require you to trust them. Dane would do this for you, so would I. Strych9, spongebob, either of the |uk| brothers...there are any number of people that could do this. Check out the prices for hosted phpBB forums and you'll see that you could cover 6-12 months for what you are paying for one. Even at the very catastrophic worst and you had to reboot UT99 it could be done. You could keep this available as an archive on the new forum. You have choices but it's up to you what direction you go. I just don't want to see this place fold up because of financial issues.

Shade takes a little bit of heat for not being 'around' as much as some feel he should be. I was one of those that felt that way too. I'll tell you guys, once we discussed how much he's given of his personal cash to keep this place rolling for so long...well, I had to sit down for a few minutes and reconsider my opinions. He may not have a lot of time to give but holy shit has he given of his money. Maybe it's time to reconsider how things are done.
So long, and thanks for all the fish

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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by TheDane » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:57 pm

Yes, this forum should not be very hard to transfer from one host to another. The hurdle is the download time (backup) + the upload time to the new host. A phpbb3 installation is easy to transfer, but because of its contruction its build by a million small php files all putted together for an end result - leading to a manual download/upload that will take a loooong time, if this is the chosen path for Shade and if it has to be done manualy like I described, then I'll suggest that Shade closes the forums for the duration of the transfer - could be days! But that's the only way to transfer an exact copy without loosing posts that has been posted during upload time. A dialog between Sahde and the hosts could perhaps lead to the support team transfering the website using the servers bandwidth which should hugely cut down the transfer time - I did that once and saved days.

Whatever direction Shade decides I'll support it and help if possible, right now it's by donations, I'm sure Shade will think of all the options and go with the one he finds best? I'm pretty sure many have stepped up privatly and offered help too :tu:
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Sp0ngeb0b » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:45 pm

I've done such migrations in the past - although they were internal network related and not with commercial providers. As Dane already stated, phpBB makes it quite easy to transfer it to a different machine - copy all files, export the SQL database, reupload all files to the new host, import the database; and you should be good to go and update the Domain to the new host. Of course, this won't work always as easy as expected, but atleast in theory it should. Disabling the board for the ongoing time is not avoidable, in order to prevent any data from getting lost. A basic phpBB installation is around 10MB large, the Database at this point (after 7 years of service) might be around 50-100MB. The big X factor in this calculations are the hosted files - speaking of a pure forum environment, these are only attachments. Since I don't know what else is running on the system, I can only talk about these. Would be interesting to know how big the files of the current setup are in total, including attachments and all. However, a basic migration can exclude the existing attachments for the first few days, they can be readded over the time. With my current 25 Mbit connection, I shouldn't need more then 3-5 hours for the migration, of course it's depending on the actual connection speed to the hosters.

That's for the migration point of view; I start to wonder on which plan the website currently is, and which would be a good downgrade..
If you need a helping hand Shade, don't hastle to ask me. Although I'll start my studies in the next weeks, I'll do my best to offer you support/take the work off your shoulders.
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Carbon
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Re: Community News – Some financial stuff

Post by Carbon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:16 pm

Wow...great and talented people here. I am no kind of help regarding technical site matters, but I will be happy to make a monthly donation.

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