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IMPORTANT: Forum Funding - Vigorously 'shaking the tin'
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D-Rider
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:39 pm    Post subject: IMPORTANT: Forum Funding - Vigorously 'shaking the tin' Reply with quote



Over the years we have occasionally chipped-in to provide funds to cover the various costs in hosting this great forum.
It’s all been a bit ad-hoc with the odd appeal when it has been felt that we were a bit short (well feeling a “bit short” was always a common thing for Pete and Tim).
We’ve not had a whip round for some time and the pot is empty once again. Actually, it’s a bit more serious than that as we currently owe several years’ worth of hosting and domain registration fees.

I’ll explain the background in another post in this thread as the main purpose here is to let you know the actual situation and what we need to raise to clear our debt. When we discovered the arrears, we ascertained that nothing had been paid out since December 2013. Calculating what would be needed to get us through to the end of this year (2016) suggested a total bill of just under £900. We took what immediate action we could and paid the £300 that we had in our funds to reduce the sum to about £600.
Our immediate problem is to raise that money as quickly as possible so we can clear our debts.

Once that is achieved, I want to get us to the stage where we always have enough in the kitty to pay for the following 3 months or so – so that we never fall behind again.
Obviously, expecting the membership to raise £600 or so overnight is unrealistic – but I believe we can do it over a few months.
If people chip in what they can now and then (for example) chip in a tenner a month until we clear the balance, we should get there in 3 or 4 months. We can then go back to a more relaxed approach – but one where we monitor things more closely and keep on top of the situation.

Therefore, I ask that we all take on this task to pay what we have failed to pay for over the past few years.

I will keep the forum updated as to how this is going – now we understand the situation we want to be transparent as to how we are handling it.

Please click the Ridersite Logo to donate -->



Thanks
The Admin Team
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Last edited by D-Rider on Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:44 pm; edited 4 times in total
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D-Rider
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Brief Forum History – Including some of the “Behind The Scenes” Administration

Much of this was provided by Jake who is one of the “Forum Founders” and still deals with the “behind the scenes” issues – such as the hosting of the site.
I’ve added a few bits and pieces – such as the merging of Aprilia Ridersite with Ridersite back in 2007 and how things have worked since then.
It’s all from memory – so some things might not be 100% correct or the order of some things may have got muddled but it’s a reasonable overview. Long-servers such as Biker Gran and Gio will probably recall things too.

Jake wrote:
Ridersite was set up late 1990’s by the Webhamster (Hammy) Jooshead and me (Jake). Hammy and I came from an IT background but he was the one who did most of the forum techy stuff. I kept the administrative stuff ticking over.

It was based on our personal interest, passion and enthusiasm for motorbikes. It went from strength to strength and various offshoots occurred including RIOT Racing our European Superstock team which was instigated by us at Ridersite and Jorge at Renegade Exhausts and ran for a few years in the early noughties. The members were involved and we had a few fun years living the life. Plenty of exhibitions, rideouts, rallies, events and sillinesses followed.

There were some upgrades and enhancements made to the forum software over time. But it became impractical to upgrade the forum without losing some of the add-on features that had been installed. The time and effort it would take to sort that out again became nonviable. So the forum has remained on and old version of Discus for some years now.

Ridersite was funded by us, some donations from members and by Bike Johnny limited, which was Jooshead’s and my online store which closed c2007. By then we (Hammy/ Jooshead/ myself) no longer had bikes and very rarely visited the forum. Kwackerz and Samray, with others had taken over the day to day admin on the site.


D-Rider wrote:
One of the spin-off forums was Aprilia Ridersite. It had been running for some time when I joined in the summer of 2005. That too was funded by Bike Johnny and towards the end of 2006 the writing was on the wall as despite having a healthy membership, we didn’t have funds. Kwackerz (Tim) and his dad (Samray) were the Admins and ran things behind the scenes but looking after things on a day to day basis was by then in the hands of a couple of Moderators – myself and Falco9 (Rich).
We had a think about the best way forward and put a number of ideas to a forum vote. Overwhelmingly we chose to merge Ridersite with Aprilia Ridersite – with the Aprilias having a sub-forum within the main site. This happened in January 2007. I think there was some fear on the part of the existing Ridersite membership that they might be swamped with Aprilia riders … and to be fair, there was a bit of swamping. Nevertheless, we’ve got along OK as a rider-based bike forum that is open to all but happens to have a greater proportion of Aprilias (especially Falcos). Funding has been commonised to that of a single forum and we’ve got by. Falco9 and I became “Aprilia Moderators” within Ridersite with a remit to look after the Aprilia area and Kwackerz and Samray administered the whole forum (with the mysterious Hammy and Jake somewhere behind the scenes). After a while we lost Falco9 and Aladinsaneuk (Pete) joined me as an Aprilia Moderator.


Back to Jake’s account – picking up from the point at which both forums lost the Bike Johnny funding:

Jake wrote:
There were quite a few early (and new) members still enjoying the forum so for sentimental reasons I couldn’t bring myself to shut it down. However, I also wasn’t able to continue paying for it, so a few years ago I asked for help with funding. Kwackerz & Samray did start to help with funding. It was an ad-hoc arrangement and didn’t cover the out of pocket costs. I felt uncomfortable asking for the money so didn’t keep on top of it and time drifted by ending up in the position we are in now.


D-Rider again:
D-Rider wrote:
Kwackerz and Sam collected contributions from the forum in a PayPal account and periodically had a “tin-rattling” campaign as we needed to pay our dues …. but it wasn’t a regular thing.
Over time, Kwackerz and Sam needed more day to day help with the forum so Aladinsaneuk and I were eventually co-opted as full admins across the forum.
Sadly a few years ago, our dear friend Sam passed away (I know many of us still miss him …. He’s still a “friend” of mine on facebook – though he doesn’t post up much….) and so the admin team was reduced. At the beginning of this year, Kwackerz had to take a back seat as his life didn’t really have the hours to do the things he did previously. That left Pete and me. At that point, Kwackerz passed over the Paypal details to Pete and I with instructions to pay Jake when there was a need.
Also this year, Pete and I have been hard-pressed with other things and struggled with time so we co-opted Mangocrazy and Mart Dude to join the Admin team.


As expected, Jake eventually came along asking for a contribution towards hosting fees. We took that opportunity to ask how far behind we were and got a bit of a shock. We paid up what we had in the account but found that as things had slipped over a long period, the outstanding sum rather exceeded the balance.

We need to sort this out ASAP to stabilise things and then adopt a policy of keeping enough in the kitty to see us through the coming few months.
Although the amount seems large, if we can all chip bit by bit over a few months, we should get there – effectively paying for the benefit we have already enjoyed.
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blinkey501
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done..

Can I also ask the Admin if there is any back up on files now sorted, as my photbucket account is becoming rather full?

If I delete photo's from my account, I don't want the threads I have done or added too becoming incomplete?

Thanks.
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't be absolutely certain Jay, but I don't believe the forum has any private storage of images etc. I think that all images on here are linked to external sites like Photobucket, Flickr etc. I'm sure if I'm wrong in that respect someone will be along to correct me.

Images gobble up storage far quicker than text, so given our current impoverished state I don't think we'd want to encourage using forum storage for images, even if we could.
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D-Rider
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your donation Jay.

As for forum storage for files and pics - mango is right, we don't have it.
I would dearly like to have it as we are forever loosing pictures in posts (important ones in the tech areas in particular).

Tim did look into this at one point and even began to get something set up - but I never succeeded in logging in to it and it lapsed before it ever really got going.

Maybe one day but the main issue now is clearing what we owe on hosting fees etc and getting things stable for the future.
We can then talk about the direction for the future and what we can and can't afford to do.

Cheers
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fatboy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hokay, that sent a severe twinge through my guilt gland, I have not donated for way too long.....
Donated and set up a monthly repeat.
Lets face it, most of us have had advice/guidance on here that you would have to pay in excess of £50 per hour if you went to a bike shop.
So dig into your pockets or I will have to start telling jokes again
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Viking
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donation has been made...
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BikerGran
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done.


The history above is pretty accurate, if brief. Ridersite version 1 was the first proper forum I joined and although I don't ride any more I shall never leave and will always contribute (but we do need reminding on a fairly regular basis - Kwackerz used to do that!) - and the "exhibitions, rideouts, rallies, events and sillinesses" are very much part of that.

I had enormous fun in years gone by, and all the Aprilia people who joined seem to have been 'the right sort' and we've all continued to have fun.

Long may it last!

And to that end, maybe once the current crisis is sorted, we might think about a regular subscription? I know K was always against it but it would stop this happening again - or at least reduce the impact somewhat - I've always said I'd be happy to pay a sub.
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Dalemac
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donated.

As someone who does this stuff for living (builds & manages web servers, writes applications/websites, migration scripts between databases, and all that jazz), I'd like to offer again any help then I can provide.

Ideally we need to take ownership of the hosting and domain name registrations from Jake, this will allow us to decide our own destiny and manage ourselves - RideSite traffic is small and hosting really shouldn't be costing us all that much - after all it is a shared server and is hosting at least 80 other websites.

Dale
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Gio
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done and as I don't have to pay for a web site anymore I'd like the facility of being able to pay without thinking about it each year.
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Gio
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalemac wrote:
Donated.

As someone who does this stuff for living (builds & manages web servers, writes applications/websites, migration scripts between databases, and all that jazz), I'd like to offer again any help then I can provide.

Ideally we need to take ownership of the hosting and domain name registrations from Jake, this will allow us to decide our own destiny and manage ourselves - RideSite traffic is small and hosting really shouldn't be costing us all that much - after all it is a shared server and is hosting at least 80 other websites.

Dale


Should have read this 1st, I could ask my isp its been cheap I think for us (about £70 a year)
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Falcopops
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donated
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D-Rider
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your immediate response - we are already at around the half-way mark to clear what's owing (raised over £300 so far).
You are a generous bunch.

Hopefully when a few more see this, the coffers will swell again

Yes we do need to review hosting etc but let's just get the backlog cleared first and then we can start thinking about that.

Cheers
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Willopotomas
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shekels chucked in. It's a good job I like you all.
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done. I agree about getting the backlog cleared off before we think about other stuff, but I'm sure with the mix of expertise we have on the forum it shouldn't be difficult to not only set the forum on a sound financial basis, but actually improve it in certain areas.

Feeling positive!
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