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Boss-Hog
01-17-2003, 02:34 PM
Because of all the problems we've had for approximately the past year, we've been looking in to changing hosts for the past few weeks. I went to vBulletin's website and noticed that they had a separate forum set up for discussion of which hosts their clients use, reviews of the hosts, etc. After looking into the matter, I noticed that http://www.venturesonline.com had excellent reviews across the board and nearly everyone said they were as reliable as can be. With that in mind, I talked to GIK about it and we agreed to look into switching to them, if a plan could be found that accomodated our price range. I sent out an email to them that included our visitor statistics and the like and about an hour later, I got the following email back from one of their staff members:


Thank you so much for all the information while writing to us... It made it so easy to look things up and gauge your usage history & server needs. Normally it’s a bit like pulling teeth, so this was just wonderful! :) Thanks!!!

From what I have gathered, it looks like your current host is actually right on the money. I have to congratulate you on your popularity — you have a big, busy board! That’s just super. There are a lot of people on the internet who wish they had that kind of traffic. ;)

To begin, your site is definitely too big for the shared environment. You’re peaking out at 4.8 dynamic hits/month with about 50 users online at any given time. Our V500 is designed to take about 1/3 to 1/2 of that, at the very most. Users are usually upgraded to a VPS or Dedicated plan before they even reach those upper limits. A site the size of yours would be very hard on a shared server and would degrade server performance for everyone, because it simply needs a large chunk of CPU to run.

You mentioned not being able to afford the VPS1500, but unfortunately your site would not even begin to run on a package that small. With 4.8 million hits/month, the minimum VPS that would have ample resources to run your forums would be the VPS8000. (See “Selecting a VPS for your Site” at http://www.venturesonline.com/hosting/vps-features.html)

When we start talking that level of expense, my natural inclination is to get the client off a finite-resource server like the VPS plans (where you only get a slice of CPU and RAM) and put them on a dedicated server. A dedicated server will offer your site 100% of the CPU, 100% of the RAM, etc. etc. -- a dedicated server will do awesome things for you, and allow your site to grow without being hindered by shared overhead.

Since you’re on a budget :) I would bypass the regular dedicated line and point you to the Dedicated Specials we have on tap at the moment. You can review them at http://www.venturesonline.com/hosting/specials.php

I would recommend nothing less than 512 MB of RAM... This is something we can upgrade for you on any of the specials. An additional 256MB chip is $20 set-up and $35/month, and will really speed things up for you. If 512 isn’t enough, we can always put another 256 or 512 in there — the servers are quite configurable that way.

I know you’d like to stay in the shared environment, since it’s very affordable, however the shared environment is designed for small sites that never see even a sliver of the traffic you have. :) Your popularity is wonderful, but it does bring a cost at some point... Unfortunately, you seem to have reached that point. I hope that we’ll be able to help you out as you consider your options.

Please do let us know if you have any further questions.

I was understandably discouraged after reading all this. Basically, this tells me that the host we have probably isn't the problem but the real problem is the sheer amount of traffic the site gets. Unfortunately, this is only going to get worse once the season starts. Now, as you can probably figure out, there's no way that we can viably afford to pay the $130 monthly fee (and that's before any memory upgrades) that VenturesOnline is suggesting...not at least without introducing a boatload of advertising and I'm not even sure that would cover the costs. When you start talking about expenses that high, I don't think donations are going to cover it. I greatly appreciate the money that everyone's given us to help us pay our expenses to this point but unfortunately this site has clearly outgrown where it used to be - in the $20/month price range. Our current host has told me before that our site actually costs them more to host than they actually make off of it and I can believe that. They have basically told me that we will need to switch to one of their private servers - while that's a bit more affordable than VenturesOnline, we're still talking $80 a month. Details of that plan can be found here (http://www.forsite.com/vds.htm).

At this point, I'm not really sure what we're going to do, to be honest with you. I do know that we are going to need to switch to some plan that can accomodate the traffic the site gets or else we'll soon be forced to pay a lot of money for excessive bandwith. I don't want to have to set a limit to the amount of people who can view the site at one time. (as I currently have done, just to keep it running) Basically, the only real solution is to switch to a private or dedicated server and since GIK and I don't make any money off the site, there's no way that's a possibility, as is. If you have any suggestions about how we can raise the necessary money to cover costs and keep the site going, I'm all ears. Thanks.

Boss

TeamCasey
01-17-2003, 02:54 PM
Wow. That is discouraging. I wish I had the expertise to help. It's sad to see this creation possibly die.

Rychian
01-17-2003, 03:10 PM
Boss,

I would begin to look into advertising. Banners and the like, wouldnt cover everything, but they certainly would help. Ask AceKing about the banners and the Dart system, i am too far removed from it to remember too much. I would see what you could get advertising wise, youd be surprised the offers you would get when you tell them the hits you get. Like i said, i wouldnt think it would cover the costs, but it would be a step in the right direction.


Tom

westofyou
01-17-2003, 03:15 PM
What would it cost to have someone host the box at their home off a DSL or T1 line?

Or is that just out of the question?

buckeyenut
01-17-2003, 03:17 PM
Well, one thought is this. I don't know what the usage patterns are but I would guess the normal times that we hit major traffic is when a trade or some other big news happens. So, in cases where there is a big trade, why not direct everyone to chat for a couple of hours or so to talk about the deal. Then, after the fervor dies down, the board opens back up.

Is our problem the spikes or are we constantly too big all the time?

15fan
01-17-2003, 03:27 PM
Boss -

Here's my suggestion:

At the top of the page, put how much money Redszone.com has.

Next, put the amount of money that Redszone.com will spend on bills for the current month.

Third, put a link to an address where individuals can send money to cover said expenses.

Update as necessary throughout the year.

IMO, I say we try and go with a dedicated server. If, after a month or two, you & GIK find that financially we can't support it, we can always scale things back to fit on a shared server budget.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

What's that princeton line?

Dare to be great.

And I'll put my money where my mouth is: gimme an address and I'll kick in $50 for the cause.

EricDavis
01-17-2003, 04:21 PM
How about making it a partial Pay site

We have 1172 members of those, looks like about 200 or so have posted more than 200 messages. What if it was free to browse and read the board, but you had to pay to post.

Looks like the hosting will be about $2000 for the year. If 200 people were expected to register to post, you could charge $10 for a year's membership and that should cover the cost.

GIK
01-17-2003, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
What would it cost to have someone host the box at their home off a DSL or T1 line?

Or is that just out of the question?

I've thought of this woy and mentioned it to Boss, but we both agree neither of us have the experience to handle it. I have cable and was thinking about it earlier, but I'm not sure the hardware could even handle such a load.

We really need some ideas, everyone. $80+/mo is a drastic jump (400%).

GriffeyFan
01-17-2003, 06:56 PM
I like 15fan's idea. This board has risen to the occasion before and I'm sure it can again. With so many more members, that should only enhance the donations. I know I haven't been able to donate before, but I'm out of school now and could contribute $$$.

jlee
01-17-2003, 06:56 PM
Ok, this might sound really dumb, but have you thought about maybe going and seeing if the Reds might be willing to sponsor the site? I mean, they are what the site is all about and $80/month would be nothing to them. Also have you checked out the cusa-talk website? Maybe you could talk to the people that run that site and see what they do. They have over 1400 members. Just a suggestion.

RBA
01-17-2003, 07:10 PM
As far as the Reds sponsoring the site, that's probably not going to happen since MLB wants all the clubs using MLB.com for all their clubs forums.

But maybe you are on the right track. Nothing wrong with WLW sponsoring it or maybe FoxSportsCN/Ohio.


The other suggestion to make first time members pay to post, I don't like that idea. When I go to other fan sites like that, I just avoid it. I wouldn't like to chase people away.

When all else fails, ask Junior. He can afford it.

Tyler11
01-17-2003, 07:14 PM
If anyone HAD to pay for "membership"...i'd say it should be those like myself who constantly read the board but seldomly contribute anything of value. Forcing those who actually make this site worth visiting everyday to be the ones to pay would be unjust. The people with all the posts are the reason the rest of us are here. We should be paying to read. This site is hundreds of times more informative/entertaining/valuable than even the best newspaper/website/magazine. Worth every penny of a $50 a year membership fee (good luck convincing my wife though) if any such fee were to be necessary. Just my opinion.

CougarQuest
01-17-2003, 07:33 PM
Lordy Tyler, you should post more. Well thought out analysis.

I wonder what the splits are in here, people who just read versus those who usually posts.

I think it is time to search for sponsors. Perhaps with the new Florence professional team, they would be interested in throwing in a few bucks. What about the new high A Reds minor league affiliate? How about all the minor league teams? I bet we get more hits than their sites, and perhaps this can attract more people to their sites.

I'm not ready to let all this hard work and fun die.

Spring~Fields
01-17-2003, 08:10 PM
Have you considered something along the lines of a gift shop that pays Redzone 20% of the gross retail sales that are generated from Redzone members? A site where GIK and Boss could verify sales through a simple administrative log-in.

Instead of donations the members would receive a product of their choice and Redzone would receive 20% of that sale. A site that doesn’t call for a lot of banners or advertising on Redzone, just enough to inform its members. The gift shop in turning over the 20% to Redzone could call it advertising fees to reduce its tax burden naturally. www.applications-gifts-around-the-clock.com for example.

savafan
01-17-2003, 08:10 PM
2 thoughts...

One, what about having a charity auction to raise funds? I'm sure among everyone here that we could scrape some things together that could be auctioned off.

Two, there is a huge following for the Dayton Dragons. However, there isn't a Dayton Dragons Baseball Forum anywhere on the net (not counting the difficult to figure out forums on activedayton.com). Perhaps if we added a special forum here specifically for the Dragons, they would be willing to sponsor the site and put a link here on their webpage.

The other minor league teams may be willing to do that also.

savafan
01-17-2003, 08:13 PM
http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/ is a website where you can create products to sell and set the prices you want to charge for them. My poetry club, The Poet's Embrace has a gift shop on here. To see what the products look like at my store, visit: http://www.cafeshops.com/cp/store.aspx?s=poetsembrace&exact=on&search=true&x=19&y=12

MWM
01-17-2003, 08:34 PM
The only problem with making it a pay site or selling advertising or merchandise is it turnd RedsZone into a business where the owners would have to worry about all the red tape associated with haveing an actual business.

I'm with 15fan, I'll kick in $50. If you could get 50 people willing to pay $20, that's $1000 and should get you close for a year.

savafan
01-17-2003, 08:39 PM
If it was designated as non-profit, I know there would still be red tape, but it wouldn't be as bad would it?

traderumor
01-17-2003, 08:47 PM
The freebie days are coming to an end, sad as it is to say. I am so appreciative of the folks who make this available. It hasn't taken greed long to make its way into the information flow that is the internet. A Columbus Christian radio station just recently discontinued its streaming audio because of operating costs becoming unaffordable. Anyway, I would hate to see it go subscription for all those who will avoid the site. Volunteers, gifts, or sponsors (Baseball-reference.com keeps their site free with sponsors for team pages and player pages) seem to be the most viable to keep it "free" for surfers. I came in that way and am now willing to chip in whatever way I can to keep the board running. Banner free would be best though--they are almost as annoying as popups.

Old Red Guard
01-17-2003, 08:52 PM
I will pay one month's hosting fee. I know that isn't going to support a long term solution but if Zoners can raise enough to get the first 6 months covered it would buy GIK and Boss and others time to check out advertising, sponsors and maybe even sponsoring members while increasing the board's viability. Perhaps we could get Zoner Ts for donating a certain amount, a "sponsoring RedZone" line under our signons for a certain amount etc. Any thought of selling advertising to sports bars near the stadium? Also, maybe a membership fee with a 30 or 90 day free trial on the site to new members to decide if they want to enroll - they can post free for x # of days then if they want to be a posting member they have to pay an annual fee. $10, $20 etc.

The fact is that nothing good is ever free if it requires people, resources and time to maintain it. Other sites from news to sports to hobby related ones are converting to pay systems, at least for the premium content they offer. If the amount is reasonable and spread among 150 -200 or more memberships it should be feasible. I certainly don't mind paying. That's why a sponsoring member tag or something would be nice. It would encourage membership without shutting out the students, young families getting started etc. I'll pay for the enjoyment I have received talking with Reds fans about baseball has been immense. Living in an area where Reds fans are few and far between and team news is almost entirely from the 'net, I'd consider it a small price to pay.

TRF
01-17-2003, 09:09 PM
The problem with advertisements, especially for a couple of guys in college, is finding time to get them, and keep them. Then how is it done? How many Redszone members live out of state? I can't get Skyline Chili in Texas. Their ads won't do anything but make me hungry.

Now a sponsorship might be the best way. 2 grand a year might not be much to certain groups, but there might be legal issues.

SirFelixCat
01-17-2003, 09:09 PM
There have been quite a few GREAT ideas that have come out on here...my personal fav's are the charity auction, ORG's idea of a 30-day free trial then $20 a year, or possibly the donation link on the site. While we don't have tons of cash to throw around, Mrs. SC and myself would gladly chip in at least $20, if for no other reason, than to get the ball rolling and give the powers that be time to set up advertising and such. I think the WLW or the mino league affiliates being sponsors is also a fantastic idea...

Regardless of which way we go, rest assured, Boss, GIK, etc. that the 'Zone will be here to help wherever and whenever we are needed:thumbup:

Spring~Fields
01-17-2003, 09:09 PM
$130 X 12 months of annual hosting fees $1,560.00/1,172=$1.33 each or

$80.00 X 12 months of annual hosting fees $960.00/1,172=.82 each

surely we all could chip in $2.00 each per year.

savafan
01-17-2003, 09:12 PM
But of those 1172 members, a little over 350 of them have never even made one post.

SandyD
01-17-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by TeamCasey
Wow. That is discouraging. I wish I had the expertise to help. It's sad to see this creation possibly die.

We aren't going anywhere. I don't think the membership on this board will let that happen.

Boss, I think you underestimate us. Give us an estimate of the total cost. Is that all there is to it? $2k-$3k a year? We can raise that, IMO, and more. As long as we don't need it all upfront. How much do we need to get started? Do we have to sign a contract? If so, for how long? Can we have a trial period to make sure we like what we're getting?

I like 15fans idea, and some banner advertising wouldn't be too bad. We just need to remember to click on them periodically. can we legally work out some sort of 50/50 raffle? $5 a shot instead of the usual $1? Might not work out because it's probably illegal in a lot of states. The auction idea isn't bad, but I hate auctions, so I wouldn't participate. I'd rather donate.

The key is to keep us informed on where we stand, and not to wait too long to ask for help. I mean, I can't promise an initial $50 donation or anything right now, but I'll chip in something every month for a while to make it happen. I suggested quarterly fundraisers before, and I still prefer that to monthly, but I'm for whatever it takes.

I think we want to avoid paid memberships if possible. Not saying that it won't come to that, but I think we should try something else first.

But we do need a goal and a budget. Maybe we need to establish some sort of charter. Can we get access to the charter for the old Knickerbocker Base Ball club? Could we use that as a model?

We can do this. Just let us know what we have to do.

SirFelixCat
01-17-2003, 09:19 PM
Ok, dumb question, but we have well eclipsed 1,000 members now. I understand the reasoning why some do not want to charge for membership into our board, but out of those 1,000+ members, 350 or so have not even posted? Not to sound...rude(?), but if we lost some of them, what's the problem? $20 a year is hardly a large amount for such a tight knit board in which we have so many well informed and well educated (baseball speaking) people. The core of this board, and then some, would be more than willing to chip in to make this thing work. Again, while I understand the reluctance to charge, times change and hard decisions need to be made. $20 per person and the problem goes away...just my $.02:confused:

buckeyenut
01-17-2003, 09:34 PM
Someone mentioned sponsorships from sports bars. Maybe Team Clark's new sports bar might want to sponsor us or advertise on the site.

Maybe the guys with Reds contacts could get some autographed stuff we could auction off as a fundraiser for the site.

Maybe we could have a Redszone day at the ballpark and charge 20 bucks a ticket or something and get discounted tickets like they do for Lutheran Day at the Reds and use that as a fund raiser.

I like the idea of the Dragons sponsoring the site and having a board for them.

SandyD
01-17-2003, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by SC Reds Fans
Ok, dumb question, but we have well eclipsed 1,000 members now. I understand the reasoning why some do not want to charge for membership into our board, but out of those 1,000+ members, 350 or so have not even posted? Not to sound...rude(?), but if we lost some of them, what's the problem? $20 a year is hardly a large amount for such a tight knit board in which we have so many well informed and well educated (baseball speaking) people. The core of this board, and then some, would be more than willing to chip in to make this thing work. Again, while I understand the reluctance to charge, times change and hard decisions need to be made. $20 per person and the problem goes away...just my $.02:confused:

Requiring an annual membership brings with it its own administrative costs, and I'm afraid of losing members because they can't re-up at a specific time. And what about new members? Would ramp have paid to post on this site?

If we have a treasure chest, with a goal to meet, we can contribute what we can afford, when we can afford it. If we can meet our needs that way, that's the best. I think we can. If we can't , we have to look into the possibility of subscription. Just my opinion.

Oh, and what are the legal ramifications of subscription vs donations?

CougarQuest
01-17-2003, 09:37 PM
Call me a tight wad, but I refuse to pay for sites. With that said, I have made donations to this site in the past, but there is something that just irks me to pay for a site.

If this becomes a pay site, I think we lose people, people who don't have the money to 'waste' on extras like this. I think we also loose out on people from other sites or people who have a valuable insite that won't come in. Can this stop people like ramp, cardinals fans, astro fans, etc. who can give us insite to their club that we don't know or may never know if they won't pay to come in and make one post that informs us? What about a guy who has a lot of medical bills and going through a lot of problems, or a guy out of work temporarily and right now this site is the highlight of their day a place to escape reality? The same person who is too proud to take a donation or be allowed to come in for free while others pay? Some of these people have been here since the beginning. I am totally against making this a pay site.

You want to have a "silent auction", get sponsors, get donations, I'm all for it, but don't make this a pay site because I want EVERYONE to be able to access this site whether they just read or post every second. If we loose one poster (obviously who doesn't cause problems) we may loose a lot.

westofyou
01-17-2003, 09:38 PM
ORG said:


I will pay one month's hosting fee.

I will too.

savafan
01-17-2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by CougarQuest
Call me a tight wad, but I refuse to pay for sites. With that said, I have made donations to this site in the past, but there is something that just irks me to pay for a site.

If this becomes a pay site, I think we lose people, people who don't have the money to 'waste' on extras like this. I think we also loose out on people from other sites or people who have a valuable insite that won't come in. Can this stop people like ramp, cardinals fans, astro fans, etc. who can give us insite to their club that we don't know or may never know if they won't pay to come in and make one post that informs us? What about a guy who has a lot of medical bills and going through a lot of problems, or a guy out of work temporarily and right now this site is the highlight of their day a place to escape reality? The same person who is too proud to take a donation or be allowed to come in for free while others pay? Some of these people have been here since the beginning. I am totally against making this a pay site.

You want to have a "silent auction", get sponsors, get donations, I'm all for it, but don't make this a pay site because I want EVERYONE to be able to access this site whether they just read or post every second. If we loose one poster (obviously who doesn't cause problems) we may loose a lot.

I couldn't agree more CQ! :thumbup:

Old Red Guard
01-17-2003, 09:40 PM
I agree CougarQ, sponsorship seems a better way to go but whatever can be worked out, it has to be a sustainable thing cause the costs will be there every month.

MikeS21
01-17-2003, 09:44 PM
I like the idea of the 30 day trial and then pay an annual fee. I was thinking of of a fee around $10 bucks for the year. $10 bucks won't break too many budgets, And if you only have 600-700 members sign-up, that's $6000-$7000 per year. We ought to be able to handle that. $20 would be fine for me, but it may be a little much for some folks to come up with all at one time. But $10 would be better for some of our students on the board.

Now, there is another question. I have no idea what is involved in setting up an account handling system and keeping track of annual dues and when they are due. Is this too big a load for our moderators? Or should we have a separate account person keeping track of when annual subscription expire.

DiamondRat
01-17-2003, 09:45 PM
I think that $20.00 a person is the way to go. It might also eliminate the trolls.

Virginia Beach Reds
01-17-2003, 09:47 PM
quite a conundrum...

I've read some good ideas on how to raise a couple of thousand dollars to keep this fantastic resource breathing. In my opinion, the most logical and easiest of solutions is to find out exactly what we need and ask our members to pitch in to cover the costs. I bet we'd have the money in-hand in a matter of a week or so. It also keeps this board away from the resource depleting banner ads that you'd have with advertising (not to mention the time and effort to get the business to commit and sponsor the site to begin with) and keeps the fine people that dedicate their time to upkeep of the site out of the legality 'business' red tape issues that creep up when you start to get other entities involved with supporting the site financially. I'm sick and tired of the subscription stuff...seems like many sites are going this direction in hail of the almight dollar. I do like ORGs suggestion that we add the sponsorship moniker to a donors log in name to maybe create some competitiveness. Great idea there. I also think the minor league page would create some added interest to those that support the Dragons/Lookouts etc. It then, in turn, would create a bigger fan base for RZ which makes for more donors. I, for one, would enjoy perusing the minor league page.

Regardless, I don't think you'd have a problem raising the money. It's the easiest of all of the great ideas presented thusfar.

VBR

Spring~Fields
01-17-2003, 09:47 PM
Fundraisers sound like a good idea.

I didn't realize that of the 1,000+ members that they didn't all participate on the board.

You could get banners from various advertisers that pay commissions from CJ.com or LinkShare.com. but the commissions are paid on sales. Naturally, if the members didn't buy anything, the site would not gain any revenues. They have banners small enough that could fit to the right of the RedsZone logo and you could rotate those banners.

TeamCasey
01-17-2003, 10:15 PM
Lot of good ideas, lot of big ideas, lot of ideas that would need a bit of research.

My question to our two young college students. How are you guys doing with all this? You've done a tremendous job for a long, long time. It's grown so much. I know you're dedicated, but there's only so much time you can expend to both. Are you at a point where you want to perhaps share the reigns with some other folks? Do you need more technical help?

Johnny Vander m
01-17-2003, 10:55 PM
Keep it simple, Make it a pay site if you post for $5.00 a month, bank draft or credit card. With the extra money hire someone to help. If you can't afford $5.00 bucks a month you shouldn't even be on the internet.

Trolls at $25,00 a month.:lol:

Spring~Fields
01-17-2003, 11:06 PM
Trolls at $25,00 a month

I ain't paying $25.00 dollars a month to tell you something that you already know...............:lol:

Johnny Vander m
01-17-2003, 11:18 PM
S'PRING Fan, you are NOT a troll, you are one of my flavor-rite posters, even if you never say any thing worthwhile! :lol: :lol: :lol:

EmtyRedsFan
01-17-2003, 11:29 PM
This may be a long shot............. but does everyone remember Eddie Taubensee?

Hope so because he is a very good friend with my brother-in-law(use to work on the grounds crew). Anyway Im going to give Eddie a call or email and see if he would be willing to help and throw in some cash..... He's a very charitable man and very good one at that... I just hope the site doesnt become a pay site.... dont have the money.

Johnny Vander m
01-17-2003, 11:34 PM
:lol: You are kidding I hope, I would think all of us have at least somewhat of a memory left in our brain. :D

Can't afford 5 bucks a month? Sure hope that call to Eddie isn't long distance. :roll:

EmtyRedsFan
01-17-2003, 11:42 PM
Can't afford 5 bucks a month? Sure hope that call to Eddie isn't long distance.

When you dont have a job of course you cant afford it...

Johnny Vander m
01-17-2003, 11:52 PM
Sorry if I upset you, but why don't you have a job? IMHO, anyone who wants ajob bad enugh can find one. Are you disabled? If not, well I don't want to turn this into a political thread, but what kind of work are you looking for, not what you wish, but maybe something will come along while you are working at a job you hate, It DOES happen.

EmtyRedsFan
01-17-2003, 11:55 PM
dont have a job becuase of school...

GoReds
01-17-2003, 11:58 PM
Just a suggestion or two...

1- Create a sponsor link that would list all who have donated for that month. Create a tiered system in which Gold members donate at least X amount, Silver donate at least Y amount and Bronze donate Z amount. Everyone likes to see their name or handle in a favorable light. The alternative would be to list their status under their username, along with or instead of players names.

2- If a dedicated server is involved, could you offer other simple services? Something along the lines of, donate so much per year and get a mail box that has a "username@redszone.com" address. That would be pretty cool.

In any case, put me down on the list for sponsoring a month's worth of service. Heck, I might be persuaded to take care of two months.

GIK
01-18-2003, 12:09 AM
Thanks for all of the input, everyone.

I do not wish to turn RedsZone into a pay site. While that may help us bandwith wise, I see it only killing its purpose.

I also don't want to always keep asking for help from all of you. I am flattered with so many responses of Reds fans who wish to keep us running. It's amazing.

Advertising/Sponsorship is something I would like to look into. Possibly a rotating banner above the forum (no pop-ups). That is just an idea, but I've seen many larger sites go this route for revenue (focaljet.com | vwvortex.com).

I am behind RZ 100%. I'm out of school for the moment taking a breather from grad school and working full time at Ford SVT. The site won't die from lack of effort.

All of you have been there for us in the past and I know you'll be there in the future. I just want to make sure the effort is organized an planned correctly so we don't revisit this issue each year.

Johnny Vander m
01-18-2003, 12:11 AM
Empty Fan, ever hear of a paper route etc? My kids, all 5 of them had jobs before or after school. I wasn't poor or rich, just wanted to teach my kids the joy of making money. $5.00 a month is nothing, sorry, but if you got time to read and post on RedsZone, you have time for a part time job. How old are you anyways, even if it's none of my business?

GIK
01-18-2003, 12:16 AM
***Off Topic***

Johnny...give him a little bit of a break...some kids don't work in school and that's it. My parents wouldn't allow me to have a job during the year so I could concentrate only on my studies (undergrad only). He's a Reds fan...love him no matter what. :)

***Back to Topic***

geo_j
01-18-2003, 12:16 AM
As it happens i am currently making out checks so Boss please e-mail me with a address to send you a donation. Unless Boss and the others wants to go into the internet business fulltime I really don't see how they can go to a pay per use site. i think there would be Tax problems, legal problems, and time problems.


the biggest problem would be the inability to control the site in the same manner as it has been controled to date. While as a free site boss and others can bar people at will. However once someone pays money to use something it becomes much harder to bar someone.

Also it becomes a product for sale, thus those who have been bared in the past could probably bring legal action to get back in.


i have spend numerous hours, particularly in chat, getting great pleasure out of this site. I have also lost more then 200 dollars on a single noght at the boat. So i think over the course of a year I could pay for at least a month on a dedicated server.

If I do it will be a donation, no strings attached.

Johnny Vander m
01-18-2003, 12:32 AM
Geo, guess you are correct. I agree. So when you get the address, post it or PM me, I will also donate. Thanks

GIK
01-18-2003, 12:34 AM
Geo, et. al.

If we decide to start taking donations I will let you all know ASAP.

I did like the idea of maybe putting a PayPal link on the message board...what do you all think?

EmtyRedsFan
01-18-2003, 12:40 AM
Empty Fan, ever hear of a paper route etc? My kids, all 5 of them had jobs before or after school. I wasn't poor or rich, just wanted to teach my kids the joy of making money. $5.00 a month is nothing, sorry, but if you got time to read and post on RedsZone, you have time for a part time job. How old are you anyways, even if it's none of my business?

Im 17....... When i graduate i'll be working for Cincinnati Bell.... And no "P" in Emty;) ....... And dont hold your breath on me being a paper boy... pretty funny though

alloverjr
01-18-2003, 12:50 AM
Well emty, as a UC student, paper boy may be the best you can hope for :D . Joking.

GIK, respond when you have time.

Johnny Vander m
01-18-2003, 12:52 AM
Em(no "p")ty RedsFan, ;) I sincerely apologize to you. I should not run my mouth before I put my brain in gear having not known any details in the matter, which I so did. Good luck in your education, good luck in your future. Here's wishing you end up better and more educated than this ole fart who can't even spell correct. :lol:

EmtyRedsFan
01-18-2003, 12:53 AM
Em(no "p")ty RedsFan, I sincerely apologize to you. I should not run my mouth before I put my brain in gear having not known any details in the matter, which I so did. Good luck in your education, good luck in your future. Here's wishing you end up better and more educated than this ole fart who can't even spell correct.


No need to apologize....

NDRed
01-18-2003, 01:03 AM
The banner ads seem to be a no-brainer. Something easy that will help off-set some costs; if you don't like them- then ignore them. Its a very small price to pay. I frequent a site and the mods every once in a while remind us the bills are due and its time to click on a banner ad. No big deal! Pop-ups suck but many of us have plop up killers anyway (all of us will if you go that route)
:)

Bottom line, you guys have to make the tough decisions. Whatever you need to do to keep this site around let us know and consider it done. This place is worth an annual fee, pop ups, banner ads, whatever.

We don't want to be forced to go to another site and crashing that one- we like it here.

GriffeyFan
01-18-2003, 01:20 AM
GIK,
I like the paypal option. It would be a lot easier to donate that way. I would expect you guys to get many more donations that way.

WVRedsFan
01-18-2003, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by GIK
Geo, et. al.

If we decide to start taking donations I will let you all know ASAP.

I did like the idea of maybe putting a PayPal link on the message board...what do you all think?

Wonderful idea--I'm in.

Old Red Guard
01-18-2003, 06:55 AM
Johnny F...that was a classy apology. Should have known since OP is a class place to be from...somehow I suspect you can spell just fine my friend.

I think the PayPal link is a great idea, just maybe some of the mouthy bets we make each other could be in the form of a paypal donation....that would save your children in the future FCB.

Red Ramper
01-18-2003, 07:19 AM
Paypal would be an excellent idea. I'm in for a donation, too.

RedRoser
01-18-2003, 09:10 AM
How about trying a combination of the suggestions on this thread?
I'm all for a PayPal donation link on the site, but I also think that we might possibly be able to do something along the lines of what one of my other favorite sites does---they offer a "free" board in which you can read and post on certain parts of the forum (here, for example, that could be Cinn. Reds Talk, perhaps).
Then they offer a "plus" membership (only $12.00 or so per person per year) which entitles you to read/post on other parts of the forum (here that could be Non-Baseball Chatter, Minor League/Dayton etc. Forum, and all others you would care to brainstorm and create) plus a free email account at the site, private messaging, chat, and some other perks for "plus" members. They also have a Paypal donation link on the site as well. The "plus" membership fees help fund their site, though they sell merchandise and banner ads as well.
I'm not sure what their traffic count is, but I would think it would be equal to or probably even greater than our board here---I DO know that they have over 19,000 members and I think they get between 2,000 and 4,000 hits per day.
Anyway, please check it out at coacht.com (it's a Tennessee high school sports message board and one of my favorite sites, and just possibly you might come away with some ideas that will help us here). I think you probably could even email the man who created that site and still works very hard to keep it going. He is a high school coach in Lawrenceburg (I believe), TN and his name is Jim Thomson. You can email him at coacht@coacht.com and I'm almost sure he would share his experience at keeping his site going. You guys probably share many things in common!
Several people seem to have offered good ideas here on this thread, and I just wanted to mention the above combination that seems to work for one of my favorite message boards/forums. I hope you'll take the time to at least visit that site and that it will help you somehow in your decision of what direction to take with Redszone. Whatever works best for you guys (boss, gik, ...) just let us know. I would be more than willing to fund a month's hosting fee, pay a monthly or annual membership cost, or make a donation, whatever it takes to keep this site going.
Stay in touch... :D

---'Roser

RFS62
01-18-2003, 09:14 AM
I agree with Geo about making it donation only. I would really hate to know that someone who wanted to read here couldn't afford a set fee.

Personally, I don't care who does or does not donate. I would also feel bad if someone felt embarrassed if they couldn't afford as big a donation as some of the older posters. If there's one thing I'm sure of from being here from the start, it's the fact that there is a core of people who will always come up with the bucks to keep this site going, even if it means selling FCB's kids into endentured servitude. :evilgrin:

Above all else, Boss, GIK, and the admins who run this place should NEVER have to worry about money or the tax implications that a paid membership would entail, IMO. And they should never have to feel the least bit embarrassed or hesitant to simply lay out our options, and leave it to us to make it happen.

We're coming up on spring training, and I would be thrilled if we can solve the server problems and also make the chat room more reliable. We'll come up with the cash, no doubt about it.

GAC
01-18-2003, 09:44 AM
The problem is very basic....we need to devise a means to raise the money on a consistent basis to pay for a server who can support this HUGE site.

We don't need to complicate the issue by talking about taking on advertising, or for that matter, making this a pay site.

We have a membership role of just under 1200 for crying out loud!

I think their VPS8000 plan is ideal for us, with a disk space of 8000 MB, data transfer of 50 GB, and 512 MB's of memory.

The cost is $159/month, with a $99 setup fee.

Are we saying that with a membership role of just under 1200, that we can't collectivley come up with that $159/month?

Even if 1000 members said they couldn't afford anything monetarily, whether it's due to their economic situation or schooling...if the other 200 committed to pay just $1.00/month you'd have more than enough to cover the monthly/yearly cost. THAT'S PEANUTS!

Look what guys like woy and ORG alone just offered to do. And we got people saying they'll throw in $20, $50, etc. That should show you mods the generous spirit that most have on this forum, and how much the majority love and value this forum (and the work you guys do :) ).

As far as I'm concerned...raising the money is not a problem, and you mods should not be worried or getting the "guilts" over having to ask for it. I thank you for being concerned about it...but it's not a problem. Look at the service you provide us, and all the work you do, and energy you expend. Why shouldn't it cost us something?

Quit worrying about the money.

Go with the server that you think will best serve us, and this vast and growing membership. I like the above plan mentioned. I think it best suits our growing needs.

Do like PBS does. Set a month where you have a yearly pledge drive. Let the members know what monetary goal must be reached in order to cover the costs for the following year.

If the membership knew you needed for example $2000 for the year to cover that cost... I believe you would easily get that amount through voluntary donations WHEN THEY KNOW WHAT THE GOAL IS.

And during the month of that "drive"... make a "sticky" or possibly some sort of monitor on the forum (like people do with United Way) to show the progress.

And any "leftovers" would be kept in an account towards next year.

Some would look at that $2000 figure and say "That's alot of money!" :eek: But it's mere pittance when you look at what we can do collectively as a team.

(insert Knute Rockne speech here ;) )

GAC
01-18-2003, 09:48 AM
Oh yeah...and I echo rfs's thoughts...

we gotta get this fixed before the season. ESPECIALLY the chat room! :thumbup:

Many of us are chatroom addicts during the season, and we'd never survive without it! :evilgrin:

GIK
01-18-2003, 11:31 AM
Good responses, everyone.

I will work on some more ideas and then hopefully we can get something presented ASAP.

A paypal link at the top of the board (with the $ figure that is in it) along with possible banner advertising at top sounds like the best route to me. Hey, you could even make your own banner ad and advertise whatever you'd like (within reason).

Here's just an example of possible monetary breakdowns:
http://www.myfordfocus.com/sponsorship.htm

SirFelixCat
01-18-2003, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by GIK
Geo, et. al.

If we decide to start taking donations I will let you all know ASAP.

I did like the idea of maybe putting a PayPal link on the message board...what do you all think?

Yes Yes Yes:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Set up a paypal link and watch...the only thing that I would also suggest is to put up a note (ie a treasure chest) so people can know how much has been put in...I think it would help with motivation. Also, it cost's $1.75 to receive $$$ thru paypal, so make sure everyone is aware of that. Either that, or set up a business account with paypal...I think they take less out for that...just ideas.:beerme:

SandyD
01-18-2003, 11:53 AM
Here's an idea, GIK et al ... why don't we consider "banner ads" for members. In other words, someone might have created a banner ad to torment Raisor on his 30th birthday ;) ... or to wish someone well ... or to congratulate the Buckeyes on their title ... or to announce the birth of a child. Maybe some members would advertise some things they want to sell or their own business. Get the idea? Then it's still commercia ad free, but supported. Also consider some of the commission links like amazon. We could get members to write reviews of books to feature, too. You get a higher commission on those. Just some more thoughts.

15fan
01-18-2003, 12:08 PM
Microsoft just announced that they are going to pay a dividend for the first time ever.

Bill Gates' dividend check was estimated to be about $99 million.

Anyone have Bill's cell number? Maybe he'd kick in a few $$... ;)

Chip R
01-18-2003, 12:22 PM
15, you have any idea how increased revenues - be they from donations or advertising or sponsorship - would affect us tax wise? Would Boss and GIK have to form a non-profit organization? Or could we just fly in under the radar? I think that questions like these - as well as other financial ramifications - need to be addressed before there is a plan agreed upon.

IslandRed
01-18-2003, 12:38 PM
Just my two cents, having talked briefly with Boss-Hog about this in the past... the Paypal link is a very good idea. The college sports site I used to work with had to do this because the site expenses were on the order of $4,000 per year. Amazingly enough, the initial donations kept things covered to the point where the site owner was able to pre-pay several months in advance.

The drawback is, of course, that every six months or so he had to post a "cash call" to remind people that the next round of bills was coming up. Like Boss-Hog and GIK, that's something that grated on him. I like the idea of keeping a running total of donated/needed up there, that's something we didn't do.

I also approve of the idea of giving props to the people who donate, perhaps as either a separate page or by designating various levels that would appear next to the username.

letsgojunior
01-18-2003, 01:25 PM
I would be gladly willing to donate some money to keep the site going. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that the site is a fun thing to have, especially when the season is going. And especially for out-of-towners, who get updates of what is on the radio, etc. from Guernsey and co.

Even though I am a poor college student I think I could definitely chip in like $30 a year.

15fan
01-18-2003, 03:42 PM
Chip -

I PMed GIK about that very issue. If the site starts doing anything other than donations (ie banner ads, subscriptions, sponsorships, etc), there are certainly some issues that would need to be addressed ahead of time. I don't really have the answers to those questions (ie, should the site incorporate? if so, then how? Would an LLC work? what about non-profit status, etc?)

My guess (and this is just a guess) is that as long as the site stays funded by donations only, we probably don't have to sweat things too much.

The main thing is that those issues need to be addressed before any big changes are made in paying the bills for the site. The last thing any of us wants is for someone to run afoul of the law...or even worse.. the IRS... ;)

SandyD
01-18-2003, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by IslandRed
I also approve of the idea of giving props to the people who donate, perhaps as either a separate page or by designating various levels that would appear next to the username.

I'm not fond of that idea. Just my feeling, but I'm afraid that could lead to bad feelings between those who can donate and those who can't or chose not to, or between those who donate at different levels.

We don't know each other very well outside of this board. We don't know who can and who cannot afford to donate. We don't know how much each of us can afford. But it's human nature to make judgements and try to compete with each other. And some may feel guilty if they aren't able to donate more.

I don't think I would want a label beside my name based on my level of contribution. Just my opinion.

15fan, does the amount of the donations we are requiring make a difference for tax purposes?

Also, for those who know, are the fees for PayPal based on the number of deposits, or the number of withdrawals, or a percentage of the total? Just curious.

919191
01-18-2003, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by SandyD
I'm not fond of that idea. Just my feeling, but I'm afraid that could lead to bad feelings between those who can donate and those who can't or chose not to, or between those who donate at different levels.

We don't know each other very well outside of this board. We don't know who can and who cannot afford to donate. We don't know how much each of us can afford. But it's human nature to make judgements and try to compete with each other. And some may feel guilty if they aren't able to donate more.

I don't think I would want a label beside my name based on my level of contribution. Just my opinion.



My thoughts exactly. I'll kick in, as Ihave in the past- I fel it is just. However, I think granting a status to certain people may cause problems.. besides, is it important for everyone to know you gave more than they did? Not to me.

Is anyone willing to donate items for a raffle or auction?

Spring~Fields
01-18-2003, 05:20 PM
I would recommend that GIK and Boss do some follow up with some of their accounting and law professors from their respective universities. Most are doing dual roles of teaching and are active in business at the same time. As students or former students GIK and Boss can get a lot of free input/guidance from trusted sources, CPA’s, Doctorates, and MBA’s, a perk of being a student.

Simply walk up to one or two of them and ask them for an appointment during their office hours for students, sit down with them and run the idea by them and ask them what you need to consider, such as forming a partnership and partnership agreement, individual tax effects from the income or loss of the business, registering to do business in which state, Ohio or Washington (whatever state you are from) since they are doing business under the fictitious name of Redszone.com, is it required or not, or check with the secretary of states office. The company name is that name already being used by another entity.

Normally a simple partnership has business income and expenses, then the net income or net loss after filing a schedule C is reported on the individual taxpayers filings. Turbo tax or version of that (most accounting professionals use those) can handle most of their tax issues when it comes time to file.

Do you or will you need to set up a business bank account for income and paying expenses, that could be used as your bookkeeping and a part of your source documentations.

PayPal requires you to have a credit card and or bank account if you are going to use that to transfer funds. Their incomes will come primarily from advertising and donations. The whole thing should be fairly simple; the tough/time consuming part will be in dealing with advertisers, the maintenance to the site and bookkeeping.

I would recommend placing the PayPal logos at the bottom of the site, as none of their logos are anything special to look at for the appearance and image purposes to the site.

So how much are you going to charge for advertising GIK? Can i get a hometown discount? ;)


919191

Is anyone willing to donate items for a raffle or auction?

I know where they can get various products to be used for a raffel at the wholesalers cost, or perhaps donated. Might be nice if the raffel at least paid cost.

creek14
01-18-2003, 06:16 PM
Not to be outdone by a couple of men...

I'll spring for a month of hosting too.

Banners drive me nuts, but if you have to do it, I'll deal with it. :p

I like the paypal link and the auction idea.

Spring~Fields
01-18-2003, 06:30 PM
Aw, the only way for a female not to be outdone by a couple of men she must first initiate the idea, have it notarized, copy righted and in triplicate. Otherwise she must spring for two months hosting. :evilgrin:

Raisor
01-18-2003, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by SandyD
Here's an idea, GIK et al ... why don't we consider "banner ads" for members. In other words, someone might have created a banner ad to torment Raisor on his 30th birthday ;) ....

Just for that, everyone that's made fun of my big ass birthday this week should be FORCED to pay the board 30 bucks.

Go ahead, take a shot at me, you're only helping yourself!

Phil, old.

Raisor
01-18-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by 919191

Is anyone willing to donate items for a raffle or auction?

If push comes to shove, I can donate one night of lovin.

The line starts HERE!

Ummmm..Anyone? Girls?

RATS

;)

In all seriousness, since I'm working steady again, I'll be able to donate cash this time.

PSR

RFS62
01-18-2003, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by Raisor
Just for that, everyone that's made fun of my big ass birthday this week should be FORCED to pay the board 30 bucks.

Go ahead, take a shot at me, you're only helping yourself!

Phil, old.



Dude, get over it.

GAC has socks older than you are.


:evilgrin:

GAC
01-18-2003, 09:03 PM
Dude?

As in "Dude, Where's My Socks?" :p

KittyDuran
01-18-2003, 09:43 PM
GAC has socks older than you are. :lol:
Speaking of OLD...was going over my stuff last weekend and found (opened) a commemorative Bengals 7UP 16oz glass bottle -saluting the Bengals (w/original helmet logo) and Riverfront Stadium 1970 & 1973 AFC Central Division Champions, a 1973 Cincinnati Swords schedule and a few 1973 Gemini horoscope books - all just as OLD as Raisor!!!

letsgojunior
01-18-2003, 09:45 PM
There's a sequel coming out.:evilgrin:

Seriously dude, Where's my car? (http://us.imdb.com/Details?0318055)

Back to the topic of the thread, from the reponses I am reading I think almost all of us would be willing to donate to upgrade the board and chat room.

dying
01-18-2003, 10:00 PM
http://www.ezboard.com/_forbusiness/goldcomm/pricing.html

GIK
01-18-2003, 10:12 PM
Does anyone have ideas on how to stabilize the chat room? Different software, etc?

RFS62
01-18-2003, 10:21 PM
You know, it just occured to me that anything short of our own server and we're in exactly the same position that we so often lament about the Reds.... a small market website.

Boss and GIK, let us take care of this for you. If you decide you want to add banner ads, then that's certainly your call. I for one agree with Creek in that I don't like them.

The quality of the content of this site is what makes it great. Personally, I would pay for a months service if Old Red Guard would just agree to post more!!!

We take pride in this place, and we may argue among ourselves a lot, but I have no doubt that there is a substantial core of regulars who will come up with the money it takes to never, ever have to go through the down time that the crashes of the past year caused.

As for the chat room issue, I believe that if more people would try out the chat room during a game, they would love it. It's the greatest sports bar I've ever been to, and I've been in a few.

Whatever you guys decide, never doubt that we're behind you and we are never going to let this place die like so many other boards before this one.

:beerme:

TeamDunn
01-18-2003, 10:42 PM
I have suggested ezboard twice now with absolutely no response whatsoever. I'm curious as to why no one here likes it?

They have a community chest set up so that those who wish to donate to a board can. You can also become an ezsupporter for $12 a year if you choose, this gives you a few extra options with your personal account and also your visits to boards to not count in their visit counts (what determines the price of the board).

I visit 2 boards on ezboard regularly one has 2300 members, the other over 17000. Yes, 17000. There have been very little problems. Only 2-3 times in the past several months was there an unplanned downage.

Having to check on the business and tax side of collecting donations for this site is not needed and really is a major headache. With ezboard all you have to do is pretty much show up.

Good luck with whatever you choose for the board, I like to read it but do not post often by choice. Donations are one thing, but mandatory pay sites usually fail.

Spring~Fields
01-18-2003, 11:52 PM
Does anyone have ideas on how to stabilize the chat room? Different software, etc?

Yes, that is an easy one. Simply have GAC take a breathelizer at the door! or cut him off after just two! :lol: :lol: :lol:

TeamCasey
01-18-2003, 11:56 PM
EZboard = a plethora of pop-ups. I think it would be pretty slow for the number of visitors we have.

There's hostboard - no pop-ups, but slow to load.

TeamDunn
01-18-2003, 11:59 PM
EZBoard *Gold* boards do not have any pop ups or ads at all. And if you did not want a gold board then individuals can pay $12 a year to avoid any pop ups on any boards they visit.

And like I said there are boards there with many many more members than this board.

LexingtonRedsFan
01-19-2003, 12:49 AM
Like some others, I also am an infrequent poster, but a daily observer to this board and will do what is necessary to ensure that it stays!!!! I dont have the time (or patience) to daily search for every source of news/rumors on the Reds and I ALWAYS KNOW that I will be kept "up to date" on ALL the information that is circulating out there by the other posters and would be saddened if this site wasnt here! I will state now that I will do what is necessary to help out in making sure that this great site and source of information stays up and running.

I am not for sure who to send money to, could someone please send me email and let me know who to send a check to??

Take care everyone and God Bless and GO REDS!!

Kevin

M2
01-19-2003, 02:05 AM
Rather than go through a service provider for the server would it make more sense to snag one on EBay and load the software yourselves?

I was at one company about a year ago where they showed me the five shimmering-new linux servers they bought at $900 a pop (replaced $45 K of Unix with them).

From what I understand, you can get a used NT server for a lot less than that.

It's probably more of a hands-on tech commitment than you guys want to take on, but it sounds like the monthly lease on a dedicated server quickly exceeds the actual value of the server itself.

GAC
01-19-2003, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by RFS62
You know, it just occured to me that anything short of our own server and we're in exactly the same position that we so often lament about the Reds.... a small market website.

Boss and GIK, let us take care of this for you. If you decide you want to add banner ads, then that's certainly your call. I for one agree with Creek in that I don't like them.

The quality of the content of this site is what makes it great. Personally, I would pay for a months service if Old Red Guard would just agree to post more!!!

We take pride in this place, and we may argue among ourselves a lot, but I have no doubt that there is a substantial core of regulars who will come up with the money it takes to never, ever have to go through the down time that the crashes of the past year caused.

As for the chat room issue, I believe that if more people would try out the chat room during a game, they would love it. It's the greatest sports bar I've ever been to, and I've been in a few.

Whatever you guys decide, never doubt that we're behind you and we are never going to let this place die like so many other boards before this one.

:beerme:

Amen buddy (or should I say "dude"? ;) ).

I say the donation route is the best and surest way to solve this problem. A "no frills" approach. And IMHO, you don't need to have raffle or auctions in order to get members to donate.

You guys provide us with a valuable service. And the effort you expend on this site is awesome. Especially for guys who are also trying to carry on a personal life and/or go to school.

If my only sacrifice is that I may have to donate $10-$20 a year in order to keep this site up and running, then that is well worth it in my book.

It cost me $79/year to join a Brown's site called "BerniesInsiders", and it is money well spent IMHO (but I also got a personal autographed NFL football from Bernie himself :p).

And I bet you there are people who frequent this site daily who are paying for subscriptions to similar sites, such as ESPN's Insider.

And as far as I'm concerned, this site provides just as much valuable info (it's just Red's centered). If I want to know what's going on with the Reds... this has become the site to go to.

It's better than the Enquirer for that news "you need to know" ;)

We need to make a choice here before the new season starts that uses a server that will more than meet our membership demands, bandwidth, data transfer rate, etc...and still provides us room to grow.

And if it ends up costing us $150/month, then IMHO, this membership will more than come through by using the simple method of voluntary donations.


P.S (to SF)... chatrooms don't have doors. Which is probably why we don't see you in there you silly wabbit :beerme:

Caveman Techie
01-20-2003, 11:17 AM
Boss,

While I don't post too often I do frequent this site an awful lot.

Anyway I have a friend who has a website on a dedicated server and he said he would be willing to try adding Redszone.com to his server and then split the cost with you. If this is something you might be interested in PM me and I'll put you in contact with him.

traderumor
01-20-2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by savafan
But of those 1172 members, a little over 350 of them have never even made one post. For those familiar with church memberships, this sounds like a church budget meeting.

westofyou
01-20-2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by savafan But of those 1172 members, a little over 350 of them have never even made one post.

There was a short time when the default insisted that you register just to look at the site, that can account for a plethora of those folks.

GIK
01-20-2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by redlegz
Boss,

While I don't post too often I do frequent this site an awful lot.

Anyway I have a friend who has a website on a dedicated server and he said he would be willing to try adding Redszone.com to his server and then split the cost with you. If this is something you might be interested in PM me and I'll put you in contact with him.

Shoot me a PM, redlegz. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Ryan the Reds Fan
01-20-2003, 02:47 PM
Hello all!!

Its been a while since I've really had time to post here, but you know sometimes they actually expect me to work for my paycheck. ;) But I am up for any route Boss and GIK take here. I am with CQ in being against making this a pay site, and don't think anyone needs "recognition" for donations. This site as we all know is the best source of Reds info anywhere, and we have Boss and GIK to thank for it. I know the loyal members whether posting members or not will come through with enough donations to keep the site going. I know even though I don't get here as much as I used to or would like to, I am willing to throw in a donation of whatever is needed.

I think at this point we should let Boss and GIK investigate the available options and then let us know how much we need to come through with, I think the paypal link would be great with a ticker of what we have raised to date by it.

We will not let this site go by the way side, it is too much fun for us all, and I know we all respect and appreciate everything all of the Mods have done for it, especially Boss and GIK.

Thanks to all who have made and kept this site what it is today!!

haassolo
01-20-2003, 03:31 PM
Sorry for a late post but these are my concerns. If is is pay to play sort fo thing we may lose new members, and people who like other teams. For example, would people like ramp101 stick around. Also, I am relatively new and without the sight being free I would have been unable to discover the sight. I am willing to pay for it now, but I do not think I would have without having that initial free experience. I agree with most of the post, that we need a fund drive. A subcription is too messy. The owners would need to set-up security, worry about hackers, cash checks and deal with the mail, plus there are a ton of legal issues, such as peopole get angry about getting booted, locating missed checks, keeping accurate records. The lest goes on. Philosophically, I think that the Interent should be free and that includes this sight, I think a fund drive is the best solution. We can kick it off and accept donations. We can also do events. I live here is Chicago and I can help organiza a trip to Milwaukee to see the Reds, we can use extra money to help with the sight. I know that is a long shot idea, but it is something that we can work on.

GIK
01-20-2003, 04:05 PM
I have also asked a couple other admins of some sites our size or larger with similar or greater traffic for their advice. Hopefully we'll have a good solution in place shortly.

Boss-Hog
01-20-2003, 06:32 PM
Just got back from Lexington, so if you're wondering why I haven't responded to this thread/your PMs, that's why. Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions...we'll be reviewing them all. Personally, I don't much like the idea of a banner system just because I hate the damn things. By the way, I didn't want to give anyone the impression that the site was in serious jeopardy of shutting down - I just wanted to emphasize that our bills are about to go way, way up. If people are really willing to contribute enough to keep our site running efficiently on a dedicated server, then I sincerely thank you people and say let's do it.

savafan
01-20-2003, 06:36 PM
HUZZAH!!!

GoReds
01-20-2003, 07:54 PM
Boss - just a suggestion. Why don't you run a poll to get a feel for what you might expect in the way of donation? Something to the effect of $50 or more; $30-49; $20-29, etc. That might give you an understanding as to what you might expect to help you plan your next step.

RBA
01-20-2003, 08:38 PM
Just one more thing to think about. I know a board that when it gets more traffic than it can handle, it only lets members who have donated into the board for that time only.

For example: The Reds trade Castro for Colon. One of the mods/administators "turns a switch" and those that are paying/donated customer could only go to the site at that time. All others are diverted to a page where they could donate (via paypal) for entry into the board during peak traffic periods.

VR
01-20-2003, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by 01Red Blooded American
Just one more thing to think about. I know a board that when it gets more traffic than it can handle, it only lets members who have donated into the board for that time only.

For example: The Reds trade Castro for Colon. One of the mods/administators "turns a switch" and those that are paying/donated customer could only go to the site at that time. All others are diverted to a page where they could donate (via paypal) for entry into the board during peak traffic periods.

That would certainly pave the way for an early retirement for Boss/ GIK :lol:

##Donations make perfect sense to me - I would gladly kick in some cash on a consistent basis.

## While I would hate to see the site commercialized, You'd have to think someone out there would appreciate the positive nature this board represents to the Reds and would be willing to help fund or find funding to underwrite this project. Iniviting Reds players and others within the organization to visit the site could help the plight.

GIK
01-20-2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by 01Red Blooded American
Just one more thing to think about. I know a board that when it gets more traffic than it can handle, it only lets members who have donated into the board for that time only.

For example: The Reds trade Castro for Colon. One of the mods/administators "turns a switch" and those that are paying/donated customer could only go to the site at that time. All others are diverted to a page where they could donate (via paypal) for entry into the board during peak traffic periods.

Me thinks I like this idea the best. :evilgrin: :lol:

RFS62
01-20-2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by 01Red Blooded American

For example: The Reds trade Castro for Colon. One of the mods/administators "turns a switch" and those that are paying/donated customer could only go to the site at that time. All others are diverted to a page where they could donate (via paypal) for entry into the board during peak traffic periods.


No offense intended, but I think that would fly in the face of what this board has stood for since day one.

If there is a Reds fan out there who wants to read this board, I don't care if he pays or not. There are enough of us here who can pay the bills while the youngsters are on their way up. This board represents all that is good about being a baseball fan. It provides an opportunity for Reds fans, and baseball fans in general from all over the world to come together and share their common love.

I really hope we can keep it free to anybody who wants to read and post here, and I know that there are enough posters who love this place to pay the bills with no strings attached, and no shame directed towards anyone who can't afford to contribute.

creek14
01-20-2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by SpringfieldFan
Otherwise she must spring for two months hosting. :evilgrin:

I could do that...as long as Boss and GIK change the name of the site to creekzone. :smokin:

gonelong
01-21-2003, 03:02 PM
Mods, please take the time to contact (http://www.phpwebhosting.com/feedback.html) phpwebhosting (http://www.phpwebhosting.com/) to see if the forum would meet their "un-metered" transfer(bandwidth) rules. It doesn't explicity name forums as off-limits. I have 2 sites hosted with these guys (both php driven) and have had no problems at all with them at all.

I'd be up front with them about storage size, bandwidth usages etc. and see if they will host you. If so, at $9.95/month they could be a saving grace.


For $9.95 a month, you get the following:

We do not place limits on your site's bandwidth (many hosts offer "unlimited" bandwidth but severely restrict the number of kbytes/second flowing out of your website). We work very hard to ensure that all of our customers bandwidth needs can be met under our $9.95/month plan, however we do have several important restrictions:

No file archives/download only sites (click the link for examples and faqs about this)


File Archives/download only:

Does this mean I can't have family photo albums, or other types of file archives?

Family photo albums, or other general purpose photo galleries are almost always fine. Our restrictions are mainly against an archive of photos, for example, of music artists, tv clips, or other types of archives that attract a large amount of traffic and cause problems for all the other users on the server.

Even the examples we just gave as being "unacceptable" can be fine as long as they do not cause exessive use of system resources. We do not have any bans on any particular files types or content.

Given your circumstances they may or may not be able to help you, but it should be worth a shot as a very low cost alternative solution.

GL

EricDavis
01-21-2003, 03:07 PM
I made the suggestion early on that we make it a pay site for those who want to post. I agree with all the comments about that being against what the board has stood for, and also the problems that would be encountered with making a business and all. So I now do not think that is a good idea.

With whatever solution you come up with, keep in mind what has happened to other similiar boards, like the Astros and Mets boards that were shutdown by MLB. If I remember, one of the primary problems MLB had with those were that they were making money off a MLB team.

So the pay site, and even the sponsorship idea could run into problems from MLB legal dept. The donations I think they cannot do much about, but if you incorporate that into the site with amounts and such, that too could even cause problems. Last thing I would want to see is Redszone shutdown because MLB forces it.

Also, did you check into the St Louis Sports Forum site. Looks like they went from vBulletin to the inVision hosting and forum package. For those who do not have the link to the cards board....
http://www.stlouissportsforum.com/forum/

GAC
01-21-2003, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by RFS62
No offense intended, but I think that would fly in the face of what this board has stood for since day one.

If there is a Reds fan out there who wants to read this board, I don't care if he pays or not. There are enough of us here who can pay the bills while the youngsters are on their way up. This board represents all that is good about being a baseball fan. It provides an opportunity for Reds fans, and baseball fans in general from all over the world to come together and share their common love.

I really hope we can keep it free to anybody who wants to read and post here, and I know that there are enough posters who love this place to pay the bills with no strings attached, and no shame directed towards anyone who can't afford to contribute.

Listen to this man...he knows what he is talking about! :thumbup:

Hold you donation "drive" in Feb/March, when everybody gets their tax refund. :evilgrin:

guernsey
01-22-2003, 08:50 AM
My preference is to try the donation option for another year. I've been kicking in $15 bucks a year because that seemed fair for what was needed. To me it's important to have the board to be able to handle the volume of traffic that it's getting. I'm willing to kick in $50 bucks a year if that's what it takes to get the performance we want & need.

I do think that the volume of traffic should be appealing to some commercial enterprises for advertising, whether that be the Reds, some store(s) in Cincy that handle Reds stuff, or even ticket brokers if tickets become a hot commodity with the opening of the GAB. Perhaps that can be pursued for later. Banner advertising on the site won't bother me. Pop-up ads will.

Finally, it won't bother me one bit if the originators of this board start to make some money off of it from commercial ventures. They've created a great site, and if they can cash in on it, more power to them.

creek14
01-22-2003, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by GAC
tax refund

:confused: :p

Mr Red
01-22-2003, 09:37 AM
For what its worth...

Even though my registration date doesn't show it (it reset when we had major problems nearly 2 yrs ago and I had to reregister), I was one of the migraters from the Cincitalk board. I LOVE this site and check it approximately 15X a day. If it is baseball news it gets posted here.

Shamefully I have never donated in the past. My finances now allow me to do so. I support going the donation/paypal route. I know that in the past there was a drawing for donated prizes if you contributed. Maybe we could go that route again.

919191
01-22-2003, 10:26 AM
New suggestion- how about putting together and selling a "Ladies of RedsZone" calender? Tastefully done of course!:evilgrin:

MikeS21
01-22-2003, 12:50 PM
I think we ought to designate a month of the mods' choosing as a "Donation Drive Month" and make it an annual event every year. Perhaps there could be some prizes offered as in the past. The thing is, most folks are willing to donate, but don't/won't think about it until it gets publicized.

As for Boss and GIK and the other powers that be, it's a hassle to continually ask for money. So if a month is designated, and we have a "sticky" reminder post that January or whichever month is "Donations" month, I think that would be much better than an informal "if you got it, send it in" plea. And Boss won't feel like a heel having to ask for finances.

As someone said earlier in the thread if 200 out of 1100+ members will each donate $10 bucks per year, that will raise about $2000, which should handle the hosting fees.

And if we raise a boatload of money, we'll just buy a share of the Reds and become a "silent" partner in the team! :D Somehow the word "silent" and RedsZone don't go together. ;)

TRF
01-22-2003, 01:21 PM
I have a few suggestions: one that goes against current web convention.

1. limit the size of avatars to a specific width, say 60 pixels, and file size to no more than 4 k

2. prohibit photos in posts unless it enhances the post or is designated a photo post. 1000 views of a page with a 50 k photo is a big part of the problem

3. And I can't believe i am suggesting this... go to a frames site. remove the logo from the board, and put it in a top level frame. Even though it is only 11 K, we're talking about throughput. this thread alone has had over 2000 views. Having it in a top level frame means it gets called once.

I'm all for a paypal "sticky". probably the best way to raise money that doesn't require a sales staff. :eek:

WebScorpion
01-22-2003, 04:09 PM
I have no problem asking people for money, in fact... well that's a story for another day. http://www.gamers-forums.com/smilies/contrib/scorchio/swink.gif

I'd rather not go with banners or any payment besides voluntary donations. Even sponsorship comes with a price of sorts...what if we don't like what the sponsor stands for, or worse, what if they turn out to be someone we'd rather not be associated with AFTER we accept them? Anyway, just put up the button...donations will roll in or else, er, I mean you'll see. http://smilies.crowd9.com/otn/evil/Dr_Evil.gif

37red
01-23-2003, 03:35 AM
just letting you all know that I am still alive and kicking. Even though it's just a little chilly I can sense the smell of leather and hear the faint echo of the crack of the bat somewhere out there.

Praying Colonel
01-23-2003, 11:23 AM
Another infrequent poster but frequent reader. I really like the idea of PayPal, and would gladly kick in to keep things moving along.

bucksfan
01-23-2003, 02:55 PM
I would kick in some money too. It feels odd for me to admit that I would do this for web site, but I cannot deny the obvious : I visit here a lot and think Boss/GIK/et al do a terrific job. The site does not get overrun with idiots (for the most part) and whe something does go amiss, it is rectified quickly. Then most importantly, of course, there is the content which we all come here for. It truly is the best, which is a direct result of the contributions not only of Boss/GIK but of so many members.

I'd pay $20/year. I agree with so many others that making it a pay site would be more of a hassle for the admins/owners that it may be worth.

Good luck with whatever choice is made.

GIK
01-23-2003, 03:41 PM
We should have a resolution shortly.

DUNN 44
01-23-2003, 04:50 PM
I am also a member of Coltpower.com and i pay 16$ a year but they also scour the web for news about the colts and they have a forum but i would pay to keep this site going and have to not run into a bunch of delays when something big goes down.

GAC
01-23-2003, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by 919191
New suggestion- how about putting together and selling a "Ladies of RedsZone" calender? Tastefully done of course!:evilgrin:

We're trying to raise money here! :evilgrin:

guernsey
01-23-2003, 08:58 PM
We're trying to raise money here!


Or to put the accent differently.

We're trying to raise money here!

TeamCasey
01-24-2003, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by guernsey
Or to put the accent differently.

We're trying to raise money here!

Bravo! :lol: :lol: :lol: Made my day!

http://www.ncssma.org/images/clapping%20hands.jpg

GAC
01-24-2003, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by guernsey
Or to put the accent differently.

We're trying to raise money here!

I always try to accentuate the positive though ;)

y2kz3
01-24-2003, 08:05 PM
I don't post much, but use this as a resource of information daily, as I would a newspaper. I have subsriptions to everything that moves, and would gladly contribute here.

The pool of people you have here are Reds fans, and that means that they will be here every year. Just let us know what you decide. I've been following since the Cincinnati.com days, and there are likley a ton of people like me getting the best info. in real time from this board.

Having a desiganted month for a fund drive is probably best, and in addition to donating cash I'd donate prizes during donation month if that was needed. As a troller, I can afford $50 a year and donate some of my season tickets for prizes. Don't count out the trollers. We love this place!

Please choose PayPal for donations. With 20 million users, it's an account that is easy to use, and the Mod's will never have to worry about "where" the money is. Thank you for making this site a resource for so many Reds fans.

TeamCasey
01-24-2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by y2kz3
Having a desiganted month for a fund drive is probably best, and in addition to donating cash I'd donate prizes during donation month if that was needed. Thank you for making this site a resource for so many Reds fans.

I think timing is meaningful. I know we had a fundraiser not too long ago. Everyone has been wonderful and steps up when the need comes up. I think you guys would get a broader response if you have a fund drive during spring training and maybe mid-season or so, and budget from there. Mid-season may not be ideal, I don't know. Perhaps during the annual meetings? Just trying to pick a bi-annual time where you have the most visitors.

GAC
01-25-2003, 08:53 AM
I say we hold our first Redszone Constitutional Meeting at TeamClark's bar! That way we can work on two types of drafts! :evilgrin:

SandyD
01-25-2003, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by TeamCasey
I think timing is meaningful. I know we had a fundraiser not too long ago. Everyone has been wonderful and steps up when the need comes up. I think you guys would get a broader response if you have a fund drive during spring training and maybe mid-season or so, and budget from there. Mid-season may not be ideal, I don't know. Perhaps during the annual meetings? Just trying to pick a bi-annual time where you have the most visitors.

Why not two months, and/or keep the account open in case someone is strapped that month, but will be able to contribute more in a month or two. That way, people could contribute whenever they want. The fundraiser month or months would then serve as a reminder.

As for the months ... why not Feb and/or Oct? I'd say April for Opening Day, but that's too close to Tax Day.

Just tossing out ideas.

KYRedsFan
01-25-2003, 11:18 AM
I've been getting more and more server is full errors. This needs to get moving....NOW. I've given in the past and will give again. Let us know what you need and I would be shocked if it didn't get done

creek14
01-25-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by KYRedsFan
I've been getting more and more server is full errors.

Me too and today when I finally connected there were only 8 other people here. Made me wonder about the server to busy message.

I vote for a couple "drive" months and also leaving the door open for donations year round. You know what they say - keep it simple...

GAC
01-25-2003, 12:47 PM
I believe the "server is busy" function is something that Boss said he added to prevent the site from crashing for now until they get this situation resolved.

I too have gotten quite a few of them. I just hit the back button and kep trying till it posts. Or else I'll save my response in "My Documents" and try later :p

KYRedsFan
01-25-2003, 01:30 PM
the server is busy error is rather fishy, as often I'll get it at work when it is like 4 in the morning. Hard to believe there is much traffic at a time like that. Who knows?

CougarQuest
01-25-2003, 05:09 PM
I got the server busy last night. I tried 3 minutes later and I was the only one in here. That didn't bother me as much as when I was typing a post and when I hit send, I got the server busy notification.

Tyler11
01-25-2003, 08:34 PM
Maybe this could explain yesterdays problems at least...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=1&u=/nm/20030126/ts_nm/tech_virus_dc_10

Spring~Fields
01-25-2003, 08:42 PM
GAC wrote:

I'm now classified as rich or well-to-do

Look no further, we have GAC.....cancel all the cookie and bake sales!;)

GAC
01-26-2003, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Tyler11
Maybe this could explain yesterdays problems at least...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=1&u=/nm/20030126/ts_nm/tech_virus_dc_10

My buddy was telling me about this. Thanks for the link.

This virus is not a threat to the individual desktop computer, but infects servers and networks. Especially those that are involved with on-line shopping and banking.

Our problem has been on-going for alot longer, and is simply a server issue, which we have plain and simply out grown.

Deepred05
01-30-2003, 11:27 PM
Wow, this site sure has grown. I don't post as much as I used too, but I would pitch in $20 a year to keep this site going. We've done it before, we'll do it again.