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Over at the Large Format Photography Forum, we have one moderator who specializes in looking after server and vBulletin "under the hood" issues, as well as one person not otherwise involved in the Forum who donates our hosting and very occasionally needs to be involved in solving server-side issues.First off it is NOT all about the money. What would please us greatly is if we found a few folks who could take over the technical portions of maintaining the site and administering it.
What does that mean?
Someone who has a reasonable working knowledge of PHP and SQL, a bit of html, and even more importantly vBulletin.
I agree. I would prefer to have access open to all with a request (but not a requirement) to financially support the forum via membership and perhaps recognition for those who contribute at higher levels as "sustaining members". Many of the organizations, forums etc that I participate in, am a member of and contribute to have this type of arrangement......but I also feel like putting content behind a required or restrictive “pay wall” might also kill the site due to there being other “free” community options.
+1Well that's pretty sad to hear, now more than ever it is apparent how much we all need community, this site has been a highlight for many years for me.
It's clear from Bob's post above that it's far less about financial constraints than it is about the effort needed to keep the site running, it needs fresh people with the skills and time required. I have zero IT skills, no idea what the acronyms even mean! I have little to offer besides time if it's required but I'd be happy to offer that if there was something I could do.
Ultimately, as Bob says, we need people with the required IT skills to maintain and support the site, without those then I'm afraid this excellent resource will fade. I appreciate all the effort that has gone in to building it what it is now, from the backend to all the members who provide the content.
Jack/Bob/Guy Thank you for supporting the forum for as long as you have . You have made it clear what is required for the forum to continue .As Bob said, it isn't just about money, though more could solve it. The site costs are not that significant — about $2000 to $2500 annually to host and maintain. The real issue is the background labor and attention required on a daily basis -- and Bob and I are tired of doing it gratis. It requires somebody(s) with forum software prowess to approve and vet new members and approve posts daily from new members until they hit 10 or so -- which is how we keep spammers to a minimum, and yet you see the ones that still make it through even with that. Then it requires somebody with web skills to manage all the site software updates and patches, and then manage malware or hack attacks that can come almost any time day or night. In short, it takes somebody being on deck pretty much 24-7. So that’s the real issue for us: we're tired of doing it and there simply isn’t enough money to outsource those tech parts…
We would be totally open to handing it over to a consortium of folks that want to take all of that on to keep GetDPI alive. We've had a few basic offers to take it over, but they would move the site to a subscription/ad model or merge it with their own existing site -- in the hopes of getting all of our members active on their forum, so they can reap the ad and subscription revenue. In short, it would become all the things we never wanted the site to be...
We love the members -- you've made GetDPI truly a unique community. But we don't see a clear path for us to gracefully depart and keep the flavor the same...