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Donation or Fee ?

Steaphany

Well-Known Member
Today I received an email, not a private message here on this site and not a public post which was addressing me specifically, but a personal email delivered to my inbox and addressing me specifically, which stated that donations are required for this forum to continue.

Am I being signaled out or has everyone received one of these ?

Lately, I've been busy and I've only been briefly checking in here, maybe, once a week. Was this email sent to daily readers and posters or just those whose life involves more than this little world ?

With a default donation of €5, has the server and operational costs of this forum climbed to €4,000 per month, calculated by 800 members all needing to pay €5 a month ? The donation goal above only states €150 are required, 30 members paying €5 each, but the email that I received sounded far more dire.

I know the reductions in attachment size means that it's gotten pointless to share photos, the quality has to be set so low that a viewer couldn't tell if it came from a Sigma camera or a webcam. I felt these reductions were mandatory because either the disks were nearing full or the cost per megabyte has soared.

Now that the membership has topped 800, is this forum about to die ?
 
Am I being signaled out or has everyone received one of these ?
I received that too.

Now that the membership has topped 800, is this forum about to die ?
Seems so.

Like you said - link prohibition and attachment size policy make this forum almost useless. Add there impossibility to see images by guests (although this is the almost only force to driving new users here), aggressive donation requests and other similar things - I don't see bright future for this forum.

I hope I'll be wrong however :)
 
Hi Steaphany,

this is an email we sent to every registered member of the Sigmauserforum.

It is only a reminder, that things do not happen without doing something ;)

It is nice to calculate how many income we would have, if everybody would py x-$. But as we all know, reality is different. Otherwise we would not need to send those reminders out. Just check the donation bar above. This is reality and not what others try to make you believe ;)

I know the reductions in attachment size means that it's gotten pointless to share photos,

That sounds interesting. From which reduction in attachment size are you talking about? Currently we have 1200x1200 pixel. Do you really think that this is not enough to judge a photo?

Regarding your fear about the future traffic of the forum, do not worry. There are times with more traffic and with less traffic. Wait until the SD15 is in the shelves and how this will be discussed here ;)

Even in significant bigger forums, there is not always a lot to talk about ;)

So please do not see things "per se" negative. Just enjoy the forum and if you want it to be continued and appreciate the work and the money we put in here, than donate a few bucks to share the costs and see your name up there.

We are a Sigma community like a family. There is always a "give and take". We help each other, both knowledge wise and financially. But it should never be a one-way-road.

best wishes
 
...

Like you said - link prohibition and attachment size policy make this forum almost useless. Add there impossibility to see images by guests (although this is the almost only force to driving new users here), aggressive donation requests and other similar things - I don't see bright future for this forum.

I hope I'll be wrong however :)

Sorry, but this is all nonsense. We have over 10 photo-forums and all have the exactly same policy and for no forum this is a problem. The user accept this and enjoy it nevertheless. Do you think that in this forum are other human beeings then in our German Sigma forum or any other forum from us?

There is by the way no "link-prohibition". There is just a very simple guideline: Images that shall be discussed have to be uploaded here on the server so that the threads are not getting useless, if the image directory changes in the future. This is only positive, not negative.

I can show you many forums who do allow links for images and where you see now threads like cementories, because the images are missing. Then your valued comments on images are worthless. Your valued time lost.

Just think about this...

Other kind of links are allowed as along as they are conform with the netiquette and the ToU.

Best wishes
 
I'm sorry if I was a bit harsh - your forums are just too different from any other forums (mostly technical) I visit. My non-native english doesn't help either.
Looking at my CP, then I've allowed admin messages, thereby this received mail at least can't be considered as spam.
Fortunately this was only one of that kind of message :)

Last time it was about 128kB limit for images - that may be enough for discussing image composition or overall colors, but is too small for any deeper technical talk about image (jpg artefacts kill noise, details and colors and so on - you know that all). I can understand that storage space is not unlimited though.

IMHO it should be acceptable that links to external images are allowed, if crops or downsamples of same images are uploaded/attached.

Does your hosting provide reliable backups? Every week some big crash happens (T-Mobile Sidekick for example), where entire database is lost (and sometimes irrecoverably). I know that external images vanish sometimes, but same can be said about forums content. Duplicating information (by allowing external links) will IMHO make content even more valuable.

What about donations - sorry, but your style seems sometimes way too aggressive. I could understand monthly fee (although I personally probably would not join the club then), but repeated asking for donations is uncommon (again just my experience - maybe it is more common on forums, where I don't participate). Some notes about donation channels won't hurt of course.

Don't take all above personally - I'm also interested in forum quality and viability, just sometimes some unclear or disturbing aspects need to discuss about.
 
Hi Arvo,

I am sorry, if I sound sometimes not exact, but English is not my mother language, so sometime sit is difficult to expülain things in the right words..



...
Looking at my CP, then I've allowed admin messages, thereby this received mail at least can't be considered as spam....

correct

....
Last time it was about 128kB limit for images - that may be enough for discussing image composition or overall colors, but is too small for any deeper technical talk about image (jpg artefacts kill noise, details and colors and so on - you know that all). I can understand that storage space is not unlimited though...

We are thinking about some changes regarding image size in KB. This would then probably go in line with the offer of Clubmemberships to finance the bigger space somehow. But it is yet too early to go here into detail. We are doing all this beside our own job as a hobby. So our time is limited and often we can not do things as fast as we would like them to do.

You have to be aware, that there are many things we have to do on a almost daily basis behind the curtain for all our forums, what you as a user can not see. So there is not much time left at the moment to do other stuff, although I would have liked to do it already months ago :(


...
IMHO it should be acceptable that links to external images are allowed, if crops or downsamples of same images are uploaded/attached....

You know, the problem stays always the same. The link to an external image will break sooner or later. This is not a guess. This is the experience we made over the last 9 years while running photo-forums.

So this is not a question of "if", it is only a question of "when" a link to an external image does not work anymore.

And the only solution to avoid this nightmare, is to host the images on our own server. The reason for broken links do not have to be caused only from outside. Also we could be responsible for this. For example if we would switch this forum software, the links to the images would not be working anymore. But because we have the images here, we can always recover them and renew the links, so that you will not see any difference. This would not be the case with external links.

...

Does your hosting provide reliable backups? Every week some big crash happens (T-Mobile Sidekick for example), where entire database is lost (and sometimes irrecoverably). I know that external images vanish sometimes, but same can be said about forums content. Duplicating information (by allowing external links) will IMHO make content even more valuable.
..

Do not worry. We have an expensive, but very good webhoster, who deals manily with companies and not with private persons. They make daily backups for us etc. You can not handle a photoportal in the size of Camera-info with cheap virtual servers for students ;)

So we pay significantly more then for the well known webhosters who target mainly private people, but we get for this also more service and above all more quality in server, webhosting and security. :z04_nic_0075:


....
What about donations - sorry, but your style seems sometimes way too aggressive. I could understand monthly fee (although I personally probably would not join the club then), but repeated asking for donations is uncommon (again just my experience - maybe it is more common on forums, where I don't participate). Some notes about donation channels won't hurt of course.

Don't take all above personally - I'm also interested in forum quality and viability, just sometimes some unclear or disturbing aspects need to discuss about.

We thought that donation would fit more into the "american style", instead of monthly clubmemberships for just a few poeple who are interested in it.

But as far as I can see over the last 5 months, we might be wrong at least in the Sigma forum. Ta Hasselbladinfo.com. Leicainfo.com and Contaxinfo.com, users donate a lot more often.

At our german websites, we do not offer donations at all. It is not the mentality to donate for a forum. They prefree to become clubmember with additional features and monthly or yearly payments incl. autorenewal.

So we might try this more on the English forums too in the not so distant future, as soon as we have more time to imple,mnet those things technicaly.

But on the other hand this would also mean, that some features are then mor limited for non-clubmembers. Because there have to be obviously a difference between the normal member and a club-member, otherwise nobody will have an incentive to become Clubmember... :z04_weihnachten018:

Best wishes
 
I tried to donate today, but the Paypal link brought me to a page that was in a language I do not understand. Is there a way to display english? :)
 
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