Originally Posted by OSKIE
TJ, perhaps I've not understood correctly in the past, but it seems like it hasn't necessarily been a funds issue. Is that correct, or is it a money issue. If so, we can help get this thing up and running. I don't donate a whole lot, mainly b/c I've heard several people talking about the relative costs in running a site. Perhaps if you answered this question we could all help to end this situation... atleast for a year or two!
It's complicated... The more we grow, the more computing power we need. The more computing power we need, the more it costs per month to operate (thus the banner ads, and the gladly accepting donations). The more computing power we get, the more we grow. And thus the cylce repeats itself.
Currently, our server costs are approaching over $2000 per year, payable in six month increments. With Google ads, I'm able to bring in about 50% of that. The rest either comes from my own pocket, or from the donations of you good folks. I don't like to share this information in public for various reasons, but I've been accused recently of using server donation drives to pad my pockets, so I feel compelled to let my guard down.
Our current server is paid up until January. The problem that we have is that we're in a precarious position in terms of upgrading. The next upgrades in the plan are all processor upgrades. That doesn't help us, as our problems are RAM related. To get to the next level of RAM upgrade with the service that I'm using, the price skyrockets dramatically. To the point where it's simply prohibitive, and doesn't make sense. Those levels aren't copacetic with "hobby" websites. That's straight up business territory.
WIth business comes politics. Once business and money start entering the picture, people start getting vicious. As I told you, I'm already being accused of using server drives to pad my pockets. Things get complicated when business enters the picture, which is why I've tried to avoid the business aspect of this for so long. I'm just having fun here, ya know? I'm not looking for drama. Unless that drama surrounds the Broncos, then I want to beat Popps over the head with it (you know I love you bro, lets do lunch, k thx).
Frankly, I don't know that I'm ready to open that pandora's box. It becomes real complicated because it turns into an issue of "Where is TJ's paycheck coming from?" Does it come from advertisements foisted on the population here? Or does it come straight from the members pockets? Either answer is going to draw criticism galore and detract from what we're here for in the first place.
Don't get me wrong though. I'm not complaining about my predicament. It's a wonderful problem to have. It's a great privledge to be in my position, and I'm eternally grateful for it. It's just that the bigger we grow, the more challenges I have to manage... and when you're in the "business" of giving everyone in the community an equal opportunity to voice their opinions, you have to be ready to weather a lot of criticism... and do it with poise. Many of us have seen sites completely melt down because an administrator wasn't able to handle criticism and started over-reacting to it.
I think I'm rambling now... So let me get back to some good news. The good news (as I shared before) is that I've been in talks with another Maner here (he hasn't given me permission to reveal his name, so I won't mention it just yet), and he's discussing the possiblity of providing the Mane with a server that I can have on location. Should this happen, it's great news, because then I can go to a co-location service nearby, and contract bandwidth through them. While the costs will still be significant, especially the more we grow, they'll be much more manageable over the long term than what they would be if we were to move up the cost ladder through a box provider. Best of all, if we need a RAM upgrade, I can run to Fry's, grab a chip, drive to the co-location service, pop it in, and be done with it. I won't have to pay for that RAM month after month through our current provider's system, which is obviously geared to make THEM the most amount of money.
I hope that helps shed some light on the situation.