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Thread: Important Announcement on Future Funding Of Revit Forum

  1. #1
    Administrator Ian.Kidston's Avatar
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    Important Announcement on Future Funding Of Revit Forum

    Hi All,

    Revit Forum is approaching our first birthday in a few months time.

    When Klaus first set this up, I am sure he did not imagine that in nine short months we would have over 3,000 members and over 3,000 threads. Indeed, as anyone who looks from time to time at the "Introduce Yourself" thread in the Out There forum would see that we have new members joining up every single day.

    Whilst others might disagree, and whilst I might be slightly biased, in my humble opinion, RFO is the preeminent Revit forum on the net.

    Despite frequent requests from the other administrators, up to this point, the entire cost of the forum has been met out of Klaus's pocket.

    This situation is clearly not sustainable.

    Over many months at various times the administrators have discussed the all of the options which are available to secure the ongoing funding of the forum. In a nutshell, these are:

    Allow Google Ads on to the forum
    Change the forum to a subscription basis
    Call for voluntary donations from the members.

    All of the administrators are unanimous that we do not wish to see ads in the Forum. All of us intensely dislike the look of Revit City and other such sites which are densely packed with ads. Likewise, as one of the basic precepts of the forum is the free exchange of Revit information, none of us supported the idea of a subscription system, (although, it must be said that a subscription of fifty cents per member would provide more than enough money to maintain the forum. But, as I say, we didn't support this idea in principal.

    So, where we are at the moment is to let you know what the issues are, the total amount of money needed to fund the ongoing costs of the forum.

    Below is a summary of the current costs based on the current bandwidth usage. In the first instance, we will look to cover those costs only. Given the bandwidth growth path, which has been incredibly steady and does not seem likely to change any time in the near future, it is likely that we might ultimately need to go to a dedicated server at some point in the medium term future. If the growth path continues, once we get nearer to that circumstance we will again seek your opinion and advice as to the best way of dealing with the additional costs.

    It is proposed to have a small donation button at the top of the forums which will take you to a separate page where the details of how to donate and options for how much or if you wish, how the set up a periodic donation, will be held. The actual transfer of funds will take place at PayPal, and at no time will anyone at RFO be able to view or access any credit card details or the like.

    It should be noted that:

    All donations will be anonymous.
    All donations will be voluntary.
    All donations will be free of expectation for special consideration in return.

    We look forward to your comments or suggestions on the donations option or indeed any other model for funding you might suggest.


    Historical Costs:

    Purchase of VBulletin License - $200
    Cost of domain name registration - $150

    Cost of hosting

    dec.10 - jan.11 = $5/month
    feb.11 - aug.11 = $16/month

    Total hosting cost to date = $122

    Total Historical costs to date (paid for by Klaus) $472


    Predicted costs for the next twelve months:

    Domain name registration = $150
    Allowance for upgrade to VBulletin 5.0 when available (Total cost expected to be around $175 - probably released in the next couple of years) 12 month allowance = $75

    Predicted Cost of Hosting

    sep.11 - apr.12 = $41/month
    may.12 - aug.12 =$123/month

    Total predicted hosting cost for next 12 month = $820

    Minimum predicted cost for running Revit Forum for the next twelve months = $1045

    The major issue we face in terms of hosting costs is due to bandwidth usage. In essence we are victims of our own success - because we are a fantastic resource for Revit users, more people visit the site. Because more people visit the site, our bandwidth usage goes up. Because our bandwidth usage goes up, the costs go up.

    We started with the vB200 Plan (Shared Hosting). The anticipation was that this would likely see us through at least the first full year. Due to the increase in users accessing the site, we have, however, for the past few months exceeded our bandwidth allowance quite substantially. Consequently GlobalGold has requested that we need to now upgrade to the vB600 Plan (Virtual Private Server - VPS). Given the amount of bandwidth allowed under that plan, and given the steady growth in the forum, it is expected that we will once again out grow the hosting plan around May next year when we will be required to go to a dedicated server. Given that the new version of Revit is usually released in Mid April, and given the big spike in interest around that time, the upgrade may indeed come a month earlier than predicted.


    So, this is where we are up to. As I noted earlier, we welcome your comment and input.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Important Announcement on Future Funding Of Revit Forum-forumstats.png  

  2. #2
    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    I'd be happy paying an annual subscription
    Last edited by elton williams; August 19th, 2011 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Addict gdoherty0102's Avatar
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    Are you sure you didn't get that chart from my countries national debt?

  4. #4
    Moderator LeanneZ's Avatar
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    Show me the "Volunteer to pay" button!!!

  5. #5
    French Moderator jbenoit44's Avatar
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    Do it ASAP.

  6. #6
    Member KimArndt's Avatar
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    I to, will be willing to make a monthly or annual donation, just to keep this great community going..

    However, it wouldn't hurt me, with some discrete Google Ads.. Just my 2 cents..

  7. #7
    Member Defiant1's Avatar
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    $150 bucks a year for domain registration?
    Wow, save some money by going to a different outfit to register.
    {dot} ORG.....10 bucks a YEAR at 1and1.com
    I own several domains - for several years. To date I don't think I've paid $150 for all of them combined.

    That being said - I'll pay a subscription without hesitation

  8. #8
    Administrator Munkholm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone! Appreciate your opinions, so please keep them coming

    Quote Originally Posted by KimArndt View Post
    ...However, it wouldn't hurt me, with some discrete Google Ads.. Just my 2 cents..

    The thing is... discrete Google advertisement won´t generate a dime... Another option we´ve discussed in the admin team, is to only display (not so discrete) advertisement to visitors only, and not the logged in users. But it´d clutter up the first impression of the forum, meaning less new members, and less sharing of valuable know-how.


    Quote Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
    $150 bucks a year for domain registration?...

    Covers 3 domains: revitforum.org, revitforums.org and revitforums.com - And unfortunately $50 is the standard rate for .org and .com domains when purchased from a Danish registrar.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdoherty0102 View Post
    Are you sure you didn't get that chart from my countries national debt?
    LOL - The sad thing is, that it could have been the chart from any countries national debt over the past years...

  9. #9
    Moderator
    "OMG I killed Revit"
    dzatto's Avatar
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    First, a huge thank you to the admins for even giving us a voice. It is much appreciated.

    Second, a subscription would be easiest, but I agree it's not the best idea. Yes, all existing members would have no issue with it, but what about future members? I wouldn't pay to be part of a site if I was just looking for an answer or two.

    So, that leaves us with ads or donations. Ads suck. Donations it is!
    Is there some way to not make it anonymous? Not to the admin anyway? Reason is, just like the PTA at my kids' school, you get the same ten parents volunteering and doing everything, while the other 800 parents do nothing and reap all the benfits. I just want it to be fair. Just like rep, maybe if you've donated three times in a row, it won't accept your donation until some others spread their $$ around? Not feasible, I know. But it would be nice.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    "RFO 2012 Spelling Bee Champion"
    Alex Cunningham's Avatar
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    First off I want to thank the RevitForum.org administration for coming forth with this. I take great pride and honor in being part of this forum and will continue to use it as my #1 source of information concerning all things Revit.


    Now Down to Business:
    How much add space would need to be allocated to pay for the site?

    Is there a way to amortize the costs with Google Adds. I would hate to see the forum suffer in the case of no ongoing donations. Would we be able to take advantage of the way Google adds works. Meaning tailored adds based on the users web habits? This would reduce the annoyance of adds for sure.

    In the case of a voluntary donation, I would be one of the first to donate. I know some domain registers offer the availability to have the funds donated go directly and only to the site costs. Would our donations be handled this way or would there be some form of a CFO or Secretary of Finance for the site? Either way I would request clear and detailed documentation on where my money would be going and who controls it.

    I do not and will never support the idea of a required subscription cost for RevitFourm.org, IMO this will destroy the site.

    PS: Would the administration be will to change web hosting providers. There are cheaper and more robust providers out there.
    Last edited by Alex Cunningham; August 19th, 2011 at 02:53 PM. Reason: added PS

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