Yes, there's now a donate link in the menu bar thingy.
As many know, I'm a poor old pensioner on a fixed income. Like your old grampa or the creepy guy who lives in the house with all the weeds in the front yard. This fixed income covers my expenses, INCLUDING the costs associated with TMU/TMOA (approx $150 a month), but doesn't leave me a huge amount of disposable income. My soulless EHow writing, which was providing more disposable income (at the cost of my eternal soul) has mostly dried up recently, and may stay dried up. And frankly, I'd rather be spending my time working on community-related stuff than writing how to use DiskPart to format a hard drive.
"But hey, Ken," you ask. "What do you need more disposable income for? Weed, wine and women?" No. I have that factored into my current budget. What I don't have factored in is...
Community Expansion and Development
I regularly see add-ons and other stuff that will improve the community - forums, radio, movie site. Some of it's free, and that just takes the time to get it going (and time I got). Some of the better stuff, though, is not free, and that's the problem with a fixed income - I don't have an extra $50 or $100 to spend on things not on the budget, no matter how useful they might be to the community. For instance:
- TMU Competitions: We're in the earliest stages of putting together some kind of official TMU filmmaking competition. And I believe one of the keys to a successful comp is prizes (see the huge success of Harb's Passion Competition). I know Harb does his comp on a shoe-string, and beats the bushes for sponsors for the prizes, but I'd like to be able to offer cash/gift card prizes so the winners can choose what they want as a prize. No extra money, no money for that.
- Community Add-Ons: Just as one example, when I was investigating the chat thing you see at the bottom on the screen, I was looking at CometChat, which has a lot more features (including file transfer, screen-sharing and...cough...video chat, among other things), but as cool as it is, the $50-$130 it would cost was outside my budget. I'd like to pump up the TMOA chatroom as well. And there are other add-ons and scripts that would make the community more...community-like.
- The Movie Site: This is more long-term (because of the expense) but eventually I'd like to move it to a different platform. When we started 3 and a half years ago, Sharemixer was the best solution available, and well-worth what I spent on it. Since then, Sharemixer has ceased production (so no exciting new updates) and in any case, the features of video hosting platforms have increased exponentially in these past few years. To switch to a new platform would be expensive though - the cost of the script and modules (which could run from $50-$300), the cost of beefing up Server 2 for this kind of site or going to a dedicated server for all of our sites, which would be an additional $50-$100 a month more than we're paying now for hosting, and perhaps most important, having the money to hire somebody to do the conversion from Sharemixer to a new platform - which means moving the films and user data from the existing platform to a new platform, intact and ready to use. I DO NOT want to start the site from scratch on a new platform. I don't have the php/SQL skills to do it myself, but there's no doubt it could be done if we had somebody with those skills. No idea how much it would cost to hire somebody with the required skills, but I'm guessing $500+. Like I say, it's a long term goal, but we could start salting away some cash for that over time.
At we've discussed expansion, more than a few community members have suggested donations as a way to fund it. So I'm making it available. If you've got some extra cash, and feel like this is a worthy cause, you can click the donate button and use PayPal to either subscribe (monthly fixed donation) or make a lump-sum donation. If you don't have the money, or don't feel it's a worthy cause, don't click the button. Either way, the site will continue - this isn't a "Help, save us!" call. If we get donations, I'll use the money to offset hosting costs and free up money for more community stuff. If not, I'll continue to scour the internet for free stuff. Either way, we roll on.
COMING BACK SOON
just a few thoughts ken
as far as chat is concerned, i dont mind not having video chat.. got skype for that
personally i would rather see the donations go to the movies site, after all that is where the viewers go (apart from our dear forum). and yes money for comps.. but only good comps
i for one will be donating straight into your hand when i come over (as soon as my inheritence comes through).. which brings me to my next thought
Will donators of certain levels of donation be given certain privileges, honors etc
Yeah, the Comet Chat thing was just an example - not so much for the video chat, but for other features (ability to chat with any online member, the file transfer (useful for those who don't use Skype or need to throw a script or something to somebody else), etc.) It was just something that stuck in my mind when I was looking at forum chat solutions, and probably would have bought if I'd had the spare cash.
Originally Posted by stvndysn
As for donors being given privileges and that kind of thing, we can certainly put something like that together - anything from tags in your postbit (the name thing next to a post), special user group, private forum (maybe for discussion of new features, that kind of thing), whatever. It can be universal (you donate, you get this) or if the donor wants it (some people prefer to make donations anonymously), or different stuff for different levels of donations - but it's definitely do-able.
One more thing - you better be hungry when you get here....no kiddie meal for you....
COMING BACK SOON
im expecting to have one of those burgers you so go on about.. cant wait.
Originally Posted by kuroken
back on topic
yes access to a privileged user group, and such would be welcomed
The Wolf & Dulci Hour
I'm glad to see that we have the option to help support the site
Oh, yes, guilty as charged of that. Mitigating circumstances are that, at that time, I was working and swimming in cash - also, I was thinking small. Little movie site, a forum if people wanted one, little community of TMO refugees.
Originally Posted by Uber
Now I'm bobbing for dollar bills in the apple barrel, our community includes people using all kinds of software and the machinima train is rolling down the tracks. I have resisted, and will continue to resist, the suggestion that I "monetize" the site and turn it into an income source for me personally through display ads or Google AdSense or anything else - but since my financial situation has changed, and I can no longer spend money like a drunken sailor as I did, I can't make all the changes I'd like on my own.
So hey, let's all gather around for a chorus of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (the Hollies version, not the Neil Diamond version)(sorry, Dulci...we'll do "September Morn" next week....)
COMING BACK SOON
as soon as i know i will be telling all concerned on skype and also announced on the forum.. and yes i am looking forward to the giant burger...
Originally Posted by themonk
and a radiothon sounds fun count me in.. im sure you all want to listen to my drony voice lol