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Raven
Site Admin/Owner


Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 17077

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:24 am Reply with quote

I want to thank those who donate each month and this is not intended towards you! However, due to the fact that in the last 2 years the donations have averaged less than 25% of the needs I am forced into finding alternative means of support for the cost of this site. I haven't worked out all of the details but it looks like I will be offering some sort of paid support. I'm leaning towards something like a subscription monthly minimum of $5.00/month. There will still be free support but there is going to be a line drawn somewhere and then you will need to subscribe to the Premium service. I am still exploring other means but nothing seems to be panning out. There may be other areas affected also, possibly in the number of questions you can ask/month for free.

I am going to see how September donations go and unless there's a big turnaround I will have no choice.
 
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JeRicHoOL
Worker
Worker


Joined: Jul 20, 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:09 am Reply with quote

It will be quite difficult to difference what support is free and what not. Also there are a few other sites which offer RavenNuke support I think. Ideas are needed how to get people to donate a bit. Maybe selling RavenNuke versions for less money. This site has 18063 registered users. If everyone would have paid 1 dollar for RavenNuke then you wouldn't have to worry about the finances for years. And 1 dollar is not much, everybody could pay it.

Another suggestion. This site could get a newer look. Something which looks more like 2008 if you know what I mean. Also the forum should be sorted. There are too many sections on the index which gives a bad overview and you scroll and scroll and scroll. Use subforums instead.

People also need to know how to donate. You should make a tutorial for that since this is new to some people.

Maybe overworking the RavenNuke how to. Everytime I looked into it I saw rubrics over rubrics and barely found what I was looking for. i had to ask here instead.

I hope this helped a bit. Good luck with your programme. Wink

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Susann
Moderator


Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 3191
Location: Germany:Moderator German NukeSentinel Support

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:32 am Reply with quote

Raven thats a good decision. I´m very much in favor of it because a "Thank you RavenNuke!" in a signature or in 1000 posts isn´t enough.
If you need tips and examples how to do this let me know.
 
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Guardian2003
Site Admin


Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 6792
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:41 am Reply with quote

Personally I find sub-forums hard to navigate unless they have been set up properly but they are not exactly search engine friendly so I would never use them myself or use a site that does.
Collapsible categories might work well though.

I cannot speak for everyone here who is an admin/moderator etc but that never stops me telling it like it is. The problem is that everyone here likes to give free support, they enjoy being able to help others out with their 'issues', even when we get the same questions over and over again because search is not used or there's a good soccer/baseball match on the TV. It is one thing to give your time, experience, expertise freely and un-conditionally but it is quite another when doing so costs you several hundreds of dollars a month.
With the best will and intentions in the world, that is a financial burden no one should have to bear (even though they might want to).

I'm not sure how a tutorial for making donations would help (unless I have missed the point). Click the donate button, fill in the simple form, click send.

The RavenNuke 'How To' - you mean the forum here or the 'How to' for the RavenNuke (tm) distribution? Both could probably do with an overhaul but that's less time to spend on support and development, so how does one choose? It's a nightmare Smile
 
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JeRicHoOL
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:19 am Reply with quote

Susann you can't blame the people who don't donate. At the end of the day it was Ravens decision to offer this application for free so it's obvious that most people just take it. Thats's why some programmes around the net are "Freeware".

Guardian, with the tutorial I ment that there should be a guide how to create a "Pay Pal" account since less people know about this feature at all. Some haven't reached the age to own a cash card. With a good guide they could ask their parents and explain them how it works. Guardian, don't think like an expert, think like a newb in this case. Laughing

Yes, I ment the RavenNuke How To. Mr. Green
 
Susann
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:34 am Reply with quote

JeRicHOL I analyze just the facts. The most guys ignore the donation button and "I will donate" is just a phrase.
Wink

So again its time for a paid premium support in my opionion. This is also the trend and keep in mind support and support are tow different things when we talk about quality.
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:56 am Reply with quote

Some people cannot afford to 'buy' RavenNuke (tm) which is one of the reasons why RN has always been a voluntary donation. Why should someone who wants to enjoy building a site using RN and being part of this great community be penalised because he/she doesn't have enough pocket money to buy the distro?

One the other hand, those who use RN for commercial purposes should be in a position to give something back.

I don't think requiring a payment for the distro would be viable, it will just get put on torrent, P2P sites or other 'club' sites.

I do not have the overhead that Raven does and do not need to cover huge bandwidth and other costs but I'm employing a really simple system on my site in the near future whereby I track each download for each user. If they did not download one of my products from my site, they get no support. If they 'bought' it from some club site, they have to get support from them.
 
jakec
Site Admin


Joined: Feb 06, 2006
Posts: 3048
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:22 am Reply with quote

You've also got to remember that RavenNuke is phpNuke at heart and despite over 16,000 changes being made to the code by the RNTeam it is still bound by the same license under which phpNuke is released.

I personally enjoy giving my time freely to help others because it doesn't cost me anything, other than my time. If I had to pay the overheads like Raven I think I would have given up a long time ago.
 
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Gremmie
Former Moderator in Good Standing


Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 2415
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:12 am Reply with quote

jakec wrote:
You've also got to remember that RavenNuke is phpNuke at heart and despite over 16,000 changes being made to the code by the RNTeam it is still bound by the same license under which phpNuke is released.


The license does not forbid charging money for the software. It's free as in speech, not necessarily free as in free beer. Smile

You don't need a Paypal account to donate, you can also donate with a credit card.

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CodyG
Life Cycles Becoming CPU Cycles


Joined: Jan 02, 2003
Posts: 712
Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:59 am Reply with quote

Just my 2 cents...

Over the years I've donated sporadically, not because I don't want to give more. RN rocks my universe and communities of local non-profits, for which I push a gazzillion free pixels, are grateful too.

But, I hate paypal. I'd rather have a root canal than ever use paypal ever again. And those non-profits? They don't use paypal either. Credit card processing is another layer of stuff to do, so how about a good old fashioned mailing address?? Do PM me with that info and I'll take care of another donation today. Or an electronic debit card process?

How about sending a monthly newsletter with DONATE NOW in <h1> ? Smile Maybe some of us 18,000 need a constant poke, a reminder that servers aren't free. I know that for a few months a year I wander off RN ... my other life needs my attention and since the websites are just a humming along, as they should, I am elsewhere.

Now, premium support ... that's a good thing! Where do I sign up?
There are countless times I would like to post my custom-mod issues without guilt of taking up too much time of the gurus, for mods which are not the default.

On the other hand, subscriptions are another task that takes management of time and energy. I considered doing that for one of my large sites, but the overhead in my time just wasn't worth it. It was easier to push the donation process to users on a regular basis. A couple of times a year I make a big splash "servers are not free".

I also like the idea of a free-as-possible community who share teaching and learning and share something in common.

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jakec
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:51 am Reply with quote

Gremmie wrote:
The license does not forbid charging money for the software. It's free as in speech, not necessarily free as in free beer.


The point I was trying to make was that although we could charge for the software, someone could then take it and release it for free and legally we could not stop this. Sad

The license does not allow you sell the software, but it does allowed to charge a reasonable amount for downloading, labour and development. You are also not allowed to change the license. This isn't really the place to get into this, but there is a useful post here: Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:35 pm Reply with quote

I'm getting off topic now but the rules regarding the prohibition of changing the license are covered by whether the 'engine' is changed or not. In other words if the basic things that make it work like the DB abstraction layer, theme handling, language handling, compatibility with more modern versions of PHP and mySQL etc are changed then it could be argued that the 'engine' has changed sufficiently to allow for a license change. RN2.3 is certainly a step in that direction and I'd say 2.4 would definitely be - though that doesn't automatically mean the license would be change, I'm just giving an example.
 
Raven
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:51 pm Reply with quote

JeRicHoOL wrote:
It will be quite difficult to difference what support is free and what not. Also there are a few other sites which offer RavenNuke support I think. Ideas are needed how to get people to donate a bit. Maybe selling RavenNuke versions for less money. This site has 18063 registered users. If everyone would have paid 1 dollar for RavenNuke then you wouldn't have to worry about the finances for years. And 1 dollar is not much, everybody could pay it.

Another suggestion. This site could get a newer look. Something which looks more like 2008 if you know what I mean. Also the forum should be sorted. There are too many sections on the index which gives a bad overview and you scroll and scroll and scroll. Use subforums instead.

People also need to know how to donate. You should make a tutorial for that since this is new to some people.

Maybe overworking the RavenNuke how to. Everytime I looked into it I saw rubrics over rubrics and barely found what I was looking for. i had to ask here instead.

123 posts since joining on July 20, 2008. So out of the items you listed, which ones have prevented you from clicking the Donate button on the front page? Or clicking the Donation request when you download RavenNuke(tm)? I'm not attacking you but just pointing out the contradictions that I see in your post/attitude towards supporting. You could lead by example Smile


JeRicHoOL wrote:
At the end of the day it was Ravens decision to offer this application for free so it's obvious that most people just take it

You are focusing on the little picture. This is not just about RavenNuke(tm). This site has always been active way before RavenNuke(tm). RN is just a couple years old or so. The site was started in 2002. People come here for many other reasons. The donations issue is about supporting those sites that give back generously to the community.


JakeC wrote:
You've also got to remember that RavenNuke is phpNuke at heart and despite over 16,000 changes being made to the code by the RNTeam it is still bound by the same license under which phpNuke is released.

Was phpnuke at heart Wink. RN is GPL and free for now. I don't have any plans to change that but RN will soon reach the point where enough will have changed that I can not only change the license but encode critical parts and charge for it, should I decide to do so.


JeRicHoOL wrote:
It will be quite difficult to difference what support is free and what not.

Not really. There are several ways to do this but I just haven't determined which model to use.


JeRicHoOL wrote:
Also there are a few other sites which offer RavenNuke support I think.

There may be other sites where they answer questions concerning RN but outside of the RavenNuke(tm) Team sites, I can almost guarantee that the level of support, expertise, and just overall knowledge of RN, nuke in general, and Internet technologies would be very hard to even come close.

I don't expect to hit the monthly goals every month or even at all. It would be nice, of course. But if this site is only worthy of an average less than 25% then something needs fixing. This is a technical support site and is not meant, necessarily, to have a "2008 look", whatever that is. It's not a kiddie site, clan site, etc. People aren't drawn here for eye candy. They came here for technology answers and discussions. Otoh, it's hard to spend time enhancing and developing my own sites and the same goes for most of the RN Team when we are busy developing a superior product and trying to answer all of the forum questions!
 
jaded
Theme Guru


Joined: Nov 01, 2003
Posts: 1006

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:28 pm Reply with quote

I personally feel that charging for support would be a good idea. There are times when this has to be done. The cost of running a website of this magnitude is immense. I do not believe that people understand just what a financial burden it is. Like most of the things in life, people take it for granted. However, where would we all be without a site such as this? Our problems would go unresolved or at best take considerably longer to resolve. As Gaylen stated, you are receiving the expertise of the RN team here. That is a valuable commodity to have.

Quote:
Another suggestion. This site could get a newer look. Something which looks more like 2008 if you know what I mean. Also the forum should be sorted. There are too many sections on the index which gives a bad overview and you scroll and scroll and scroll. Use subforums instead


While I agree that the forum index is lengthy, I would see no good way around this. SEO is important also. This website is dedicated to many types of support. There is no real way to limit the amount of topics on the forum index other than doing away with those categories. Really, do we think that would make anyone happy? The extensive information found here on this site helps out thousands. What would the alternative be? Should we only support the features of RN here? Wouldn't that leave out countless others who have not yet seen the light and are not using RN? I do not see this as a viable option.

Donations are simple to make. We all have done it from time to time. I do when I am able to. It is something however, that we all overlook at times. We just assume that the site will continue to run as always. But, what happens when it's too much of a burden for the owner to bare? I think that Raven should impliment some type of donation/paid support. Possibly even something that required you to make one donation a month to be permitted to post in most forums. Then other forums that were open to anyone to post in. Of course, these would have limited support.

People might find it upsetting at first. I do believe that they would come around. The support and RN product are far superior to anything else available. The team spends so much time working on making it better and better. That way less support is needed. Sometimes a man has to take drastic measures. I believe Gaylen may have reached that point. With the skyrocketting costs of feul, and living our lives, why should he have to bare the burden of virtually sole support of this service?

We all know that if Gaylen starts to charge for RN, it will, as stated before, be placed up on Warez sites, torrents, etc. For free download. The only option might be for him to impliment a code into the program, like some nuke modules have, that forces you to have a VALID and ACTIVE key in your nuke root for this based on your url. I do not know how difficult this would be to do or how effecient. It is just an option.

Either way, I do so hope that people will take this paid support issue seriously. I also hope that they see the great need for help and understanding with this. It costs hundreds of dollars a month to run this website. Isn't it worth even 5 dollars once a year from people to keep the hope alive and our sites running smoothly? Paid support is not a new concept. We all have paid for modules, themes, or other programs. We even pay 5 dollars for a coffee. It may be time for us as a whole to step up to the plate and help in any way that we can. Can you live without your coffee or lunch out for one day this month? I KNOW that I can.

God bless Razz

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Last edited by jaded on Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:30 pm; edited 2 times in total 
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Doulos
Life Cycles Becoming CPU Cycles


Joined: Jun 06, 2005
Posts: 626

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:29 pm Reply with quote

Guardian2003 wrote:
Some people cannot afford to 'buy' RavenNuke (tm) ...


I would doubt that more that a few who have downloaded RN really "can't afford" $5 a month ($60 a year). Show me one RN support user who does not make foolish purchases that waste many times that every year.
 
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warren-the-ape
Worker
Worker


Joined: Nov 19, 2007
Posts: 196
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:59 pm Reply with quote

A lot of people (visitors) probably never see the homepage at all and go straight to; Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!
Perhaps its an idea to add a 'donating' link to the overall forums (header) as well?

Another thing you see a lot are Adsense ads in every forum topic (i use them myself as well), its too bad some sites just overdo this.
Sure the dollar course is low these days but every little bit helps i think.
 
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Gremmie
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:40 pm Reply with quote

jakec wrote:
The license does not allow you sell the software, but it does allowed to charge a reasonable amount for downloading, labour and development.


Jakec, this is simply not true. You can sell GPL software. You might be thinking of the restriction that says "if someone asks you for the source code, you need to provide it at a reasonable cost". But you can charge any amount of money for your GPL software.
Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!

Sorry about getting off topic....sort of.
 
Raven
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:44 pm Reply with quote

warren-the-ape wrote:
A lot of people (visitors) probably never see the homepage at all and go straight to; Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!
Perhaps its an idea to add a 'donating' link to the overall forums (header) as well?


Excellent idea - thanks!
 
Guardian2003
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote

Yes, that is a good idea, definitely.
 
Dawg
RavenNuke(tm) Development Team


Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 910

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Raven,
Sign me up. I will take the Super Dupper plan please!

While you are at it....I would like to see a PRIVATE support place that we could post stuff that the entire world does not get to see. There have been MANY MANY times I would have posted more info about this problem or that problem if I knew the people I compete againest would not have access.

Dawg

PS...I just ponied up 50 clams and everyone of you that read this and make a single dollar on RN should do the same.
 
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JeRicHoOL
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:38 pm Reply with quote

Raven wrote:
123 posts since joining on July 20, 2008. So out of the items you listed, which ones have prevented you from clicking the Donate button on the front page? Or clicking the Donation request when you download RavenNuke(tm)? I'm not attacking you but just pointing out the contradictions that I see in your post/attitude towards supporting. You could lead by example Smile


I'm not goin to lie. I like to get things for free like many other people. Most people here who donated are on this site for quite a long time and you guys know eachother. So for them the thought of donating is closer as for new users.
I could donate if I wanted but I don't know why I didn't. It wouldn't be a big loss for me though to spend 5-10€/$. I've never done it before so please notify me if it worked.
But like I said before you can't blame people who think like that.
You created this site with free support and a free offer of RavnNuke. Donating was an option but not a must and you knew that. You might thought that there will be enough people who donate but now you see, it's not like this. Anyways I have just donated 5$.
If you want people to donate talk to them. A donation button ain't enough motivation for some guys.
Wink
 
jestrella
Moderator


Joined: Dec 01, 2005
Posts: 593
Location: Santiago, Dominican Republic

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:07 am Reply with quote

my two cents...

Raven, you can turn Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! into the ultimate resources center for RavenNuke, by this i mean the mainplace to look for compatible themes, modules, blocks, addons, etc. and give third party developers the opportunity to sale their scripts on the site.

This would generate good extra incomes IMHO.

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Dawg
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:17 pm Reply with quote

That is an excellent idea!
 
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