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    The future of OTF

    OTF is a bit of a drain on WSC resources - in 2020 we received GBP 278 in donations which covers not much more than one month’s hosting. The board has no other source of direct revenue (although of course many of you are WSC subscribers and/or patrons). Any break-ins cost us a couple of hundred quid to put right.

    We have been discussing this for a while but put any plans on hold when the first lockdown started; the OTF Patreon thread brought this to the fore again. WSC's position is that we no longer want to fund and manage OTF. We would happily hand it over to a co-operative of users to keep it going - it’s not our intention to just turn it off. But given the number of shop sales we’ve lost since the pandemic started we need to find every penny we can to keep the core business going.

    There's no particular timeframe on this but we're looking to gauge people's feelings.

    #2
    I'm not rich but can chip in something as soon as I know where and how.

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      #3
      Thanks rich. I must admit i had no idea exactly how much OTF cost WSC. That genuinely is a lot (and a lot lot more than I imagined), and I can totally understand the issue. I know nothing about potential options or ways to keep the forum alive, but I am very open to the suggestions of experts and the creativity of the user base.

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        #4
        Likewise.

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          #5
          Is 278 x 12 the total cost or are there any other costs beyond hosting.

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            #6
            It's not just a question of money, though that is obviously the primary issue. OTF could probably be hosted in a cheaper way but the point is that the direct link between OTF and WSC is going to be gone and whatever the new arrangements are, we're on our own.

            FWIW, I am having a think about what our technical options are, which will require gathering some background information on exact traffic and size and so on. As it is, the floor is open for questions.

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              #7
              278 seems to be for a bit more than a month, but fair point.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Etienne View Post
                Is 278 x 12 the total cost or are there any other costs beyond hosting.
                Probably the total cost as WSC will be paying the hosts for any technical issues arising and maintenance. I've never taken a penny from WSC but for absolute openness I do have a sub and got a free t-shirt a few years back.

                BTW I'm happy to continue as an admin on a volunteer basis if people want me to. I might need a couple of willing volunteers to help out on running things in the future though.

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                  #9
                  I'm shocked how little we've raised in donations, a minimum monthly donation is 2 pounds which suggests under a dozen people are paying that.

                  What are the alternatives here?

                  Snake Plissken I'm happy to help

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                    #10
                    Thank you to WSC for having kept the board going during a very difficult period for the magazine.

                    I'd very much like OTF to continue however that might be feasible and would like to contribute, but don't have any knowledge in this field.

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                      #11
                      I mean, in the absence of generous lifetime benefactor, it's subscription or adverts, isn't it, or perhaps a combination of the two, (lower sub and moderate impact of the latter).

                      Given the number of active users we're possibly talking about 25-30 quid as an annual sub or less with adverts. I'd go for the former. Actually, I was going to make a donation a couple of days ago but was put off by the PayPal-only option.

                      How about we kick this around for a couple of days and then have a poll on the options?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                        I'm not rich but can chip in something as soon as I know where and how.
                        I'm not sporting, but I can help out when we know more, too.

                        A small recurring payment system would defo work better than periodic (and easily forgotten) 'lump sums'.

                        Also willing to help out as admin / mod if the technical know-how is low.

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                          #13
                          I would really prefer no ads.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by WOM View Post
                            A small recurring payment system would defo work better than periodic (and easily forgotten) 'lump sums'.
                            Agreed.

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                              #15
                              Very rough calculations based on the numbers given, we'd need 100 subscribers paying 30 per year.

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                                #16
                                That's at current levels. There may be cheaper options available.

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                                  #17
                                  I'm one of those people who said they'd pay, last time, but failed for whatever reasons. This time I'll cough up. Honest.

                                  Also, even if the magazine - reasonably - wants nothing to do with us, I think it would be kinda nice if they kept their imprint on it somehow, maybe just linking to the standalone board.

                                  Finally, and I don't know how it would work, I'm nervous about a subscription model that prevents new blood coming in and contributing. Posters fall by the wayside for whatever reasons, and it would be sad for it to be a permanently shrinking pool of contributors here.

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                                    #18
                                    I'm Patreoning WSC though it's many a year since I read it, and Chart Music too though I've completely lost interest in that. I'll be more than happy to pay a regular sum for something I'll actually use.
                                    Last edited by Lang Spoon; 12-02-2021, 14:43.

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                                      #19
                                      Rather than making a sub manadatory to post, could we just create a patreon account and hope enough of us old lags set up a monthly donation? I think I gave two only one-offs to the pay pal link for this board, so another vote for a regular payment rather than easy forgot one-offs.
                                      Last edited by Lang Spoon; 12-02-2021, 14:43.

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                                        #20
                                        I'm quite happy to pay ?30 a year.

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                                          #21
                                          Webby stuff is the devil's work so I'm definitely not volunteering for an admin/mod role though.

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                                            #22
                                            I don’t think making a sub mandatory is the way to go. Well, I’m utterly convinced that it isn’t. And I’m not going to even suggest it. Same with ads.

                                            For me it is about balancing cost against quality of technical service.

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                                              #23
                                              I don't mind taking on a moderator role, if it's just policing dodgy posts and deleting spam. Can't do anything technical

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by San Bernardhinault View Post
                                                Finally, and I don't know how it would work, I'm nervous about a subscription model that prevents new blood coming in and contributing. Posters fall by the wayside for whatever reasons, and it would be sad for it to be a permanently shrinking pool of contributors here.
                                                This would be my main concern.

                                                Edit - like others, I simply haven't really noticed the 'donate' button. A monthly thing like the WSC Patreon would definitely address this.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Agreed on non mandatory subs. If we can lock in a guaranteed sum from long term members who can afford it, and make the board available for free for others (and of course welcome contributions as and when) that would be the ideal.

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