Forums website expiring soon

clintonman
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Forums website expiring soon

Post by clintonman »

The united3dartists.com domain name is expiring on May 21 and the web hosting is expiring on June 12. The forum software is not currently up to date. The last backup for the website was generated on July 2019. There is no treasurer for the website so my idea, if possible, is the following:

1. get the forum software up to date
2. move the forums to my personal website
3. create a forwarding page on this site in place of the forums
4. the forums expire and hopefully everyone has updated their shortcuts to the new site

I am currently backing up the website now.
I think domain names are inexpensive so I'll look into buying it which would make steps 3 and 4 a none issue.

Let me know what you think or if you would like to take over the finances of the site.
Clinton Reese

http://clintons3d.com

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Finis
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by Finis »

I suggest leaving the site, forum, domain name where they are and appointing a Treasurer.

Costs
Domain Name with GoDaddy = $28 for one year, $56 two years, $84 three years*
Private Registration with GoDaddy = $15/year
Hosting with InterServer = $4 or $5 per month

*$28 dollars doesn't seem right. Regular price is $17?

Private registration hides the domain owner's contact info. in whois so the Treasurer's phone etc. is not visible there. It provides a proxy instead.

I'm poor and I have those domain and hosting services for my websites.

Since there are two active admins (aren't there?) (Prodigy is not so active now) they could both be Treasurer also. One does the job and one is backup in case the first is unavailable. In essence, both admins would be all powerful for admin, moderating, tech support from InterServer, and paying the bills.

That way the forum is independent of the existence, participation, web resources, etc. of one person. Its resources and responsibility for them can be passed from person to person as needed just by giving login info. and changing authorized persons with a few companies.

The Treasurer should:
1. Be the official owner of the domain name, hosting account, etc. with the companies providing those services.
2. Have the login credentials for the domain name, hosting, etc. accounts.
3. Collect donations from forum members to cover expenses.
3.a. Have a PayPal account or similar global online payment system to receive the donations.
4. Pay the bills.

If needed due to impending deadlines and if the Treasurer is financially able he could pay various bills himself and collect donations later to recover his expenses.

@Clintonman My info. and login is still active at GoDaddy since I was Treasurer. I'll email that to you so you can change it to your info. and take charge of the domain name.
Last edited by Finis on 22 Apr 2020, 03:07, edited 5 times in total.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire

v3rd3
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by v3rd3 »

I am good to kick in $25 USD to keeping this going whatever shape it takes. If I can help with the admin let me know.

Probably best to keep the site where it is. In the unfortunate event Clinton would not be able to work on the site it would be better for him to avoid granting admin access to someone else.

Just a thought

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bitkar
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by bitkar »

you can keep the domain and set it to hosting, no need to forward or something.

I can also volunteer to place the web on my hosting for free. Even if the domain will expire, i can register it.
https://www.wedos.com/domains#cenik-domen

.com is for 12 Euro here. I have been using this provider for years.
Michal aka bitkar
tS freak since tS2 (1998) and forever (tS7.61 modeler)

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spacekdet
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by spacekdet »

Let us know where to send funding.

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Finis
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by Finis »

When I tested if my old login for GoDaddy still worked I saw the $28 one year renewal price I noted in the post above. That doesn't seem right if it is just for the .com. One of my .com's and its private registration auto-renewed yesterday at GoDaddy and it is $28 total for domain plus private registration which makes sense.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire

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trueBlue
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by trueBlue »

clintonman wrote:
21 Apr 2020, 18:30
The united3dartists.com domain name is expiring on May 21 and the web hosting is expiring on June 12. The forum software is not currently up to date. The last backup for the website was generated on July 2019. There is no treasurer for the website so my idea, if possible, is the following:

1. get the forum software up to date
2. move the forums to my personal website
3. create a forwarding page on this site in place of the forums
4. the forums expire and hopefully everyone has updated their shortcuts to the new site

I am currently backing up the website now.
I think domain names are inexpensive so I'll look into buying it which would make steps 3 and 4 a none issue.

Let me know what you think or if you would like to take over the finances of the site.
Just wanted to says thanks for your generous offer! :D

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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by stan »

I guess we all need to decide if we still want this site as is or not. A few offers of money is a good start.

Finis, do you recall what it costs for a year completely?

We would need some one from the states to hold the money because the site is in the states. I notice paypal has a thing called a money pool to put money in. Anyone? Not completely sure how it works yet but it I don't think it uses the donate button. That seems to be for business accounts only. We all would need to donate to the cause as we can't expect a single donor to pay the whole shot like has happened before. It's up to us..There are other methods to collect money from strangers too but really it should be us.

Any suggestions on keeping this place independent?

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Finis
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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by Finis »

IMHO: I appreciate the goodness of everyone offering to host it but it is simple from my point of view. Pay the bills and keep the site as is or decide if we want to quit, move it, or what.

Time is short since the resources expire soon so we must act quickly. Let's simplify this. Suggestion:
Simplified Procedure
1. Clintonman take charge of the InterServer and GoDaddy accounts. Become their customer and master of our stuff at those companies.
2. I'll send Clintonman the money to pay now or he can pay it now. This defeats the impending deadlines.
3. Clintonman sets up a system to collect donations. The donations go to our "patron", me or him, so he gets his money back minus his own contribution.
3.a. A simple PayPal account works fine to receive donations.

This plan gets it done before the deadline, buys us plenty of time to debate the future of the site, and sets clintonman up to take care of all this stuff next time. He could allocate some of those duties of course if someone will do it.

Stan makes a good point: Do we want to keep the site? That is an unhappy thing to consider. I like the small town style here better than the big cities of the other CG forums. Though I don't use TS now I find value here because I like the community -- the good people. U3DA can always offer that even when very few are interested in TS.

@Stan I estimate $235 to $265 for 3 years. That is for hosting with current (cheap but good) InterServer and .com domain name at GoDaddy with private registration. Private registration costs $10 to $15 per year I think. It is slightly cheaper to get multi-year deals. InterServer and GoDaddy don't care where the customer is located. I don't know about long ago but when I was treasurer it was true that one generous forum member donated a large portion of the money and records showed that happened previously also. I'll check my costs (same companies and products as U3DA) and update this post sometime but the estimate should be close.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire

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Re: Forums website expiring soon

Post by MikomDude »

Lots of great questions and suggestions going around here. I'd be OK with Clintonman hosting the site, should that be the cheaper/more convenient option.

While I agree with Finis that this shouldn't be a trueSpace only forum and that it's a nice place to hang out... although, perhaps a few additional members wouldn't hurt to keep the forums alive and kicking, to justify its existence and maybe help cover some of the costs as well.

I think one reason for why this forum hasn't attracted that many new members over the years is that people are moving away from the board-style forum approach for online communities. Sites like DeviantArt, CGhub and Artstation just have a completely different approach to how art communities interact.
And speaking more in-general, Reddit is the more modern version of the board-style forum and Discord is what is becoming the go-to platform for creating new online communities.

I guess my point here is that maybe this should be a time to reflect not on whether we want to stick around but rather what needs to change in order for the site to stay relevant, both to its existing members and possible new ones.
I have a few suggestions:
  • Once again update the site's look, properly this time. Something simple but a bit more modern.
  • Organise the forums to give a better overview. Create subforum collections of the boards that aren't used as often anymore.
  • Community profiles. This could be anything from a simple gallery where members can show off their work to letting members set up their own unique showcase page where they can show their work and receive comments, with the latest uploads shown in a public gallery on the main page.
  • Member portfolios. A page set up by a member with a custom URL (like: united3dartists.com/mikomdudes-work) similar to the current showcase subforum but more customizable. If you already have a portfolio, perhaps this could re-direct to your existing domain instead.
This should make the site a bit more appealing to new members (although don't expect massive numbers coming in, just a few new faces to keep the place alive) and should prove beneficial to existing members as well.

I realize that this is something that'll require some work but I believe it is something we'll all look back on thinking that yeah, that was necessary in order to keep this site alive. Otherwise I fear the discussion of funding for the site will become a more difficult one each year and with less and less members being active, something needs to be renewed, not just the hosting.

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