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Thread: Our path forward...

  1. #1
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Our path forward...

    On January 19, 2007, Mike, AL2N started the "Island of Misfit Hams". To say that the years since have been a bumpy ride for the forums is a major understatement. Many members have come and gone... too many departed as silent keys. Management has changed several times... ditto for "ownership". "Ownership" barely has an application in the real world in regards to the forums, as the site has a very low dollar value.

    While that is true, the site has a very high sentimental value. This is confirmed by the very loyal core group who has supported the forums for many years in one manner or the other, be it via active posts and contributions to actual financial donations.

    It seems that amateur radio related forums have suffered a steep decline in active membership and activity. They may deny this, but traffic at QRZ is very low compared to what it used to be. eHam also seems to be losing serious contributors these days. HamIsland is no exception... since the 1st of the year, the daily number of posts/comments has averaged less than 4. The statistics indicate 1,427 members, with 222 being considered "active". I'll need to review the criteria used by the software to determine what constitutes an active member. I do note that, on an average day, only 1 or 2 dozen registered members visit the site in that 24 hour period. No matter how you interpret those figures, less than 4 posts per day is very, very low. When compared to server expenses/software/domain registrations, we're looking at a cost of over $1.00 per post.

    Donations are on a similar path. Here are the numbers from Jan 1, 2021, to today:
    Code:
    Donated:        $ 35.00
    Fees:           $  1.62
    -----------------------
    Net:            $ 33.38
    
    Jan - Jun:      $569.70
    Net Donations:  $ 33.38
    -----------------------
    Shortfall:      $536.32
    That "shortfall" is coming out of my pocket. That, my friends, has been the norm for as long as I have pushed, fought, and committed to keeping us on the web. Looking back, I can recall 4 server migrations, a software upgrade to vBulletin, and 4 "owners". We currently recognize 3 owners on the main page, but I count that group as 1 for the sake of discussion.

    Clearly, none of this is sustainable. Even though I never expected the site to net any sort of profit, it is becoming insane how much money I have put into this. My only goal was to provide a forum for fellow amateur radio operators to communicate common interests without being hassled by strong-armed forum administration.

    Going forward, I will be turning everyday operations over to an interested party soon, a person who has new ideas for the site. I feel that I have carried my share of the burden long enough. I intend to stay active here in whatever manner is deemed necessary. There is no hard timeline for this transition at this time, but it is inevitable.

    Changes are required to make this worth the effort. First, and most important, all of our members need to become more active. With over 200 active members, it isn't realistic to accept that nobody has anything to contribute in the vast number of topics discussed here. There are several forums dedicated to the technical aspects of the service with excellent signal to noise ratios not found on other forums. We have forums dedicated to other hobbies and interests, and are always open to suggestions regarding new forums, within reason. We are nearly at the point now that we are at forum overload, with just too many different forums for one site. We don't want to emulate QRZ with their endless list of forums and sub-forums, many of which are totally ignored by their members.

    Photographs! We need more! Field Day, Contests, antennas, shack photos, pet photos, and photos which are simply meant to be shared. I will look at the allowable size for images later today, and will increase those limits, within reason. We won't allow a 4240x3200 12MB JPEG that will "blow up" the forum layout on any sized monitor, but we'll find a happy medium.

    Donations... ever since I have been involved in donations here, it is always the same 10-12 individuals who pony up. And, like I did when Jeff was the owner, some contribute too much. It has never been expected that a few individuals would shoulder so much of the financial load. I personally never expected that I would have to consistently assume so much of the financial burden to keep us going. I'm not complaining, but I am grumbling a bit because, frankly it's getting old.

    So, lets see some comments on this, and a hell of an increase in the overall commenting activity in the forums. As always, I'll leave donations up to the individual, and will state that any donation is greatly appreciated.

    73,
    Luke - ad4mg

  2. #2
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Activity after nearly 21 hours today:



    One is a new member, KO4RIC, who just got his ticket today! Congratulations!

  3. #3
    Orca Whisperer PA5COR's Avatar
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    Since i started to post less political stuff i still visit every day here, if financial to situation is dire i chip in.
    I visit a number of ham related sites local and abroad, most see a downturn in interest or less postings, happens also on the satellite sites that boomed in the 1990's.

    Social media, different interests, changing tone on boards all will have something to do with it.
    Income here is decent for an pensioner, not that i can throw money around, but good causes get my support, this is one of them.
    Looks like another little contribution is in order, maybe even post a bit more ;)
    Thanks for all input the guy's in the background do to keep this up.
    SO, just my 2 p, from the other side of the ocean..
    Better the contribution on it's way.
    Transactiereferentie: 20672268022065575

    Last edited by PA5COR; 06-23-2021 at 03:53 AM.
    "If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop
    telling the truth about them." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
    Im not liberal/conservative, Im anti-idiotarian.
    At some point in the last 20 years, the left moved to the center, and the right moved into a mental institution

  4. #4
    "Usual Suspect" WZ7U's Avatar
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    Maybe put up a pay wall for a political sub, draw all the old rich fux over from over yonder and beat their politics into the ground.

    It sort of worked for the guy in my sig line......



    Ouch, ouch stop hitting me!!

    Like that post was...
    Moving on, my posts are not helpful

  5. #5
    Island Canuck VE7DCW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WZ7U View Post
    Maybe put up a pay wall for a political sub, draw all the old rich fux over from over yonder and beat their politics into the ground.

    It sort of worked for the guy in my sig line......



    Ouch, ouch stop hitting me!!
    Ugh..... Phredco! ........ please stop moving so we can hit you some more!!!!
    Why,driving into a brick wall at 60 miles per hour, would I expect it not to hurt! :roll:

    Walk and Talk like a Canajun!!




  6. #6
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WZ7U View Post
    Maybe put up a pay wall for a political sub, draw all the old rich fux over from over yonder and beat their politics into the ground.

    It sort of worked for the guy in my sig line......



    Ouch, ouch stop hitting me!!
    Charging members for anything here is contrary to Island tradition. Additionally, those of a particular political bent don't have the gonads to post in our political forum now, and it's free.

  7. #7
    "Usual Suspect" WZ7U's Avatar
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    Lol, I see my comments woke some up. I know that charging admission is contrary to the belief set here (and I appreciate that personally) but those political types over yonder like to convince people they are the winning team (so much winning). I figured why not part the fools from their money?

    Like that post was...
    Moving on, my posts are not helpful

  8. #8
    Forum Addict n6hcm's Avatar
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    I've just pressed the button to send a contribution. I generally do when these situations come up. You know, TANSTAAFL and all that.

    The NPR station I listen to has fundraisers 2x each year. You know, everyone does know thst it costs to have an ongoing concern, but people don't think about this until you remind them, so remind them. It is unreasonable for anyone to expect you to carry this burden, so don't do it.

    I am not a big contributor here: I don't write often (we do have a fair bit of politics, and I am so politically worn out) ... And I don't talk about ham stuff because I'm not particularly accomplished. I've spared you all a story of covid lite, a now-three-year job search, and a sick kitty who has mostly recovered. I'll continue to do what I can...
    Last edited by n6hcm; 06-29-2021 at 02:06 AM.
    "... and another thing about you democrats ... you all believe in science!" -- denny crane

  9. #9
    Forum Addict n6hcm's Avatar
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    Looks like the https certificate is dead. Expired?
    "... and another thing about you democrats ... you all believe in science!" -- denny crane

  10. #10
    "Usual Suspect" WZ7U's Avatar
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    Back now for me

    Like that post was...
    Moving on, my posts are not helpful

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