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Forum Service Outage


downzy

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7 hours ago, StayofExecution2020 said:

What's going to happen if (luzifer forbid) they somehow release something? Will this forum be shut down for years?

In that case I'll pay for the hosting costs increases.  A new album would generate a lot of traffic that would support the higher hosting costs.  

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1 hour ago, downzy said:

That doesn't solve our problems as much as we would like unfortunately.

The forum currently is in "members" mode whereby only Club and regular members can view the forum.  Guests can't read anything at this point, but they can still technically visit the forum.  Right now thee are over 150 guests who are on the forum, even if they can't read it. 

Even when I took the forum offline during the first show we were visited by a lot of people, members and guests alike.  A visitor is a visitor according to our host provider (since technically the visitor is using up hosting resources), whether they can actually read/access the forum or not.

This solution conflicts with our one user per person policy.  It also wouldn't move the needle all that much if those who registered a long time ago only show up on first concert days, but are now a guest instead of user.

It would also drastically increases the workload for the admin staff.  There are 50k+ members of this forum.  Most haven't logged in here for awhile.  If we were to start deleting or blocking all these accounts, @alfierose and I would likely be inundated with DMs with members who want to view the site when we limit it to users.  

We actually haven't cleared new accounts for almost the last six months.  There are reasons why we have chosen to shut out new accounts that I don't want to go into at the moment.  But one I can explain is that the forum population is about the size that works for long-time regular members, staff, and for financial considerations.  It use to be a GNR tour or huge news could sustain increased hosting costs because people would stick around longer.  That's no longer the case.  People will show up a day before and two days after to voice their disdain (and who's kidding who, rightfully so) for how little the band has changed or gotten worse and then leave.  Hosting costs are per month, but they can shoot up dramatically if traffic increases dramatically over a short period of time.  Unfortunately they do not average out traffic over the month, but over a much shorter period of time.  If we have a busy couple of days, our hosting provider charges me as though it's busy the entire month.  There was a time where I would eat the costs because I love the community and wanted to do my part for the fans.  But I've reached my financial limit to what I can spend on a band that continues to disappoint the online fan community.  

Interesting!  Tell me more!

This forum has never generated a net profit for me since the day I bought it in January of 2014.  The first few years prior to the reunion the forum ran at a small annual loss, but something that was within my budget.  From 2016 through 2017 when everyone was loving the reunion, the forum did return some decent profits.  But those profits were then returned to the forum members via prizes (books, ticket giveaways, pre-party drinks) and thank you gifts for staff members (custom shirts, tickets, etc).  I did keep a small $500-$600 surplus coming out of those years anticipating a return to loss but that's all gone now.  Small monthly losses are easy to justify; larger losses in the hundreds of dollars per month are not.  So I do what I can to manage the interests of the forum versus my own financial interests.  That means there might be a day or two of service outages to avoid being out of pocket for hundreds of dollars during times when nothing good is coming from the band. 

If the band were to dramatically revamp their line up, release new music, or Axl found his voice again, I would be much more inclined to pay for higher hosting costs.  It's not my intention to shut this down when there are actually good things to talk about.  But as for now, there are no simple solutions to the problems both this forum faces and those we face as a fan community generally.  The only real solution to this issue lies with the band itself.  And frankly, I don't have a lot of faith that we'll see much from them to make our lives better in that respect.

Thanks for the suggestions.  Please keep them coming if you think of anything else.  

I really am not a fan of the charity/begging route to keep the lights open 24-7-365. 

People are welcome to become Club Members if they wish to financially support the forum and receive perks.  But I'm not comfortable with leveraging the operation of this forum based on the charity of others.  

Oh well, I don’t understand these things to such a degree, and I thought some of this stuff can be done automatically (banning inactive people after specified period etc.). So these were just some layman ideas that came into mind. 
The last two points were just a joke – an allusion to the South Park gnomes/meme. :)
(Also, I've been planning to get the membership, but first I need to get out of the "will I have money to buy food at the end of the month at all?" situation...)

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24 minutes ago, tsinindy said:

You know I was kinda (very mildly) salty I couldn’t access the forum over the weekend, but I understand.  I think keeping the forum open to club members during high traffic times is a great decision.  Is there a way I can donate again?

Not sure. Downzy will have a better idea on that. In the past we have had members sponsor Club Membership for other posters they are fond of who maybe don't have the spare cash themselves. 

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Hi Downzy,

Admittedly, I'm probably one of these fair weather fans that you speak of. I only come around once in every blue moon to see if hell might have frozen over and the band has actually decided to do something that doesn't consist of butchering 34 year old songs in a live setting. As I'm sure the vast majority have (and very understandably so), I've grown bored by this train-wreck long ago. How could anyone not, really? I thought Chinese Democracy stunk to high hell and the reunion that followed has been an over-priced bad joke (if not an absolute nightmare to those of us that have longed for one for decades)! I don't think anyone can be faulted for being BEYOND tired of seeing Axl get fatter and fatter each tour as it becomes more and more difficult for him to weeze his way through the setlists. As a result of the absolute shit-show that has been upon us for years now, I mainly frequent another band's forum that I have interest in.

With all this said, (and forgive me if I'm being overly presumptuous), but as I read your comments in this thread, it was like a bad case of deja-vu. A decade ago, I remember when Eric started becoming more vocal about his dissatisfaction with the band. Wasn't he about to close down shop when a mystery donor funded the site for a year? A year or so after, didn't Subs and HV takeover only to become disgusted with the band themselves a short time later? Now that you're here and talking similar, would passing along the torch to someone who might be less disgusted in the band ever be considered as an option (and assuming that such a person actually exists)? Again, not judging you for losing faith. Personally, I wouldn't go to see this lineup if I found a ticket lying on the ground that offered premium seating. But when the forum admin is publicly expressing his lack of faith and optimism, and opting to close down the forum to non-paying members on, what should be, some of the most exciting days to be a fan, I'd think that one would have to start questioning "what's the point"?

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear how you see the future playing out in terms of this forum and your level of continued involvement. Take care!

Edited by NightmareAtTheBraineHotel
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Is this shit gonna happen every concert? Been coming here and reading sporadically for 15 years and I genuinely enjoy the takes from certain people, but it’s kind of ridiculous to force people to pay. I appreciate the effort, but I didn’t decide to run this forum. May as well join the Nightrain board at that point.

I get it, but it’s gonna alienate people. Passing off costs is bad. Maybe start a gofundme and have it be community-run at this point.

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54 minutes ago, NightmareAtTheBraineHotel said:

With all this said, (and forgive me if I'm being overly presumptuous), but as I read your comments in this thread, it was like a bad case of deja-vu. A decade ago, I remember when Eric started becoming more vocal about his dissatisfaction with the band. Wasn't he about to close down shop when a mystery donor funded the site for a year?

Yes.  Eric had all but closed the forum down because he wasn't managing costs with respect to revenues.  At some point TB provided payments (with the idea that they were buying the forum; which turned out not to be the case). 

54 minutes ago, NightmareAtTheBraineHotel said:

A year or so after, didn't Subs and HV takeover only to become disgusted with the band themselves a short time later?

Subs bought the forum and HV ultimately ran it for him for four or five years.  If it wasn't for Subs' financial investment (along with others who did not get any credit for helping Subs pay hosting costs) and HV's expertise and time, the forum would have folded.  

I'm not sure if they were disgusted.  But Subs wasn't willing to figure out how to manage the finances of the band and do the hard work to keep the forum's ad revenue in compliance with Google's policies.  HV lost interest in running the forum due to the demand on his time (the man was a machine, and deserves the most credit for keeping this place afloat than anyone) and moved on before I joined the mod team and eventually became owner when Subs couldn't figure out how to make the finances work.

54 minutes ago, NightmareAtTheBraineHotel said:

Now that you're here and talking similar, would passing along the torch to someone who might be less disgusted in the band ever be considered as an option (and assuming that such a person actually exists)?

Maybe.  I've thought about that.  But I'm not sure such a person exists.  Keep in mind this person would be willing to spend hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars, out of pocket to keep the forum running like it use to.  All for a band that you yourself have described that hasn't been all that fan friendly and seem more interested in their bank accounts.  I still have a lot of affinity for the forum and the community.  I know the place well enough to know how to manage the forum where its existence isn't threatened.  

That said, everything changes.  This forum won't be around forever is it currently stands.  Nor should it.  Eventually Axl/GNR will retire, there will be a moment of reflection on this forum and elsewhere, and then people will move on.  There are plans to allow people to review this forum going forward, but there will come a point where this place will no longer be an active fan community.  And that's okay.  I'm hoping it's years from now but there is a shelf life to everything.

54 minutes ago, NightmareAtTheBraineHotel said:

But when the forum admin is publicly expressing his lack of faith and optimism, and opting to close down the forum to non-paying members on, what should be, some of the most exciting days to be a fan, I'd think that one would have to start questioning "what's the point"?

As I expressed in the post before, my lack of faith had much to do with the lack of new music or anything new at the Hershey show.  I think most people, like myself, saw what we got at Hershey and just assumed that it was another round of the same stuff from the last five years.  

Now that they're at least playing something new, it's changed my orientation for what is possible going forward. 

I don't think it's a lack of faith, but a reflection of where this band is right now.  One that I think most people who don't see the world through rose-tinted glasses can see.  If this was simply another greatest-hits tour with zero to no interest in doing anything different, why would anyone pay hundreds of dollars to keep this place open to everyone?  There is a way to keep it open to those who have provided some support for this place.  I think that is a fair solution for everyone involved.  To those who feel differently, well, there are hundreds of other places to discuss this band.  And I wouldn't want or expect anyone else to have to fork over hundreds of dollars a month just to give people a place to shit on a band that only deserves shit.   Life is too short.  

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2 minutes ago, AppetiteForDestruction said:

This is best GNR forum around! And if I can help support it I will!! 

Thank you! 

We'll be fine.  There were several people who bought memberships and ad revenues should cover most of the loss for the month.  Like I said, i don't mind being out a few dollars here and there.  It's what I've been doing for a couple of years now.  

Just now, allwaystired said:

I've got some cash flow problems at the moment, but will get membership at some point. It's a fair enough decision to do that on show days if it helps keep costs down. 

Just thought I'd mention it as I didn't want people thinking I was too cheap to not support this place! 

You already have a membership.  It's not an annual cost.  One time payment of $15.

Thank you!

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Just now, ChrisMaciel said:

Sorry if I am being too lazy to find this out, be I wanna help with the $15 and I am not finding where I can do it.

does anybody can provide a direct link to become a club member? 

There's a section at the top of the forum for it, it may not work the same on phone though: https://www.mygnrforum.com/store/?/store/=

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