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Regarding the possible closing of the site, a few thoughts come to mind:

* ask the 'regulars' if they would be willing to contribute something monthly (for example $5) and suggest (or charge) others who are not regulars donate $2 if they want to participate; if they become regulars then the donation moves to $5 (if the site brings in more than $45 monthly the balance is kept in an account for future payments should the number of regulars drop).

* have a minimal monthly charge for all (like the former Spong site) for membership and set the rate by the initial number of people (example 9 regulars X $5) who show interest, add members at the going rate as they show interest (bank the extra for future payments as above).

* join and make comments on the main site

^everybody join Facebook???

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Regarding the possible closing of the site, a few thoughts come to mind:

* ask the 'regulars' if they would be willing to contribute something monthly (for example $5) and suggest (or charge) others who are not regulars donate $2 if they want to participate; if they become regulars then the donation moves to $5 (if the site brings in more than $45 monthly the balance is kept in an account for future payments should the number of regulars drop).

* have a minimal monthly charge for all (like the former Spong site) for membership and set the rate by the initial number of people (example 9 regulars X $5) who show interest, add members at the going rate as they show interest (bank the extra for future payments as above).

* join and make comments on the main site

^everybody join Facebook???

Not a bad suggestion Thomas but our present bill of $20/mo couldn't even get but 3 willing to donate $20ea for the whole year  . SteveS55 and Paul and myself.  So Paul and myself picked up the balance for the rest of the year to this October.  http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/topic/4350-help-our-annual-october-fund-raiser/

Perhaps joining Facebook or free social media may be the best suggestion as forums are on the decline.  

 

I'm working to see if they will make an exception for our pricing but if not perhaps there are free forums with advertisers paying the bill available elsewhere on the web.

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13 minutes ago, JosephM said:

Not a bad suggestion Thomas but our present bill of $20/mo couldn't even get but 3 willing to donate $20ea for the whole year  . SteveS55 and Paul and myself.  So Paul and myself picked up the balance for the rest of the year to this October.  http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/topic/4350-help-our-annual-october-fund-raiser/

Perhaps joining Facebook or free social media may be the best suggestion as forums are on the decline.  

 

I'm working to see if they will make an exception for our pricing but if not perhaps there are free forums with advertisers paying the bill available elsewhere on the web.

That was the past, perhaps the new circumstances will encourage others to contribute.

But we shall see.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, thormas said:

That was the past, perhaps the new circumstances will encourage others to contribute.

But we shall see.

 

 

Well, if you look at our statistics in the News area you will find we have from 7 to 10 active members each month total (usually the same ones). As an active member, are you willing to contribute $5 a month every month to keep the site going?  Ask the same of the other active members. Do you think you could get 8 other members?  Would you even be willing to sponsor 1 month at $45 yourself which would be less? Otherwise October 7th will probably be the last day this forum is online. Lets see what kind of response we get here.

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Thomas, BTW,  This image has appeared with a link to how to become a Site sponsor over 319,000 times the last 2 years with  zero response.

http://content.invisioncic.com/r11202/monthly_2017_07/sitesponsor1.jpg.4e1d54aab9ea02a7654129fb64513c5e.jpg  

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10 hours ago, JosephM said:

Thomas, BTW,  This image has appeared with a link to how to become a Site sponsor over 319,000 times the last 2 years with  zero response.

http://content.invisioncic.com/r11202/monthly_2017_07/sitesponsor1.jpg.4e1d54aab9ea02a7654129fb64513c5e.jpg  

Again, times are now different.

To answer your question, since I suggested it, I would be willing to donate $5 monthly if, with the others making a similar commitment, that would get us to $45 as long as we have at least a joint commitment for a year. Alternately, a monthly fee or a payment for a month has some possibilities as long as there is a commitment from others for at least a year.

Will wait to see what others have to say.

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Sad, but this site has consistently failed to attract and engage new users.  We could do 95% of what we do as a group email.

I think it would be better to engage in a larger, vibrant community such as TheologyWeb.

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23 minutes ago, Burl said:

Sad, but this site has consistently failed to attract and engage new users.  We could do 95% of what we do as a group email.

I think it would be better to engage in a larger, vibrant community such as TheologyWeb.

So does this mean you would not consider a small monthly donation for say a year?

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Joseph, Paul, Pip, Elen, Burl, others (some among these already contributing).............what are your thoughts? Small donations going forward for the next year or let the site die?

 

 

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I took over in 2009 after our main site was shutting it down because it had deteriorated to name calling and a handful of people plus social media (Facebook) was on the rise. 

We built this site up to as much as 62+ active members each month and had 3-4 moderators in  2012

In 2014 it decreased to 1/2 of that and as social media became more and more popular has continued to decrease to present day 7-10 active members a month

The main site was not interested in further financial support in 2017 and we became self supporting. 

I am retiring now as site owner and and if this site is to continue and PaulS accepts PaulS will be the new site owner and responsible for seeing the financial support continues. Otherwise it will close and go off-line on October 8th, 2020

If any members other than Thomas and myself will continue to contribute please speak up now and communicate with PaulS.

Regards 

JosephM (present site owner)

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Joseph, is the jury still out on your negotiation of the pricing exception?

No. They would not negotiate. They said we should have been paying the higher rate already.

Even reminded them we have been a paying customer since 2003. The $45 plan is their least expensive plan as of a year ago. They caught it on a recent change in software and audit of accounts.

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I used to be an active member a loooooong time ago (around 2005). I just popped in to see what was going on. Boy am I glad I got here before Oct 8. 

Since then, I've worked as an online community manager for a business. Maintaining an online community can be a lot of work.

Based on what I'm seeing, this community may need to go into "reinvention" mode. Personally, I'm a fan of the forum format. It's much more efficient if you want to find information. The problem is that those platforms are generally off the beaten path. So, you might want to consider going to where the people are: Facebook. 

I'm not a huge fan of Facebook communities. They aren't good for finding content and discussions. Either you jump into the discussion early, or it passes you by as it moves down from view and gets lost in the stream. 

But they are efficient, and they can work well to attract a following. My general recommendation to anyone who wants to grow a group is to start with a free Facebook community, and then after you have become large consider a forum format. 

So, here's my recommendation for the future of this community:

  1. Move to a FB community.
  2. Sculpt a plan for curating regular content that invites engagement.
  3. Once you have a couple of weeks worth of content, take the money that would have gone for hosting and place it into well-crafted ads (super cheap on FB). Use the FB algorithm to target those who may be seeking to connect with other progressive Christians. 
  4. Have an onboarding plan for those who join. (Required survey upon joining to find out why they are joining so you know how to craft ads and community content. Send a PM to start a conversation. Have them introduce themselves. Etc.)
  5. Measure performance and adjust to stay aligned with your goals. 

If you all decide to stay here, I think it was mentioned somewhere up above that you were looking for people to sponsor a month for $20. I would be willing to pick up a month to help keep this place alive. 

I hope that's not too rambly and incoherent. I'm half asleep as I type. If I stay here much longer, I'll prob... ....  .   .. . .. zzzzzzzzzzzzz............

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7 hours ago, irreverance said:

I used to be an active member a loooooong time ago (around 2005). I just popped in to see what was going on. Boy am I glad I got here before Oct 8. 

Since then, I've worked as an online community manager for a business. Maintaining an online community can be a lot of work.

Based on what I'm seeing, this community may need to go into "reinvention" mode. Personally, I'm a fan of the forum format. It's much more efficient if you want to find information. The problem is that those platforms are generally off the beaten path. So, you might want to consider going to where the people are: Facebook. 

I'm not a huge fan of Facebook communities. They aren't good for finding content and discussions. Either you jump into the discussion early, or it passes you by as it moves down from view and gets lost in the stream. 

But they are efficient, and they can work well to attract a following. My general recommendation to anyone who wants to grow a group is to start with a free Facebook community, and then after you have become large consider a forum format. 

So, here's my recommendation for the future of this community:

  1. Move to a FB community.
  2. Sculpt a plan for curating regular content that invites engagement.
  3. Once you have a couple of weeks worth of content, take the money that would have gone for hosting and place it into well-crafted ads (super cheap on FB). Use the FB algorithm to target those who may be seeking to connect with other progressive Christians. 
  4. Have an onboarding plan for those who join. (Required survey upon joining to find out why they are joining so you know how to craft ads and community content. Send a PM to start a conversation. Have them introduce themselves. Etc.)
  5. Measure performance and adjust to stay aligned with your goals. 

If you all decide to stay here, I think it was mentioned somewhere up above that you were looking for people to sponsor a month for $20. I would be willing to pick up a month to help keep this place alive. 

I hope that's not too rambly and incoherent. I'm half asleep as I type. If I stay here much longer, I'll prob... ....  .   .. . .. zzzzzzzzzzzzz............

Makes sense but I'll let others react as I have never been part of FB

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On 9/28/2020 at 12:55 PM, irreverance said:

I hope that's not too rambly and incoherent. I'm half asleep as I type. If I stay here much longer, I'll prob... ....  .   .. . .. zzzzzzzzzzzzz............

 

On 9/25/2020 at 9:40 PM, thormas said:

...I would be willing to donate $5 monthly...

Irreverance & Thormas,

Thanks for your preparedness to support the site somewhat and for all those excellent suggestions.  I am definitely keen on keeping this forum alive but have to acknowledge that both money and time to maintain it may be an issue going forward.  With Joseph's financial assistance and any other donations that you guys and hopefully others may be prepared to make, I will carry the balance for at least the next 6 months to keep the site running during this transition period and see what we can do about financial support.  In short I am not going to be able to financially support it forever at these rates, but let's see what can be done to hopefully attract some more support from those who find value in reading or participating here.

I am exceptionally busy these next couple of weeks with work, but will monitor the page and give it more thought and hopefully be in a position to start doing what may be required, soon.

Cheers

Paul

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22 hours ago, PaulS said:

 

Irreverance & Thormas,

Thanks for your preparedness to support the site somewhat and for all those excellent suggestions.  I am definitely keen on keeping this forum alive but have to acknowledge that both money and time to maintain it may be an issue going forward.  With Joseph's financial assistance and any other donations that you guys and hopefully others may be prepared to make, I will carry the balance for at least the next 6 months to keep the site running during this transition period and see what we can do about financial support.  In short I am not going to be able to financially support it forever at these rates, but let's see what can be done to hopefully attract some more support from those who find value in reading or participating here.

I am exceptionally busy these next couple of weeks with work, but will monitor the page and give it more thought and hopefully be in a position to start doing what may be required, soon.

Cheers

Paul

Seems we have 7 days for a final decision. Let's see if there are others (already Paul, Joseph, Irreverence, me) who are willing. If not then I guess it becomes a question of waiting 6 months or pulling the plug in a week?? I don't want it to all fall on Paul.

Thanks Paul

 

tom 

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I already paypaled my support in full . No need to wait. It's a go.....    There is no pulling the plug in a week so if one is going to donate then go ahead and donate now so Paul doesn't have to carry the load for the rest of the 6 months.

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On 10/2/2020 at 8:49 AM, thormas said:

Seems we have 7 days for a final decision. Let's see if there are others (already Paul, Joseph, Irreverence, me) who are willing. If not then I guess it becomes a question of waiting 6 months or pulling the plug in a week?? I don't want it to all fall on Paul.

Thanks Paul

 

tom 

Tom,

As Joseph said, keeping the site up and running for at least the next 6 months is a go.  I don't particularly want it all to fall on me either as that is simply not going to be financial sustainable, but I don't want to see the site disappear either.  There's way too much valuable resources to seekers here to simply ditch it all.  But when I get back from work in a couple of weeks I intend to look into things more to see what options/choices there may be.  In the meantime, I'm of course happy to receive any donations from anybody interested.  Just Paypal at 1paulsmedley@gmail.com

Cheers all

Paul

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On 10/6/2020 at 6:32 AM, PaulS said:

Tom,

As Joseph said, keeping the site up and running for at least the next 6 months is a go.  I don't particularly want it all to fall on me either as that is simply not going to be financial sustainable, but I don't want to see the site disappear either.  There's way too much valuable resources to seekers here to simply ditch it all.  But when I get back from work in a couple of weeks I intend to look into things more to see what options/choices there may be.  In the meantime, I'm of course happy to receive any donations from anybody interested.  Just Paypal at 1paulsmedley@gmail.com

Cheers all

Paul

Paul,

I have no issue with a donation but I am concerned that no one seems interested in continuing. Certainly you and Joseph, at least for 6 months but other than ireverance, is there anybody else?

Trying to determine if it is time to move on given a lack of sufficient numbers to make it interesting.

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On 10/8/2020 at 11:44 PM, thormas said:

Paul,

I have no issue with a donation but I am concerned that no one seems interested in continuing. Certainly you and Joseph, at least for 6 months but other than ireverance, is there anybody else?

Trying to determine if it is time to move on given a lack of sufficient numbers to make it interesting.

The TCPC Org site has made a small donation, but that is all so far in addition to Joe, Irreverence and myself.  Indeed it may be time to move on, but irrespective I am prepared to cover any shortfall ($115USD at this stage) for the next 6 months to guarantee the site doesn't just disappear at short notice.  All members have an opportunity to contribute in any way to keep the site running if they want it to.  What happens after April next year is unsure at this stage.  I will be looking at what can be done to keep the site alive, but options may be limited.

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