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 Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute

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mike&tanya
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PostSubject: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

tried to have a look but had to register and kept getting an annoying prize draw thing in Bulgarian (as I am in Bulgaria at the moment) so gave up.


Edited by Admin..

I have split this topic from here viewtopic.php?f=46&
t=6807
because it has now developed into a discussion about the blog site and the issues members are facing along with some ideas as to how to resolve the problem.
g

Edited by Chris..

Poll now added. Please help us by voting one way or another! Thanks

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Equinus
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PostSubject: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:36 am

I'm glad it's not my decision! I would not join a forum that I had to pay for unless I knew it would suit me, ie that I knew it was well used, informative and friendly. I very much like this forum, and a lot of members have been very kind with time and help, but if I was looking for something to join at the moment I have to say I wouldn't bother, free or not. I know that members look, and we have flurries of activity, but if I had been looking for the whole of last week I would have seen an unused forum, and no-one would pay for that. It's a subject I have touched on before and I am sorry to bring it up again, but having joined other forums which I later found were full of bullies and my face didn't 'fit', (not Bulgaria) ones, and are only well used by argumentative, bored people who probably can't communicate any other way, I like this one the best. And have dropped lots of others.

Meanwhile, keep up the good work. And anyone out there with a bit of an opinion, please let us in on it. T

You know what they say, use it or lose it!

I'll go away now. Sara

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Chris
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PostSubject: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:23 am

Hi Berni

Thanks for your questions and thoughts. As we're still at the stage of only kicking around ideas to see if this would work, and if so, how it would work, it's a bit hard to answer with anything concrete. However, I'll give my own thoughts to your comments...


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
1) Would the general public actually want to subscribe to a forum that they have to pay to view?

First of all. None of our current forum members, nor any new members would have to pay anything. They can read the forum, start topics, contribute to discussions, everything exactly the same as it is now. This forum is free, it will remain free and nobody has to contribute a penny (unless they decide to ... more below)

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
2) What exactly would they be paying for?

As yet, I don't know! One thing they would get is access to a 'member blogs' area, that only people who contribute can access. They will be allowed to post much longer comments than other members, enabling those who wish to write blogs and stories to share. We can also set up any other areas for these members as they wish and as that part of the forum develops. There will probably be other benefits as the 'member area' or 'blog area' of the site grows. I'm open to suggestions from Members as to what they would like to be able to do there, that they can't at the moment.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
4) How long would the contract be for ie yearly or a one off payment?

Again, I don't know. I would think the best think is set up a PayPal account using an ourbulgariaforum.com e-mail address. Members can send their contribution there. We would come up with a nominal amount that would help cover the extra hosting required for stories and blogs to be included with the main forum. This 'payment' would be for 12 months access to the member area which starts when donation is received (maybe!).


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
5) I assume this would be extra work for Admin &
Mods or would this be down to the member to ensure they pay on the due date.

When (and 'if') this goes ahead and we can create a Member section, I would have to write a database to deal with payments and renewals. Of course, this won't be done until such time we see if there is any interest in this scheme.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
6) What specific benefits would our members get.

As above, firstly, this idea only came around because of the problems with our current 'blog site'. Certain members requested the blogs are included on this site, and due to the extra financial costs in doing this, I suggested the idea of a small contribution for those that wish to write stories and blogs to help cover our costs. Surprisingly enough, some members immediately thought it a good idea and suggested we should discuss the idea further.

I hope we can hear from more members if first of all, they would like the blogs section to be part of this forum, if they would be prepared to contribute a small fee to enable us to do this, and also, what extra benefits and features they would require from such a 'member only' section of the forum.

Let's kick the ideas around a bit more and see what comes out!


Last edited by 2 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:39 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : fixing all the quotes!)
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:44 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

First of all. None of our current forum members, nor any new members would have to pay anything. They can read the forum, start topics, contribute to discussions, everything exactly the same as it is now. This forum is free, it will remain free and nobody has to contribute a penny (unless they decide to ...)

You are correct in saying that the Forum will remain free. However, it is clear that funds are required to keep it going and indeed to expand the Forum and in doing this the Forum will generally be better for it.

The question remains what members want and at what point does the Forum make a fee payable for services provided. This is a tricky one and needs much thought and input from members as to what they would like the Forum to do in the future. At the moment I am still swinging ideas around in my head, but will have some ideas in the end. Apologies for being vague at this present time.
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PostSubject: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:15 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Apologies for being vague at this present time.

No worries itchy, everything is vague at the moment. Keep the ideas coming!
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:45 pm

I have split this topic from here viewtopic.php?f=46&
t=6807 because it has now developed into a discussion about the blog site and the issues members are facing along with some ideas as to how to resolve the problem. g

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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:51 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I have split this topic because it has now developed into a discussion about the blog site

Well done Ash. Please can everybody discuss and throw in their ideas and comments
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:08 am

writing on here because i for one do not want this site to go away so lets get asking the questions
how much does this site cost for the space and extra space it needs?
what other costs are incured for mods and tec staff for instance?
when we all know the amount needed we can see what to do about it

answers in any currency you like pound euro lev just as long as we know how much and how we can all contribute please s T
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:18 am

Hi chrissy

Thanks for the input, I'll try answer where I can...

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
writing on here because i for one do not want this site to go away so lets get asking the questions

Firstly this site will not be going away. It will remain as it is, and free, for all our current members and new members.

The only thing that would cost us more is if we add a section for blog posts (daily diaries, stories, anecdotes, photos, etc.), which we are considering as some members have requested that rather than a separate 'blog site' (which didn't work), we bring the blogs and stories back over here.

These extra blogs would use up a fair bit of web space, hence, I asked the question: if those members who want to write and read blogs and stories, share photographs of daily life, etc., be willing to give a small contribution to the extra costs involved.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
what other costs are incured for mods and tec staff for instance?

Admin, Moderators and Tech Staff work for free. We never charge for anything we have to do behind the scenes. This will always remain the same. It's just the extra hosting costs for the blogs on top of our current yearly costs (domain name, web hosting, mail forwarding services, etc.) that I was interested in discussing.

What we really need is: an idea of how many people want a blog section here, how many would use a blog section here, and if it is then an exercise that's worth doing, how many would contribute towards the extra costs involved.

Bear in mind, the 'blog section' would be a 'protected' area of the site, and only those who have contributed to the running costs would be able to access the blog area. The rest of the forum will remain exactly as it is, free for everyone.

Hope this helps, but any more questions, please keep them coming along with any other thoughts!
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:29 am

OK thanks for that If it is only the blogs and photos then i suppose the question is how many peple want to share and write about their experience and how many want to read them. Photo library would be nice as long as it is easy to upload and people have security in mind when uploading personal photos ie description of house and location and then announce some where else on the site that they are holidaying for month some where else i think you see what i mean.

keep up the good work and thanks for all the work done by forum memebers tech support and mods etc as this is a valuable site that helps us all in one way or another s
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:47 am

I've now added a poll to this topic (at the top of the page).

Please would every member that reads this cast their vote so that we have an idea of numbers.

This will help us to decide if it is worth doing, and if so, how many 'Members' we would have for the blog section.

Many Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:47 am

Having read all the other comments, I wonder just how many people would want to contribute to a blog or read it if they had to pay?
At the moment, only a handful write on the blog site, so not sure how paying would increase readership?
Also, I would be worried it would turn into a little clique.
Not against it in principle, but I think we would need quite a lot of members writing/reading to make it worthwhile.
It would also need to be made clear what actually constitutes a blog as opposed to posting on a topic, for example, Life in Bulgaria.
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:03 am

Good comments

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I wonder just how many people would want to contribute to a blog or read it if they had to pay?

Hopefully, this exercise will find out!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
At the moment, only a handful write on the blog site, so not sure how paying would increase readership?

Agreed. To be honest, if we didn't have at least 30 or more active bloggers, it wouldn't really be worth the work involved to set it up.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
It would also need to be made clear what actually constitutes a blog as opposed to posting on a topic, for example, Life in Bulgaria.

I think the 'length' and 'frequency' of the posts. For instance, if this goes ahead, then the 'non-bloggers' (ie: normal forum users) will have a limit on the number of words they can type in a topic or reply (for now, let's say 250). However, members of the 'blog section' will have a much bigger word count per post (again, let's say 2,000), allowing them to write much longer posts, stories or blogs. I would also like to see folks contributing more often in the blog section.

One other idea I had was that within the blog section, each 'contributor' could then have their own section (for instance 'itchys blogs') where they can post their stories and photos on a daily basis should they wish.

Keep the votes and ideas coming!
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:43 am

I'm not into writing blogs and can't ever recall reading one, but I'm happy to post up photos from time to time, if we can work out how to make it easier. I've enjoyed viewing pics from forum members and look forward to seeing more. Having said all that, I'm happy to contribute financially so that others may benefit.
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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:00 am

To add to what I have already said, if I'm honest I really don't think the site wants a blog section. If they did they would have used the one already (in)active. I seem to remember some thought it a good idea when it was set up, but not many actually read it, and if they wanted to signing in would not have put them off. Also, at one time, whoever wrote a bit, whether blog or short story, it was being criticised as if it was some sort of test or professional writing, not the musings of the ordinary ex-pat. I know at least one person (not me, I'm always here) who stopped posting as this was not what it was about.

I would love to see the whole site more active, but with the few that are already contributing regularly at such low numbers I don't think a blog section would help.

I'm off again before I say too much.

Sara

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PostSubject: Re: Blog Site Discussion: Please Read and Contribute   Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:06 am

Thanks for the input Sara (we welcome views from all sides)

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
if I'm honest I really don't think the site wants a blog section.

Could you vote 'No' in the poll please, then I will get a more balanced result at the end T
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