Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a sites bandwidth measured by the number of bytes of data tranferred too and from it? Limiting uploads and numbers of images saved, along with deleting old stuff affect the behaviour of members but don't really address the bandwidth usage problem. The number of files hosted is governed by the disk allocation the site "buys", the upload limits stop "gallery hogs". That bandwidth meter ticks over everytime someone clicks an image to view and someone has to pay for that.
If it gets to a point where the subscribers and advertisers don't cover costs, and Sean's wife says "that's enough" of our money going to that website... this place will disappear in a flash. Think about that!
Here's a suggestion... thumbnails on the gallery front page be clickable (to get the big picture) for visitors, but not in individual galleries or personal galleries. That lets visotors have a sneak preview but limits the number of different images they can view in one visit (unless they purposely turn off their cache, or force reloads while viewing the same pics!)
I've said this before, but I'll repeat it... I wouldn't care if the gallery disappeared overnight. For every days gallery usage, the rest of the site would probably be able to run a year, or maybe even years! When was the last time you wrote 150KB of text?
Hi Nige, currently the site is paying for itself, has a financial cushion in place, and there is just enough left over to keep the family happy in regards to how much time I put into this. It's definitely become a 2nd job on top of what I already have. Currently we are getting by on a semi-dedicated server and I would like to keep at this level as long as possible. In the next several days I will be guaging how we can continue to make that possible (focus is on the gallery because it is our biggest resource hog). Crossing the line to a fully dedicated server is a BIG difference in management and cost (most likely 5-7 times the cost we have now). So a fully managed and reliable dedicated server at this stage would probably mean we'd only just break even every month. So how do you justify to the family that you are sometimes working 20-30hrs a week on a website as a hobby? In some ways I do not mind because I really love this place and enjoy running it, but in other ways it would make me feel guilty. So that's one angle on the current situation. It's gone from a small site where I volunteer a little time, to a large site where I give huge amounts of time and energy, so realistically I feel like I need to pay myself something, even if it's just a few dollars an hour..
I do like having a small gallery, but it could easily be modified. Limit all members to 5 images in their personal gallery and 10 for subscribers--and that's it. No more standard, critique, technical, etc. Would this help?
Originally Posted by Nige
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
This is a REAL TOUGH one Sean and All. Think we should all put our collective thinking caps on and try to help Sean with this. So first lets identify what the real issues are -
1. Sean is spend 20-30 hours a week working on the site just to keep Us All Happy.
2. The galleries are causing an increase in usage that the host says may necessate APUG going to a dedicated server, which means more $$ to run and more of Seans time.
3. Right now we are sitting on a small cushion of $ that keeps this site up...an upgrade will probably use that up, so then we may not have all the comforts we enjoy besides the galleries.
4. We do not want to present an elitist attitude by not being all things to all people
5. Not everyone can send money to pay for a subscription for different reasons. No Paypal, checks, etc. - this is after all a global group so not everyone has the abilities that many of us take for granted.
So, if those are just some of the reasons what are some of the problems we (actually Sean) are faced with...what should we do?
1. Subscriber only uploads to the galleries - this is what has brought this about in the first place, so it may or may not be a good idea.
2. A gallery that links to each persons personal web site or another site where there work is posted..don't know if that is possible or not..need some of you that know toss this one around.
3. Only one gallery, as Jeremy mentioned that has a limit of 5 for members and 10 for subscribers and have both expire (delete) after xx number of days. I know some do not wish to see this happen, but really do we need to have our post sit out there for months? Would it not be better to have the site than have a place you post your work for free.
Some other thoughts, and this is not passing judgement on anyone ... everyone must live within there own personal thoughts and needs...
The $12 cost is less than 2 issues of most photo magazines. It is less than the cost of 12 cups of coffee (fewer if it is a premium coffee shop). It is less than a tank of gas anywhere on this planet that I am aware of.
Is anyone here willing to give gallery space for free to everyone here? Because that is what many comments are asking for...so ask yourself would you be willing to offer the resources, money and your time, to maintain a gallery? I for one am more than willing to send money to Sean, so that he can maintain the site and still have time for a 40-50 hr/wk 'normal' job, maintain a family and still enjoy photography - which is why he started the site in the first place.
Whew! Off the soapbox now....
I have willingly subscribed to help Sean out with this site and plan to continue my support. I have no problem with limiting uploads to the gallery since I do not have a scanner and depend on the kindness of others to scan my photos.
It is difficult to believe that there are people out there that expect something for nothing. If I can afford to send to subscribe, then a lot of others do not have an excuse - I ain't rich, don't make a whole heck of a lot of money and this fall will have to daughters in college.
This site, built by Sean is well worth the $1.00/month subscription fee. So how about it, let's show Sean our support by subscribing and enjoy the fruits of his efforts.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
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I've just subscribed for a year. This is a great site, and well worth the cost. If Sean has to limit each member's gallery size, or take other steps to keep the economics reasonable, then so be it. It is better than no APUG.
thinking out loud here.
I wonder if the popularity-induced resource depletion could be addressed by limiting non-subscribers to thumbnails *except* for images uploaded that day. Is the resouce depletion bandwidth rather than CPU? Would there be a way for the non-thumbnail version of images for non-subscribers to be 200-300px maximum dimension rather than 600px?
Right now, there's a limit on the frequency of "searches". I have to wait at least ten seconds after the last search before I can refresh my new post list. Is something similar available for thumbnail expansion? How about a 1-minute wait? If that doesn't have a beneficial effect, incrementally bump it up until it does.
Another idea, but this might be fairly labor-intensive for Sean, would be to split APUG into two vBulletin installations: one for the forums, and one for the gallery. The forum installation would remain "www.apug.org", but the gallery could become "gallery.apug.org" -- that'd break search engine caches, but oh well. The bandwidth available to the gallery could then be throttled and given a "budget" that fits within current available resources. Both installations could be on the same server machine, but would be associated with different virtual interfaces. Since the gallery contents would be migrated to installation #2, it wouldn't represent a substantial increase in resource consumption aside from two configs. Hopefully, both could share the same binaries.
end of out-loud thinking. We return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
I believe Sean has made his decision on this and informed us. In my mind, what he is doing is totally fair. APUG for a buck a month, you can't go wrong! Lets face it folks, it isn't like Sean is out to make a billion dollars by limiting the gallery to subscribers. This is being done to help APUG stay healthy, and to keep the site from collapsing under its own weight.
If Sean wanted a focus group to help make the decision on this, he would have asked for it. He has asked in the past about other site issues. The tread title says it all "FYI- GALLERY ACCESS TO CHANGE NEXT WEEK"
I agree that Sean should get paid for his time, or at least his family should get paid something. Unfortunately the brunt of this cost is being carried by sean and subscribers who go out of their way to do things for this site. The core members make it possible for the multitudes to enjoy Seans work. Maybe it is time to have member antee(sp) up.
On delphi forums they have pop up adds for non subscribers. Subscribers do not have to deal with them. I do not like the idea but that is an option I guess. This site, after being in B&W, has the potential to generate a hell of a lot of exposure for businesses beyond the sponsors.
I hope this makes sense.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Originally Posted by bmac
Hey Brian - you look like you've got the world on your shoulders .