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Bill McNiel
12-11-2017, 10:22 PM
OK, this is a rant-

SMC continually provides great, knowledgeable information, discussions and some humor. I don't understand why everyone who participates on this site, asks questions, posts or responds is not a Contributor. There are individuals here who have been Members for many years and have posted hundreds, some thousands, of times and still have not chosen to financially support this fantastic site. What are you waiting for? The minimum buy in is only $6.00, an unbelievable bargain for sure, many of us choose to contribute significantly more. Pony up folks!

Neither Keith nor anyone connected with SMC knows I am posting this and may choose to delete this. It is my personal opinion only.

andrew whicker
12-11-2017, 11:08 PM
I can pose for a woodworking themed nude contributors' only calendar shoot if it helps. We just need 11 more.

Scott Donley
12-11-2017, 11:19 PM
OK, this is a rant-

SMC continually provides great, knowledgeable information, discussions and some humor. I don't understand why everyone who participates on this site, asks questions, posts or responds is not a Contributor. There are individuals here who have been Members for many years and have posted hundreds, some thousands, of times and still have not chosen to financially support this fantastic site. What are you waiting for? The minimum buy in is only $6.00, an unbelievable bargain for sure, many of us choose to contribute significantly more. Pony up folks!

Neither Keith nor anyone connected with SMC knows I am posting this and may choose to delete this. It is my personal opinion only. Well you really have not thought this out. I have been a contributor for more years then you have been a member. I was donating back when a bunch of guys just started asking for donations on our own, before PayPal, had to send a check. So you need to get off your high horse rather than trying to belittle folks
In my case my health took a sudden downturn about a year and a half ago. I am now having to pay for about all work that needs done around my house, even mowing the lawn. My medicare does not cover all my expenses and my part D does not cover all my cost. I am still just trying to figure out how much I need to live on.
There is nothing wrong with asking or reminding people about the added benefits of becoming a contributor It's just I take offense at your attempt at shaming me because I have not donated for the past year and a half.

Wayne Lomman
12-11-2017, 11:25 PM
a. I swore off membership of anything after 30 years of church, the consequences of which I still have to deal with daily.
b. I never do transactions on line - I would rather go without. It hasn't killed me yet.
c. I'm here to offer wood working knowledge for free, not for what I can get. I don't have any apprentices to train anymore and have no-one else especially interested in what I know so I picked this forum.
It's a tough life. Cheers

Simon MacGowen
12-11-2017, 11:32 PM
No doubt, you mean well.

If SMC wants everyone to be a contributor, simply make the site for paid-up members only.

Simon

Mike Trent
12-12-2017, 12:14 AM
Wow. I contribute because I have found this site to be very helpful, and at this point in my life I can afford to make a small monetary contribution.

I receive much more knowledge here than I add, and thus am happy to throw something into the collection plate.

I notice and appreciate the regular posters who add so much to this community. If theyíre not ďcontributors,Ē Iím not bothered in the least; their time and knowledge IS their contribution. I am, however, bothered a bit by those who post only to be contrary, or to quibble over little details.

Rich Engelhardt
12-12-2017, 5:56 AM
Ya know, I just don't understand it either.
For 6 little dollars a year, people can get access to the SMC Lear Jet, the SMC Loge seating @ the Super Bowl & World Series & NBA Playoffs, 50 yard line seats @ The Rose Bowl, and the SMC private beach & beach house in Tahiti....

Which reminds me....Keith, if you poke your head in here - - I need the Lear jet in Feb for my birthday... :D

Brent Cutshall
12-12-2017, 6:17 AM
I can pose for a woodworking themed nude contributors' only calendar shoot if it helps. We just need 11 more.
Make it ten 'cause I am IN!

Frederick Skelly
12-12-2017, 6:46 AM
I contribute because I went back and read an ancient thread describing how SMC nearly had to shut down when Keith's ISP was having a tough go of it. Decided that for me personally, $10 per year was worth it to keep SMC up and running. My view doesn't mean everyone else has to agree though.

Have a good day folks.
Fred

Edit: I'm in for the calendar too. Now we only need 9 more! :D

John K Jordan
12-12-2017, 7:27 AM
I can pose for a woodworking themed nude contributors' only calendar shoot if it helps. We just need 11 more.

Yikes, with that mental image I'm scarred for life. Tell you what, if you don't make the calendar I'll double my monthly contribution.

If I just browsed the forum on occasion I might not feel the desire to contribute but I've gotten so much out of it that for me, contributing is just the right thing to do. I'd hate to try to log in one day and discover the an "out of business" sign from lack of funds. Yikes.

JKJ

Mike Null
12-12-2017, 7:45 AM
I can't figure out how the word about the SMC jet got out. That's for mods only. Same with the yacht.

Pat Barry
12-12-2017, 7:49 AM
I just heard about a 6 year old kid somewhere who has a you tube channel doing reviews of new toys and he is making $11 million this year. Its time that SMC start reaping the benefit of all the 'free' tool reviews that everyone does here.

Simon MacGowen
12-12-2017, 8:31 AM
I just heard about a 6 year old kid somewhere who has a you tube channel doing reviews of new toys and he is making $11 million this year. Its time that SMC start reaping the benefit of all the 'free' tool reviews that everyone does here.

Or, as Fine Woodworking does, create a premium content section in SMC for paid-up members (or contributors as they are known here).

Simon

Chuck Saunders
12-12-2017, 8:35 AM
I think if we are able to monetize the "Please, for the love of God, don't put out that calendar" campaign we will have all the money we could ever need.
Chuck

Bert Kemp
12-12-2017, 8:58 AM
Rich can we share the Jet. my Bdays in Feb too:D



Ya know, I just don't understand it either.
For 6 little dollars a year, people can get access to the SMC Lear Jet, the SMC Loge seating @ the Super Bowl & World Series & NBA Playoffs, 50 yard line seats @ The Rose Bowl, and the SMC private beach & beach house in Tahiti....

Which reminds me....Keith, if you poke your head in here - - I need the Lear jet in Feb for my birthday... :D

Rich Engelhardt
12-12-2017, 9:07 AM
Sure Bert!

We were headed to the SMC beach in Tahiti for a week to get away from the snow and cold.

Jim Becker
12-12-2017, 10:17 AM
Contributing to this great resource is something I hope everyone who participates will do, but there are certainly some situations where even the minimal contribution isn't possible. That's reality. One of the reasons that SMC has been a user-supported community is because it's insanely expensive to support the bandwidth and compute requirements for something that experiences the level of volume that is the daily reality here. The more user support, the less that the site has to depend upon advertisements and other sponsors to "keep the lights on". Unfortunately, change happens and advertisement revenue has become more difficult for pretty much every Internet site because of increased use of blocking methods, etc. The bottom line is that just because access is "free" doesn't mean that there isn't cost involved. The better the community supports the resource, the less likely that other methods of funding the costs will have to be explored. I hope that everyone who feels they get something positive from this site, both as a knowledge consumer and a knowledge provider will consider even the smallest of contributions to help things to continue well into the future.

Given we're entering what is pretty much the holiday season globally, perhaps SMC can be on many more folks' gift lists this year. :)

Arthur Fleming
12-12-2017, 5:42 PM
I think the versus part of the title may be wrong. I am a member and also a contributor. I am also a complete newcomer to woodworking, and know that no matter how much I may contribute, I am getting the better of the deal. My other hobby is metal detecting, and my favorite forum in that endeavor, also has these same issues. I donít think that there is a versus between members and contributors, just looking for ways to get one to maybe turn into the other. Some members canít contribute, for a variety of reasons, discussion ends there, if you canít, you canít. My preference would be to not see anyone, any less, on the forum. Iím of an opinion that the large number of members here is the strength of the forum. Some members wonít contribute just because. Thatís their right also as the rules here are. Some, which I think this thread was started for, just can use a friendly nudge/reminder. I have no idea when I last contributed, so I used this thread as a reminder to do so. I am very glad that so many of the members here, give of their knowledge, so freely. Just .02$ from a newbie here, Thanks to all.

Mike Kreinhop
12-12-2017, 5:57 PM
There is another category that should be added to the thread title...Lurkers. As I type this, there are 1515 users online, but only 112 are registered members. The demographics available don't differentiate between the membership categories for the 112 registered users. I was one of those lurkers for a while until I wanted to contribute to a conversation, then I joined. After a short time, I decided $6 was a bargain for the knowledge I've gained here, so I became a Contributor.

How much advertising revenue is generated from the 1403 guests who don't use ad blocking software? I would be interested to see if there are any changes to the revenue if the SMC blocks anyone using ad blocking software. I added SMC to my ad blocker's whitelist, and it came in handy for one of the Wixey ads.

Bill McNiel
12-12-2017, 7:40 PM
Well you really have not thought this out. I have been a contributor for more years then you have been a member. I was donating back when a bunch of guys just started asking for donations on our own, before PayPal, had to send a check. So you need to get off your high horse rather than trying to belittle folks
In my case my health took a sudden downturn about a year and a half ago. I am now having to pay for about all work that needs done around my house, even mowing the lawn. My medicare does not cover all my expenses and my part D does not cover all my cost. I am still just trying to figure out how much I need to live on.
There is nothing wrong with asking or reminding people about the added benefits of becoming a contributor It's just I take offense at your attempt at shaming me because I have not donated for the past year and a half.

Scott,
I had no intention of "shaming you" or to "belittle" anyone. I understand that you have more significant issues to deal with other than contributing to SMC. It is unfortunate that you interpreted my post as a personal attack on you.

A great many of us late comers to the Creek owe Keith, the formers members of Badger Pond and individuals such as yourself much gratitude for developing/shepherding this wonderful site. I truly hope your medical issues abate soon.

Regards, with respect - Bill

Bill McNiel
12-12-2017, 7:45 PM
I think the versus part of the title may be wrong.

J'accord Arthur. I edited the conflict ridden title from "vs." to "and". Much 'more better'.

BTW-SMC sends me an email notice each year to remind me it is time to re-up as a contributor.

Bert Kemp
12-12-2017, 10:14 PM
Well no snow or cold here but a few days on the beach sounds good to me, pick me up at Dear Valley Airport, Phoenix AZ ok

Sure Bert!

We were headed to the SMC beach in Tahiti for a week to get away from the snow and cold.

Bert Kemp
12-12-2017, 10:30 PM
I can't not keep quite. Those that say they just can't afford to be a contributor. hogwash. I'm sorry but really? you have an internet connection and I bet you have a cell phone and TV , a car . your contribution cost 12 cents a week or 50 cents a month.

Keith Westfall
12-13-2017, 1:06 AM
I anted up a few years ago as a Friend of the Creek as they were running a contest that only Friends of the creek could enter. Didn't win :( but decided that it was still worth the price for all the tips, suggestions, and advice that is here. If Keith had to close it down, we would all miss out on a lot. So for (a lot) less than it takes to take my granddaughter to the movie just once, it's a cheap buy in for a lot of great things.

Thanks Keith O, for keeping it together for us...

Matt Meiser
12-13-2017, 9:12 AM
Scott,
I had no intention of "shaming you" or to "belittle" anyone. I understand that you have more significant issues to deal with other than contributing to SMC. It is unfortunate that you interpreted my post as a personal attack on you.

Yet you said...


I don't understand why everyone who participates on this site, asks questions, posts or responds is not a Contributor. There are individuals here who have been Members for many years and have posted hundreds, some thousands, of times and still have not chosen to financially support this fantastic site. What are you waiting for? The minimum buy in is only $6.00, an unbelievable bargain for sure, many of us choose to contribute significantly more. Pony up folks!

Sounds like you were belittling Scott and everyone else without the contributor tag to me?

If I gave the amount everyone thinks I should to every organization they think I should every month/year it would add up to a LOT of money. One easy way I've found to make the decisions about who should get it is how it gets asked. When it become a thinly veiled demand, its dropped. When it gets asked incessantly, its dropped. Further, SMC isn't a charity, its a for profit (Keith might argue that particular word) business. Currently the business owner has decided that its open to all with a few extra benefits for those who pay a yearly fee. Its absolutely no different than the local mall opening up for the mall walkers and offering free activities for kids, but hoping people will spend some money. I guarantee you if they start letting customers who have spent $x at the mall publicly shame those who haven't, its going to get ugly.

Frankly this thread does more harm than good and should go poof. We all have our reasons, you don't know the history, and this only serves to divide the community.

Brian Tymchak
12-13-2017, 9:27 AM
Ya know, I just don't understand it either.
For 6 little dollars a year, people can get access to the SMC Lear Jet, the SMC Loge seating @ the Super Bowl & World Series & NBA Playoffs, 50 yard line seats @ The Rose Bowl, and the SMC private beach & beach house in Tahiti....

Which reminds me....Keith, if you poke your head in here - - I need the Lear jet in Feb for my birthday... :D

Rich, may I remind you about the 1st and 2nd rules of the Contributors club?? -> never talk about the Contributors club!! :D

With the secret out, now we're going to have to buy another jet.. ;)

Keith Outten
12-13-2017, 9:29 AM
There is no danger of us shutting down SawMill Creek. We may have to eliminate visitor access though which would free up the majority of our resources. I am not a fan of this approach but since the majority of the people here (Members and Visitors) who use free access are using blocking software there is no gain for our advertisers and they pay for the free access. Let me explain how bad the situation is...advertiser banners have dropped from over one million views per month to just 40 thousand each month per advertiser. Access here continues to grow but banner views have dropped to the basement.

Obviously we cannot sustain these kinds of numbers any longer. I promised to keep SawMill Creek online for everyone to enjoy as long as I have your support. Free access has been supported by advertising up till now but that is changing based on the majority here using blocking software preferring not to see any advertising which was not what people told me in 2005.

There is another option. I receive offers from companies who offer to monetize our advertising who offer very attractive rates. The down side is that I doubt anyone would like this change, you can imagine what a professional advertising company would do here if they had control. I delete these offers immediately, just don't like the idea and I don't do this for the money as my income from The Creek is minimal. You donate 6 bucks per year via PayPal, they get their percentage, then state and federal taxes take a bite so there is very little left to pay the bills and save for hardware, software, bandwidth and pay our monthly maintenance costs.

If you review the threads from 2005 when we discussed how we would pay the bills here an overwhelming majority wanted free access via advertising....and I was against the idea because I preferred that we remain self funded. The majority won the argument so here we are today facing another change that I have not caused.

You see the red text below....that is something our Moderators and I are investing a huge amount of time to create. We hope that this will be a very popular attraction, you will enjoy the presentation and it will help us maintain a reasonable number of advertisers. I am working for you, believe me after 15 years I am still willing to go the distance to keep The Creek alive and well but I cannot do it alone.

Matt Meiser
12-13-2017, 9:33 AM
Rich, may I remind you about the 1st and 2nd rules of the Contributors club?? -> never talk about the Contributors club!! :D

With the secret out, now we're going to have to buy another jet.. ;)

Since they put billboards up along Rt 2 near Sandusky now, I think the secret is out.
http://www.sawmillcreek.com

Simon MacGowen
12-13-2017, 10:19 AM
Since they put billboards up along Rt 2 near Sandusky now, I think the secret is out.
http://www.sawmillcreek.com

Rumor has it that contributors enjoy special discounts when they shop for their woodworking tools there (some restrictions apply):
The Shops at Sawmill Creek

Simon

Pat Barry
12-13-2017, 10:39 AM
There is no danger of us shutting down SawMill Creek. We may have to eliminate visitor access though which would free up the majority of our resources. I am not a fan of this approach but since the majority of the people here (Members and Visitors) who use free access are using blocking software there is no gain for our advertisers and they pay for the free access. Let me explain how bad the situation is...advertiser banners have dropped from over one million views per month to just 40 thousand each month per advertiser. Access here continues to grow but banner views have dropped to the basement.

Obviously we cannot sustain these kinds of numbers any longer. I promised to keep SawMill Creek online for everyone to enjoy as long as I have your support. Free access has been supported by advertising up till now but that is changing based on the majority here using blocking software preferring not to see any advertising which was not what people told me in 2005.

There is another option. I receive offers from companies who offer to monetize our advertising who offer very attractive rates. The down side is that I doubt anyone would like this change, you can imagine what a professional advertising company would do here if they had control. I delete these offers immediately, just don't like the idea and I don't do this for the money as my income from The Creek is minimal. You donate 6 bucks per year via PayPal, they get their percentage, then state and federal taxes take a bite so there is very little left to pay the bills and save for hardware, software, bandwidth and pay our monthly maintenance costs.

If you review the threads from 2005 when we discussed how we would pay the bills here an overwhelming majority wanted free access via advertising....and I was against the idea because I preferred that we remain self funded. The majority won the argument so here we are today facing another change that I have not caused.

You see the red text below....that is something our Moderators and I are investing a huge amount of time to create. We hope that this will be a very popular attraction, you will enjoy the presentation and it will help us maintain a reasonable number of advertisers. I am working for you, believe me after 15 years I am still willing to go the distance to keep The Creek alive and well but I cannot do it alone.
Is blocking software effective at blocking ads for you tube? I suspect the answer is no. Assuming I'm correct, why won't the you tube approach work for SMC?

Nicholas Lawrence
12-13-2017, 1:00 PM
There is no danger of us shutting down SawMill Creek. We may have to eliminate visitor access though which would free up the majority of our resources. I am not a fan of this approach but since the majority of the people here (Members and Visitors) who use free access are using blocking software there is no gain for our advertisers and they pay for the free access. Let me explain how bad the situation is...advertiser banners have dropped from over one million views per month to just 40 thousand each month per advertiser. Access here continues to grow but banner views have dropped to the basement.

Obviously we cannot sustain these kinds of numbers any longer. I promised to keep SawMill Creek online for everyone to enjoy as long as I have your support. Free access has been supported by advertising up till now but that is changing based on the majority here using blocking software preferring not to see any advertising which was not what people told me in 2005.

There is another option. I receive offers from companies who offer to monetize our advertising who offer very attractive rates. The down side is that I doubt anyone would like this change, you can imagine what a professional advertising company would do here if they had control. I delete these offers immediately, just don't like the idea and I don't do this for the money as my income from The Creek is minimal. You donate 6 bucks per year via PayPal, they get their percentage, then state and federal taxes take a bite so there is very little left to pay the bills and save for hardware, software, bandwidth and pay our monthly maintenance costs.

If you review the threads from 2005 when we discussed how we would pay the bills here an overwhelming majority wanted free access via advertising....and I was against the idea because I preferred that we remain self funded. The majority won the argument so here we are today facing another change that I have not caused.

You see the red text below....that is something our Moderators and I are investing a huge amount of time to create. We hope that this will be a very popular attraction, you will enjoy the presentation and it will help us maintain a reasonable number of advertisers. I am working for you, believe me after 15 years I am still willing to go the distance to keep The Creek alive and well but I cannot do it alone.


I did did not realize things were tight. There is an option to turn the ads on in account settings. I have turned mine on, and will be renewing shortly.

Brian Henderson
12-13-2017, 1:35 PM
Is blocking software effective at blocking ads for you tube? I suspect the answer is no. Assuming I'm correct, why won't the you tube approach work for SMC?

Yes they are.

Frederick Skelly
12-13-2017, 1:53 PM
Thanks for the update Keith. I suspect that a significant percentage of the folks who favored 'free access with ads' in 2005 no longer frequent SMC.

I think we will lose many darn helpful members if we require contributions. I think the flavor and quality of the site will change.

But at the end of the day, there aint no such thing as a free lunch. You cant pay the bill without income.

Perhaps a new survey would help you decide on a way forward.

Best regards,
Fred

Keith Outten
12-13-2017, 2:29 PM
Fred,

There will still be free access for registered Members. We will most likely cease to offer access to unregistered visitors in the near term. We are not in a critical situation and I don't expect we will be if we just make a few adjustments. Currently unregistered visitors cannot view any pictures or other file attachments, they can only read posts but they do consume a substantial amount of our resources. Note that we consider those who post and ask questions and those who answer questions to be Contributors. We always have allowed Visitors to read posts here because they were viewing our advertisements but since that is no longer the case there is no benefit in supporting visitors anymore. The good news is that I expect everyone will notice a substantial increase in speed when visitor access is removed.

I am planning on opening the new Hall Of Fame (HOF) to everyone on the Internet and we hope to be a able to stop those who are using blocking software from being able to view the HOF so our advertisers and our Inductees will benefit from the exposure. I don't know if we can setup blocking software for SawMill Creek at this point in time. Since we are about to switch over to Xenforo its probably not worth the time to consider any changes to vBulletin.

Malcolm Schweizer
12-13-2017, 3:46 PM
I can pose for a woodworking themed nude contributors' only calendar shoot if it helps. We just need 11 more.

I wish I hadn't been drinking something while reading that! I almost choked. I will pose, but only topless. I've got morals.

Andrew Pitonyak
12-14-2017, 3:44 PM
There is another category that should be added to the thread title...Lurkers. As I type this, there are 1515 users online, but only 112 are registered members.

Are you able to tell how many are bots? last time I moderated a forum, I was able to look at the connection locations and was generally able to distinguish bots from human users.

Pat Barry
12-14-2017, 4:10 PM
When threads contain links to sites such as photo bucket or flicker for images I assume that SMC loses contact. If those other sites are generating money by image views I suspect it's a lost oportunity for SMC.

Mike Kreinhop
12-14-2017, 4:32 PM
Are you able to tell how many are bots? last time I moderated a forum, I was able to look at the connection locations and was generally able to distinguish bots from human users.

It's been a long time since I owned or managed a vBulletin website, but I think vBulletin does not differentiate between robots and guests. Anyone who is not a registered member is a guest, including robots and spiders; however, Mods and Admin can see the difference when looking at the users online. There is an AdminCP setting that can block robots from showing up in the online count, but I don't know if SMC uses this.

The next version of SMC, using XenForo, will show members, guests, and robots if the standard display format is used.

Roy Petersen
12-14-2017, 4:56 PM
The next version of SMC, using XenForo
Sure wish that wasn't going to happen (I find Xenforo annoying), but at least it's not that Invisionboard software. That takes awful to a whole new level.

I just tossed a little into the kitty. I've learned enough here over the past few weeks that I wanted to join, and needed to at least say i helped a little.

Jim Becker
12-14-2017, 7:04 PM
Mike, bots and spiders are blocked from certain areas of SMC but not the majority...the links and search results generated by the bots and spiders are beneficial for drawing new folks to the forum, at least in some respects. And yes, Xenforo does offer more information "up front'...I've noticed that at another site I help moderate that moved to Xenforo not quite two years ago.

Jim Becker
12-14-2017, 7:07 PM
Sure wish that wasn't going to happen (I find Xenforo annoying),
Xenforo was developed by and is well supported by a bunch of folks that originally worked for vBulletin and got fed up with how things were going. It's also blessed with native support for mobile devices which has become very important to sites like SMC as many folks browse with their devices rather than "old fashioned computers" these days.

Thanks for your contribution!!

Roy Petersen
12-14-2017, 7:26 PM
I'm actually familiar with all that, but just don't care for the back end of Xenforo, or the sort of "puffy" feel of the forum itself. Way of the future, I suppose, and VB is quickly becoming untenable, so I completely understand the need to move. When I last fiddled with Xenforo, the moderation tools were fairly awful, but that was a while ago. It may have improved in the interim.
Onward. ;)

Jim Becker
12-14-2017, 7:44 PM
The XenForo general moderation tools are actually pretty good in my experience to-date and SMC will be going onto the new version that was just released or is about to be released. The changeover was actually delayed to wait for that so an upgrade wasn't necessary immediately after conversion...and so that our guru would actually have some free time to do the final work. (he's a college professor...)

Bill McNiel
12-14-2017, 9:28 PM
Mahalo (thank you) Roy.

Roy Petersen
12-15-2017, 7:31 AM
Thanks, Jim. They must have improved since I last was involved. I used to moderate on a forum that switched to it (years ago), and it was sorely lacking. Clearly they've done some work on that.

No problem, Bill. If more did a little, the job would be smaller. ;)

Mike Cashman
12-15-2017, 10:44 AM
I love this web-site for the all the great technical content and knowledge so many members willingly share to all. And the overall friendliness and civility of it too. And for reasons I can't fully explain I never took the 2-minutes to make a contribution. Until now. Keep up the good work mods!

James Waldron
12-15-2017, 2:49 PM
<rant>
When I finally joined, I confess: for a long time, I was a lurker, an uncaring free-loader on the backs of the Contributors. (At the time, I wasn't able to do any woodworking and had no shop, so I didn't really feel at all guilty about sponging off the contributions of others.) When I joined, I remained a non-contirbuting member for a time, posting a bit to make what I felt was a decent contribution with a bit of value to the discourse.

I might have gone on indefinitely as a non-contributing member if not for a pair of posts, in direct sequence, in a thread in which I was interested. One poster, in essence, complained that he couldn't include a photo or two in his post because he didn't understand the software and was too old to learn any of these new-fangled computer things. His was followed by a post bitterly complaining that the forum software is terrible and if "they" couldn't come up with better software, he was going to leave the forum. Neither of these was a Contributor.

That got me thinking (always a dangerous pass-time). That led me to some conclusions:


I should pay up. I promptly became a Contributor and have renewed since then.
The forum infrastructure isn't free. It takes money to put these things up and make them work. No money = no forum.
Blindingly simple to use software is expensive to create and, hence, expensive to acquire and use. Less expensive software, sometimes even free software, is available, often (typically) requires more learning and more effort from the user.
The crusty old curmudgeons proud to announce their computer illiteracy and their unwillingness to learn should head over to get their woodworking inputs on YouTube. At 75, I may be crusty, I'm certainly old and my wife tells me constantly that I'm a curmudgeon. I'm not computer illiterate, tho', and I'm always ready to learn. If I can do it, so can those dudes, so I give 'em no attention. If they are that dumb, their posts can't be worth much. Maybe when the new software comes, it will include the ability to block individuals.
Those who threaten to leave the forum because of some perceived fault in the quality of their free ride should go. They aren't really going to be missed.
Those who are retired on fixed incomes and plead that they can't afford $6.00 per year - that's fifty cents a month - need to check their priorities and put their money where their values are. If that's not at SMC, then they won't really miss it when the free use ends.

</rant>

I would like to suggest that a (temporary) sticky note be posted to each sub-forum to direct every user to this thread to learn about the upcoming changes in software and contribution requirement. It would give everyone an opportunity to vent and to prepare themselves for this coming "calamity." Should turn this thread into an all-time classic.

William Fretwell
12-15-2017, 10:31 PM
With less than 10% of the people using the site being members there has to be lots of opportunity to increase membership. Perhaps content designed to appeal specifically to casual browsers; a guide list, what casual browsers look at, a suggested road map, learning module access.
If membership can be increased then donations will follow. Using PayPal does buy peace of mind when donating this should be emphasised.

Keith Outten
12-16-2017, 8:33 AM
William,

As new Members register the ratio of Contributors decreases. In other words a very small number of registered Members become Contributors. Generally speaking they don't feel the need to support SawMill Creek financially because they already have access to all of the primary woodworking forums. Although they don't have access to the Classifieds, FreeStuff and Lumberyard Forums it doesn't seem to be important to the majority here.

I was the one who decided to set the annual donation to $6.00 per year because I felt that even younger Members could afford to become Contributors at 50 cents per month if Mom and Dad gave them an allowance. I did not want anyone to be left out from becoming a Contributor because of their age, I think its important that we welcome both male and female woodworkers of every age group. Initially I was sure that we would have a very large percentage of our Community who would support us financially and we would be able to provide quadruple the services we do now. For instance Aaron Koehl and I spent three weeks developing the features for what would have been a ShopTours module that would have been amazing times ten with features that nobody would ever expect to have access to. The programing costs would have been a bit expensive but I honestly felt that it was going to be the Disneyland of ShopTours and we could make it happen. We would have liked to have a second server at the opposite end of the country that could handle the traffic if one server went offline for any reason. We wanted to provide our own video server as well and a host of other services we could have provided if we generated the necessary funds. I never dreamed that we would have so few willing to support The Creek with such a low annual donation given the costs associated with woodworking today.

James Waldron
12-16-2017, 12:30 PM
William,

As new Members register the ratio of Contributors decreases. In other words a very small number of registered Members become Contributors. Generally speaking they don't feel the need to support SawMill Creek financially because they already have access to all of the primary woodworking forums. Although they don't have access to the Classifieds, FreeStuff and Lumberyard Forums it doesn't seem to be important to the majority here.

I was the one who decided to set the annual donation to $6.00 per year because I felt that even younger Members could afford to become Contributors at 50 cents per month if Mom and Dad gave them an allowance. I did not want anyone to be left out from becoming a Contributor because of their age, I think its important that we welcome both male and female woodworkers of every age group. Initially I was sure that we would have a very large percentage of our Community who would support us financially and we would be able to provide quadruple the services we do now. For instance Aaron Koehl and I spent three weeks developing the features for what would have been a ShopTours module that would have been amazing times ten with features that nobody would ever expect to have access to. The programing costs would have been a bit expensive but I honestly felt that it was going to be the Disneyland of ShopTours and we could make it happen. We would have liked to have a second server at the opposite end of the country that could handle the traffic if one server went offline for any reason. We wanted to provide our own video server as well and a host of other services we could have provided if we generated the necessary funds. I never dreamed that we would have so few willing to support The Creek with such a low annual donation given the costs associated with woodworking today.

When the content we want is free, paying for content we don't want (or don't realize we want) isn't a compelling idea.

If the coming new software were to support it, I would suggest you consider a limited access provision for non-contributors; say perhaps free access to the first post in each thread, but no following posts without paying up. Another strategy might be to permit access to one thread per day/two-day interval/or etc. Enough teasers to let 'em know what they're missing. And enough to remind the vast number of tightwad Members what they have lost by not becoming Subscribers. And an early post to each sub-forum about what's coming - and why - may pump up the subscriptions before the change-over. I'm sure you have enough loyalists who would jump into such a thread to endorse the change (particularly if you enlist a few with discreet PM heads-up notes).

You have a strong core of excellent Contributors in the sub-forums I frequent; I suspect the same is true in others as well. Many, perhaps most, also appear in one or more free access forums with corporate support. I suspect your "Coming Soon! ...." note represents a recognition of those contributions. Hopefully, you can offer those Contributors a sufficient value proposition to continue at the core of each sub-forum.

I, for one, am glad to see what's in progress.

Pat Barry
12-16-2017, 3:48 PM
When the content we want is free, paying for content we don't want (or don't realize we want) isn't a compelling idea.

If the coming new software were to support it, I would suggest you consider a limited access provision for non-contributors; say perhaps free access to the first post in each thread, but no following posts without paying up. Another strategy might be to permit access to one thread per day/two-day interval/or etc. Enough teasers to let 'em know what they're missing. And enough to remind the vast number of tightwad Members what they have lost by not becoming Subscribers. And an early post to each sub-forum about what's coming - and why - may pump up the subscriptions before the change-over. I'm sure you have enough loyalists who would jump into such a thread to endorse the change (particularly if you enlist a few with discreet PM heads-up notes).

You have a strong core of excellent Contributors in the sub-forums I frequent; I suspect the same is true in others as well. Many, perhaps most, also appear in one or more free access forums with corporate support. I suspect your "Coming Soon! ...." note represents a recognition of those contributions. Hopefully, you can offer those Contributors a sufficient value proposition to continue at the core of each sub-forum.

I, for one, am glad to see what's in progress.
Sorry, but the ideas presented here seem counterproductive. The content here isn't like at FWW or PW. It's less compelling. I think you need to find a way to rely on advertisers. Eliminate the exceptions to advertisements that contributors get because their annual contributions don't offset the income loss.

Cary Falk
12-17-2017, 4:49 AM
Last I checked those who are not donating anything aren't breaking any rules. Everybody's situation is different. Everybody's reasons for donating/not donating are different. I don't look at ones status here before deciding whether the advice is valid. Post count is worthless also. The fact is that Keith made "free" an option and you can't fault someone for taking it. I don't always contribute. Attitudes like this prevent me from doing so. I needed access to the Classifieds so I played by the rule and sent my money. I couldn't care less if my title changed. I think it is just a way to guilt people into donating. I also think it divides us as seen in this thread. I didn't donate when the rules changed and member were subject to ads. I didn't notice them. The price I paid for free admission. Quite frankly I think Keith should make this a paid site and then double down with gold, silver, and platinum levels depending on the amount you give. That way those that get wrapped up in labels can distance themselves from the regular payers and make Keith even more money.

rant off

Pat Barry
12-17-2017, 7:14 AM
Or charge a service fee for buy and sell transactions here on classifieds, although I doubt that would be much of a revenue stream.

Simon MacGowen
12-17-2017, 9:39 AM
I didn't know much about the difference between member and contributor under the name of a poster until I came to this thread. I thought contributors were people who had contributed an article or something.

You can tell few on the member status come here to join in this discussion. But they are the people the owners of this site should seek out to hear from regarding this matter.

As far as I know, this site, if made a "premium" forum (for paid-up members only), will be competing against sites like FW for membership on one hand, and on the other, will be risking the loss of some or many current "members" who also belong to other free woodworking forums (3 or 4 out there?).

Perhaps, in a frank and honest exchange via PM/survey?, people can be asked if they would stay on here if access is only for paid-up members. Then you can get a rough idea of what membership change might be coming if the free access/membership is changed. Of course, this would work only if there are enough responses.

I am of the belief that many "active" members here are not looking for deals or savings or advice but to share with other fellow woodworkers. Those are the people you want to hear from. It is invaluable to the decision making to find out if they would stick around after an entry fee (now zero) is set (with the proposed new content changes implemented).

As someone has pointed out, if you gained a small % in contributors and revenue but lost a good chunk of current members after the exercise, over time -- in terms of years not months, the loss would reflect in the thread discussions. This is something the owners should have some informed assessment before making the switch. The worst outcome is the course -- whatever it may turn out to be -- needs to be reversed.

Of course, if "those" are the people you do not want to come to the forum, then the consideration is different.

Simon

James Waldron
12-17-2017, 9:53 AM
Sorry, but the ideas presented here seem counterproductive. The content here isn't like at FWW or PW. It's less compelling. I think you need to find a way to rely on advertisers. Eliminate the exceptions to advertisements that contributors get because their annual contributions don't offset the income loss.

The current state of ad blockers makes that a non-starter. Ad revenue can't be generated if ads are blocked and there's no currently effective way to eliminate ad blockers. An alternate revenue stream is essential.

I think SMC is not in competition with FWW or PopWood; while they have compelling content, when was the last time you were able to obtain answers to your question or engage in dialog with your peers on either of those? When I spoke of free forums with corporate support, I was thinking of a site such as Woodnet, which is owned and supported by AIM. I see a number of SMC Members and Contributors over there and I post there myself on occasion. I find that SMC has greater depth for the topics I care about, so I always come back. In fact, I always come here first. I certainly value it enough to be a Contributor.

And aside for Mr. Falk: No one has ever suggested that those not donating are breaking any rules. The topic at hand is that the current rules are not working and Keith is about to change the rules. How to best get that done for the benefit of the site as well as the financial stability of the site is the point. I don't know if Keith is open to suggestions such as mine or if his plans are already carved in granite, but I offer them in hopes they can be some help or perhaps start some constructive thought.

George Bokros
12-17-2017, 9:59 AM
Some websites that you can visit from Yahoo for news articles detect if ou have an active ad blocker and ask you to disable it for their site. If you do not disable it they limit your access by keeping the request block, which covers almost all of the screen, and it is basically difficult to read the page. Perhaps something like this if it could be configured to only impact non contributors would be worth looking into.

This site has so many great participants with great help and good advice and it would be a shame to loose it for lack of financial support. I plan to increase my contribution when it comes up for renewal which I believe is in January or February.

Scott Shepherd
12-17-2017, 10:04 AM
I've known Keith for about a decade now. I've shared a meal or two with him, been to various meetups where he was there, he's been in my shop multiple times over the years, and we've had a number of discussions over the years.

Not one single time has he ever said a single word about the difference between Members and Contributors. Not once. I can't speak FOR him, but I can speak ABOUT him. He's one of the most honest people I've known, and all I've ever heard him talk about is trying to do the things that keep SMC running. I know he and Jackie have spent 100's and 100's of hours courting advertisers to try and make this place work. They work their butts off and get little to no credit for anything.

If there is a belief that Members and Contributors are different classes of people, then it's certainly not coming from the top. I can promise that. I know I don't believe that, and I know our Moderator team doesn't believe that. So let's just squash that right now.

There are Members and Contributors that have provided years of quality advice on this forum. Period. Full stop.

However, it's not free to host this website and maintain it. This isn't a $4.95 a month hosting plan that your family puts up for 30 people to see, it's a massive site with a huge amount of data moving back and forth that hosts over 1,000,000 visits a month. That costs money. If the belief is that everything should be ad free and free of charge, then I'm afraid that's probably not going to work. The revenue HAS to come from somewhere to keep the lights on. Two choices. Members or Advertisers. If Members turn off the ads and don't use the Advertisers, then the money has to come from somewhere. Honestly, I had turned the ads off myself. About 2 months ago, I turned them back on and I've now bought several things from ads I have seen on SMC. If everyone would do that simple thing, then it would help solve the issue. It would show value to the advertisers that their ad money isn't wasted, and give Jackie and Keith a leg to stand on when talking to new advertisers.

None of my comments have been discussed with Keith, I'm not doing this on "his behalf", but I wanted to correct some of the issues I have read that are just factually inaccurate. He also might come on here and tell you that I'm completely wrong. But that's my read on what's going on.

There is no "Us against Them" mentality here. It's "We" and what "We" need to do to keep the lights on. Easy fix, turn the ads on, click on the ones that interest you, and buy the things you need from clicking on those links.

James Waldron
12-17-2017, 10:19 AM
I misspoke in my earlier post, saying that there is no effective way to avoid ad blockers. There is and it's pretty widely used in commercial sites. As I understand it, which is always suspect, ads can signal when they are loaded or blocked; in such cases, when ad blockers are detected, the content is blocked to the visitor unless the ad blocker is disabled and the ad loads. If you get around on the Internet, you've probably run into sites that behave that way. I believe that such software tools are expensive, hardware intensive, and consume vast amounts of bandwidth. That's three compelling reasons blocker avoidance is not effectively available to Keith.

Even commercial sites are moving away from these tools and moving their content behind pay walls. Whether we like it or not, the Internet is becoming far less free and more and more content is going to cost users.

As dedicated anarchists, we all want free content. On the other hand, unless we reward content creators and providers, there won't be any content. There ain't no free lunch, boys.

In reality, we will all end up paying, in one form or another, for the content we want. Hopefully, that won't be bundled with a lot of content we don't want but have to pay for anyway, as it's done with cable tv providers.

Roy Petersen
12-17-2017, 11:08 AM
I didn't know much about the difference between member and contributor under the name of a poster until I came to this thread. I thought contributors were people who had contributed an article or something.
That was also my first thought when i got here.

Some websites that you can visit from Yahoo for news articles detect if ou have an active ad blocker and ask you to disable it for their site. If you do not disable it they limit your access by keeping the request block, which covers almost all of the screen, and it is basically difficult to read the page.Any site I go to that does this, I either defeat that (trivial to do so) or move on to a site that doesn't. I started using an ad blocker when I realized that loads of sites were abusing it, and providing precious little content surrounded by a page full of ads vying for my attention. Many of those ads interfered with page loads, and some caused the page to shift and change as I was reading so it could reload itself with something new. Then there were the ads for sites I'd visited that left tracking cookies made available to the ads on the page on *different* sites (google adsense ads are notorious for this), touting sales on items I'd looked at while at the previous site. Intrusive, and tracking...I started blocking.
They brought this on themselves.

I'm not looking to take any money away from folks that run sites (I'm in the business of creating and hosting sites, so I know the costs involved), I just don't want to be assaulted by them on every page I visit. For my 2 cents, I think this site should have loads of ads for non members (since they give nothing back), less for members (they give of their time and expertise), and even less for contributors (if they choose not to see them). Programmatically it may be difficult to enact, but I'd consider that fair. Blocking access until you pay? That will hurt in the long run.

Jim Becker
12-17-2017, 11:42 AM
Scott, well stated. I've also shared meals with Keith and Jackie and your description of them and the journey is spot on.

jack duren
12-17-2017, 11:53 AM
As a professional should I pay or be payed?

I'm here because it's a hobby for me and try and help or argue(sorry), but payed every week as a professional in this field....

Jim Becker
12-17-2017, 11:57 AM
Jack, if you enjoy the forum and find it valuable for any reason, giving and/or receiving, there's no harm in helping support it financially. But that's a personal decision.

Scott Shepherd
12-17-2017, 12:06 PM
As a professional should I pay or be payed?

I'm here because it's a hobby for me and try and help or argue(sorry), but payed every week as a professional in this field....

I don't know, when you ask a question, do you plan to pay for other people to answer your questions?

This forum is built of people who are happy to help those who ask for help or want to learn. Members, Contributors, Moderators, and Owners all contribute to that. There are 10'000's of professionals on this forum who offer up their knowledge every day because they wish to help others. SMC gives them a place to do that. I suspect if everyone thought they should be paid for their advice on the internet, then there wouldn't be many people on the internet.

jack duren
12-17-2017, 12:17 PM
I don't know, when you ask a question, do you plan to pay for other people to answer your questions?

This forum is built of people who are happy to help those who ask for help or want to learn. Members, Contributors, Moderators, and Owners all contribute to that. There are 10'000's of professionals on this forum who offer up their knowledge every day because they wish to help others. SMC gives them a place to do that. I suspect if everyone thought they should be paid for their advice on the internet, then there wouldn't be many people on the internet.

I give and take information on these wood sites.. Free is a good trade...

Scott Shepherd
12-17-2017, 12:24 PM
I give and take information on these wood sites.. Free is a good trade...

Except it's not free. That's the point. It has to be paid for by some method. Paid membership or selling advertising. They are the only two available revenue streams. If people don't support the ads and advertisers, then where's the money come from?

jack duren
12-17-2017, 1:11 PM
It's free to me and that's the point...I'll not pay to be on this site..

Scott Shepherd
12-17-2017, 1:34 PM
It's free to me and that's the point...I'll not pay to be on this site..

No one's said you need to. Everyone is welcome here.

Simon MacGowen
12-17-2017, 1:59 PM
It's free to me and that's the point...I'll not pay to be on this site..

This is the point my previous post was trying to address. As a first step, owners of the site need to collect some intelligence on how existing members and contributors feel about a pay-to-access Forum.

Simon

Simon MacGowen
12-17-2017, 2:07 PM
As a professional should I pay or be payed?

I'm here because it's a hobby for me and try and help or argue(sorry),

As long as the arguments are made with valid reasons, they add to the discussions in this Forum.

I hate to be part of a group in which everyone agrees with everyone. Such groups DO exist...you can easily tell from the comments of the followers. To an outsider, they seem to be all blind, in the sense of blindly following the Blog owner. I like to think that if the Blog owner tried to fool every one of his fans for an April event by saying if you soaked a furniture piece partially in the bathtub for a minute or two before applying the last coat, he would succeed!

Simon

Stan Calow
12-17-2017, 2:08 PM
I count how many hours a month I spend being entertained on this site, and figure its worth a lot more than $6 a year. Thats a lot less than the woodworking magazines I buy, and with a lot more good information. I can understand not wanting to pay, if its just an occasional thing to do.

Brian Henderson
12-17-2017, 3:21 PM
This is the point my previous post was trying to address. As a first step, owners of the site need to collect some intelligence on how existing members and contributors feel about a pay-to-access Forum.

And there's nothing wrong with that, but my question is, no matter how small the contribution, what do contributors get for their contribution? You can sell things. Great, I don't sell anything. If I ever wanted to buy anything, and I don't because nobody lives within 1000 miles of me, but if I did, I can just PM them and don't have to be a contributor for that. All of the other things on the site that were contributor-only are gone. Giveaways? Nobody has done one in over a year. Contributor-only forum? When is the last time there was a post there? I think that's something that the administration needs to ask, why should anyone contribute, other than the good feeling they get for doing so? What are the demonstrable benefits?

Frederick Skelly
12-17-2017, 5:51 PM
And there's nothing wrong with that, but my question is, no matter how small the contribution, what do contributors get for their contribution? You can sell things. Great, I don't sell anything. If I ever wanted to buy anything, and I don't because nobody lives within 1000 miles of me, but if I did, I can just PM them and don't have to be a contributor for that. All of the other things on the site that were contributor-only are gone. Giveaways? Nobody has done one in over a year. Contributor-only forum? When is the last time there was a post there? I think that's something that the administration needs to ask, why should anyone contribute, other than the good feeling they get for doing so? What are the demonstrable benefits?

What you get is the continued existence of, what I believe to be, a really great place to hang out and learn. If that isn't something you want to be concerned with, that's perfectly ok - we'll cover you because the knowledge and experience you bring is sort of "payment in kind" (as I think Jack Duren was saying earlier). All I ask is that you participate/share what you know rather than just lurk. Lurkers don't usually give much back.

Another reason I decided to contribute monetarily - and this is not intended as a dig at Brian or anyone else - is that I got to feeling like the guy who always drinks the drink that somebody else bought, without ever buying a round myself. But that's just me. Doesn't mean anyone else has to feel that way.

Fred

Brian Henderson
12-17-2017, 6:20 PM
What you get is the continued existence of, what I believe to be, a really great place to hang out and learn. If that isn't something you want to be concerned with, that's perfectly ok - we'll cover you because the knowledge and experience you bring is sort of "payment in kind" (as I think Jack Duren was saying earlier). All I ask is that you participate/share what you know rather than just lurk. Lurkers don't usually give much back.

Another reason I decided to contribute monetarily - and this is not intended as a dig at Brian or anyone else - is that I got to feeling like the guy who always drinks the drink that somebody else bought, without ever buying a round myself. But that's just me. Doesn't mean anyone else has to feel that way.

And for a lot of people, that's not enough. I mean, look over at YouTube, the woodworking channels there don't exist off of people's good will and continued content, if they want people to donate on Patreon, they have to provide more. They have to provide exclusive contents, giveaways and the like, otherwise people just don't donate. You might be right that people SHOULD give just for the sake of giving, but people DON'T. This isn't just true here, it's true EVERYWHERE.

So let's deal with reality and not wishful thinking. That's not intended as a dig, it's just the way things are.

Frederick Skelly
12-17-2017, 6:41 PM
And for a lot of people, that's not enough. I mean, look over at YouTube, the woodworking channels there don't exist off of people's good will and continued content, if they want people to donate on Patreon, they have to provide more. They have to provide exclusive contents, giveaways and the like, otherwise people just don't donate. You might be right that people SHOULD give just for the sake of giving, but people DON'T. This isn't just true here, it's true EVERYWHERE.

So let's deal with reality and not wishful thinking. That's not intended as a dig, it's just the way things are.

I understand. I didn't intend any wishful thinking at all. I described the two reasons I personally donate as one possible answer to your very valid question "what do contributors get?" I agree it is unrealistic to expect that everyone would/should/will give without a good answer to your question, because there's so much free content out there. So most people in real life don't work like that. I'm the odd man out because I just happen to. YMMV.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple years won't it?

Have a good week!
Fred

George Bokros
12-17-2017, 6:54 PM
Regarding ads, a little garage door company in my neck of the woods just had an ad pop up here on SMC. I am puzzled because I am sure the owner likely has no idea of the existence of this web site so why is there an ad popping up on here from them if the hosts of SMC derive revenue from the ads??

I as on their website last week looking for a company to replace my garage door opener since I did not want to do it myself and now they pop up with an ad on SMC.

Jim Becker
12-17-2017, 7:26 PM
Regarding ads, a little garage door company in my neck of the woods just had an ad pop up here on SMC. I am puzzled because I am sure the owner likely has no idea of the existence of this web site so why is there an ad popping up on here from them if the hosts of SMC derive revenue from the ads??

I as on their website last week looking for a company to replace my garage door opener since I did not want to do it myself and now they pop up with an ad on SMC.

Because the ads served are not handled by SMC's server; rather, they are provide by a third party and it uses any available data to personalize many ads served to each visitor. So since you were browsing a particular site recently, the third party ad server recognized that and provided you with a, um...reminder...that you expressed some level of interest in the same. This is the way it is on most sites...they don't sell individual ads so much. Sometimes banners from specific advertiser partners of the site will appear in the rotation and that is easily provisioned.

Brian Henderson
12-17-2017, 9:12 PM
Regarding ads, a little garage door company in my neck of the woods just had an ad pop up here on SMC. I am puzzled because I am sure the owner likely has no idea of the existence of this web site so why is there an ad popping up on here from them if the hosts of SMC derive revenue from the ads??

I as on their website last week looking for a company to replace my garage door opener since I did not want to do it myself and now they pop up with an ad on SMC.

I'm sure Google is just putting ads here specifically for you because of where you live. Individual companies don't usually place the ads, Google does in most instances.

George Bokros
12-17-2017, 9:35 PM
Because the ads served are not handled by SMC's server; rather, they are provide by a third party and it uses any available data to personalize many ads served to each visitor. So since you were browsing a particular site recently, the third party ad server recognized that and provided you with a, um...reminder...that you expressed some level of interest in the same. This is the way it is on most sites...they don't sell individual ads so much. Sometimes banners from specific advertiser partners of the site will appear in the rotation and that is easily provisioned.

Thanks for the clarification Jim

James Waldron
12-17-2017, 11:53 PM
There is value in SMC for me in providing me with access to people I wouldn't otherwise know or have direct access to: other posters. Over time, as I've gotten to know them a bit through their posts, I've learned to value their input. In a very few cases, I've gotten into PM and e-mail dialogs with a direct relationship. If these sorts of things are not a value to you, of course a pay wall would not be justifiable for you. In my case, I find it well worth the $6 per year. If the site had to be shut down for lack of funds, I would feel the loss. If you would not miss the site if it were gone, it occurs to me to wonder why you're here in the first place.

Keith Outten
12-18-2017, 2:54 PM
Yesterday Xenforo released the long awaited upgrade for their software. This means that we are very close to making the conversion and it might be a good time to test the waters by shutting down SawMill Creek for a few days which will give our Server Administrator plenty of time to get everything configured and not have to worry about working on an active site. There are some features that vBulletin provides that don't exist in Xenforo. There are features in Xenforo that don't exist in vBulletin and last but not least access to various posts and threads will require some time for everyone to get used to. Our Staff will have to remove or edit hundreds of threads and posts, most are help files for vBulletin that won't apply to Xenforo. What concerns me at this point is what we don't know that will have to be done before we open the doors again.

There have been a lot of questions asked in this thread and at least one other thread about our configuration options that are available and some asked about options that are definitely not available. I'm sure that I can come to an agreement with our existing advertisers so that I can extend their advertising time to twice the amount of time we are down and make arrangements for Contributors to continue to have access possibly be letting them have early access to the new SawMill Creek. A small group of Contributors would be a big help identifying things that need to be fixed or adjusted.

FWIW I already know what is valuable here its Friendship, Entertainment and help when you really need it.
.

Pat Barry
12-18-2017, 3:07 PM
Not sure why you need to shut the site down but get on with it if it helps you out. There is never going to be a better time to do it than now.

Frederick Skelly
12-18-2017, 3:31 PM
Do what you need to do to get us swapped over Keith. We understand it takes time and effort to do that.
Thanks for the heads up.
Fred

Mike Kreinhop
12-18-2017, 5:55 PM
Not sure why you need to shut the site down but get on with it if it helps you out. There is never going to be a better time to do it than now.

The migration process for XenForo requires several hours, depending on the size of the vBulletin database. The database (website) must be offline in order to ensure table integrity during the transfer.

Brian Henderson
12-18-2017, 7:38 PM
As far as I'm concerned, if you need to shut down, shut down. Do whatever it takes to transition to the new software. We appreciate your efforts.

Keith Outten
12-19-2017, 2:21 PM
No matter which direction we take in the near term its important to understand that wherever we go the decision is being made by the majority here not me or our staff.

In 2005 the majority of our Community decided that they wanted free access paid for by advertising. Today the majority has changed their mind, using ad blocking software prevents advertising so the funds necessary to operate this site will have to come from our Community.

We have provided free access to SawMill Creek for almost fifteen years, this is a major accomplishment. Donations we have received have been essential to our need to purchase new hardware and software and advertising has provided the majority of our annual costs to fund this Community. If you take away my ability to attract and maintain advertisers I won't be able to pay the bills twelve months from today. We have a twelve month budget based on our ability to operate on savings I have been able to accumulate over the years. We have always been and will continue to be a financially responsible Community.

Currently we do not have a financial problem, most of our long term advertisers are still on board but the handwriting is on the wall and I believe its better to prevent financial problems long before they reach a critical stage that only leave us with one option. I cannot make you turn off your advertising blocking software, some will but the majority will not and since we are all in the same boat we all have to deal with a change in direction.

Today I will make all of you this promise:
You will have twelve months notice before this site ever shuts down so you can make decisions as you have done in the past and we will honor our commitment to our current advertisers.

We are moving forward with a plan to reinvent SawMill Creek with new software and new services like the upcoming Hall Of Fame that we think everyone will enjoy. I will share this in advance...the Hall Of Fame will be open to everyone on the global Internet, it will most likely not be part of our new forum software. Aaron Koehl is working on a proposal for the design and hosting of the Hall Of Fame.

Robin Dobbie
12-19-2017, 2:46 PM
I turned the ad blocker off before I saw this. But when I did notice this thread, I went ahead and just donated at the $6 amount. I in no way feel that's all this site is worth, but I'm not exactly swimming in $100s at the moment. I've done many google searches in recent years relating to woodworking, and the answer to my question has so often been right here on this site. I hope to contribute more in the future.

Frederick Skelly
12-19-2017, 6:58 PM
Thank you Robin. Glad to have you join us!
Fred

George Bokros
12-19-2017, 7:44 PM
My paid membership is up for renewal in January and I plan to contribute at a higher rate than I have in the past. This site has great members with a vast amount of knowledge in woodworking and it is well worth membership.

Thanks to all for providing the platform for us.

Jay Mullins
12-19-2017, 10:50 PM
Your opinion is well stated Sir.

Jay Mullins

Michael Costa
11-11-2018, 12:16 AM
A little outdated but I found this thread looking to be a contributor. In a couple short months I've read and received information far beyond the value of contribution.

Interestingly, Wayne is one of those people and he has the first reply on here. I agree with his post. He gives vast amounts of knowledge to this forum. I take vast amounts of knowledge from this forum. Therein lies the difference.