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Thread: Re : "I do not have permission to view photos"

  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Balzonia View Post
    But the majority here would rather scream “pay $6 or shut up and go away!” Not helpful or constructive, in my mind.
    What's "not helpful or constructive" is you continuing to stir the pot. Keith isn't looking for ideas. The choice is now "opt in or opt out". It is binary - do or don't. That is why so many people have reacted with “pay $6 or shut up and go away!” Harold. Because you are not getting the message that this has already been decided.
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 05-11-2019 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Deleted 2nd paragraph
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  2. #152
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,376
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    * Most of us understand that Keith's not "going private" because he wants to. He's fighting to keep the site alive - literally keep the lights on. To me, this is this is like a medical triage situation - we must save the site first, and handle the side effects of what we did to save it afterwards.

    * Membership loss is one side effect. Lack of new blood is definitely going to be another. That is the one that worries me the most - far more than paying a subscription fee. (I found this place via google and got hooked.) And there will be other side effects we havent thought of yet.

    * Keith's looked at the options he feels are credible and going Subscriber-only is the best fit in his view as Proprietor. By "credible", I mean the option is affordable to him and within what he is willing to do. From what he's already said, he's not really seeking more ideas. His son-in-law is a professor of computer science and has presumably helped him weigh what he wants to do. From what I can tell, "this here's a done deal".

    Each person will stay or not as they see fit. There will be impacts. We'll either work through them or we won't. But we gotta try.
    With all due respect Frederick, why are you and Ken doing all the representations for Keith here and talking like you really know what's going on? If you in fact know what's going on then please explain how my $6 contribution is going to keep this site alive? My opinion is that the site is limited significantly by the lack of technical knowledge and thusly, the site is withering due to not having the where-with-all to effectively manage the site. I paid my $6 because I thought it was a reasonable value, but I do think this place is not for long. I asked earlier about the cost to operate this place and never will get an answer I know because I'm just a customer and not a part-owner. Lots of talk last year about new site software and that never happened because there aren't the proper technical resources. Dealing with lost ad revenue similarly is probably due to technical capabilities. Other places manage this, why not here?

  3. #153
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    26,896
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    I am speculating, but there could be another reason for the current policy of who can view images, and it relates to bandwidth. Keith uses his own server and pays for the bandwidth we consume, and since all images uploaded to the SMC server must be downloaded each time they are viewed, this costs Keith. Restricting the viewing, and thus the downloading, reduces the bandwidth requirement. But I could be wrong.

    This does not appear to be the case for images hosted externally, since the user's computer fetches the image from the external hosting site and there is no burden on the SMC server.

    As a test, I am adding two images to this post. The first is from my external hosting site and the second is one I uploaded to the SMC server.

    Everyone should be able to see this image of a car:




    Only paying members should be able to see this image of a truck:

    Attachment 409678
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    With all due respect Frederick, why are you and Ken doing all the representations for Keith here and talking like you really know what's going on? If you in fact know what's going on then please explain how my $6 contribution is going to keep this site alive? My opinion is that the site is limited significantly by the lack of technical knowledge and thusly, the site is withering due to not having the where-with-all to effectively manage the site. I paid my $6 because I thought it was a reasonable value, but I do think this place is not for long. I asked earlier about the cost to operate this place and never will get an answer I know because I'm just a customer and not a part-owner. Lots of talk last year about new site software and that never happened because there aren't the proper technical resources. Dealing with lost ad revenue similarly is probably due to technical capabilities. Other places manage this, why not here?
    Pat, I believe Mike's on to something here.

    The reason that I defend Keith's decision is because so many people without any investment, responsibilities or liabilities are quick to condemn his decisions. It's his business to do with as he wants. More importantly while he could have on several occasions sold SMC to a company hasn't done so and has said he will never sell our personal information here at SMC. I tire of so many people amplifying the "value" of their "important" contribution of information without realizing that without a website their information has no value or recognizing/appreciating the amount of labor that goes on in the background at SMC by all the staff, Keith, Jackie, and the Moderators. A couple people have relentlessly criticized his decision. There comes a time when continued, repeated public criticism by the same people becomes nothing more than public harassment. I won't stand by and watch a public chastisement of someone who had the courage to take the corpse of the Badger Pond (that I never knew existed), breath life into it and provide for over 15 years, a woodworking and related forums website where civility is not only expected, demanded but enforced, where from beginners to pros we can share information and in some cases develop friendships.

    He has no responsibility to provide business expense, accounting, or financial reports/information to anyone but the IRS.

    The new software has been in beta testing IIRC and the Moderators have been testing it but it's unseen by the general public. Moderators correct me if I'm wrong.

    So Keith has made his decision. If he switched to that format and software tomorrow, locking out non-contributors, I suspect the same critics would be at other websites screaming they had no warning, claim they would have been happy to contribute but feel slighted and aren't going to join. Instead, he did what the current software allows him to do and removed viewing privileges for Members. This allows them to get a glimpse of what will happen next. And they claim "it's childish"? Really? Once the conversion is complete where it's Contributors only, they will have to pay to criticize him in his own house. One should not embarrass someone in their own house, IMO.

    And while, yeah, Google is showing a huge growth, they are doing it by selling personal information that will allow a broader spectrum of companies to develop customized advertising and polling projection data based on a person's internet use and personal data. I read the book "1984" IIRC in the summer of 1970 while going to a US Navy school in Brunswick, GA. We are rapidly approaching a similar state, at least as far as "Big Brother" knowing what and where we are and what we are doing.

    I don't know if Jackie is retired yet but Keith retired and is still operating his sign shop the last I heard. Consider this. If SMC does cease to exist, he has one less LARGE headache to worry about, he gets rid of the public criticisms, public questioning of his business practices, his business skills, "his technical skills" and the personal attacks that are experienced by the staff including the Moderators here. He'll have more time to spend with his growing family.

    Harold may think I'm being emotional but I'm not. I just tire of watching people repeatedly, publicly criticize Keith for his business decision.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 05-12-2019 at 11:45 AM. Reason: changed wording to please another
    Ken

  4. Patient: hello doctor - I’ve been going along really well for years but suddenly my ankle has been hurting and I think it’s broken....

    Doctor: let’s take a look at the X-rays.... yes, sir.... your ankle is broken.... we can fix it with a simple, routine surgery where you’ll be out of commission for 8-10 weeks, and it will hurt a little bit but we can help you to go back to your normal activities....

    Patient: yeah... I looked into that surgery, and I looked into faith healers and acupuncture, and meditation and just letting it heal on it’s own but I’ve decided to just have you cut off my leg at the hip....

    Doctor: excuse me? .... that seems really harsh and extreme.... you know, this surgery is very routine and hundreds of people go through it... we can even bring in a specialist, if you’d like....

    Patient: no thanks... i really don’t care what any other person does with their broken ankles.... I’ve talked it over with a bunch of my friends and they all agree I should cut off my leg. They are willing to drive me around and they support me unconditionally.

    Doctor: you have nice friends, but this is really an extreme approach and I can’t really see how it’s reasonable given how many other people are going through the exact same thing and working through it... we have proven solutions for this condition....

    Patient: If I keep my leg, can you guarantee I’ll never break my ankle again?

    Doctor: no...

    Patient: well, if I cut off my leg, I’ll sure as heck never break my ankle again, will I? Plus, I’ll have more time in the mornings because I’ll only have to tie one shoe. And I get twice as much use out of my socks, and my primary care physician says I need to lose some weight so if I take off my leg, that’s 35 pounds instantly lost.... plus you’ll give me a handicap placard so I can park anywhere....

    Doctor: you’ve clearly given this a lot of thought but, I cant condone it and I won’t cut off your leg. I wish you the best of luck, though... no hard feelings.... (doctor shakes his head...)

    Patient: I’ll let you know how it turns out...

    (chainsaw starts up in the background.....)

  5. #155
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    203
    Keith, I have been a long time member here and an early contributor when you started offering the ability to contribute. I donít post much due to my limited amount of shop time because of my work travel schedule but I do try to visit daily when I can as I enjoy reading a few of the main forums. I am concerned with you going to a subscription only model as I suspect it will be the beginning of the end of SMC due to the amount of people posting new content.

    I have been working in IT consulting for 25+ year with the last 17 at a large consulting firm. We help customers of all shapes and sizes and I have personally run multiple vbulletin sites for some of other hobbies. In different threads of yours over the years I have seen mention of you paying T1 or fiber services to your shop and running the actual server there that SMC runs on. I also remember reading about you not wanting to host it in the cloud for some reason. Unfortunately the one thing with technology is that it is always changing and if you donít keep up with it you are going to either get run over by it or pay a premium for it.

    SMC is facing both of those right now. To keep a robust user community on a forum like this there is no way to have it be a pay only service like you are looking at. Even if it only cost $1 a year you will still have only a small amount of users paying for the service and the value for the paying members will diminish drastically as there will not be that much new content posted. I know you donít want to play whack a mole with ad blockers but that is unfortunately the reality in todayís world. Itís not as bad as you think it is as most of the bulletin software packages have add ons to detect ad blockers. A lot of the websites I visit have this now and it works well. The other thing you really need to consider is hosting the website with a company on a virtual dedicated machine or with vbulletin cloud offering. I suspect your costs of hosting it in-house are extremely high and you could cut yours costs 50-90% and have the same or better performance. As I said technology changes and you have to keep up with it.

    There are many forums out there exponentially larger than SMC that flourish on an ad supported model with a subscriber option for additional features (like PMs, better search, etc). One of the reef keeping forums I visit, reef central does it exactly this way and they have 2m threads and 20m posts. If you want to talk via PM or on the phone I donít mind helping with some ideas on hosting ideas. I really enjoy SMC and hope it stays free for people who wonít or cannot support you as it makes it better for subscribers like me. I plan to continue being a subscriber for as long as SMC stays valuable to me as a resource but unfortunately I suspect if you close it to a subscriber only model it will be the beginning of the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post
    Lets say that we did implement a pop-up that required you to disable your ad-blocker. Then a couple months later the ad-blocking software is revised to block the pop-up, then we used another tactic and then the ad-blocker is revised again......and on and on. I am not going to play games and waste my time and energy fighting a battle I know I cannot win. People want to block advertising and they are going to do it because someone will always produce the software people want.

    You receive updated ad-blocking features every time you upgrade your browser, its not that easy for forum owners. Last but not least I don't really care what other forum owners do or don't do. My goal to make the majority here happy and provide a friendly place for woodworkers to share and communicate.

  6. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    The reason that I defend Keith's decision is because so many people without any investment, responsibilities or liabilities are quick to condemn his decisions. It's his business to do with as he wants. More importantly while he could have on several occasions sold SMC to a company hasn't done so and has said he will never sell our personal information here at SMC. I tire of so many people ........ (not) ........ recognizing/appreciating the amount of labor that goes on in the background at SMC by all the staff, Keith, Jackie, and the Moderators. A couple people have relentlessly criticized his decision. There comes a time when continued, repeated public criticism by the same people becomes nothing more than public harassment. I won't stand by and watch a public lynching of someone who had the courage to take the corpse of the Badger Pond (that I never knew existed), breath life into it and provide for over 15 years, a woodworking and related forums website where civility is not only expected, demanded but enforced, where from beginners to pros we can share information and in some cases develop friendships.

    He has no responsibility to provide business expense, accounting, or financial reports/information to anyone but the IRS.

    The new software has been in beta testing IIRC and the Moderators have been testing it but it's unseen by the general public. Moderators correct me if I'm wrong.

    So Keith has made his decision. If he switched to that format and software tomorrow, locking out non-contributors, I suspect the same critics would be at other websites screaming they had no warning, claim they would have been happy to contribute but feel slighted and aren't going to join. Instead, he did what the current software allows him to do and removed viewing privileges for Members. This allows them to get a glimpse of what will happen next. And they claim "it's childish"? Really? Once the conversion is complete where it's Contributors only, they will have to pay to criticize him in his own house. One should not embarrass someone in their own house, IMO.

    Harold may think I'm being emotional but I'm not. I just tire of watching people repeatedly, publicly criticize Keith for his business decision.
    Hi Pat.
    No special knowledge on my end beyond what Keith has repeatedly said. The parts of Ken's post that I excerpt above are mostly where I'm coming from as well.

    Like others, I am concerned about how it's going to go here. I have learned a great deal here and value the place. I was also on Badger Pond. Your points about "technical knowledge" are thought provoking and well made. I don't have any ideas on that.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #157
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Balzonia View Post
    Patient: hello doctor - I’ve been going along really well for years but suddenly my ankle has been hurting and I think it’s broken....
    Harold, you are about the 1000th person who has posted how easy it is to fix everything and make the forum profitable. I don’t have the technical knowledge or time to know if everyone is right. I do know I have not seen any of those people put their money where their mouth is and fire up a forum even though to hear them tell it a forum takes no effort, any idiot can do it, and there is a boatload of money to be made.

    I am kind of with Ken. The internet is a rough and tumble place, but something rubs me the wrong way about all of these posts insulting Keith on the forum he provides. Why are all of these posts public? If you want to criticize him or have a suggestion why not send him a PM? At some point it seems like the purpose of the posts is to publicly insult the person who has to make the decision instead of offering constructive help.

  8. #158
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    5,005
    Harold - you have a lot to say for someone who has only contributed 175 posts in 5 years. Guessing you mainly come here to read and learn from others.

    Lots of talk very few ideas for a solutions.

    Hereís one suggestion Iíve made three times now and no one has really made a comment about it:
    For those worried about lack of content and new users, how about new users have a free trial period to get them in and hopefully they stay and pay and become a contributor? I know there will be a lot of single posters who come once to ask a question, a question that likely has been asked before, but it adds new content and allows us to help beginners.

  9. #159
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Here’s one suggestion I’ve made three times now and no one has really made a comment about it:For those worried about lack of content and new users, how about new users have a free trial period to get them in and hopefully they stay and pay and become a contributor? I know there will be a lot of single posters who come once to ask a question, a question that likely has been asked before, but it adds new content and allows us to help beginners.
    Good morning Matt.
    Actually, Keith commented on this at least once. I didnt search for the post, but IIRC, he felt folks would just register under another name to get another free trial. Im not saying he's right or wrong.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Balzonia View Post
    Patient: hello doctor - I’ve been going along really well for years but suddenly my ankle has been hurting and I think it’s broken....

    Doctor: let’s take a look at the X-rays.... yes, sir.... your ankle is broken.... we can fix it with a simple, routine surgery where you’ll be out of commission for 8-10 weeks, and it will hurt a little bit but we can help you to go back to your normal activities....

    Patient: yeah... I looked into that surgery, and I looked into faith healers and acupuncture, and meditation and just letting it heal on it’s own but I’ve decided to just have you cut off my leg at the hip....

    Doctor: excuse me? .... that seems really harsh and extreme.... you know, this surgery is very routine and hundreds of people go through it... we can even bring in a specialist, if you’d like....

    Patient: no thanks... i really don’t care what any other person does with their broken ankles.... I’ve talked it over with a bunch of my friends and they all agree I should cut off my leg. They are willing to drive me around and they support me unconditionally.

    Doctor: you have nice friends, but this is really an extreme approach and I can’t really see how it’s reasonable given how many other people are going through the exact same thing and working through it... we have proven solutions for this condition....

    Patient: If I keep my leg, can you guarantee I’ll never break my ankle again?

    Doctor: no...

    Patient: well, if I cut off my leg, I’ll sure as heck never break my ankle again, will I? Plus, I’ll have more time in the mornings because I’ll only have to tie one shoe. And I get twice as much use out of my socks, and my primary care physician says I need to lose some weight so if I take off my leg, that’s 35 pounds instantly lost.... plus you’ll give me a handicap placard so I can park anywhere....

    Doctor: you’ve clearly given this a lot of thought but, I cant condone it and I won’t cut off your leg. I wish you the best of luck, though... no hard feelings.... (doctor shakes his head...)

    Patient: I’ll let you know how it turns out...

    (chainsaw starts up in the background.....)
    I hope everyone will take a second to read this. I see it exactly the same way. This is like watching a beloved old friend (SMC) trying to cut off his leg to avoid having to tie a shoe in the future.

    I also hope everyone will read Chris Fairbanks' post (#155). The root cause problem isn't adblockers or anything - it's that there isn't interest/time to evolve with changing technology. Which is fine - I understand, if that's the case. But don't pretend $6 fees are the solution, because they aren't really the "problem".

  11. #161
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    1,667
    I’m gonna leave my contribution to this conversation and topic at this.

    I’ll start by saying I can’t begin to speculate the intent or desire of the forum owners and moderators nor will I even try to speculate.

    I can’t help but think or rather feel as it continues to creep into my subconscious that we all have to and are forced to step into the future as things change or we all get left behind. In some cases some of us choose being left behind as that is what suits us most. In many cases this is me.

    My point, the Felder forum or SCMI forum. These two forums once were vibrant, they did not adapt, they did not stepinto the future with the internet as the internet changed. Now it is to painful to make that move. Imop the two forums although some help with regard to a deep knowledge base can be found are both duds. You can hear the tumbleweeds blow through them. It’s obvious that it’s the same ten people just taking back and forth with each other baring the odd new member that comes knocking with zero knowledge looking for a basic answer. That’s fine and maybe that is what those forum members desire but it’s not a forum if you ask me and honestly I see the updates I get from joining them years ago as nothing more than spam at this point.

    I won’t speculate what’s going on here but just offer the above as one possibility if this new direction is followed through with. Again I really don’t care as I don’t think any of our life start and stop with SMC..

  12. #162
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    7,875

    Attracting new members

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Good morning Matt.
    Actually, Keith commented on this at least once. I didnt search for the post, but IIRC, he felt folks would just register under another name to get another free trial. Im not saying he's right or wrong.
    Fred
    I think the person might have to change their IP as well to do that repeatedly regardless of the name they used. Years ago when I moderated a 3D modeling/animation forum the tools told me if someone at the same IP was logging in under a different name. That forum required the use of real names, or at least names that looked real! (When reminded of the rules the guy who changed his name from MegaMan to GraphicsGod to I.M.King didn't last long for some reason!)

    Some forums I've visited let you view posts and photos but not post without registering. Some let you read text only and not see photos and not post. One had nag screens that started popping up with increasing frequency. I remember one that let me view just the first part of a longer post without registering - that gave me enough to decide to register. Perhaps some combination of these would work. I agree that without a way to browse a forum for free long enough to evaluate the content would be important to attract new people.

    Advertising in national magazines might be useful too, but that's expensive.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 05-12-2019 at 2:00 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #163
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,105
    The problem is that everyone wants free services without advertising. Where do the funds come from to pay the bills?

    We have never been a very profitable community, to make things worse we lost 40% of our income last year and 2019 will even worse.
    This is not a fight or a debate. You don't want advertising to pay for your free access here, the only other option I know of is for you to pay for access.
    If 50 cents per month causes you heartburn so be it, not much I can do about your financial situation or for people who prefer free services that I cannot provide.

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