um, what's the point?
Don't get me wrong, I am a paying member (obviously), and always will be, but isn't one of the genuinely
special things about this website is that it isn't
in any way exclusionary?
I'd just hate this to be a slippery slope of any type, and have the forum end up like some others, where you can't access things like posted articles (hall of wisdom) or attachments or archives unless you're a "real member." I think that would go against what I've come to believe this forum and it's members are about.
let this section, if it must exist, be a supplement only and not something that eventually restricts access to things that up until now people have had free access to.
I understand the frustration that must exist when forum members (particularly those who litter the threads with posts) can't find it in their wallets to donate even a couple bucks to support the cause.
Who knows, maybe "main entry page" splash graphics once in a while mentioning some of the costs involved ("RAID server...$XXX WEBSITE HOSTING...$XXX MAINTENANCE...$XXX PROGRAMMING COSTS MONTHLY...$XXX ACCESS TO A WORLD OF INFORMATION AND FRIENDS...PRICELESS, BUT CAN'T YOU DONATE JUST $2 A MONTH? CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Some people feel they have to have an understanding of WHY they are being asked to contribute...or what the costs are they are being asked to contribute to...perhaps you can just give a PARTIAL breakdown of SOME of the costs...maybe just "here are some of the REAL costs just the last six months, excluding the hundreds of hours that have been spent by forum members to operate, troubleshoot, and maintain the site..."
and, perhaps more important: "Remember when the system took a giant dump a couple months ago? This is what it took to fix it, and these are the things planned to prevent it in the future, and the planned budget to make it happen...if you felt the pangs of bmwlt.com withdrawal as much as we did, help defray the costs..."
Yes, I understand there will be a fistfull of a-holes who will reply with "you idiots are getting ripped off, I can get a blablabla server for half that..." but those goofs wouldn't contribute anyway, so don't do it in a thread and delete their email with a giggle, because it would happen no matter what.
I offered a while ago to help with some bmwlt.com fundraising ideas (specifically lapel/riding jacket pins, t-shirts and stickers). I'm still willing to do so, as a member of a small committee but not solo (my health has declined as of late, and I am not in a financial position to take a hit like I did on the DA pins).
take a peek at http://www.lxforums.com/
they sell a bunch of stuff with their logo (the skull and crossbones in the right area of the main homepage) that supports operation. Obviously this site would want something more, uh, "upscale?" but with a committee to plan and design, I am certain that it would be a revenue stream for the site, and if it took off, excess could be donated to the CCR designated charity annually.
Well, sorry for going on and on...
Griff it was nice seeing your name again.
Moderators and those who run the site, I appreciate what you do
...particularly the last few months here have been many days that visits to the site here to "visit friends" have been a real source of comfort in the midst of turmoil. Which is why I'd like to suggest that "creating a section of the playground where not everyone can play" might have some negative impact that wasn't anticipated or intended.
(and yes, I anticipate some criticism for voicing this, so have at it)