gca server proposal

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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The Spindoctors
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Post by The Spindoctors » 27 August 08 3:40 pm

With parochial hat on - stuff Paypal, use Paymate instead. They have a local contact number.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 27 August 08 7:51 pm

I wouldn't have a problem with those who choose not to donate still getting access to basic features such as cache listings and the forums. The financial supporters get access to the groovy features like plots and graphs.<p>The problem is the site is already so good that it is hard to think of what new whizbangery the developers could come up with to provide as a new feature for "members only" , But I am sure they have things in mind! 8)

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 27 August 08 8:11 pm

Give me the bank details and I will remember to add in some text on the transfer.....

soon!

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Post by swampgecko » 27 August 08 8:12 pm

richary wrote:I wouldn't have a problem with those who choose not to donate still getting access to basic features such as cache listings and the forums. The financial supporters get access to the groovy features like plots and graphs.<p>The problem is the site is already so good that it is hard to think of what new whizbangery the developers could come up with to provide as a new feature for "members only" , But I am sure they have things in mind! 8)
This I have a problem with.....

You are now proposing that the good free stuff that has been developed and enjoyed by all cachers now be made available to only financial members, well hey now, how about GCA PAID UP Member only caches!?!!

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Post by pjamesk » 27 August 08 10:11 pm

swampgecko wrote:
richary wrote:I wouldn't have a problem with those who choose not to donate still getting access to basic features such as cache listings and the forums. The financial supporters get access to the groovy features like plots and graphs.<p>The problem is the site is already so good that it is hard to think of what new whizbangery the developers could come up with to provide as a new feature for "members only" , But I am sure they have things in mind! 8)
This I have a problem with.....

You are now proposing that the good free stuff that has been developed and enjoyed by all cachers now be made available to only financial members, well hey now, how about GCA PAID UP Member only caches!?!!
<p>
I don't think anything should be taken away from anyone. There needs to be something new. I don't do gca caches I only use the forums so I wouldn't pay to be a member if it was only for member only caches. </P>
<p>I think we need to be getting donations from people to get things started. Those people that are willing to donate would be able to have a say as to what they would be willing to pay a membership for in return and what they feel would be a fair membership fee.</P><P> If we keep debating what you will get for your buck we will still be here this time next year without a new server. Lets just work out how we are going to get the donations into the bank, paypal, paymate or direct deposit, so gca can get the server.</p>

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 27 August 08 10:17 pm

If we keep debating what you will get for your buck we will still be here this time next year without a new server. Lets just work out how we are going to get the donations into the bank, paypal, paymate or direct deposit, so gca can get the server.
Amen!

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 27 August 08 11:58 pm

I agree, people would have a problem with what I suggested. Though to be real the lovely features we have on this website were not created by cachers (except maybe as suggestions) but by the hard work of the developers.

If I could think of some marvellous new feature that could happen that wasn't yet available and would be only available to paid up members, then I would suggest it. But it was just a continuation of the scenario that had been offered as to what could payers be offered over the other people.

Didn't mean to ruffle any feathers and start any sort of disagreement. Just my opinion and the admins of this site can take it or leave it as they choose. And once the donation process is in place I will be doing my bit for the cause.

Now if only we could set it up as registered charity so it would be tax deductible, then I could afford to donate twice as much :D

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zactyl
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Post by zactyl » 28 August 08 12:54 am

richary wrote:Now if only we could set it up as registered charity so it would be tax deductible, then I could afford to donate twice as much :D
Actually, applying for grants might be a possibility, via the Incorporated State bodies. Woolworths does a Fresh Food Kids Community Grant to community groups that encourage children to lead more active lives, geocaching does that! Local Councils could be up for sponsorship too, gets people out and active on the weekends.

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KevL
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Post by KevL » 28 August 08 5:20 am

I don't see why access should be different for paying members and non paying. I can pay a membership fee without expecting any extra feature, just knowing the site will survive and not slow to a crawl and slowly die like one or two sites I know.

A banner at the top or bottom of the page saying "This site is kept alive by paid memberships , show some support" should be enough to jog a few peoples' conscience.

Kev


Ps Lets get the donation part up and running anyway, the membership idea can be debated for months then while the donation path can remain for ever.

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Post by mtrax » 28 August 08 8:08 am

I reckon we should approach Garmin Aust, or Sistema for sponsorship as we are big users of there products.. ok Magellan too..

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SG-3
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Post by SG-3 » 28 August 08 8:12 am

My two bits? (ripped from what I've said elsewhere!):
<p>
quote:
<p>
"Is my life so sad that, when forced to think about it, the GCA website, its forums, dashboards, and associated amazing graphs etc, is the site I frequent the most on the net?!? I don't want to see it disappear! I don't consider myself rich in any way financially, but I believe that we should not be asking "what do I get in return?" if we donate/subscribe/whatever; we can already see what we will get: A great site produced by a great bunch who have put their heart and soul into this thing we call GCA, and who are now fearing for its survival!
<p>
"I am not in any position to collect money or anything like that, but (and I am not trying to sound altruistic) I AM in a position to pay for what I use daily and enjoy and appreciate immensely ; my money order desperately awaits an address to send it to! I don't want a geocoin, I don't want a "premium, paid up, grand high supremo poo-poo platter eating blowie" icon next to my avitar, ... I just want this site to still be here in the morning!
<p>
"... Surely there are a heap of others out there who just want to give monetary support for something they believe in, and all they want is an address to send it to?"

Ask not what GCA can do for you (they're already doing it); ask what YOU can do for GCA!
<p>
OK, I'm sounding like my high school principal, so... shutting up now!
<p>
I love your work, and the donation thermometer looks great!<p>
Cheers,<p>
SG-3

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delboy1203
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Post by delboy1203 » 28 August 08 10:03 am

I don't like the idea of a membership fee. GCA was set up as a free website ("Geocaching Australia - Free and Open Geocaching") and if you start charging a membership fee, you will lose many of our younger cachers who can't afford to pay up.
<p>
I read the forums every day and occasionally use GCA for searching, but I don't think I would pay a membership. I am more than happy to make a donation when I can afford it - possibly even on a regular basis, but do we really need to make it a set fee. Pay up or no can use?
<p>
BTW, the Donation Thermometer looks great! Where can we contribute?
<p>
My 2c!

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caughtatwork
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Post by caughtatwork » 28 August 08 10:21 am

Donation options and stickers are coming soon.

I doubt that we would ever restrict current or non server intensive functionality based on whether you are paid up or not. That's not the approach of the site, the developers or the community.

There "may" be some server intensive options in the future (e.g. emailed My Queries) which "may" only be opened to those who help pay for the bandwidth. Non-emailed My Queries would still be open to all though.

So it would really only be server intensive stuff that the people who pay may be offered as they help pay for that service.

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Jardry
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Post by Jardry » 28 August 08 11:27 am

I agree with c@w comments.

Some features should be available only for those that support the site. As a tradeoff, existing members could continue to receive access to what is currently available, new members receive basic access (whatever that may be) and donating/paying members recieve access to new enhancements (when they are deployed).

The use of the website will only increase over time as more and more muggles become aware of geocaching and get hooked. Once again, I'm sure the developers can provide some significant stats on the number of cachers and caches at the end of each year for the past 6 or 7 years to demonstate just how much geocaching has grown over time.

The GCA server may be the first of a number of necessary changes with the website to cater to increased demand. I recall a previous thread regarding the adequacy of the current forum software, with a view that in future a change to a different forum software would be necessary, but that software would not be open source.

I'm sure the developers currently put in an inordinate amount of time maintaining the website. At some point in the future, the time needed from the developers may not be available. What will happen to the website then?

As with many social activities they evolve over time, a formal organised arrangement will be required at some time - whether it be next week, next month, next year, or five years time!

Imagine playing an organised sport where there was no "controlling" organisation to manage the sport - it would eventually all fall into a screaming heap.

Over time ideology changes and what may have been the objective initially, may barely be relevant today, and totally irrelevant in the future. That is not to say that the initial abjective was incorrect, just that times change and we need to move with such change.

Survey 1,000 GCA members and you'll probably get 1,000 different answers. NSW and Tasmania have started formal geocaching associations.

Perhaps each state needs to do likewsie, individuals that don't want a bar of it, don't need to be involved. Just as GC has premium membership - you don't need a premium membership to hide or find a GC geocache. So if GCA had a form of membership, it also wouldn't preclude anyone from hiding or finding a GCA geocache.

Each state association would have paying members, a percentage of membership would go to the national association and state associations would nominate delegates who would manage the national association which in turn "owns" GCA and manages its development. If an individual didn't want to be involved at a state level, they can still be a member of GCA, but would not be able to nominate any delegate to manage GCA.

Formal associations are eligible for grants (government or philanthropic), businesses are more likely to sponsor a formal association, businesses are more likely to advertise with a formal association.

GCA is possibly at the same stage of development as GC was a few years ago when GC implimented a premium membership.

Probably my 20 cents worth, rather than 2 cents worth.

Jardry

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 29 August 08 11:46 pm

I am not sure what I can do here, but our work uses Macquarie Telecom for our backhaul stuff and we have a cabinet in their co-lo. We provide broadband for a number of the university student villages and as far as I know through our provider to get to Macquarie have unlimited data usage. Not sure what the agreement from their outwards is!

Question for the admins - would you like me to approach the boss, find ouot the agreement and see if we could co locate a server in our cabinet (there is space) in Sydney and see if the extra gigabytes would be covered under our agreement with them. It may require a sponsored by Star-Tech logo but the logo isn't intrusive and may allow them to claim some of the cost as a tax loss supporting outside activities.

The server would still need to be provided by GCA and maintained by authorised staff - probably me though I could talk a couple of the other guys into giving it a kick if necessary).

The downside would be that if I ever lost my job or left (not planned by any means) it would be a problem, or if the company ever went broke (not likely) there would be an issue getting the server out.

If you would like me to ask the question, let me know.

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