Sponsorship Opportunity

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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Richary
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Post by Richary » 21 October 08 11:21 pm

Echoed c@w's comments delta_foxtrot2. You have mentioned you are new here (that's fine). There has been discussion ongoing for ages *years* about how to fund the wonderful system that the developers who write the code and i! provide for nothing at the moment.

And while there has been a lot of talk about it, forming an association to fund it etc in reality nothing has happened.

There is a good reason for that - because it is working as it is now. So nobody wants to take on the effort of creating something new - that won't offer any immediate improvement even though it will allow planning for the future. Human nature, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But at the moment we are relying on i!'s largesse to use his server. And many thanks of course to him. But at the same time it needs to grow and this is an opportunity to get the funding do so. And I have no real idea about server hosting costs apart from what has been mentioned in these forums.

As part of the Senate who was formed to look at this I think we are all there because we love what is available on this site. Care about it, and want it to continue as free and open.

So as part of the so-called temporary Senate - I don't think we are going to be approving intrusive pop up ads or annoying advertisting. There may well be GCA sponsored by xxx somewhere on the page but we won't allow mch more than that.

It is at the stage where we have gone back with a list of questions to them before we decide whether to proceed. And in reality the company that is proposing the sponsorship is not interested in cachers using their product (there aren't enough of us to make a difference to their bottom line) but in using the concept of caching to promote their product as outdoor and adventure friendly.

From the discussions so far promotion on our server will be low key. Promotion externally is one of the questions we are asking.

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Post by Guest » 21 October 08 11:51 pm

caughtatwork wrote:It may be worthwhile (if you're inclined) to check the threads talking about the server requirements. At the moment we serve 45K+ caches and 1M+ logs. The calculations required to geospatially determine the caches from your home co-ordinates and provide the cool statistics and graphs that we are known for is non-trivial.
I realise there is some real number crunching involved, I've done my own share of geospatial coding in the past.
$3,600 (USD) gets us something like this:
https://www.theplanet.com/servers/confi ... &series=18

We have one (or something similar) and it struggles, especially with the forum software. An upgrade won't hurt by the way.
You'd be surprised how much optimisation will get you, these days most databases and front end scripts are just thrown together without too much thought or effort put into highly optimising them. I'm not old enough to have suffered the days of assembler thankfully, but with modern hardware there is a lot of sloppy code. Please note I'm speaking very generally here, I haven't seen the code you guys are running, although phpBB isn't exactly a lean mean grilling machine either.
ideology provide us this server and we want / need to move to 2 servers of similar capability. One for the webserver and one for the database server.
It's all about balance grasshopper ;)
If i! continue to provide a server, then we need $3,600USD a year for the second. If a sponsor comes along then we can have two brand new boxes for $7,200USD and i! get to have their box back for their own use again.
Alternatively you could seek out an aussie hosting company, say webcentral (yea yea I know) they host whirlpool.net.au forums (for free I think), the aussie hosting company gains eyeballs on their product, which might be a smaller conflict of interest, then again I have no idea about any details beyond what's been publically published so I can't comment any further.

Another option is WAIA (western australia internet association) which is a non-profit setup to run WAIX I think.

Although there is also others like powertel, pipe networks etc etc etc

I don't think any alternatives in this area have been considered.
The benevolent dictators (I like that term) are against ads per se, but a sponsorship opportunity which is an unobtrusive "sponsored by ... " could mean financial security for a number of years without the need for memberships, ads, other annoyances.
Ads can also be unobtrusive as well, it's all about the implementation.
It was too good an opportunity not to present back to the community for discussion. The principles of free and open will not be compromised and I feel they will be enhanced as GCA reaches more and more people through the possible sponsorship opportunities.
Without knowing more details we, the unwashed masses, can only take your word on that ;)
As I said, I welcome your comments so please don't be afraid to post what you feel / think.
If I were afraid to get my head bitten off I would have crawled under a rock long ago, I just hope my comments were taken as I intended them, in a constructive manner about how I as a new user sees things.

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Post by Guest » 21 October 08 11:56 pm

richary wrote:But at the moment we are relying on i!'s largesse to use his server. And many thanks of course to him. But at the same time it needs to grow and this is an opportunity to get the funding do so. And I have no real idea about server hosting costs apart from what has been mentioned in these forums.
I don't think anyone has look at alternatives in this area.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 22 October 08 12:52 am

Hey DF2

Your comments are postive and I am sure nobody has taken them the wrong way. Even though I supposedly represent NSW as one of their senators I will look at comments from everybody before making a yes/no decision.

If you check back through the sponsorship topics I believe the developers and i! have a pretty good idea what it would cost to place the site in an ISPs server room. That was what led to the donation drive in the first place.

Then the sponsorship option happened out of the blue. We need to consider it and see if it is the best way to grow the site to what the developers (of who I am not one due to lack of coding skills) can do for us - and continue to do it for free because they want to.

And while my role as a Senator is to consider if the proposal is suitable, we are still very much taking input from the developers as to what is needed.

Sponsorship isn't necessarily bad as long as it is handled correctly. And believe me from the discussions between the 14 or so "Senators" nothing that damages the website will even be considered. We aren't going to sell out.

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ideology
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Post by ideology » 22 October 08 6:33 am

delta_foxtrot2, we are open to all options that people are willing to investigate! are you able to please contact webcentral or waia to see if some kind of deal could be done? there's some technical information in http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=9799 and if you need more info we can get it to you.

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Post by Guest » 22 October 08 10:19 am

ideology wrote:delta_foxtrot2, we are open to all options that people are willing to investigate! are you able to please contact webcentral or waia to see if some kind of deal could be done? there's some technical information in http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=9799 and if you need more info we can get it to you.
Unfortunately I don't have any contacts at webcentral, and I don't really have the time or inclination to get more involved in all this, as I tend to get too involved in things and they become a major time suck.

I'll have a look at the link in the previous comment and see what I can do, but from where I'm standing your biggest issue is CPU time, correct?

If so a hosted server isn't the best option, since you'll get screwed on the hardware cost, you would be better off purchasing a server and just getting it put in a rack somewhere, there is a couple of non-profit options here too, not free but a lot cheaper than $300/mo.

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Post by Guest » 22 October 08 10:23 am

richary wrote:Even though I supposedly represent NSW as one of their senators I will look at comments from everybody before making a yes/no decision.
If it's any conselation, I'm not a perm resident in QLD, all my mail etc still go to a NSW address ;)
If you check back through the sponsorship topics I believe the developers and i! have a pretty good idea what it would cost to place the site in an ISPs server room. That was what led to the donation drive in the first place.
I skimmed, I guess I missed those...
Then the sponsorship option happened out of the blue. We need to consider it and see if it is the best way to grow the site to what the developers (of who I am not one due to lack of coding skills) can do for us - and continue to do it for free because they want to.
I'm not against something like this, I have no idea on the details so have no position on this particular issue, my comments are more toward trying to help you guys lower your running costs.

Guest

Post by Guest » 22 October 08 10:28 am

Hmmm it helps to wake up before posting :)

Sorry, I meant the link you posted i!

Ok, 25G of bandwidth is nothing these days, 2TB might be an issue, but not 25G... Any idea of peak bandwidth, ie 1Mbit/sec?

It should be trivial to get the hardware hosted somewhere in Australia, as per my comments before, it seems the biggest issue is CPU not bandwidth.

Spend the donated money on a physical server, you could get a really really nice one for that to be honest, and in the mean time there is a lot of ISPs and hosting companies in Australia, I can probably give you guys some contacts if you let me know the peak bandwidth it'd be either free or cheap, a lot cheaper than $300/mo.

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Post by Guest » 22 October 08 6:45 pm

Ok I have a few suggestions, and I also asked a friend/colleague about his contacts with PIPE networks and he is also new to geocaching but loves it and is willing to host a couple of servers for free for you guys for this purpose in a data centre in Sydney, he said he was going to email site contacts more details on a proposal later tonight.

As for servers, you can get great deals on refurbs from this site: http://www.apcd.com.au, I don't know about any current server deals, but in the past I've picked up 1RU quad core XEON servers with dual 36G SCSI drives, hardware raid and 4G of ram for $1k ex-GST.

Regardless if you take him up on his offer or not, I can say for certain that it would be easy to get a few 1RU servers hosted about the place for a non-commercial venture such as this, if the info on data usage is still valid etc.

Sorry if I've been a little presumptuous in any way, I'm most certainly not looking to tred on any bodies toes at all. I joined this site because I love the current ethos and would hate to see it change over something like the cost of hosting.

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ideology
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Post by ideology » 23 October 08 8:24 am

that sounds awesome! thanks!

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Post by caughtatwork » 20 November 08 4:09 pm

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your eyes :-)

We have a response from the sponsor to our initial questions.
Your Senators are discussion the responses.

Stay tuned, we'll be right back (maybe in a week).

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2dudez
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Post by 2dudez » 20 November 08 5:23 pm

Thanks for the update C@W.
I was worried this had died in the water so good to know that it is still progressing

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Post by caughtatwork » 01 December 08 10:41 pm

The Senators have been discussing the responses from the sponsor.

We have taken into account a lot of the positions that the community have put forward in terms of what would be acceptable and what would not be acceptable. The general feedback from the community is well represented by your Senators in that not all your Senators are blindly enthusiastic about the opportunity but they are willing to listen and put forward their positions which in a lot of cases emulate the feedback the general community is providing.

There are some rather serious concerns we have with the proposal and we have gone back this evening with our concerns and asked for clarification.

Our initial concerns fall into a couple of broad categories.

The length of time of the commitment.
The nature of funding model.
The family friendly nature of the game in Australia.
The concept of "new and exciting places" which may have been eroded.

Without indicating whether or not any Senators support or do not support the proposal as it has been provided so far, it looks like the timing may not suit our needs. We are likely to press ahead with the provision of a new server using the donated funds and consider the proposal based on different needs to what we had a few months ago.

Thank you for your patience in this matter so far and please be assured that the vigorous debate going on behind closed doors well represents the general community.

I hope that we can nail down a response to either yes or no in the not too distance future and I will continue to provide updates as knowledge and time permits.

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Post by Bewilderbeest » 02 December 08 7:25 am

Thanks for posting the update on the situation, much appreciated

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Coffee and Cache
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Post by Coffee and Cache » 02 December 08 11:55 pm

caughtatwork wrote:We are likely to press ahead with the provision of a new server using the donated funds and consider the proposal based on different needs to what we had a few months ago.
Are you looking to encourage more donations at this point?

Like possibly others, I was thinking of chucking in a few dollars some time back but the sponsorship opportunity arose and I figured there was no longer any point, especially if the money already donated was going to be refunded. If this is not to be the case, I would be happy to help out as I'm sure others would too.

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