I'm running a Nascar Pool at work now and into week 4 now, I'm getting regulars who think I'm going to hold their numbers for them, welll - maybe if they cough up the amount in a pre-paid way the week prior. But I really am not going to SAVE numbers otherwise and I'm finding people are getting insulted that I give their lucky numbers away.
As you say, public service (Okay, I'm paraphrasing you here) but it is sometimes thankless and hard work. Luckily the Beekeeping forums has GREAT VALUE and most people have the patiences to allow the work to get done - I hope everyone understands that we are a small budgetted site, strictly working on donations. Those Ads you DON'T SEE HERE is the difference between flashy Casino-like graphics and super high-tech self-filling forms that work on your log-in info, etc. Honestly, we do magic on a show string, but I have never gone looking for additional funding, besides my simple request in my signature, which has brought a few hundred over the years to the forum which has greatly helped.
I had though about adding a FUND RAISING WEEK back in February when we started year 4 - asking for help in keeping the forum going and creating a buffer to make sure it is around for DECADES literally to come (no matter who is behind the wheel then) is not asking to much, other sites make it their FIRST POST in their popular forums - here, I'd rather hope members see that we could use assistance, see the value they get from the forum and website and IF they can give using the donate button on the forum toolbar. But I NEVER want to put us in a position to beg for funds, I'd rather pay every dollar of cost "Out of pocket" then to have to give members a choice of helping or seeing the site go away.
Nope... Beemaster Forums should be around a long time - I'm coming up soon on redoing the domain name and will grab it for 2 decades (which isn't the cheapest out-of-pocket thing to do) but server costs are in a hold pattern and not costing us currently - but that won't happen forever. So the costs of rumming the site will go up and SHOCKINGLY SO I'm AFRAID, but until then, I'm glad it is within the range where the forum is self-supporting.
Concidaring the amount of NEW features; Blogging, Swarm Removal Map, New SMF Based forum software - it has been a wonderful 6 months for growth, but technology and membership wise. I continue to be amazed at the remarkable expansion and look forward to the years ahead.
Nice chatting, Glad again you have the Swarm MAp info okay :)