2018- the state of the forum, donations request and going forward

Discussion in 'Announcements & News' started by Mr Waffle, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Mr Waffle

    Mr Waffle Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Twitter:
    mrwaffle48
    Hi all, how are you? We are coming up on Stage48's birthday and I figured it was time to put out a big post.

    First of all, thank you as always for visiting! This place wouldn't be the same without you!

    Next, a big thanks to our moderators for keeping things in line, it's never an easy job!

    Ok, so now the less fun stuff. Some things around the forum aren't as good as they could be, are wack, or just totally broken. That's not good, so we need to get to work on it. At the moment the mods and I are gathered and discussing what we need to do going forward, and I'm hoping we can present a roadmap for the future going forward soon. At the minimum it's "things stay the same", but we definitely want to aim higher!!

    This brings us to the hardest part- asking for your support. This is a huge forum- many many times bigger than it once was, running on a dirt-cheap shared service using free software. To support such a big forum we need to have a dedicated server with top shelf software, which isn't cheap. In the past users have hit that big pink "donate" button and helped us out, and it has kept the forum going strong, and if you are able to, we could use your support for the next year's server costs too. Thanks to donations over the past year, we are currently at ~20% of the server bill. I know money is tight for everyone- between real life, the senbatsu election, and all the other things life throws at you- but if you have some spare money, we would really appreciate it if you could help out!

    Now going forward, there's a few things that we need to fix. For example, the layout of the forum has unfortunately grown stale, and we'll need to fix that. I'm talking with the moderators to decide which permissions are needed for who so we can get into the layout of the forum and tweak that. And as mentioned, the forum software isn't cheap, so if we can get enough donations we can upgrade to the latest version, which should offer many more tools to make the place easier and more enjoyable to use.

    At the moment that's not much to go on, but unfortunately it's a big world and we don't all live in the same time zone so discussions can go slowly. I'll keep this thread updated with updates!

    If you've made it to the end of this thread, thank you for your support, you're the real senbatsu!

    Edit#1


    Wow, thank you so much everyone. A ton of donations have come in, sitting at 86% of costs covered in two days!!! :shock: You're all champions in my book :1st:

    I'll be able to sit down tomorrow and make a proper list of names and match them for updating to a "donor" status on your profile.

    I've already received a great list of great things that we need to work on. A VERY rough and totally not-a-promise list includes better user details (eg kenkyuusei, oshimen things), Forum layout, more permissions for staff to do their job, wiki48 permissions (will need to update the software on that too!), the upvote system needs some polishing, better threading, emoticon update... there is definitely more to look at but that's a good start I think.

    (I'll fight to the death to keep the banana emoticon though :banana: )
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  2. Matsui Hikari

    Matsui Hikari Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Was able to donate $25. Not a lot but hopefully it will help! I've had quarrels on this forum but it's because of the quarrels that made me enjoy me stay here [hehe] Let me know if the donation went through :)
     
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  3. qpet

    qpet Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Oshimen:
    Watanabe Mayu
    good to have you back mr waffle
    I need someone's confirmation here
    edit: ok got confirmed.. new banners:approve:
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  4. xinchun

    xinchun Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm glad things are being worked out and getting updated! Great to see the up to date banners and such. =)
     
  5. rka

    rka Rank 81-100 (Temporary Name) Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Location:
    Fanboy-Ville, District Sae
    Oshimen:
    Tanigawa Airi
    Twitter:
    rka_01
    Wow.
    Waffle re-appearing out of nowhere triggered me to donate some bucks as well.

    WB, and i hope for a bright future of this wonderful forum. I am not a mod, obv, but if i can be of any service, i offer my help, as well.
     
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  6. David61

    David61 Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Location:
    Reading, England
    Oshimen:
    Ogino Yuka
    Twitter:
    DavidB13
    I've just hit the Donate button too with $25. Looking forward keenly to developments!
     
  7. lunakitten

    lunakitten Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    I couldn't offer much but I did donate something. Thank you for the hard work you guys do
     
  8. wlerin

    wlerin Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Oshimen:
    Mutou Tomu
    Why does it always seem like newer versions of forum software are downgrades though :confused:
     
  9. SunnyHighland

    SunnyHighland Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    From Scottish lowland to Kanto lowland
    Oshimen:
    Okabe Rin
    donated some small amounts several days ago. I hope it can help covering the bill.
     
  10. Arinko

    Arinko Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Oshimen:
    Nakamura Ayuka
    Donated.
     
  11. saqbix

    saqbix Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Donated
     
  12. Lusankya

    Lusankya Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Location:
    Germany
    Oshimen:
    Nishino Miki
    I donated 40$, although there was some hickup with the site so I couldn't leave a message. But it's from the same email account I used to register here (except paypal uses the older googlemail.com instead of gmail.com).
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  13. Yumenotobiira

    Yumenotobiira Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Location:
    Sweden
    Oshimen:
    Minegishi Minami
    Twitter:
    fakehime_jpg
    I don't have much but I donated a small amount!
     
  14. innosu

    innosu Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2017
    Location:
    日本国内
    Oshimen:
    Kojima Mako
    I know it's a real work, and I appreciate everyone working to keep Stage48 running. I have seen that Big Donate button a few time, but honestly, it's not very discoverable. The first time I realised Stage48 accept donation is when I saw people with green banner in forum thread. It takes me even more time to find where I could donate, as I expect it in footer or menu. Pink might stand out in normal site, but this site is AKB48...

    Another thing I'd appreciate and would make me more willing donate is a donation amount. I am not expecting real-time here, but a weekly or monthly update and donation amount, and amount needed to cover the cost would be really nice and increase transparency of the process itself.

    I am sorry to be negative here. I'd love to help, but money is real tight for me right now. (I never expected that I could overspent on SSK until I move to Japan lol)
     
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  15. kanjo

    kanjo Stage48 Moderator Staff Member Stage48 Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland->Shimane
    Oshimen:
    Nishino Nanase
    Not an admin, just a mod, but it's a fair and reasonable question, and also the site costs were mentioned before in previous donation drives so I think it's okay to say.

    The current annual cost of running the site and licensing the forum software (xenforo) is 790 USD. Any additional donations will go to upgrading the software the site is running on and/or next years fees.

    But no one should feel pressured to donate. If money is tight but you want to donate anyway, consider voting during the year when there's no expensive elections on. I think I always donated a little late in previous years.
     
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  16. gocchisama

    gocchisama Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Paris,France
    Oshimen:
    Hirate Yurina
    Twitter:
    Gocchisama
    i'm gonna wait for further information of what's going to be done before supporting stage48.

    What i'm expecting is, the "until we can't contact the head admin, there's nothing we can do" sentence should not exist anymore
     
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  17. dutchie

    dutchie Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Oshimen:
    Minegishi Minami
    I kinda got that from the OP ...
    anyway, I had been planning to hit that donate button a while back, so now is just a good a time as any.
     
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  18. Peach Anmitsu

    Peach Anmitsu Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    Location:
    USA
    Oshimen:
    Komiyama Haruka
    This is actually my first post but I've donated before and don't mind again. I enjoy just reading the posts and would love to help support. In fact going to donate a bit right now.

    edit: it finally went through. donated $25
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  19. minaeshi

    minaeshi Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Oshimen:
    Yamamoto Sayaka
    Twitter:
    minaeshi
    To be fair, considering how long we've been waiting for a response from Head Admin, it's more than reasonable to still feel like waiting before donating money even after they've returned.
    This is the first time we've seen Mr.W make an appearance in a long time, and while I'm happy that there seems to be some movement from the Head Admin (and I appreciate the time it takes to run a whole forum server while dealing with IRL issues), I would like to see more frequent updates to the forum to help me feel like my donations will be going towards something worthwhile. Maybe a bi-weekly post just giving the users an update on how things are going with the upgrade or any new updates to the current layout. I don't want to donate only to hear that same quote a few months later when the site breaks down again. The addition of the reaction buttons, the new discord, and the banner update show's me that we're heading in the right direction, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the site will upgrade itself.

    Thank you to the Mods both old and new who have been putting up with our endless complaints regarding the forum, and welcome back Mr.Waffle :flower:
    Onwards and Upwards! :1st:
     
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  20. Kyobu

    Kyobu Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Brit living in Nagoya
    Oshimen:
    Takahashi Juri
    Thank you to everyone who kept this forum running for over 10 years.
     
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