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Figuring out the next step.


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Hello all, 

 

This one is a hard one but something I have come to terms with.  ExtremeHW was an effort to escape the corporate world and create a safe space for all to enjoy that had that more "personal" touch. A place that catered to the community as opposed to catering to the bank account.  Having seen and lived the "corporate" experience, I wanted to create something of my own, a hark back to the past, to the "golden age" as it were.  Since that time I have had some complications in life that have had me re-evaluate my position and the site. These complications are both personal and financial. My personal reasons outweigh any of the issues stemmed by the finances, but the financial issues certainly play a part. 

 

Ultimately I am the sole earner for the family and that is due to my other half being off work on long term sick. As I am sure you guys understand, that means I take a financial hit on a monthly basis along with accrued debts as well as my time having to be more dedicated towards family and for myself as keeping ones mental health in good check is hugely important as you are no good to anyone if you are unwell yourself. Some of these issues are new, some are not, but overtime things have come to a head, which has forced me to be real about the situation.  For a community to continue to grow and prosper you need three things. 

 

1. Time,  a good chunk 

2. Patience, a good chunk of this too.

2. Money. If you want to really grow the community and keep it enticing, money plays a big part (Competitions, Marketing, Staffing, SEO, Development etc etc).

 

With myself having a dwindling amount of both of these item 1 & 2, it becomes hard to justify staying the course as it is. This is why I have come to the conclusion that I cannot continue to run or finance ExtremeHW, it is not responsible for me personally nor is it fair to leave the community hanging in the wind with my absence and lack of investment. So moving forward where does this leave us?

 

Ultimately there are two choices. Find a buyer or buyers who believes in the core goals and spirit of the community who has the time and resources to continue forward with the site and transfer everything over to them, even train them in the systems. Or if that fails the community will go offline after a suitable amount of time to allow users to collect any information they want,. finish out conversations and allow for recently published articles to get airtime. 

 

This is a sad time as this was not something I envisioned and I feel that the site as a base platform has come to a good point but realistically I have taken it as far as I can . I would like to give my profound thanks to all those who have been a part of the community, members, staff & reviewers. It has been great to have you along and you have all been a huge help in shaping the site and it has been great to see the thoughtful content contributed by so many.

 

I will advise as to the future of the site as and when I know what is happening regarding Sale or closure, the site will continue to be fully available until that time and fair warning either way will be given.

 

All the very best,

 

**Edit** 

 

New direction found as below, all thanks to the community helping with site costs and donating staffing time! 

 

Quote

 

I just want to say that the support is very heartwarming and just goes to show what community is all about. I thank you all for your kind words and support of every kind!

 

After thinking about it and speaking with my partner, we both know why I founded this community and both agree that walking away completely would be a mistake. That being said, it is also clear that I need to better delegate some of the sites operations to a staff for the sites wellbeing, as well as my own. It is a win win. 

 

From a financial point of view. Hopefully once the Ads come in these will help. However I do not foresee that making much of a dent (at least until we see growth). So I think for the community to remain and prosper, I would have to take those who are able/offered up on there generosity with helping with site costs.  

 

If you are happy to help with costs, please post here, as some of you have or send me a PM. 

 

Regarding Staff and helping me to run the site, leave this with me to come up with positions and we can go from there. My goal is to be active, but ultimately being a watchful eye.

 

So far as site development. This is halted, but was halted anyway as there was nothing else to be done at this point so far as site features.

 

Monthly running costs will be reviewed and we will be moving to a more cost effective hosting solution, possibly VPS rather than full dedicated. SEO will be stopped. @iamjanco. I will speak with you regarding server side bits and bobs via PM. 

 

More to come, this is a post from my phone lol. 

 

With gratitude,

 

E

 

If you wish to donate to help towards the running of the site, please use our Donations Page

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EHW News Editor
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Would it be possible to make a backup and maybe revive it in some years if the situation allow it?  Last time i was active for real on something was in a gaming clan back in 2013 then the clan died 🙁

 

 

Thank everyone for the time spent here i will miss talking with everyone. :music_trumpet:🇨🇦Well Done Good Job GIF by Jason Clarke

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Ok a lot to digest here. How will this affect our folding and HWBOT teams, ect? I think we can keep them alive if we can keep the discord open. Discord is free right?

 

How much does it cost to keep the site alive as it is? If you don't want to disclose that, I understand, but that information may be helpful to those that may wish to help out.

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That's really unfortunate. I do know that businesses in general are very difficult to get successful. Even more so for internet forums these days.

 

18 minutes ago, damric said:

Ok a lot to digest here. How will this affect our folding and HWBOT teams, ect? I think we can keep them alive if we can keep the discord open. Discord is free right?

 

How much does it cost to keep the site alive as it is? If you don't want to disclose that, I understand, but that information may be helpful to those that may wish to help out.

Yeah, Discord is free.

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41 minutes ago, damric said:

Ok a lot to digest here. How will this affect our folding and HWBOT teams, ect? I think we can keep them alive if we can keep the discord open. Discord is free right?

 

How much does it cost to keep the site alive as it is? If you don't want to disclose that, I understand, but that information may be helpful to those that may wish to help out.

I would not be against a sub we had that on my gaming forum. A goal for each month was like 350$ monthly back then for like a full on dedicated server.

 

Reddit can have free subforum and private one too.

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E, you've been fighting an uphill battle. These kinds of forums have to complete against so much more than just other forums now with discord and the likes having gotten so popular. It's been fun and the effort has been appreciated.

 

Just a thought but I wonder if this site could continue development as more of a community project. I'd imagine it took more than one guy to get OCN originally to a point of success. Maybe a few ppl here would want to work on it? 

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9 hours ago, bonami2 said:

Would it be possible to make a backup and maybe revive it in some years if the situation allow it?  Last time i was active for real on something was in a gaming clan back in 2013 then the clan died 🙁

 

 

Thank everyone for the time spent here i will miss talking with everyone. :music_trumpet:🇨🇦Well Done Good Job GIF by Jason Clarke

If the site went toward closure rather than new ownership, the data would be kept safe for sure 🙂

5 hours ago, damric said:

Ok a lot to digest here. How will this affect our folding and HWBOT teams, ect? I think we can keep them alive if we can keep the discord open. Discord is free right?

 

How much does it cost to keep the site alive as it is? If you don't want to disclose that, I understand, but that information may be helpful to those that may wish to help out.

Regardless of the sites future, no reason the HWBOT, Folding or Discord need to be affected 🙂

 

So far as costs to keep this site going, there are monthly and annual costs which I will be calculating.

5 hours ago, bonami2 said:

I would not be against a sub we had that on my gaming forum. A goal for each month was like 350$ monthly back then for like a full on dedicated server.

 

Reddit can have free subforum and private one too.

 

4 hours ago, UltraMega said:

E, you've been fighting an uphill battle. These kinds of forums have to complete against so much more than just other forums now with discord and the likes having gotten so popular. It's been fun and the effort has been appreciated.

 

Just a thought but I wonder if this site could continue development as more of a community project. I'd imagine it took more than one guy to get OCN originally to a point of success. Maybe a few ppl here would want to work on it? 

Indeed, there is a LOT of competition out there, the landscape has changed for better or worse. As you say its a struggle to build a large membership and I knew that and accepted from the start that it would be a challenge. 

 

Actually, not sure regarding OCN. It started as one guy and then there was a small team of guys moving forward. However the owner of OCN at the time was in a better financial position than I am and had some great contacts. It make a big difference!

3 hours ago, newls1 said:

if someone wants to PM me with what the sale price is, i might be interested in a purchase.  

Once I have something together I will send you a message 🙂 Thanks for putting yourself forward.

3 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

That's life sometimes. Thank you for what you've built, and I hope we can find a way forward that help everyone, you in the time and money department, and the site in not closing. I will keep my fingers crossed.

I appreciate everyone's kind words 🙂 my hope is for the site to remain and its what im working towards.

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EHW News Editor
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I don't know how much of the financial info about the site you're willing to talk about publicly, but my two cents is in the form of a couple questions and suggestions:

 

  • How much does it cost to run the site on a monthly or yearly basis? Knowing the cost would help people gauge if we can come up with a path forward. 
  • Is there anyone here who would want to donate some time towards working on the site as far as whatever else needs to be done?
  • What else needs to be done here? Are there back end goals that still need to be met? Is it mostly about the cost? 
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I'd like to pitch in too and help.  Seriously, we can't let this site go down too.  Sorry E, that you're going through tough times.  However I feel as a community, we could EASILY keep the site alive and kicking.  Whoever bites on it, PM me.  I'll help in any way I can.  I'm not the smartest with running a website, seriously I know nothing about it.  I'd love to learn though.  I'll pitch in on the buying of it too if need be.  I don't have a ton of expendable cash, but I'm sure we can figure out something.  Even if that something is just buying the rights and content, and transferring it to local hosting.  We can figure something out! 😄 

EDIT:
I just hope that whoever buys it, and it sounds like somebody will....lol, I just hope that it stays community oriented like it "should be". 🙂 

Edited by pioneerisloud
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1 hour ago, UltraMega said:

I don't know how much of the financial info about the site you're willing to talk about publicly, but my two cents is in the form of a couple questions and suggestions:

 

  • How much does it cost to run the site on a monthly or yearly basis? Knowing the cost would help people gauge if we can come up with a path forward. 
  • Is there anyone here who would want to donate some time towards working on the site as far as whatever else needs to be done?
  • What else needs to be done here? Are there back end goals that still need to be met? Is it mostly about the cost? 

 

I can certainly answer those questions 🙂 I will get some details later as im just heading to work. 

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Couple questions, @ENTERPRISE

 

1) How can we help right now?

2) I don't speak for everyone here, but ideally, retaining you as a controlling owner, but absorbing #1, #2, and the second #2 😉 seems like something this community could do, collectively?

Edited by BWG
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2 hours ago, BWG said:

Couple questions, @ENTERPRISE

 

1) How can we help right now?

2) I don't speak for everyone here, but ideally, retaining you as a controlling owner, but absorbing #1, #2, and the second #2 😉 seems like something this community could do, collectively?

 

1. Buy me a winning lottery ticket 😛

2..... 

 

So a breakdown on costs that I can recall at this moment, but I believe this to be a correct list. 

 

Monthly Costs

 

£150 - Server proactive maintenance (I have a really decent guy for this who I was happy to pay to keep it off my hands and he is far more experienced in this that I)
£20 - CloudFlare 
£180 - Dedicated Server (Dedicated over cheaper VPS as originally wanted a rock solid platform, this could be reduced obviously)
£150 - Basic SEO (Was £300-400 at full tilt)

 

£500 GBP/ $616 USD Total

 

Yearly Costs

 

$100 Invision Community
$99 Fonticon Icons (Font Awesome)
$40 Tag System 
$35 Discord Integration 
$20 Marketplace 
$30 Carousel Slider
$60 Video/Stream System 
$25 AWS Mailing Sytem 

 

Total $409 USD/ £330 GBP

 

These are running costs. This does not include bespoke development for the site or one off feature costs. Custom Dev which would include things like :

 

Rig Builder 
Latest News/Review Blocks 
Award System (Ready but not active yet)
Dark Theme/Theme Adjustments
EHW Premium (Any and all perks included in Premium packages) 

 

Obviously these are one off costs for custom dev. The other one off cost features....is another list.

 

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Perhaps my mistake in all this is trying to do everything, which I have been guilty for...forever lol. I have no issue with remaining the owner and doing what I can moving forward. But If that were to be the case I think we need to get a staff going here and re-structure possibly what we have on the site. A NEED vs want. I would love to keep all of it as it shapes the site well. But beggars cannot be choosers and ultimately it depends if people are wanting to collectively pitch in and help out etc. There is of course no obligation to do so. 

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17 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

 

1. Buy me a winning lottery ticket 😛

2..... 

 

So a breakdown on costs that I can recall at this moment, but I believe this to be a correct list. 

 

Monthly Costs

 

£150 - Server proactive maintenance (I have a really decent guy for this who I was happy to pay to keep it off my hands and he is far more experienced in this that I)
£20 - CloudFlare 
£180 - Dedicated Server (Dedicated over cheaper VPS as originally wanted a rock solid platform, this could be reduced obviously)
£150 - Basic SEO (Was £300-400 at full tilt)

 

£500 GBP/ $616 USD Total

 

Yearly Costs

 

$100 Invision Community
$99 Fonticon Icons (Font Awesome)
$40 Tag System 
$35 Discord Integration 
$20 Marketplace 
$30 Carousel Slider
$60 Video/Stream System 
$25 AWS Mailing Sytem 

 

Total $409 USD/ £330 GBP

 

These are running costs. This does not include bespoke development for the site or one off feature costs. Custom Dev which would include things like :

 

Rig Builder 
Latest News/Review Blocks 
Award System (Ready but not active yet)
Dark Theme/Theme Adjustments
EHW Premium (Any and all perks included in Premium packages) 

 

Obviously these are one off costs for custom dev. The other one off cost features....is another list.

 

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Perhaps my mistake in all this is trying to do everything, which I have been guilty for...forever lol. I have no issue with remaining the owner and doing what I can moving forward. But If that were to be the case I think we need to get a staff going here and re-structure possibly what we have on the site. A NEED vs want. I would love to keep all of it as it shapes the site well. But beggars cannot be choosers and ultimately it depends if people are wanting to collectively pitch in and help out etc. There is of course no obligation to do so. 

Perhaps I'm ignorant to the costs of running a site like this, but I have a website for my business and it's like $100 per year. Of course it's a much simpler website, but the costs do seem pretty high. Any insight on why it's so expensive? SquareSpace would host a website like this for a pretty low monthly fee I think. 

 

I do agree with you that you have been trying to do too much on your own. OCN had decades to develop and it started with a much simpler layout that worked for the time. Trying to build a site like that now as one man seems like it would be extremely difficult. 

 

 

One immediate suggestion as far as keeping the flow of content on this site would be to appoint someone as a content coordinator. Someone who can basically get a list of content goals and assign them out to people who want to write reviews and such, and then do the proof reading and such before they go live. That way we could have a running stream of content without you having to be the bottleneck trying to keep up with everything. 

 

I'd be happy to take on such a role. 

 

What happened with adding ads to the site? Is that still possible? Can that offset some of the costs? 

 

Seems like the costs are too high to realistically be obsorbed by the current community so what steps can we take to reduce the costs? 

Edited by UltraMega
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7 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

Perhaps I'm ignorant to the costs of running a site like this, but I have a website for my business and it's like $100 per year. Of course it's a much simpler website, but the costs do seem pretty high. Any insight on why it's so expensive? SquareSpace would host a website like this for a pretty low monthly fee I think. 

 

I do agree with you that you have been trying to do too much on your own. OCN had decades to develop and it started with a much simpler layout that worked for the time. Trying to build a site like that now as one man seems like it would be extremely difficult. 

 

 

One immediate suggestion as far as keeping the flow of content on this site would be to appoint someone as a content coordinator. Someone who can basically get a list of content goals and assign them out to people who want to write reviews and such, and then do the proof reading and such before they go live. That way we could have a running stream of content without you having to be the bottleneck trying to keep up with everything. 

 

I'd be happy to take on such a role. 

 

Squarespace has its place. It is great for quick ecommerce sites and the like as well as simple content hosting. However those sorts of "One package fit all" type of service allow for zero custom development and plugins and is not ideal/cannot host communities.  As documented the actual cost of the Platform (Invision) is small, a little like Squarespace. The larger costs come from the other items listed mostly. 

 

Yes you are correct, we should have content, competition, social media etc like co-ordinators that have duties and should anything come up, that is only really when a founder/owner would get involved. Though of course these positions are usually voluntary, like on OCN.

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2 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

 

Squarespace has its place. It is great for quick ecommerce sites and the like as well as simple content hosting. However those sorts of "One package fit all" type of service allow for zero custom development and plugins and is not ideal/cannot host communities.  As documented the actual cost of the Platform (Invision) is small, a little like Squarespace. The larger costs come from the other items listed mostly. 

 

Yes you are correct, we should have content, competition, social media etc like co-ordinators that have duties and should anything come up, that is only really when a founder/owner would get involved. Though of course these positions are usually voluntary, like on OCN.

I feel like the SEO payments/costs could be canceled since the site isn't currently really pulling in new users anyway. For now it seems like it would make sense to pair back costs to the bare minimum to keep the site up and running, then work on fleshing out the roles for content creation and make it less of a one man show. Once the flow of content is good, adding costs to boost the site can be revisited. 

 

And what about ads? Is that still happening? 

 

I think I've got some good ideas for coordinating content creation. For real, I'd be happy to volunteer for that. I'd just coordinate with people here to get them going on stuff they're interested in writing about and oversee the process of getting it posted. 

Edited by UltraMega
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2 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

So a breakdown on costs that I can recall at this moment, but I believe this to be a correct list. 

 

Monthly Costs
£150 - Basic SEO (Was £300-400 at full tilt)

 

Though I'm retired now (more or less because of age related eyesight issues), I've done all sorts of websites and server maintenance since the mid '90s. That includes static and dynamic sites, sites created using content management systems (e.g., like WordPress/BBPress, Drupal, Magento, BigCommerce, XML help-based sites created using FrameMaker, Flare, etc.), and sites that included forums (e.g., BBPress, Simple Machines--also known as SMF, etc.). Mostly on LAMP platforms (including AWS). 

 

Over the years I've done such work for some fairly well-known corporate players; both as full-time staff, and as a consultant.

 

While £150/month for SEO upkeep might not be unreasonable depending on what that involved, I'd be really curious to know specifically what that entailed as well as what you got for your investment at "full tilt."

 

Btw, I'm not totally blind (yet). I'm more like Mr. Magoo with a good set of coke bottle glasses. 

 

...and I'm exactly like him when I can't find my glasses in the morning.

 

 

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