Skip to comments."If FR dies, thatís that." - Jim Robinson [Jim's reply at post # 588]
Posted on 01/11/2011 5:28:06 AM PST by paulycy
Here are statements from Jim about the future of FreeRepublic.com for those who missed them. They are quite serious.
"Well, I can say that there are definitely two things that will never happen. 1) Banner ads. 2) Oracle [a completely new database system.] And a third is a total replacement [of the current damaged system.] Dont have the financial wherewithal."
"To those who wish to leave because of it, see ya."
"If FR dies, thats that."
Hey, you want us to get an all new system with all new software and add a few more pricey techs, system programmers and database administrators to keep it all working 100% of the time 24/7/365? Well, start coughing up the big bucks.
Its going to take tens of thousands of donations and many with at least three zeros each after the comma to accomplish the task. And that would be EVERY month like clock work to make the payroll. Once you take on a big load of expensive overhead, theres no going back. As it is, we get a couple thousand donations per quarter averaging about $30 bucks each and theres no guarantees we can cover this quarters expenses much less next quarter. Were on a pay as we go system and we have zero employees.We just ask for enough to pay the bills.
Throwing more money at the problem wont solve it. [This latest glitch] was a technical issue and we just had to keep troubleshooting until we found it. And no, were not going to invite a bunch of strangers in to get their hands on our secure systems. John has been programming since he was 14 and hes pushing 40 now. He built these systems and hes an expert in them.
And no, we are not going to throw out our software and rewrite it and no were not going to move on to some other database system. There are no guarantees that any other system can do a better job and not without hiring a staff to build and maintain it and thats for sure. And we dont have the financial wherewithal to do any of that anyway. Maybe if we had a couple million bucks at our disposal and a couple years to do it in we could build an iron-clad system. And maybe not.
All I can say is, if someone else can do it better and cheaper, then please step right on up and get er done!! Ill bow out and retire. Thankyouverymuch.
Hit it boys:
And no, we have no plans of taking FR commercial. I like it the way it is. Not sure I could handle getting rich.
- Jim Robinson
Bless you as well! :)
And many people are tired of a band of a few inquisators and their version of an FRinquisition against anyone who’s brand of salvation, or lack there of, is different than their own.
That’s probably the oddest “That’s what she said” I’ve ever seen....
Just pulling your string.
The last thing FR needs is bouncing smilies.
A link to an HTML toolbar might be something of interest to some. You can do all the formatting you want with HTML here.
Content is king over formatting for me.
NOBODY EXPECTS THE FR INQUISITION!
I stated ONE of my complaints. Which is what everyone else has been doing. Get over it.
Thank you all very much, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the system other than the fact that it runs on computers and that we run on a shoestring budget with no employees. It’s just me and John, Amy and Chris. I’ve been involved with computers since 1972 starting with the Univac and the IBM/360 and Digital’s PDP and VAX generations. Amy got started a few years earlier. John started programming when he was 14 and was a commercial programmer by 16. He was our C+ guru when we were in the software business. He introduced us to the Internet in the early 90’s before the browser had even been developed. I’ve been a programmer/analyst from the 70’s and also in programming/project management and data processing management and also owned my own software company.
The one biggest thing we’ve learned in all these years is that computer systems have a tendency to crash. And when the inevitable happens, we don’t panic. We troubleshoot, find the problems, fix them and go on. Been doing it for nearly forty years. There is nothing wrong with FR. It’s perfectly normal for systems to fail occasionally.
Now there are ways to make a system more bullet proof and to build-in back ups and redundancy, etc, so there is almost zero downtime for users, but these are usually reserved for critical operations. And that’s because they cost money. Lots of it.
For example we only have one tech, one programmer, one hardware guy, one security guy, one operating system guru, one perl guru, one mysql guru, one all around computer guy and John is it. He’s also our chief procurement officer and liaison with all vendors and suppliers and in his spare time he fills in as our research and development department. Dear old dad with 40 years experience in programming and managing legacy computer systems tries to join in and help but usually just gets in the way. John is a one man shop, he’s on call, on duty 24/7/365 with no vacations or holidays unless he carries a cell phone and lap top and he likes it that way.
We could hire three or four guys to do what John does and we still couldn’t cover it 24/7/365 and provide uninterruptible service. We’d still suffer downtime.
We could also build redundant systems. But that just doubles the cost, doubles the maintenance and doubles or triples the capital requirements and ongoing expense. And unless they were located in different parts of the country on different providers, the redundant systems would not guarantee 100% uptime. Guess what? Even multi-million dollar fail-safe systems fail occasionally. Computers crash! It’s a fact of life and we deal with it every day.
FR was started on zero capital. It was a hobby that has grown terribly out of control. It was a one man shop when I set it up. Amy came in later to help me administer it, then John took over the programming a couple years later and redesigned and rewrote it all at least three times since. He built the servers it runs on. Now it may be that if we had the money we could order all new equipment and redesign and rewrite the software again with an eye for making it all bullet proof, but that would require lots of money and probably hiring some additional talent and it would require time. But we have no money and no access to money. And we are reluctant to take on any additional debt.
Now we could go commercial. We could sell ads. We could sell subscriptions or memberships, We could sell t-shirts and hats. But the moment we do, we invite scrutiny and copyright lawsuits. Before going commercial we would have to scrub our archives of any possible copyright violations. And we’d have to tighten up our current operations to make sure no one posts anything that could get us into trouble with any publisher of stories, photos, images, etc. And with sharks like Righthaven swimming around, there will always be room for trouble. And going commercial still wouldn’t guarantee enough income to build and maintain a paid staff, bullet proof software, redundant systems, etc.
I’m an old dog and I like to keep it simple. We have a nice little system here. We are comfortable with the hardware and our software and our providers and it works fairly well. Actually, very well. We have some occasional problems and have been down a few times but as I said, there are no guarantees that if we had double or triple the size of our hardware or our staff that we still would not suffer some downtime occasionally. It happens.
And we’re perfectly comfortable with donor funding at a shoestring level. I’d hate to complicate the thing by going commercial. We are grassroots and it makes sense to me to keep it all grassroots and uncomplicated if we possibly can.
I see no reason whatsoever to panic about our systems our staffing or our funding.
And I really wish to thank all of YOU who make it possible. Your donations provide the capital we need to keep it all going and your continued participation on our forums makes FR the premier God and Country CONSERVATIVE site on the Internet!!
Thank God for the FReepers!! God bless you all.
You mean a real har-pullin', eye-gougin', kickin', scratchin', bitin' schism right there in the vestry?
Now I know I wanna go to your Church.
Sounds gooder than the Religion Forum.
I agree with that assessment. During the last freep-a-thon, someone from NY sent $4. It touched me so much, that I gave $16 to bump their donation to $20. (I’ve been a monthly donor since about one month after I joined and I give extra during freep-a-thons.)
I was thinking more along the lines of one designation for Dollar-a-day members (of which I am now a proud member!!), one for monthlies (any amount), one for annual/freep-a-thon donations (any amount.)
We really already have access to the first two identifications in the freep-a-thon threads with don-o’s lists, but easy access to that information as we have with sign-up dates would be helpful and a “badge of honor.” IMHO, it might also cut out some of the hate. If you see that someone contributes to FR, you might be less likely to holler “troll” just because you disagree with their opinion - and there is far too much of that going on.
I totally feel paulycy’s frustration (for lack of a better word.) He and I joined at almost the exact same time. Both of us fell in love in with FR and became very active members of this community. We both want to help FR be successful financially but don’t know how to help.
We originally thought increasing membership and participation would increase donations. So when one of the mods wanted to start a FR Welcome Wagon to help out new members who need to learn the ropes here, paulycy and I signed up to help. (Let’s face it, newbies get beaten up. “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.”) That effort bombed.
What to do now? How can we help? We don’t want to lose FR.
Old threads from 2001 and older. Lots of good Clinton data and other stuff, too.
Yeah, not sure if Java is really the best for those things.
More like quilt guild politics, old biddies with knuckledusters and saps.
Their three weapons are stalking, ad hominems, repetition, and yelling for the mods. No, wait....
We’re talking about church bands! It’s a SERIOUS subject. They got tuba players but no sousaphones!
Hey, you’ll never believe what I read in Ann Coulter’s latest book!
FWIW, I’ve never been a big fan of Ann Coulter, even before she started testing gay positive. I don’t even find her that attractive (too bony, and not a brunette).
Thank you, donna.
It’s amazing how many times I’ll do a Google Search on something and the very first result is a Free Republic page.
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