Major Change Coming
The good folks at Roll20.net have offered to fully sponsor RPGMapShare for 6 months. An extremely generous offer! I have accepted, and the sponsorship will officially begin Jan 1, 2014. You'll notice a sponsor logo at the top left of every page. Please be sure to check them out and thank them for helping to keep the site open and free. Remember, though, donations are still an important part ofthis community, and are always appreciated. Every little bit helps! I will be mulling over future options, such as Kickstarter, and will keep everyone posted.
A member has suggested using a service such as Kickstarter to gather the necessary funds to pay for the site for one year at a time. A quick look at the Kickstarter guidelines show that this site may not be eligible. Usually there is a product of some sort that is being developed and rewards which are offered based on donation amounts. I don't have anything like that.
So, if Kickstarter is a non-starter, I can also try a simple donation drive like I did when the server needed to be upgraded. Many of you really came through when needed. But, that amount was only 1/10 of what's needed to pay for the server for one year. I don't want to do this on a month to month basis, that's just too stressful to keep on top of (I have a day job). The goal is $2300 US (the server costs $190 per month). I would love to keep the site open as it has always been, but I hate begging for money. If it's a concern, I can place the money in a separate bank account, and post monthly statements online.
As always, feedback is appreciated.
After much deliberation, I have decided that I must make this site subscription-only.
I know this won't be popular with many people, and it's not something I want to do. But it's become a necessity. It's either subscription or die. I simply can't afford the monthly payments for the server ($190 per month). Granted, RPGMapshare isn't the only site on the server, but it's the one that generates the most traffic, uses the most bandwidth, and the most disk space, by far.
I have always wanted to keep this site free, and I've done so for 7 years so far. It would be great if donations could keep it going, but I haven't received any donations for many months.
Many of you stepped up when it came time to upgrade the server, and I appreciate that more than I can put into words, really.
How will the subscriptions work? I'm still mulling that over. I don't want to make it unaffordable, and drive people away. I was thinking of a $5 monthly subscription, in case you're not sure if you want to keep subscribing, or a $15 6-month sub, or a $25 yearly recurring sub. I'm definitely open to suggestions.
I hope to be able to implement this by December 1.
Please let me know what you think.