If we pay via PayPal and select ‘send money to family/friend’ then it doesn’t charge a fee does it?
I’m not totally sure.
I PayPal-ed some money yesterday.
Sent some money, can’t afford much but hey ho.
I’m absolutely astounded and humbled by the reaction to this fundraiser.
On Thursday, I drafted an email that I didn’t have the heart to send. Saying goodbye to something that I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life doing felt like something I should sleep on. (Admittedly always alongside something else).
From the beginnings of the site as an email fanzine 20 years ago in my teenage bedroom, through the launch of DiS with a collective of kind and patient music lovers in 2000, through the lean years of baked beans for dinner, the brief period of advertising supporting a 3 team staff, the awards, the label, the heady club nights at the Barfly with 5ive dancing to Nirvana, and somehow staying alive after the brief period of investment a decade ago that led to the growth of the site and the birth of The Quietus; throwing all of that away is something that has been front of mind for 3 years. Maybe longer.
Your kind and generous donations will now ensure that we can pay this month’s server bill, and allow us to begin paying back an advance from our ad agency. I’d like to try to cover next month’s bill, as our projected income is half the server costs and we know that December is always the rubbish month (as it’s essentially a 2 week month and most money is spent on TV ads). Anything more that we raise will allow us to sustain ourselves into 2019 and work out how to start anew.
We have to radically change what we do and how we do it. We need to decide whether to keep our 18 year archive of articles, reviews and forum posts. They’re a bit of history but will be archived on Archive dot org. We can’t keep paying out to preserve them with current advertising income and the continued decline of income.
I’d love to know what you would most value from us going forwards. I feel that in a time of so much noise we should be increasingly focussed on surfacing the few truly great new releases each month (like that new Low album, you’ve heard it, right?) and amplifying initiatives that sit with our core values. I’m considering commissioning just one great piece per week, doing a few round ups and looking at how we better offer guidance and amplification where you all consume recommendations and music. However we’re still not in a rush to offer free “curation” to million dollar corporations.
Anyway, I’ve written a lot but I just wanted to ensure you all that this means a lot to me, and behalf of everyone to say thank you, thank you, and thanks again.
Priority number 1: rid yourself of the reliance on advertising revenue.
Everything else follows from there. x
I mean, 52 pieces of quality journalism per year is nothing to be sniffed at and deserves more than a “just”. So that’s defo worth exploring if it’s sustainable.
Sounds so easy when you put it like that!
I’d 4 sure read one really good thing a week.
I’m making absolutely no judgement at all on how easy it is. Cos it depends entirely on what the future aims and expectations of the DiS business/project are.
Regarding the archiving thing. If archive.org can’t be relied on to carry things over for posterity, I wonder if there’s a way to take the old server-intensive stuff offline and re-upload it in a significantly less expensive way. (I’m sure this has been given plenty of consideration, but no harm done in airing it again to see if anyone has any answers.)
I totally get that
There’s basically no option but to move away from a model based on advertising to sustain an archive of content. Somehow. Which ain’t some great insight. Just an attempt to focus on a way to keep the wheels of a version of DiS turning, rather than see the plug pulled entirely.
The answer is almost inevitably some form of subscriber base. Probably with top-ups. For what it’s worth, I think the new banner with ways to pay is a step in the right direction. Previous versions were, to be frank, slightly half-arsed. They were hugely avoidable and not entirely clear about what donations were expected to achieve beyond keeping the wolves from the door for a bit.
(For the avoidance of doubt, I’ve been a monthly ‘subscriber’ for as long as I’ve known the option existed. i.e. before we transferred over to this frankly excellent forum upgrade. Ironically, soon after I set up the payments, I had six months where I didn’t visit or post anything. Also, I’m just another idiot with a rambling opinion. All substantiated contradictions gratefully received.)
completely unrelated, but what on earth would you do without the quote function here?
Heh. Can’t remember what I did on the old forum. Ya best have a look sooner rather than later if you want to check before sean presses the big red button!
Not sure about the articles and reviews. But if it makes sense financially then bin the old forum without hesitation.
Ask yourself: Am I sitting on a publishing goldmine?
The answer to this is 100% yes. Either by running a spider against everything and re-uploading as-is on something like AWS, Google Cloud or Azure as a static site, or by taking a dump of the database, piecing together the important tables again and normalising it into something more workable/cheaper (There’s no doubt a lot of redundant stuff). As it’s largely articles, a document centric database rather than an SQL one may make sense and be considerably cheaper to run. Obviously, without having full access to everything and knowing what Sean’s server bills are currently like it’s difficult to know exactly how much they could come down by or how long it would take and whether it’s worth doing the actual work.
The real question for me is how does Sean and/or the community do it?
Obviously paying for dev time is out - Sean’s been understandably clear about this before - but (and I floated this once before to very little reception), I honestly feel like it’s something that the community could help with. There’s quite a few Software professionals here, and no doubt some hobbyists as well, so if people were up for it then we could offer Sean our time to see what we collectively think is a way forward beyond nuking the entire thing. We may not collectively be able to solve the problem in an ideal way, but many heads means collectively we would come up with a range of possible ideas for keeping the stuff Sean wants to keep online at a reduced cost, and maybe even (if it’s not too big a job) donate some time towards making the necessary changes.
If @Twinkletoes and team were able to start a record label between them, I honestly don’t think it’s beyond the wit of those of us with the necessary skills to help out communally here. Of course, what I don’t know is if there’s enough of us with enough time, skills and willpower collectively to solve the problem (I could easily name at least half a dozen people with coding skills, but that doesn’t mean they could necessarily help for many reasons), nor whether it’s something Sean would be comfortable with exploring. I would be up for helping as part of a group personally, but it’s going to take more than just a bit of my spare time to solve DiS’s woes.
I am much more knowledgeable about SQL than labels and would be happy to do some free dev work
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has made a donation so far. You’ve turned my frown into a clown grin.
I did put the fixed costs above. It varies depending on how much the gap is between ad revenue and the costs.
i also just want to say that i would be incredibly sad if the old boards and old site disappeared. to pick a random example i used to live with someone and mentioned DiS to him. he surprised me by saying oh i love those guys, they gave me a good review. he’d released something ( but it got picked up and given a pretty good score - i imagine someone in his position would be quite sad if the site did get nuked
Similarly, we suspect Beady Eye would be happy