Many thanks to you Homemade for your post and to all the others above.Homemade wrote:Judging by the post dates, this thread passed by months ago.
Time has flown by and I'm ashamed to see that I have not individually acknowledged the posts above as yet; my brain can't keep up with all of you . You don't go unnoticed though, whether they be joshua's suggestions in post #5, or real community posts such as your's Homemade.
Homemade, you asked about financial contributions and renewals. From what I see, those who do donate financially don't need to, and, those that don't, should. It is automated that anyone here who donates $5 or more becomes a Donor. That's cool for me as I don't have to do anything! Anyone who donates $25, I have to manually change their status and, I always write to them, thanking them. (Some readers should check their PM box as some of my thankyou PM's still haven't been opened by them). One or two members have tried to make donations that I have refunded as they either exceeded $100 in total donations or I thought they contribute already enough on the actual forum. The only exception to this was one of the very few members (three, in total, from memory) who I banned from the site. I accepted his donation as he cost me so much time. He is still banned and we still correspond . Might even let him back in soon .
The real point of the above is that it is usually the members who are already contributing their enthusiasm and/or expertise to the forum that make financial donations. For me, that is a tad unfair. On the other side of the coin are a few readers who either post rarely or not at all and make a donation. I really like those as it makes me think the site is making a difference to them.
On a final note, I'm very grateful to all the brewers who have "communed" here. I think/hope that every new member has been made to feel welcome. I'm very aware that the current site format/layout is not user-friendly and has many gaps, but, am also aware that those who do ask a question will be treated with respect and, also, will often get a laugh from any answers they are given. I'm also aware that some members give clear answers and a few member's answers might be confusing or very long. I'm very confident though that anyone will get a quality answer here faster than anywhere else.
The new site is being designed to give fast, quality answers to any brewer. For me personally, the hardest bit of the new site structure is working out a rating system for members. I can obviously show representations of the dollars anyone contributes (anyone who has contributed here, don't worry, your funds will be transferred) but enthusiasm, knowledge, and high-quality posts are much harder to apply an algorithm to.
A quick shout-out to Rick. He's not only creating excellent graphics for the new site, but, is also currently acting, unwittingly, as a sounding board in the areas I am struggling.