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The future of OT.com - UPDATE: Please donate!

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UPDATE 19-Jan-2019: The mods have set up a PayPal account to accept donations. The monthly goal is $75. Hosting costs are due on the 1st of every month, so please donate as soon as you can to help Anchorhead and SilverWook make the first payment on February 1st. And consider making it a monthly donation, even if it’s only a dollar. Every bit helps!


It’s been an amazing and interesting 15 years for me, but it’s time for a change.

With my full confidence and support, SilverWook and Anchorhead will be assuming control of all site content and day-to-day operations: setting rules, assigning mods, moderation, banning, everything. They’ll also manage the Discord server and Twitter account.

My role here will be reduced to one of technical support and server management. I won’t moderate discussions and won’t participate in discussions as a member.

As part of this transition, I will no longer fund the operations of the site in any way as of February 1, 2019. How the membership responds to this new arrangement will determine the future of the community.

Option 1: Accept donations to fund the existing platform

SilverWook and Anchorhead need your financial support to keep the site going in its current form.

Hosting costs are:

  • $50 per month for web hosting ($40 for an unmanaged server and $10 for daily backups)
  • $15 per month for the outgoing mail server
  • $5 per month for the admin e-mail account

So it’s $70 total per month. Edit: The monthly goal has been set at $75 to help cover various fees.

The mods are considering different options to handle donations (PayPal, GoFundMe, whatever they decide) and would transfer funds to me for hosting expenses as necessary (or have the hosting service bill them directly if we can arrange that). If they receive adequate funding to cover hosting, things will remain exactly as they are today. I’ll provide support to keep the site running, fix issues as they come up (the server is unmanaged, meaning it requires regular active maintenance for security patches and such), and occasionally work on new features.

Full disclosure: as a courtesy for the support I’ll provide, I’ll be permitted to host personal web projects on the server as long as they don’t negatively impact OT.com’s performance or availability.

Without funds to continue operations, the existing site will be shut down, leaving the following options.

Option 2: Migrate to a new platform

If someone with the technical acumen to do so wants to volunteer, I’ll make arrangements to give them access as needed to move the existing content to a new platform. This could be a direct migration of the existing forum software and data, or migration of the data to new software, which would be up to this individual (or group). This volunteer would be assuming full responsibility for the care and maintenance of the site and any associated costs.

To prevent someone from taking over the site for a few months and then flipping it for cash, agreements would need to be in place stipulating that the site can not be sold or transferred to another party under any circumstances without my express permission, and ownership would revert back to me in the event that the new admin can/will no longer maintain the site.

Option 3: Start a new community elsewhere

Anchorhead and SilverWook can set up a new community elsewhere at no cost (Proboards, reddit, etc.) and everyone can congregate there. Migrating existing data would be impossible, unfortunately. Since the forum would lose its entire search engine presence overnight, no existing content would carry over, and all links to the existing forum would break, it would be almost like starting from scratch. Surviving a transition like this is unlikely.

Preservation

If the site were to shut down, I’d release the database files to the public (minus private topics and other user info) and possibly create static HTML pages that could be stored and viewed anywhere in order to preserve the site’s content for posterity.

Feedback

We’re open to feedback regarding options we haven’t considered. SilverWook and Anchorhead would very much like to see the forum continue, as would I, despite my reduced participation.

The mods and I apologize for the timing of this announcement, but we figured the sooner the better.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

MTFBWY

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I don’t know how to feel about this. It feels like a natural progression from everything that has happened in the past few years, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult to process. I always knew this place wouldn’t be around forever, but to think it may disappear altogether sometime next year is kind of crazy. Much thanks to oojason’s History of OT thread and to Jay for keeping the content properly archived for all of these years.

From Laserdisc preservations, to Harmy’s Despecialized Editions, to full blown theatrical print restorations, this site has been through a lot, far greater than its original intended purpose. Without this site, we’d have never gotten the GOUT, and we’d have never seen any decent version of the theatrical trilogy make its way to the masses. Oh, someone would have done it, but it certainly would not have been felt to the full extent it has with this site. The original Star Wars would be forgotten.

But today, it lives. And we have this site to thank for that.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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Thanks Jay!

It’s good to know we’ll be in safe hands with SilverWook and Anchorhead.

__Valeyard.net

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Thanks Jay - for everything these past 15 years mate 😃

And good to know you’ll still be around too on the tech side (if Option 1 is the preferred choice).

Edit: and I hope very much hope you change your mind about not participating in discussions on here in the future.
 

Well in to Anchorhead and SilverWook for taking this on.
 

Re option 1… I’d be up for a monthly donation (£10 - $12/13 US) to contribute towards helping cover the costs. The site has given me so much over my time being a member here - so giving some back seems the least I can do.
 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

I find that answer vague and unconvincing. Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Jay,

Thanks for keeping this site running for as long as you have, i have quite enjoyed the community here the past few years.

I would love to see option 1 happen short term, with option 2 being a longer term (Within the year?) goal. I would absolutely help out with some level of donation. please hit me up via PM when you know how you want that to work.

SilverWook and Anchorhead,

Thank you for devoting so much time to the moderation of this site over the years!

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Despite all that’s happened, I’d be willing to donate something to help keep this site up. But right now my financial situation at the moment just won’t allow it. You can’t get blood from a stone as they say.

Again despite all that has happened, I thank Jay for all his work and effort these 15 years.


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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Thanks guys.

Wook and Anchorhead will be handling the donation side of things, so they’ll provide more details on that front once they’ve gauged interest.

Option 2 would be ideal for everyone in the long term I think, provided we can find someone willing to take on the task.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

MTFBWY

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I think some might prefer option 1 if possible.


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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Jay, many thanks for all your years of hard work! Without this forum, it would have been considerably harder for discontented cinephiles to find – and learn from – each other, and many fan projects might not have gotten off the ground.

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It’s my sincere hope ot.com will preserve into the new year. My current issues with the site aside, it would be sad to see this place disappear.

Starve the rich.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

it would be sad to see this place disappear.

Ditto. This site means a lot to me, so I hope option 1 or 2 works out well. I wouldn’t be able to make a monthly donation, though. But this site and its community have literally changed my life for the better. Thanks for everything Jay, Silverwook, Anchorhead, and the rest of you hooligans.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit | The Terminator - Color Regrade | The Wrong Trousers - Audio Preservation
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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I can donate, too. Let me know when you decided how to collect them.

Ceci n’est pas une signature.

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I unfortunately can’t afford to donate monthly but maybe I could make a one-time donation. I guess it’s hard to deny hosting the forum on a free site would be more practical but you’d kind of lose a uniqueness if it were just a subreddit or something. FWIW, this site is the number one in my browser’s most visited pages even ahead of Reddit and YouTube. I want it to stay around. BTW, how many active members do we have?

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Anakin Starkiller said:

BTW, how many active members do we have?

Depends how you define “active”. In the last 30 days, there have been almost 2000 active users (meaning they logged in at some point) with almost 600 of those posting at least once (including private topics).

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

MTFBWY

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Dang. I guess that’s how things go. No surprise it’s time to get some bucks together for this.

I think enough folks could and would donate to keep a year or two in action. Maybe that would work for a few year.

Maybe longer term, someone with the good will, hardware, the means, and the longevity needs to host this from their own place. Someone with an established place that could let it exist.
Someone out there with a little good will who would be a good host. Surely someone out there could do this without much trouble.

Personally, I don’t visit super often, but have been coming here for many years.
Certainly others who have invested a LOT more into the work that’s gone into the many, many, many great projects would also be a little more sad to see it all go.

At this point, I’d say throw a donate button up in the place. Just put a PayPal button wherever it can go. No need for annoying pop ups, just a donate button some places that are obvious. Worst case, you get some bucks. Better case, enough bucks to cover at least a year up front.

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Is this why the site now has ads? I mean, in the current small quantity, I really don’t mind, but I’m curious.

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Yes. It was an attempt to see if it could generate enough to cover the costs.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I just want to thank everyone who has contributed to this site over the years. Although I mostly lurk these days I do do hope the site lives on in one form or another.

Thanks for all the hard work Jay. I look forward to the future of originaltrilogy.com

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Without this site, I never would have discovered the Despecialized Editions, or any of the other Star Wars preservations. I really want to see the site continue on. I’d be down to contribute a monthly donation.

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Cthulhunicron said:

Without this site, I never would have discovered the Despecialized Editions, or any of the other Star Wars preservations. I really want to see the site continue on. I’d be down to contribute a monthly donation.

This

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Thank you Jay, Anchor head and Silverwook!!!

This site means a lot to me, and I never would have seen Star Wars the way it was always in my memories. Or found the many other fan projects, edits, ideas and preservations. This site has a great community, full of rational knowledgeable dreamers. It would be a shame to lose a site as special as this. I would also like to thank all contributes to this site especially Harmy Team Negative one, Adywan. And all you other fanedit, color time debating, radical re-editing crazy old wizards out there.

I think that a PayPal donate button may work out best. I can give a bit when I can that way. With perhaps a ticker of what is needed for the next month/year. I also don’t mind the ads.

May the force be with us!

My fan edit ideas
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Return-of-the-Sith-Revenge-of-the-Jedi-by-marduk666/id/17356

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Would Patreon be a viable option for this as a way for people to kick in a buck or two on a monthly basis to keep the lights on? The good news is that $70 isn’t a huge amount of money so it wouldn’t take that many people giving small monthly donations to reach that goal.