Hello, all... Well, we hope that everyone is liking the new platform, and feeling more and more comfortable with the new normal. I think we have most of the initial issues worked out, and 90% of what isn't solved yet should be done by sometime this weekend. List gets shorter every few hours. It's still going to take some time to tweak and massage a few things, but most functionality should be up to speed by now. Thank y'all for your patience and your input. We've had a few people ask about the donations page right from Day One, but we didn't put it up for awhile because we were kicking around some new options, and wanted time to discuss it with the staff. It's back up now, so anyone who wants to have at it should by all means feel free! Because yeah - we spent some money this week... but I'm not here asking for money. I loathe asking for money anyway (which is probably part of the reason we're always broke), but in this case I especially do not want to give that impression. I don't want to cheapen what we've been doing these last few days. Rather, the purpose of this thread is to float some ideas out there for the community and give the members a chance to discuss them and help us fine tune it. We have some ambitious plans for where we want to take this forum, and let's be honest. We'll be spending. I won't get into numbers, because I don't want to make people feel pressured, but for the sake of discussion we'll be spending 3 to 4 times what we used to spend. Improved hosting, technical support, additional security features, and most importantly some added features that we believe will elevate this board above anything else of its kind on the internet. I don't want to overpromise, but at this point I'll just say that if we succeed at what we're trying to do, people are going to feel very good about having been a part of it. We're going to spend that money no matter what, but the more help we get the easier it will be for us to afford it. We have a few ideas about how we can raise some of the revenue offsite, and we will be pursuing those avenues to the fullest extent possible. We would really prefer to stay away from ads, and that's not an immediate option at all. Most of the money will be coming from our pockets and from outside sources, but however much we can raise internally will help a lot. We know that many of our members will continue to donate $5, $10, $20 whenever it's feasible for them, and we will always be grateful for that. Truth is, there've been a lot of months where that was the only thing that kept the lights on. These are the people who keep PF going. However, there is also a group of donors who sometimes contribute larger sums of money. And while we are very grateful for that support, we have also always felt badly that we could not offer these donors some tangible validation for what that money bought. We think we have an idea that would not only reassure them of what their contribution has accomplished, but also give them some tangible public recognition for what they have done for the community. To that purpose, what we are thinking of doing is this. Some of the features we need cost as much as somewhere in the hundreds for the initial purchase. What we're considering doing is to let members sponsor specific features they think are important to the future direction of the site, in return for which they would get prominent recognition for being the member who made that feature possible. Something like, "so-and-so, sole sponsor of the search feature." "So-and-so, partial sponsor of Political Forum's security software." "So-and-so, sponsor of Political Forum's image galleries." And so on. And, a year later - when the license for that particular piece of software comes up for renewal - the renewal fee is a fraction of the original purchase price, and that member could maintain their status by donating just the renewal cost. We feel this would be a way for donors to see tangible results for the money they donate, and at the same time give them the recognition they deserve by telling the entire community that this particular user is the reason we all enjoy such-and-such a feature. Obviously a win for the site, and a win for the membership as a whole, but more importantly a double win for the members who believe in this site enough to reach down into their pocket and make it all happen. Now, we can talk about the details of how this would shake out; and, if people think it's a workable idea, we'll probably get some good suggestions on how to make it work. But for now, I'd just like to get a general sense of whether people think this is a proper direction to go. And, we may as well also use this thread to kick around any other suggestions for how we could make the donations system work out as well and as comfortably as possible for all the members. What else could we be doing differently? Any thoughts, criticisms, or suggestions? Thanks, everyone.