♡ Please Support Us : All I Want For Christmas Is GRCADE | Target: £275 (499.41 donated!!)

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Green Gecko
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Post♡ Please Support Us : All I Want For Christmas Is GRCADE | Target: £275 (499.41 donated!!)
by Green Gecko » Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:17 am

Running Total / Target £499.41 / £275

Update 16:38pm - I am lost for words, thank you so much everyone. I was reticent to ask for more than 1 month or hosting in advance, to set up something recurring, but this buys time to do that and no panic in January. I've been in a bad place so this means a lot to me. There are people close to me in my life who could learn from GRcade!

We've already smashed the target - and I'm pleased a lot of you have entered the draw (anyone who's donated this time will be eligible for a tee) . I'm really looking forward to that. I'm back at the studio place on the 27th so I will do a draw around NY so there's something to look forward to, and I'll enjoy making some things up (in response to this generosity, I'll think of some laser or even cnc milled items as well). All I can say is thank you!! Merry Christmas, and thank you for all the messages as well :wub: :wub: :wub:

Update 01:48am - Thank you ball starters! I am touched to see a response at such a small hour and so quickly! I've updated the total, but I should probably get to sleep! Next step $4.5 million dollars!

Dear Everyone,

Yup, Here We Go Again

I have normally made long and spirited appeals to our community to address the real and pressing needs of running the forum like it is on dedicated hardware with its own connection to the Internet which, amongst a great deal of other work owing to the likes of The Server Admin Formerly Known As Karl, and Mark, is responsible for the speedy and (for the most part) fairly functioning inner workings of "the forum". Steve Jobs would say, if he wasn't, well, dead, it's "snappy". I think? It used to cost a ridiculous amount to host it in London but it still remains in France and there it has for the most part served us pretty well, if I recall (I think that datacentre strawberry floated up about 2 or 3 times, at one point I believe it set fire but that was OK too).

Here are some updates from GRcade Towers:

> There are technical needs and challenges the forum faces which are another matter and it is my hope that (and there were some plans for this) to reduce the cost by perhaps 30% so we don't need to do things like (a) keep asking for money, or at least not as much or not as often (b) run more ads, which always sucks and something I've refrained from doing for, like, forever (I still maintain by the way there will never, nor has there ever been, ad serving for members signed in i.e. we consider it totally equitable to just use the site and post, as to make any kind of financial contribution; perhaps that's better!)

> Google (without prompting me) applied an advertising experiment to the site that was actually pretty effective, so it might be possible to fund the site with ads. But it would probably put new users off joining. I'll address this subject another time to see if anyone would be OK with those new ad formats, for guests only.

> I was approached by a firm in Bath for an annual advertising contract as part of a publishing network while remaining an entirely independent (no, not like ResetEra, not like that, at all. No seriously) site. This was genuine and proper. I never even replied to that. I get hammered with stupid requests for gambling SEO link placements and "articles to add to your blog" or other crap I send straight to the bin even if, with some clever sales strategies, that could prove quite lucrative. But strawberry float gambling, they're all banana splits.


The black & white, the 1s and 0s, that bastard called money

For at least a few years now the forum has a monthly operating overhead of £38.39 inc VAT and the various domains we operate with and have as referring domains (such as grcade.com) cost between £7 and £20 per year, or two-yearly).

As always I have updated GRcade's public balance sheet which is visible here, since January 2015 (that's a long time!).

Image
Look, there's even a logo from August 2015. It's been almost another 7 years.

This might not come as a surprise, but given we last asked for kind contributions in April 2020, we were able then - owing to the vast generosity I was grateful for - to extend hosting and domains etc. for almost an entire year, something at the time I never even anticipated was possible. I did pop in a little PayPal donations link option in the footer of the forum a couple of months ago through which we kindly received some support, and I did that knowing that we were probably headed into the red soon. Well, owing to a couple of factors, now we are, and it happened very quickly.

The deficit stands at exactly £228.68, and rounding that up to £275 to include our upcoming server bill on Christmas day (yay!), I'm hoping that's a target that isn't too devastating on the collective wallet!

I do however apologise sincerely for letting it fall into the red. My personal circumstances in this case were pretty bad: I was issued a section 21 no fault eviction order by my landlord under a demonstrably false premise (to re-occupy), who then re-let the property at a hiked rent to somebody else, costing me thousands of pounds in relocating. My rent and council tax has increased by about 70%. Owing to my disability, moving is an incredibly stressful and taxing experience for me, and I also had to move an entire creative business along with it and establish new relationships. On top of that, during this year I had to cope with my mother's battle with cancer, which she has gratefully "beaten" (for now). Before hand, an estranged member of my family gifted some money that I felt would have changed my life for a time, only to be hit in the face by misfortune mere weeks later. I didn't really need to worry about money for a while - or at least, that's what I thought. I was wrong. I even lost the last remaining Green Gecko (the real ones - I kept 16 at one point!), within weeks of moving, and I can't afford a new green reptile friend (and it does raise some ethical debate...). During this transitory purgatory, I was not in receipt of the social care I need, as by moving councils, I was dumped by my former provider. This meant I was dysfunctional as it was almost impossible to cope on my own. This went on for 2 months and actually broke the law. All of this was devastating, and I totally ballsed up keeping GRcade in the green - albeit by extending what wealth I had in the form of a personal loan to GRcade. Now, I have subordinated my rent for GRcade's, leaving me in a dodgy situation. Outside of working myself to death before Christmas, I have to ask for contributions toward that at probably the shittiest time of year to do it. If I don't do that, I'm quite literally buggered.

It does, I suppose, remain that I have paid for GRcade to be online for 4 months, and don't get me wrong - I don't regret that at all!

So, as the thread says, All I Want for Christmas Is GRcade. And that's literally all I want.

Sadly, beyond that, I cannot fund the site for even a week after the next payment goes out. I could contemplate doing this on 18.9% APR credit, but, well, there are less stoic ways to go down with the ship.


Alright, stop overcomplicating things GG, how do I do this AKA how do I not buy NFTs

Yeah probably. If you'd like to donate, please use PayPal (or if you prefer - and I do prefer it - PM me for bank details) - and remember to offset the payment processing fee, if you can (it means donating slightly more, but it's a somewhat convenient way to say, oh fine then you strawberry floating gits):

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=6C9QHSVR73BTJ

You don't need a PayPal account to do this. You can use any debit/credit card that is processed in the same system as if you were registered with a PayPal account, or buying/paying for anything else on the Internet through PayPal (including, as it happens, my sole tradership - BJUM are my initials, and that's the fully vetted, bonafide, PayPal isn't going to randomly freeze it, business PayPal account I use. We did have a GRcade one - PayPal froze it).

If you like, you can still simply "send money" to this address:

Code: Select all

ben@grcade.co.uk


(This way, you CAN use the "friends and family" option, levying no fees to GRcade, and losing "buyer protection" - which is pointless since, strictly speaking, you're not buying anything!).

Please, if you donate with PayPal and don't have any PayPal info, provide me with some initials, and mention GRcade, just in case about enquiries like money laundering. I can accept anonymous donations, but I probably can't accept 100% anonymous donations from "random internet people". I pretty much only use PayPal for GRcade now so, I'm unlikely to confuse it with something else.


Prizes!? Where the strawberry float are the prizes?

I also last time promised a randomised draw of prizes for donations and there remains there (in the big red PayPal donations button below) an option to choose for either a 100% server donation (with PayPal fee offset option) or one that includes participation in the prize draw.

I still have all the merch I still owe to that promise and it is a simple case of branding it up in my studio, which I can do next week and do that raffle retrospectively. I'll add to that pool of merch T-shirts also for this round, which I'll produce at my own cost; I just want to make this a bit more fun and give something back and honestly, I quite like putting GRcade on things!

So this time, regardless of donation amount I'll enter everyone into that second prize pool of T-shirts (to be fair on those that originally entered), but perhaps make a mention of your size so I don't have to go chasing everyone up! They are nice high quality white tees with the GR logo in full colour (for now, as it is exists in its rather IP-infringing form!). I could also offer a print of any of the logos in the GRcade Mastaba (our community logo archive) - albeit in somewhat lower resolution I'm afraid (I'll try to upscale them).

How do I do that? Well for those who don't know, or remember, I own and run from home an art studio, and I make/print things, I've done this since 2014 when I experimented with the long lost GRcade Merch Shop (I learnt a lot!). I actually have a really good reputation for it now, and it's my full time job. Google BJUM if you're interested. That way, I can cover my expenses (including fractions of a wage), and offer something overall better (and more ethical and environmentally friendly) than other rando T-shirt website things. Plus, it's fun and I like doing it. I still make literally no money in real terms, but hey, that's not all there is to life. I'm not profiting from the brand, it's simply another way to support the work I do, if you want to.

Seeing as I have absolutely no idea what the response to this appeal is going to be like, I'll save that announcement for another day, as I may need to increase the amount of merch I can offer if there's a big response, to make it all a bit more fair, perhaps around the new year. I take leave from work on the 24th, so I'd like to dedicate some time to sorting all of this out in the X-mas holidays as well as (hopefully) focusing on some other stuff I enjoy, besides work, and this life I've led lately. Over the holidays, I'm going to draw a plan to sort this stuff out once and for all.


But money is hard. strawberry float money. Go away money

I also recognise (and this is part of the reason I've been perhaps overly reticent) that X-mas is an expensive time of year. Myself I am rather poor and I don't buy or receive much presents at all, so I get it - my income is way way into the lower income bracket (or I would gladly just pay for this stuff and think nothing of it, because it's worth it in my opinion!). So please don't feel pressured into giving anything more than you can afford to spare, even if that means "just" posting - that's just fine! For a very long time now, it's been true that a donation of about £2 from everyone who generally uses the site each day would cover our costs for a couple of months at least (obviously that number varies).


You're Treasuring Wrong

Yes I am (although, I've done so honestly :simper:). I know a lot of people are concerned about how to make this more sustainable moving into the future, and after dragging my heels there for way to long finally a platform has shown up that will help us do this without raking in an unfair chunk of every small donation we receive. That platform I think is Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/

That will be an option (since it's fee free), together with PayPal (that either takes increasingly higher fees, or does so "by accident", as well as being a strawberry floating nightmare to account with), and a payment/subscription portal I will develop over the course of 3-6 months that's perhaps integrated with a new GRcade shop and includes monthly "merch drops" ( :dread: ). I don't do want to do a Molyneux, so I'm staging it like that. So if you were to go through the GRcade "official" subscription/donation route, you'd get some physical perks and keepsakes to explain to all your friends when they awkwardly discover them amongst your belongings. Until then, I realise there needs to be an easy to use platform that doesn't levy onerous fees anyone can get onboard with - and which won't take me months to implement with my weirdo obsessions with code, UX and web tech and stuff.

Patreon is another thing that's been proposed, and I think that could work for content too. I'd love for us to fund a podcast or vlog that uses proper equipment and a stipend for the not easy task of getting people together on camera, on stream or mic, editing all of that, and making it into something of a professional quality. My concern is at a stage it'll all get a bit fragmented though, so I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, and while their fees are low, they're not insignificant to the tune of hundreds of pounds (I also feel the platform is sort of weird if we're not delivering anything of value through the "stuff for patreons" part, and maybe creating a parasocial/commoditised split in the community I'd like to avoid).


I've figured out GG's tl;dr posting style, just read the start and end of every post - the venerable Red

Running GRcade costs money. I have no money left. I spent £228.68 on GRcade, this is probably bad. Send help:

>> DONATE HERE <<


Goddammit, I actually donated to Wikipedia this time.

You're a cool guy.


Any questions, please kick my arse in the Feedback section. I'll get the ledger updated for mid January. And yes, I'll send you my tax returns. :capnscotty:

Thank you for posting on (or reading) GRcade. :wub:

All the best,

Ben AKA Green Gecko
That guy with a chronic aversion to turning community websites into 4.5 strawberry floating million dollars
GRcade Towers
(actually a small house by the sea - if the server broke, I could probably row there)

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Albear
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Joined in 2008

PostRe: ♡ Please Support Us : All I Want For Christmas Is GRCADE | Target: £275 (401.69 donated!!)
by Albear » Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:59 pm

:toot: :wub:

An amazing community worth protecting.


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