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Future of this Forum
We're wrapping up the 2 years of webmaster service provided by HOS as it closed. Now we need to figure out our next steps.
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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
1
November 6, 2022 - 1:39 am

I'd meant to put some more thought into this an pull together information before posting.  But I figured I'd like to get folks thinking about it.

We're paid through the end of 2022.  Last I checked, maybe beginning of the year, our webmaster has said he'll be accommodating for a transition, and is open to discussing what a continuation in place would look like.  

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Offline)
2
November 6, 2022 - 10:08 am

I like the regional nature of this board/forum. I am also a member of Growing Fruit and I know some others  are as well. Growing fruit does have a regional PNW sub forum and it is useful, but this forum is great.  Do we need to make a financial contribution to keep HOS forum going? Or is it more of a technical issue, we need to migrate to a new system? Or both? Anyway if we need to pay I will pay, if we need to move I will move.  I am curious what this will be a transition to.  The Home Orchard education Center is doing its own thing, looks like. There is a great deal of fruit and berry growing going on there should be a way to take better advantage of that in a forum. Not that I am sure what that is. Helping newbies, and channeling the vast total experience of the forum. Discussion of the spring frost was very helpful. 

I used to live in SOCAL and was a member of the Rare fruit growers.  They were running up against the bifurcation of people wanted to grown mangos and other exotics  (These were mostly older retirees, and had a lot of time and money, but mostly time) and new people younger who wanted advice and community to grow citrus(but were still working). The publication varied from which pomegranate to grown based on taste(pomegranates are a common fruit there), to some fruit so rare I had not only never had them(mostly tropical stuff from Mexico or south east Asia) , I have never heard of them. My wife and I found tasting peaches great, arguing about how to grow black sapote in a specialized greenhouse with lights for warmth less so. The rare fruit growers had not solved that bifurcation by the time I moved.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
3
November 6, 2022 - 3:48 pm

Yes, let's figure out what the financial need is, what might be a model where we can make this work, and figure it out. I would like to see it keep going.

JohN S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
4
November 7, 2022 - 1:04 pm

So it sounds like before the end of the year we will see a trust account posted so that allows donations. This would give us our chances, unless leaders would rather establish helping hands again like it used to(?). Because I think it's great here too. For here I have no recommendations at this time. I am not a user of 'Growing Fruit' blog but the only recommendation I would have for them is to make each comment tagged as html hyperlinks like they are here so that we can mutually share resources.

ie. one internal html hyperlink

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
5
November 10, 2022 - 5:25 pm

Hi Dear Forum Folks,

Whether I'm on The HOS Forum or not, I believe that the Forum is a tremendous and wonderful resource for so many people searching for information, especially as it relates to successfully cultivating fruiting plants in the fairly unique climate west of the Cascade Mountains.  Climate change is altering what we used to consider "normal" or "predictable".  Consequently, the up-to-date observations and comments of local fruit growers is particularly useful.

It's my sincere wish that the "HOS" Forum site can continue to be maintained into the future.  Even within the PNW, the sad dissolution of the Home Orchard Society will undoubtedly have left some people unable to interact with other fruit growers, particularly those who are amateurs but aficionados of fine, healthy, home-grown fruit.  Given the current financial climate with its inflationary rate -- not just in the U.S., but throughout the world -- I hope to see more people cultivating their own food at home, and they will need thoughtful, accurate information about how to meet with success in their endeavor.  

Meekly, and with an appreciation of the site's value,

Reinettes.

Best wishes to you all. Smile

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katmendeux
45 Posts
(Offline)
6
December 1, 2022 - 4:57 pm

Hi Everybody,

I'd really like to see this forum continue. I, for one, think that even with the lamented demise of the HOS, that we need, maybe more than ever, a place to connect with other fruit growers.

I haven't seen a lot of replies to the original post, but I don't think that says people are not interested. I was waiting to see what happens next, and I think some of the others in this forum may be doing the same.

Meanwhile, the days are slipping by, and I'm wondering what the plan is. For example, can we just sign up for another year at the same hosting site? How much would it cost? Do we even have a way to take donations? I can chip in some. Maybe others can, too.

Anybody got any ideas?

Cheers,

katmendeux

P.S. I'm near Seattle, and I've got icicles on my house! Never seen it happen before. Weird weather continues...

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
7
December 2, 2022 - 7:27 am

Jafar and I were just talking about this with Noel, the web master.  I think there are some options that are available.  Jafar has a little bit of a more inside view than I do.

John S
PDX OR

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maricybele
8 Posts
(Offline)
8
December 4, 2022 - 4:25 pm

Greetings,

I was devastated when I heard Home Orchard Society was ending. It would be a comfort to know that this forum could stay alive and continue to be a great resource to all of us. I would I am following to see what is next, and how I can help.

 

Sincerely,

Lisa

Pdx 

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
9
December 7, 2022 - 4:43 pm

Hi Jafar,

I think that some people who reference the site may simply not know the parameters of the situation with the Forum.  By that, I mean that we don't really know how many folks make reference to it on at least an occasional basis, and we don't really know any rough figure as to how much it costs to keep the Forum online and worthwhile both to the Forum members as well as to the Web Master.  I suspect that Noel doesn't want to do it on a voluntary basis -- and should not have to -- but at the same time those of us out here in never-never land don't have a clue what the costs are, and we haven't a clue as to how many other people are "out here" who are willing to contribute to keeping the Forum online.  There just seem to be too many unknowns for any of us to give appropriate suggestions.... Confused

This is a valuable and useful site.  It has been for many years.  We're out here (with fingers crossed) hoping that it can persist. Smile

Please keep us posted to the degree that you can.

Reinettes (Tim).

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
10
December 19, 2022 - 3:58 pm

Sorry for the slow responses.  The progress is happening in the background between folks with busy lives.

Bottom line, I expect we will work something out with Noel for maintaining the site for 2023, and hopefully well beyond, that is significantly less expensive than what we had been paying, which also included more development.   I'll look to find a convenient way to share the expense with others here who value the forum.

I appreciate that I've given very little information to work with so far, hopefully more to come in the next few weeks.  I'm reluctant to publicly disclose numbers, either what we've been paying, or what we will, without first clearing it with Noel - something I should have already done.  But I'm willing to front the initial amount, and take my chances with contributions.

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katmendeux
45 Posts
(Offline)
11
December 20, 2022 - 3:08 pm

Hi Jafar,

Thanks for looking after the forum, especially since it sounds like you're really busy.  Looks like you found a way to keep it going, which is great news.

I offered to chip in, so when you get the time, please let me know how. 

Happy holidays,

katmendeux

P.S. Seriously snowed in, for the second time in a month.

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
12
December 21, 2022 - 7:09 pm

Okay, I permission to share.  We were paying $100/mo, so @$1200/year plus more for Simplepress license.

Going forward, it will reduce to ~$33/mo which is about $400/yr (a break, lower than their lowest rate).   I prefer to do it in a chunk.

Sounds like the Simplepress license may be $200 and we don't always need that, but advised to get it at least for next year for access to a needed upgrade, and perhaps occasionally (as needed) in the future.  

So for 2023, will likely be a total of $600.  Unless Noel has a means for us to pay him directly from many sources, I'm thinking of paying that myself, then soliciting contributions.  If the contributions exceed $600, they'd apply to the following year.  If they come short, however much, that will be my contribution to 2023.

My goal is minimize the total effort for me and Noel, and ideally limit my contribution to $100/yr or less - but willing to take my chances the 1st year.

Thoughts? 

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Offline)
13
December 21, 2022 - 7:14 pm

Happy to pay you going forward. $25, $50, more? Also how would we pay you?

 

Chris

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
14
December 21, 2022 - 8:38 pm

Thanks.  TBD.  I'll first ask Noel if he's willing, and has a mechanism, to get paid directly and apply to tab.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
15
December 24, 2022 - 7:59 am

Good work, Jafar,

Sounds like a good plan.  Let us know when we can get an address/mechanism to pitch in.

Thanks,
JOhn S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
16
December 24, 2022 - 5:31 pm

I am signed in with my cellphone. I couldn't help to post after reading the last couple days comments for the first time. How exciting. I promised myself never to post using my cellphone again due to age and eyes that can't get spelling or Grammer exactly right. 

But I'll just say this that I look forward with glee to help keep this site add free in at least as much as you are. Happy holidays!

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
17
January 23, 2023 - 1:39 pm

Okay.  I'm set up with Noel for quarterly billing and I've paid for Q1, plus directly $199 to Simplepress for an annual Platinum support bundle.

Ideally I can do an appeal annually and we can raise $400 and be done for the year.  I asked for a quarter to start with to see how it goes.

I have a proposal for how to proceed, but am open to feedback.  My goal is to be transparent without inviting trouble.  I'd like to minimize the time spent, and limit how much I'm ultimately contribute.  I also want to be clear that I'm making no promises about the performance of the site or future endeavors.

If you choose to contribute, think about it like chipping in gas money after the fact, where there was no agreement or explicit obligation.

I will not be accepting checks or money orders for more than intended, and giving back change or any such nonsense.

So how about, if you want to pitch in, PM me an I will give you my Paypal address.   I will post here each contribution amount and name of contributor, or "anonymous" if indicated.  That way each person can see that their payment is accounted for.

Expected expense for 2023 is $599.  (includes hopefully just this year, or at least infrequent $199).

So far I've actually spent $274 for 2023, through Q1.

I'll try to be better about checking my PMs.  I usually don't log in when I browse the forum.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
18
January 23, 2023 - 9:57 pm

Good plan, Jafar. Can you tell some of us cave people how to PM you?
THanks,

John S

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
19
January 24, 2023 - 10:20 am

Click my name next to my post.  On the page it brings you to, below my picture should be a button to "Send PM".

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
129 Posts
(Offline)
20
January 28, 2023 - 1:49 am

Hi Jafar. I just tried to send you a private message, but it's not working - it states that it's "unable to update". I would like to contribute, however, and wanted to let you know. I will try again, but I'm wondering if others may be experiencing the same problem.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
21
January 28, 2023 - 4:58 am

jafar said
Click my name next to my post.  On the page it brings you to, below my picture should be a button to "Send PM".

  

That does not work for me either and the only work around is to use the "inbox" link that gets listed upon logging in on upper right row. Then the page after you must enter the user by hand, in which I tested all lower case "jafar", and I'm sure it sent. Jafar or anybody can write this up in web suggestions to fix this bug GH is talking about.

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
22
January 28, 2023 - 2:57 pm

GH, I PMd you. Let me know if you can see it. You too Rooney. I think there may be more than one issue. I've notified the webmaster about the PM concerns.

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
129 Posts
(Offline)
23
January 28, 2023 - 7:05 pm

Hi Jafar. Your PM didn't show up.

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
24
January 30, 2023 - 12:20 pm

The Webmaster has put in a ticket with Simplepress regarding the PM disfunction.

We have just gotten an update to the forum software.

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
25
January 31, 2023 - 8:18 pm

2023 Receipts:

I think I'll list donations here for transparency. I think I can edit this post to add. Let me know if you want me to use "Anonymous", username, or another name.

Amount, Date Received, From

$35 Jan 31st 2023 Anonymous
$50 Feb 2nd 2023 Anonymous
$25 Feb 4th 2023 sweepbjames
$100 Feb 4th 2023 cmullin
$401 Feb 6th 2023 Anonymous

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jafar
780 Posts
(Offline)
26
February 7, 2023 - 9:30 pm

Okay, I've paid through the rest of 2023.

Receipts to date $611. Paid $599. Balance $12 I will apply to 2024, along with any other contributions that come.

I'll plan to make another appeal perhaps in November or December for 2024.

Thank you everybody who has contributed, both monetarily and to the discourse on the forum.

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