Thanks for the great feedback Gord.
First of all I will say that I was looking for a good discussion board for the cruising sailor before Christmass last year (2002). I found a few boards, but I didn't like their layout. They were more like unsorted lists - hard to find information in.
Since I'm planning a circumnavigation
, I have great interest in this site becoming a valuable source of information for all of us, also for myself. With so many cruising sailors going online from time to time, we have all the information we need between us - we just need to communicate.
I hope this board will grow to become an important communication channel for the cruising sailor. With such a goal, seeing some progress every day, working on the project
is just fun - and most of the WORK is behind me now.
Introducing the photo
gallery and integrating it with the discussion board, was an idea I got while browsing the web searching for a good engine
to easily upload photos to the server with - photos to illustrate the messages with. I love taking photos myself and I hope the opportunity for our members to share photos will make them hang around the site more that they would without that option.
If I don't put a price on the hours I've spent (having fun) making this site, these are the costs:
- Leased licence for the board engine vBulletin 2.3.0 US$85 a year
- Owned licence for the photo gallery engine Photo Post PHP Pro US$149 (once)
- Domain name and server hosting approx. US$200 a year
As you can calculate the first year costs me approx. $434
I'm used to buying books
about cruising and for destination
planning for approximately this amount each year. I'm not gonna stop buying books
, but I think I can skip some and search for the information here instead. Or even better: JUST ASK THE BOARD.
Surprised by the low cost? Next year will cost me approx $285 if I keep leasing vBulletin, but I think I'll buy the licence ($160) now that it has proved to be a great engine. The year after will cost only US$200. But by then we may have grown too big for this hosting solution. Then I think I'll go for a server at home
a server I would go for anyway for other sites I'm making, so then Cruisers Forum will be almost FREE for me too.
You can now see and understand why I can keep this site non-commercial and free. I hate beeing bothered with all the commercials on other sites - frames popping up etc. I think most people prefer the web this way. Anyway we don't need money
to gather information for the board. If people like the site, the information will come for free. Free for all of us.
I put great value in freedom of speach. I hope we can keep this site running without the need for "guards". Websites with opportunities like this one can easily be misused for illegal matters (child pornography etc.), but I rely on you all to keep an eye out for that. Illegal matter will be removed by one of the moderators or myself.
Well you need some computer/programming background to optimize the engines and the website the way you want it to look and behave. I've had this hobby (building and working with computers) since I bought my first PC back in 1987, but I'm not a NERD. My profession and full time job is in chemical engineering
Hope this answered your question Gord. Thanks again for the great feedback.
After this LOOOONG message I really have something else to do. Bye for now!