Author Topic: Update on Susan's Place  (Read 17949 times)

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Offline Susan

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Update on Susan's Place
« on: July 10, 2012, 03:45:08 pm »
You may have noticed how slow the site has been in recent months. That is because the site had grown to the point where it was maxing out its internet connection. With much needed financial help from Cindy James we have made some changes which will improve the web sites performance massively. We are now running on a 10mbps fiber optic connection, which is 6.66x faster than our previous connection. We are also working on getting that bumped up to 30mpbs.  Over the next few weeks Susan's will be migrated onto a pair of servers purchased with Cindy's help which will be able to handle as much traffic as we can throw at it.

Why didn't I do it sooner? Well, I simply could not have done this on my own. Hosting costs will be rising from $400 per month to nearly $700, and my finances have been at the maxed out point for several years as I have single-handedly financed the operations of Susan's Place since 1996 with out any outside support.  I have done this using income from my job, help from my boss, and of course maxing out some really good credit cards. In that time I figure that I have spent roughly $162,000 myself over the last 16 years and that is not counting the roughly $50,000 in hosting expenses my current boss has contributed to the operation of the site, and we eventually need to get some of that back.  The figure includes my time, hardware, software, server maintenance costs, and bandwidth. That price will continue to go up some as we make these much needed changes.

In the last year this site has served 1,826,279 Visits from 993,940 Visitors accounting for 11,629,347 page views. Since I started keeping stats using Google analytics in November 2006, we had 6,813,864 visits from 3,689,398 visitors accounting for 45,176,104 page views.  Between 1996 until now I have had several hundred people spontaneously contact me to tell me how this web site has saved their lives, so we are doing good works; and I want to continue to do so.

I have thought long and hard how to spread the costs of providing lifesaving peer support for the Transgender Community, here is what I have come up with.

First off everything that is freely available to you today on this web site, will remain free with one exception.

We are going to allow people who wish to help with the monthly costs to do so by establishing a monthly subscription option for $4.95 per month for those who want to help support the site. I much prefer this option over adding advertising. I am working on a way to make it so the subscription can be handled as a reoccurring donation to a non-transgender foundation, so if you need to explain it to a spouse or whatever about the charge.  I am hoping for 2,000 to subscribe.  This will bring in $9,990 per month. After covering operating costs, I want to pay for a new professional design for the site from the ground up, and hopefully be able to pay some of the world renown gender professionals to come here to provide some guidance and services to members and supporters.  Anything over 2,000 subscribers would be simply amazing. After that we will continue to invest a major portion of the profits back into providing more and more services for members and supporters. I don't expect this to happen in a year, if it does that would be awesome but I am patient. In the mean time I will keep paying the costs until the site is able to support its self.

After that I will receive a paycheck to help recoup some of my expenditures.  I also need to reimburse my boss for his costs in supporting the site over the years as well.   

Staff may also eventually receive a small stipend, starting with administrators and as we are able to the moderators and other staff. Don't plan on that any time soon however.

The private Just for us forums are going to become subscriber only. We may also offer username@members.susans.org email addresses to subscribers. If enough revenue is generated we will be looking at adding a slew of other members only benefits such as moderated chats with experts and personalities of interest to the transgender community, informative articles, tips, tutorials etc.

Another advantage of this will be that I will be able to dedicated more time to Susan's Place.

I hope that many of you will choose to help do your part. Thanks for you time, support, and attention.  Your feedback is welcome.
Help support this website by Donating or Subscribing! You can also view the donor wall of fame.

Offline Constance

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 03:52:31 pm »
This site has been tremendously helpful to me since I joined in March 2008. I would be happy to subscribe and give back to this site. It would be a modest price to pay for the services rendered.

Thank you, Susan, for creating and maintaining this site as you have.

And, thank you to Cindy James!

Offline Susan

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 04:04:55 pm »
Updated the post added some more information about the traffic the site receives.
Help support this website by Donating or Subscribing! You can also view the donor wall of fame.

Offline Amazon D

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 05:19:28 pm »
Yes even though i am long done transitioning i can become a member. I am sure many others will too with the added space  for members. God bless you and your boss. and of course Cindy too :) and all the other moderators and volunteers and people who share and care.

PS: You might offer plain, silver and gold memberships hint hint
I'm an Amazon womyn + very butch + respecting MWMF since 1999 unless invited. + I AM A HIPPIE


Offline Devlyn

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 05:20:54 pm »
I think it's a great idea! A fraction of the cost of cable television, and this place can change your life. Or save it. Many thanks to you, Susan. The staff and members who have added so much to the site over the years need to be thanked as well. Hugs, Devlyn

Offline smittyFTM

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 05:31:06 pm »
Susan's has been amazing; I'd happily give...

Offline Amazon D

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 05:55:17 pm »
pump up the volume yeaa

to me its about helping people...

After transitioning thats when its time to at least give back to newbies by supporting this site

I'm an Amazon womyn + very butch + respecting MWMF since 1999 unless invited. + I AM A HIPPIE


Offline cynthialee

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 06:00:30 pm »
you could also allow a small amount of advertising here
I imagine that you are very attached to the zero ads environment here but money spends regardless of the source.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
Sun Tsu 'The art of War'

Offline Michelle G

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 06:24:04 pm »
Funny you should bring this up as just the other day I was thinking of sending you a PM asking if there was anything I could do to help.

 I am on another forum related to the industry I am in that I chip in on once in awhile.

Yes, I would be happy to subscribe as I dont know what I would have done with out this site!!
Just a "California Girl" trying to enjoy each sunny day

Offline Joelene9

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 06:39:58 pm »
  I would like annual or semi-annual subscription options, I have that with my insurance policies.  Monthly is too sloppy for me.  I have enough problems with managing the utilities I pay on a monthly basis with the limited non government income I have left. 
Edit: Paypal?
  Joelene

Offline V M

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 06:51:44 pm »
I think it's a great idea also  8)  Just let me know when the subscription option is available
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Offline LordKAT

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 07:54:04 pm »
If you could accept a one time yearly donation equal to or close to the $5 monthly. I would rather do that. In exchange for a 1 year membership of course.

Offline Michelle G

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 07:57:48 pm »
Yes, an annual donation works best for me as well, $60 per 12 months is not bad at all
Just a "California Girl" trying to enjoy each sunny day

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 08:00:46 pm »
Thanks for the Announcement, Susan.

You have my support.

Offline Just Kate

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 08:26:54 pm »
I was referred to this site late 2008 just before my mother died and my GID returned. It has been a tremendous blessing to me.  This is the only transgender support site that allowed me to tell my unique story where I wasn't kicked from the site. The ONlY one!  I'm grateful for the efforts you have out into this site Susan, and I am more than willing to contribute when the option becomes available.


Once again, thank you.
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Offline MadelineB

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2012, 11:22:25 pm »
Yes even though i am long done transitioning i can become a member. I am sure many others will too with the added space  for members. God bless you and your boss. and of course Cindy too :) and all the other moderators and volunteers and people who share and care.

PS: You might offer plain, silver and gold memberships hint hint

How about Pink, Mauve, Chartreuse, and Sephira-style memberships?

Thank you for all your great work Susan - and sacrifices! I wondered who the magic money gnomes were. And thank you Susan's boss and C.J. too.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
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Offline Robyn

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 12:28:10 am »
You already know that I'll kick in to support the site, Susan. More than happy to.

I second (third?) the motion for automatic annual memberships as well as semiannual or quarterly and monthly.

And I like the idea of optional higher giving levels. Could have a special symbol under the bio pic.

There probably needs to be an anonymous payment method, too. Perhaps by annual money order to your address with a note identifying the member's nick/user name.

And many thanks to Cindy James for being a major benefactor. I guess she's not an unemployed sheep herder after all.  8-)

Robyn
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Offline ♥ Dutchess

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 12:46:06 am »
As many have said before me, I am willing to help out in anyway possible as well. Thank you Susan for bring this and all of us together :)
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Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 01:52:33 am »
I'm in. Show me the link, baby, show me the link!

 :)

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Offline justmeinoz

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Re: Update on Susan's Place
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 02:15:15 am »
Sounds like a fair thing for all the help everyone here has been to me.
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