Tree of Souls Is Now Accepting Donations. - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Tree of Souls Is Now Accepting Donations.

We have enabled the donation module of the forum. You can find it in the navigation bar at the top of the forum.

I just want to explain a bit about it, and why it's there. It's no secret that running a large forum costs a bit of money. The load it puts on a server is far beyond what a cheap hosting plan can handle. Our current hosting cost is a little over $100 USD a month and will probably increase as we get more traffic.

We will always be completely open about how much we are receiving and how much the costs are. No one here has any intention of making one penny more than is needed to operate this place. Starting at the beginning of next month, there will be a donation progress bar so you all know exactly how much has come in and how much we still need to cover everything. Donations received before that time will go towards the considerable costs the admins have covered out-of-pocket. They will also be used to defray the cost of renewing our VBulletin license ($175), which must be done so we can get maintenance updates. This does NOT entail upgrading to VB4.

Donators, once verified, will be added to the donor usergroup, which will get you a bold Neytiri-blue username and a custom title should you wish it. Other benefits may be added, but really, you should only be donating if you feel it's something you'd like to do and you'd like to help support this community. There is NO obligation whatsoever, and no one is going to think less of any member because of it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:19 AM
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Since this is the start of a new month, I wanted to update everyone on what we are doing with donations. In the post above, I mentioned a donation progress bar. Well, to be blunt, that component of the donation plugin is a buggy piece of garbage... so. I'm just going to lay out the numbers.

Since we have started taking donations, our very generous members have provided us with $216.46 USD after Paypal fees. If used for nothing else, and assuming we do not have to upgrade hosting, this will cover the hosting of ToS through June 16, 2010.

Beyond the cost of hosting, we will also need to at some point in the relatively near future renew our VB3 license, at the ridiculous, extortion-like price of $175. Six months ago, this would have cost $40. With the release of VB4, Jelsoft completely screwed it's current customers. Essentially, to continue to receive updates, we have to buy VB4 at a slightly discounted price. We have no intention of actually using VB4 until there is no longer a choice, which will hopefully not be until at least the end of the year.

Just want you all to know what's going on, and maintain our commitment of being completely open.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:33 AM
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Thank you all for your donations! It is highly appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:08 PM
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Thank you very much for your support
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:35 PM
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Do you have a rented vB license? Is that why you are purchasing the upgrade now, as opposed to "when we're forced to because they no longer support vB3?" My vB3 license is owned (perpetual use regardless of what they're supporting). If you'd like, we can discuss using it here.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:42 PM
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No, the vB license is owned. It is just that the new one is needed to get any new upgrades to 3.8.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:54 PM
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Done. I love it here, and gladly give my share to keep the Tree alive.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:48 PM
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Quick question, do you need a paypal account to do this?
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:50 PM
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I believe PayPal is required. That's how I did mine.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:22 PM
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You do not need an account if you are using a credit card.

Yes, the VB license is owned and permanent. You used to have to pay a renewal fee of around $40 per year to keep downloading updates. They have removed that option, and you now must buy the upgrade to VB4, even to only download maintenance updates on VB3.

Finally, it was very late and I messed up the hosting date. It is actually covered through June 16, not May 16
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
You do not need an account if you are using a credit card.
What about a debit card?
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:33 PM
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I was going to ask if you'd looked at Invision Power Board (IP.Board), but their renewal scheme is even worse! 6 months instead of one year (for upgrade) at $25/pop. Never mind the conversion and likely theme incompatibilities.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:09 PM
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Question Free alternatives?

Are there any viable free alternatives?
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:12 PM
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Not really. Vbulletin is far and away the best, most popular, and most supported forum out there. You can find third party plugins and enhancements to do just about anything, as thousands of people work on them. I think the initial cost of a license is more than reasonable, I just have a problem with how they are handling the VB3 > VB4 upgrade, and forcing people to buy it just to update their VB3 installations.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:17 PM
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Ok, that's alright, as long as we can keep paying the bills. Thanks for doing all this, by the way.
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