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Housecleaning - TNM is moving to a new happy home.
  • Folks,

    Two years ago you (and many more) banded together with me shortly after our exodus from Last Plane To Jakarta to financially support the establishment of a new forum where we could hopefully recapture some of the community of that place.

    We’ve been here for two years now, and the bill’s due again.

    In the intervening time, pretty much every element of my web-hosted life has shuttered; the Yiddish organization got its own provider; I moved all my personal content to places like Bandcamp and Github Pages. And, as of this month, Flaming Tusk is finally wrapping up. We’ve got a new album that’s as done as it can be without being out yet, our guitarist had a baby, our singer might move to Denver, and we’ve said good night.

    Which leaves the New Middle as the only application still hosted on my Dreamhost account. We’ve had 8,090 pageviews in the last 30 days; last year this time it was 16,398 and the year before that, when we started, it was 30,592. Even starker: in the six months between April and October of last year, we had 3,032 comments. In the last six months we had 924.

    All of which is to ask: is it worth it to keep this thing going? Should I put out the donation plate and let you guys keep this place going for another year or two? The burdens of deleting spam comments and banning bots aren’t so great; I’m happy to keep it up. But I don’t want to ignore the fact of declining interest—and the fact that server costs are now entirely to cover TNM.

    If you think there’s a willingness to cover $215 for another two years (or $120 for one) I’m happy to put up the donation page again. But if not, I’m happy to talk about other options. If someone else wants to take on the costs, I’ll sign over the domain name and send you the server files and db. And if you guys think it’s time to let this one go too, we can make arrangements.



    As you can read in the comments below, our friend Jim has volunteered to take on hosting duties himself, and I am very grateful to him. As soon as is convenient and minimally disturbing, we’ll move the site over to him. My thanks again to him for taking up the call in a major way.

  • Eep. This is a lot to think about. I know I’m glad to pitch in what I can, but I can also see arguments for letting it go. I guess I’d like to defer to what others think.

    (By the way super bummed to hear that Flaming Tusk will be calling it quits. Looking forward to hearing hte new album though.)

  • It is sad but there doesn’t seem to be enough momentum to keep the message board alive. As someone who doesn’t really do social media - no Facebook, super-minimal Twitter - I would certainly miss it though, and I appreciate what you’ve done zach.

  • If you close down, you need to all tell me where to find you so I can keep reading what you’re up to without ever posting anything myself (such as I have been doing for most of the last couple of years). You probably wouldn’t suspect it from my relative absence/silence, but I still read most of what gets posted here and I would really miss you guys.

    Sorry for being a bad correspondent :-(

    If you keep going, I’ll happily chip in for costs if it’s needed.

  • I don’t remember if there was a reason we didn’t move to some free forum host, Proboards or something like that, in the first place, but I feel like that could be a reasonable, minimal-burdern alternative. The obvious worry is that we’ll lose more interest on top of what we lost while moving here and since moving here by making yet another switch, but it seems as though that could be the trend anyway. We’re certainly not generating any new interest here, and I’m not sure that would happen anywhere else, at least not without rallying some old members, or having some central theme that draws in new users as tMG and/or John’s writing drew us into LPTJ in the first place. I think the practical thing would be to move someplace that’s lower in cost; if we’re just going to see a further decline, why pay to do so? That said, I understand the attachment, and as someone who does still check in here, I’d be willing to chip in a few bucks if people would rather stay here.

  • I’m happy to chip in as needed. I don’t visit any other forums so this is it for me. But if people decide to let it go then so be it.

  • I’ll definitely chip in. I know I’m in touch with many of you on social media but there are some people who don’t participate there that I’d hate to lose touch with.

  • Ok gang, so here’s what I can do.

    Donation Link

    There’s the link to chip in to hosting costs. I set it as a ‘pre-order’ until November 1. If we don’t make enough money to actually pay for a year or more of hosting, I can cancel the order and y’alls cards won’t actually get charged.

    Thanks everybody. I like you guys.

  • OK, I’ve done it. Thanks cf!

    It’s good to see people like Iggy and alistair still popping up now and again. Alistair - you should post here again!

  • I’d like this thing to stick around. I think we would lose too much by attrition if we move to another board.

    Anyways my main suggestion is you rename this thread, because I’ve been on here a couple times before and not noticed until now. Something along the lines of Decision time - Should we keep TNM going, or Need help to keep TNM going. It looks like an old locked thread that I wasn’t going to bother to check.

  • Ok, on it!

  • How’s that for a catchy title?

  • Its a little dire, kind of like ‘Abandon Ship, but whatever works. I’d maybe tone it down to just: VERY IMPORTANT - TNM needs your help to keep going.’ I think someone should start a thread on the facebook group ANne set up two years ago when we were transitioning, because that’s the easiest way for everybody to be notified. I guess that someone could be me.

  • I’ll put some cash in. I like it here, and I like you lot too, even though I see most of you on fb, it’s a different vibe here. I hope that the rest of you will stick around too!

  • As inactive as it is here, I’d be very disappointed to lose touch with the people I don’t see on the other sites. Also, while I probably use Facebook a lot more, in principle I like this place way better. I will definitely chip in some.

  • I would be disappointed to see this go too.

    I do have a dreamhost account I will be keeping for the next number of years. I’m down to host if that’s whats needed?

  • well on that score I admin hosting networks for a living and could put it on my equipment like I do with my own sites. Or depending on what kind of a resource hog the site is, a t1.micro reserved instance on EC2 is like $68 a year or something.

    But Zach knows his business and it’s his site, so obviously I defer to his judgement on hosting it. I’ve thrown into the hat. Let us know how we’re doing, huh? :)

  • We’re currently at $105. Not too bad. Jim - I’d be more than happy if you wanted to take on hosting of the site. I know my business just far enough to know that a shell account on Dreamhost is not an efficient use of resources to host a message board these days :). Do you want me to send you the files and a db dump, and you can see how convenient it would be to get it up and running on EC2?

  • Sure, it’s just a simple LAMP environment right? How much space are we talking? I want to get an idea of what the EC2 costs would be with a 3 year reservation vs a 1 year reservation vs month to month

  • 63.69 MB SQL database + 17M folder. Pretty shrimpy.

  • Yeah, you want to send me the files? I can get it running as a test and then we can figure out a migration schedule/strategy. Looks like the micro EC2 instance will run just over $10 a month if we go month to month but it’ll be $89 for the year with a reserved instance, or around $200 for 3 years with a longer reservation.

    You can email them to me at jim at all things useless dot com if you want

  • I also almost never post anymore, but I still read! I’d be super sad to see the place go, and am happy to throw some cash toward the hosting costs.

    Thanks for keeping us up and running, CF and Jim!!

  • So wait, should we still donate at the link, or wait for a new one? I’ll chip in—while underperforming as a poster, I still value this place—but now I’m not sure what the situation is.

  • You guys are good people.

  • Man, somehow that fact that so many cool people that I’d love to see post on a regular basis apparently still check in and read on a regular basis makes the state of this board even sadder than I already thought it was. But then, I can’t blame anyone of course, because I also still check in almost every day, but somehow find it very difficult to post these days. I really would miss this place if it went away though; hell, I’d probably even feel compelled to join Facebook if that ever happened, and I definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.

    I’d also be happy to chip in on the costs, but I guess the link posted by Zach wouldn’t be the place to do so if Jim takes over? Keep us posted on that!

  • guys I may be able to run the site for a while on EC2 under their free tier, so it won’t really cost me anything to do it for the first year other than a bit of my time, which I volunteer of course. Zach and I are going to figure out a good time to migrate the prod site over to the new hosting I set up today, and once we’ve been running on that for a month or so, I’ll see if any hidden costs are piling up and rethink things then if necessary. Also we’ll have a good idea by then whether the micro instance is up to running the production site. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, but you never know.

  • Ok, everybody. Thanks very much for your generosity - you put together a lot of cash in a very short amount of time. And—happily—we might never need it! I’m gonna cancel all of your ‘pre-orders’ for now. Thanks to everybody who donated, and of course to Jim for so kindly volunteering his time and expertise in getting a stable home up and running for this place.

  • Oh, man, but I donated at the “free t-shirt + date with the LPTJer of your choice” level, do I still get my prize?

    Thanks, Jim, let us know if any hidden costs show themselves. And thanks, too, Zach, for hosting this thing ‘til now.

  • That’s good news, good one Jim (Un Blogeur Gringo).

    forge, you better start posting more too.

  • Yikes, I was too slow again, but Jim, you know I’m good for some cash if you need it. Thanks so much for stepping up to host, gringo. (yogringomonkey)

  • Arlo if the date was with me you’re in luck

  • Yay! I have the whole thing planned out!

  • I have no idea what any of that means Jim, but thanks again for doing this

  • Yes, thank you to Jim and Forge. I’m one of those mostly lurkers/only occasional posters who’s not connected to folks here in any other way, so I do like to check in and it’s nice to know I’ll continue to be able to do so.

  • Thanks for sorting it out, dudes. Even if it’s quiet these days I would miss this place, the supermarkets of Facebook and Twitter aren’t really the same. Also second the request for more Zach posting

  • btw folks the site is up and running on the server I built for it since earlier today

  • whoa that’s swell!

  • Excellent! Nice one Jim!

  • Yay Jim. Thanks man!