The Tabor Boy Project

I hope everyone is doing well, enjoying spring weather and making plans for the summer sailing season.

Some of you may be aware that The Tabor Boy Project is hosted on a social networking platform called Ning. A couple weeks ago Ning announced that
they are going to eliminate the free option that they've offered from
inception and will now be charging for the service.

Actually, our free option has not been free since we purchase an upgrade that
allows us to control our web address (taborboy.org). While I've been
willing to foot the bill for this, I'm not really excited about paying
the new much higher annual fee.

I'm trying to figure out the best solution for the site. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Ning will be offering a service for $20 per year for nonprofits, community groups and families. (We're a family, right?) Unfortunately, this option is limited to 150 members and we're currently at 185.
    Granted, not all 185 are active but I'd hate to bounce anyone off or
    limit our future growth, so this option is not that appealing.
  2. The next option costs $200 per year and would seem to work okay. One way we could cover the cost is to pass the hat around. If everyone was willing to pay $1 per year, that would bring in $185 which covers
    the majority of the annual fee. However, trying to collect $1 from each
    member sounds like a terrible idea to me.
  3. I could try to sell advertising on the site to cover the fee, but this also might create more work than it's worth. BTW, part of the way that Ning was able to offer this service for free was that they sell
    the ads that are on the right hand sidebar. Obviously, this wasn't
    working that well for them. Having said that, if anyone has a business
    or cause that they would want to advertise on the site, let me know
    ASAP and we could probably work something out and you could be a sail
    training rockstar for rescuing the site.
  4. I could move the site to another hosted option but I don't want to end up in the same situation again in the future. I want to control our data.
  5. I could move the site from Ning to Wordpress' BuddyPress. I'm currently researching this and feel that this is probably the best option for all. While Ning has said that they will facilitate the
    process by giving us some easy export options, these types of things
    always have more complications that originally anticipated.
I'll keep you posted on what's happening. If you have any thoughts, I'm
wide open to them. I am committed to keeping the site alive but just
aren't sure how to yet.

Thanks for being a Crew Member of The Tabor Boy Project.

Fair Winds,
Peter A. Mello, XO '77
Chief Storytelling Officer
The Tabor Boy Project
peter.mello@sea-feverconsulting.com
m. 508.264.5629

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