(1) That time of the month again.
Quod continues to grow!
In a few days we will be five months old and will reach 10,000 users and 1,000,000 posts. Each post generates its own webpage. Google has already indexed 120,000.
Since we started, our infrastructure has grown from one to seven servers, and we have taken a number of measures to assure a smooth operation, as well as two parallel structures that can come into service instantly should we encounter any problem.
(2) Indeed, we are confident that whether it be a large influx of new users, a DOS attack or any atempt at deplatforming us will be resolved so fast users will not even be aware it ever happened.
We also maintain an ever growing storage unit, so that all users can access all of their data at any time.
Unlike Twatter, the content users generate is constantly available to them. Any of you can download your material in whole, at any time, as often as you like.
(3) All of this comes at a cost, and we are adamant about NOT collecting user data or allow advertising to interrupt the flow of conversation, and we want to avoid mandatory subscriptions.
We depend, entirely, on voluntary donations.
Somebody asked me last moth to give you an idea of what's involved.
I'll do so without a lengthy tirade. Just the skinny.
Other than the developing work, that is ongoing and, courtesy of @walterj and myself a crapload of sweat equity...
(4) This work is related to what we want to do yet in the forum: instant translations based on an AI model that performs the task in context and provides intelligible translations (as opposed to the piss poor Google translate results), polling, a "ReaderQuod" to unroll threads and publish them in sister QuodVerum.com, and other goodies.
This we must do stealing time from other occupations, hence it takes time.
Then we have a "site Reliability Engineer."
(5) In the five months we have been "live" we have had no down time, no slow downs and no problems of any kind. That's money well spent.
We are also developing a new platform, to increase efficiency in the handling of data. The TweetDeck base we are using requires way too many resources. Not a problem now, but we want to make sure there will not be any in future either.
Then we have Moderators. So far, high quality volunteers who help us keep the site clean and free of loonies.
(6) Which brings me to the issue of Moderation.
We are an open platform, but a MODERATED one. It is not a free for all. We are very clear in our rules and explanations as to what is not allowed. Illegal activity, promotion of bigotry and racism and conspiracy theories that exploit any such top the list, closely tailed by Forum Spam and any such noxious activity.
This isn't a place for gratuitous confrontation or "Meme wars." There are other platforms for that.
We are about adult conversation.
(7) The cost of running this place is approximately 14,000/month, ($1.40 per user) not including the development work that @walterj and I do. That includes the hosting and infrastructure, site reliability and maintenance.
Development and moderation are done on a volunteer basis.
Donations from users average now 4,500 per month.
You do the math.
It will not change much until we reach 500,000 users. While that growth will generate more hosting and storage charges, fixed will not be affected.
(8) Alas, while many of our users contribute regularly, the vast majority does not.
I always ask the same question: Is SQV worth a latte per month?
If 25% of our users contributed that much, we'd meet our expenses.
If 50% did, we'd be able to accelerate improvements dramatically.
It is, as it has always been here, entirely up to YOU.
When @ThomasWic and I discussed the idea of creating this place back in June of last year (One year, TW, who would've thunk?), we talked about this.
(9) What do we do if this thing grows beyond our means?
We'll three roads will then be opened to us:
1. Capitalize on data mining. We will NOT do that.
2. Open the place up to advertising. We do not WANT to do that, or
3. Close the place to all but paid subscribers. We want to avoid that.
Inevitably, donations lag the number of users. Folks, understandably, like to kick the tires before they commit any amount. That's fine.
Others take things "personally."
(10) For this latter group, a disagreement with me, TW, Rex, or the monster of the Black Lagoon will trigger a cancellation of contributions.
That's fine too. Silly, but fine.
So how does this work?
Hopefully, the number of contributing users will continue to grow until the place is self-sufficient. By September, I'll give you another report on this.
When we do reach the goal, I will personally throw a party to our subscribers of $20 or more, where we can meet and celebrate our success.
(11) You never know who might show up at such party.
In the meantime, Walter and I will keep shouldering the cost as an expression of our belief that SQV is, as @GenFlynn unequivocally stated, VITAL in this day and age.
We need a sane forum for Conservatives and other people of good faith to meet, inform ourselves and discuss the things that matter free from harassment if we are going to restore sanity to our public space.
We are the Army of Digital Soldiers that is going to do that.
(12) So, as I do every month, a reminder: We cannot do this without you. Every dollar counts.
To all of you who already contribute, THANKS.
To all of you who do not: Is this place worth a LATTE per month?
If not, what are you doing here?
If yes, what are you waiting for?
@Debradelai Will do! I get paid twice a month so I'll do it next payday.
Those who label words as violence do so with the sole purpose of justifying violence against words.