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Author Topic: Why is the site so broken these days?  (Read 5632 times)

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saint

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Why is the site so broken these days?
« on: March 07, 2021, 03:19:42 pm »
So yeah, things around the website here are suffering from neglect.

(TL;DR: saint rambles for a bit for no discernible reason then promises again that the server isn't going anywhere)

I've been running this site since late 1997 - going on 24 years now. (http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade_welcome2.html). It's been through more server moves than I can count, multiple components and complexity added such as the forum/chat/arcade/wiki all of which have broken at one time or another, and after the first many years of running it solo, benefited from the gracious assistance of numerous people who have given their energy and time to help run the place. Scott/PL1 is currently shouldering the lion's share of forum moderation and has been for a long time now, for which I am extremely grateful. (And to anyone who disagrees with a moderation call he's made, please remember he's trying to moderate this forum under the guidelines/rules I set in place, not his own, with very little communication/feedback from me so he has to try to read my mind, and if there's someone to ---smurfette--- at for a moderation call it's me you should direct that at, not him.)

But it's a lot of work. Updates, upgrades, things breaking inexplicably, and most time consuming and energy draining, moderating arguments between forum members.

By my count, the website and I personally have been threatened with close to 8 lawsuits from disgruntled forum members about something someone on the forum said or did, where I had to involve an attorney to help me. I have been threatened via email and have been sent certified mail. This is not an exaggeration. Never in my wildest dreams did I guess that wanting to geek out about arcade controls would lead to threats to my family's financial security. Seriously WTF. Fortunately these have all been resolved, but it's not any fun having someone threaten you like this and having it hang over your head until resolved.

It's soul-sucking and energy draining.

Add in real life - I have personal issues as I get older (no, I'm not telling you how old I am :p ) like everyone else does that demand my time, health issues (just had my 4th surgery to repair something martial arts inflicted, I now have an artificial shoulder I'm recovering from and my plan to become the $6,000,000 bionic man is well underway), work stress, blah blah everyone's got issues. I'm not looking for pity because overall I have it pretty good, but real life takes up pretty much 100% of my day.

I'm exhausted.

I've repeatedly made the promise that as long as there's interest in this site, measured by the fact that people are logging on and talking about arcade controls and the like, that I'd keep it online. It's my way of giving something back to the Internet for all the awesome stuff I get from the Internet.

But I'm exhausted. So this site mostly runs on auto-pilot these days, with the tireless moderation efforts of Scott and the occasional burst of activity from me when I've got some down time and can tackle whatever needs tackling. Like today.

And as of the last year, this site is in the red. Previously, book sales and Google ads paid the bills with a few extra bucks for my piggy-bank, but the book is dead, Google ad revenue is non-existent, and keeping this site going now is taking money out of my piggy-bank. BYOAC was never, ever, ever going to make me rich, that wasn't why I built it and run it, but it'd be nice if it could at least break even. So I'm going to be trying to figure that out while not bombarding people with a bunch of ads.

I've had at least 4 offers to buy the site, but have turned them down because they'd just attempt to turn the site into a cash-cow ad-serving mess, and the site means more to me than that.

So with real life issues, forum arguments, the soul-sucking downer of the lawsuit threats, and the fiscal situation, it's hard to find the time, energy, and mental-space to work on the site here. I'm going to keep the server running, that was never in question. I'm going to try to figure out how to fix the money-sink situation the site's become. I'll try to find the time to resolve the bits and pieces of the site that are broken or outdated. But all of that comes after real-life considerations, and that leaves very little time or energy for the rest.

And that's why the site's in the shape it's in right now.

Thanks for your understanding. :)

--- saint


--- John St.Clair
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Phreakwars

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 06:29:05 pm »
I here ya on the lawsuits. It's one of the reason I handed my forum off to another, but then my site is quite a bit more rude and raunchy. I've even had people threaten to murder myself and my family because of something someone else said. And I'm like "WHAT THE ACTUAL F$%K"!! Hard to say what search issues are, might just need an SMF software update. Have never personally been a fan of SMF, myself personally, I'd just as soon take the SQL tables and convert them to PhPBB.

saint

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 06:35:48 pm »
It was pretty boggling the first time.

Search is fixed :)
--- John St.Clair
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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 06:40:06 pm »
Were any of the lawsuits successful?  Asking for a friend.


saint

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2021, 06:52:22 pm »
Only at raising my blood pressure.
--- John St.Clair
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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2021, 06:55:17 pm »
That sucks, man.  Iíve never had the threats get that serious but Iíve predictably had threats.  Thanks for keeping the forum going.

 :cheers:

yotsuya

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2021, 06:58:57 pm »
Wow, thatís crazy. Thanks for the update, Saint.

I know we all have different reasons for being here at the site, and I know some are more passionate about the games of our youth than others, but I know we all appreciate you giving us this space. Iíve made friendships that Iíll have long after my games are gone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Mike A

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2021, 07:05:56 pm »
Lawsuits? What dipshits filed lawsuits? I will go knock on their door for for you.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 07:18:20 pm »
Saint... dunno what to say. Sorry you've had that stuff happen to you. I appreciate your work and effort, wish I knew some easy ways to make it more financially viable. Maybe we all just have to suck up some advertising.
Check out my completed projects!


Malenko

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2021, 07:28:01 pm »
I can do the sysadmin stuff and guilt trip Haruman into modding more.  I cant do anything about PL1 though.
If you're replying to a troll you are part of the problem.
I also need to follow this advice. Ignore or report, don't reply.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2021, 08:12:36 pm »
And as of the last year, this site is in the red. Previously, book sales and Google ads paid the bills with a few extra bucks for my piggy-bank, but the book is dead, Google ad revenue is non-existent, and keeping this site going now is taking money out of my piggy-bank. BYOAC was never, ever, ever going to make me rich, that wasn't why I built it and run it, but it'd be nice if it could at least break even. So I'm going to be trying to figure that out while not bombarding people with a bunch of ads.

how much a year is it costing? you self hosting or paying a company to host?

our company just recently started an online presence and found that with what we needed to do, self-hosting was going to be the cheapest due to having to pay extra for a bunch of the scripting and options with the hosting providers for doing online sales orders and whatnot. maybe taking a look at what you have, what you need, and what you could stand to lose... to try and drive down the cost.

but yeah, we might have to just suck up some ads. turn off your ad blockers yah peenooses!  :soapbox:

saint

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2021, 09:01:17 pm »
Thanks everyone :) Appreciate the kind sentiment. I don't want anyone to do anything different, Google changed a bunch of stuff and I just need to figure out how to re-monetize the site with them or go elsewhere.
--- John St.Clair
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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2021, 11:25:01 pm »
Donít do anything different you say? Hear that, Mike? Letís keep pounding these poseurs and noobs into the pavement. Whatís another 8 lawsuits for Saint? :lol

Glad to hear youíre still going strong with this forum, Saint. Even if itís become a shill-fest for A1-up cabs. ;)

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2021, 02:17:45 am »
shill-fest for A1-up cabs. ;)
That's gonna be the actual death of this place.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2021, 04:53:53 am »
Yeesh, Saint.  No good deed goes unpunished.

Not much to be done for the numerous jackasses on the planet (and therefore the internets) but as a very grateful noob I would say don't be bashful about demanding what you need to of the community here.

I would imagine that any genuine soul who has benefited somehow would do what is necessary to perpetuate the cause.

I could contribute more than just bad pictures, dumb questions and disruptive commentary!

Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2021, 08:30:03 am »
Yeesh, Saint.  No good deed goes unpunished.

Not much to be done for the numerous jackasses on the planet (and therefore the internets) but as a very grateful noob I would say don't be bashful about demanding what you need to of the community here.

I would imagine that any genuine soul who has benefited somehow would do what is necessary to perpetuate the cause.

I could contribute more than just bad pictures, dumb questions and disruptive commentary!

<SIGH> So many jackasses to kick, but God only gave us one pair of legs apiece. So we must take care to kick the right ones at the right times :D 8)

Though I may be willing to pay a subscription, I don't think that is a winning business model. So yeah, we might have to suck up more ads unless there is another major change.

Worth pointing out that the scene has changed over the years, other platforms are competitive for the BYOAC eyeballs including reddit, Facebook, Discord, klov, shmups, etc etc..... many of those eyeballs are younger., console gneneration. The way they interact, the need for instant response, is different to older generations (I probably mean YOU!). Posting and waiting hours or even days for a response are beyond their ken. Some are serious about arcades and/or retrogaming, but some just want to play and/or boast about their boring downloaded setups with ridiculous specs to their maybe friends.
Check out my completed projects!


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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2021, 08:46:57 am »
All I ever see on those other platforms is people posting pictures of their stupid A1U cab that they modified with a Raspberry Pi. This annoys me not because they went and did it, but because the talented people who do arcades are getting harder to find. Ones who care about cherry or leaf switches, resolutions, authenticity and something close to perfection are getting harder to find in place of this "LOOK AT MY COOL A1U CAB WITH LIGHT UP BUTTONS AND SOME ALEXA CONTROLLED RGB LIGHTS IN THE BACK!! WOW!!" crowd.. Know what I'm saying? I'm kind of disappointed forums as a whole are dying out, would really like to see many others pick up and pass down the art of arcades. I can find tons of awesome projects people have done here that all the other places don't even come close to matching.

With that being said, I think there are things that can be done to draw the talent in.. First of all, fix how the site looks on a cell phone/tablet. You have to pinch and zoom every page to navigate, looks like this:



Everybody today seems to be on the go and tuned into their phone, kinda gotta cater to that IMHO.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2021, 11:21:44 am »
I've looked all over and didn't find any way to send a donation.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2021, 03:35:52 pm »
saint: set up a fundraiser/donation method.  We're grown-ups, we can decide if we want to help cover some costs or not.  Keep it anonymous, no pressure on members, no big hoo hah, just do it.

For whatever it's worth I'll be posting again in BYOAC this year.  For all the ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- I hear you've been through, you should be able to put your feet up and take the stress off running this site a bit more.  My bug with the site was the search feature and you've addressed that.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2021, 03:53:39 pm »
saint: set up a fundraiser/donation method.  We're grown-ups, we can decide if we want to help cover some costs or not.  Keep it anonymous, no pressure on members, no big hoo hah, just do it.

I second this motion, was about to say something similar myself.

The AussieArcade forum have a corporate sponsors model
https://www.aussiearcade.com/

I'm not sure what their deals are, but they at least get a special part of the forum to talk about their stuff. And community respect.

The problem is you can't just conjure sponsors from thin air.


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dmckean

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2021, 02:12:36 am »
Buy a couple copies of his book.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2021, 04:12:44 am »
Buy a couple copies of his book.

This is a great idea actually.

I can think of a number of people I would give one to presently.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2021, 09:02:01 am »
Seems like everybody and their brother is setting up a Patreon these days. Any thoughts on that?

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2021, 10:41:03 am »
I'd rather 100% of my donation to go helping out than get a book I don't need.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2021, 10:50:36 am »
That is a book of dreams...It changed my life, and even though I outgrew it, I still pick it up sometimes to dream that little dream.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2021, 11:03:08 am »
I also not only not watch the ads, but buy from them, I thought everyone around here did...I would think a big perpetual long running drawing giveaway would generate some revenue, Big useful stuff like oscilloscopes and such.

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2021, 11:09:14 am »
I also not only not watch the ads, but buy from them, I thought everyone around here did...I would think a big perpetual long running drawing giveaway would generate some revenue, Big useful stuff like oscilloscopes and such.

Corporate sponsors FTW. You can find them right next to the unicorns over in aisle three.
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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2021, 01:21:26 pm »
Patreon takes a cut of the money, But yeah as said above saint set up a donation method.
Maybe a paypal me link?

I dunno but look into it!

As for the muppets who brought lawsuits against you, Well you cant fix stupid and some people are ---smurfing--- morons.
And if some individual finds offence at that comment.... Look in the damn mirror!

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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2021, 01:28:10 pm »
Patreon takes a cut of the money, But yeah as said above saint set up a donation method.
Maybe a paypal me link?

PayPal takes a cut too, but it is unavoidable really
Check out my completed projects!


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Re: Why is the site so broken these days?
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2021, 09:55:42 am »
Patreon takes a cut of the money, But yeah as said above saint set up a donation method.
Maybe a paypal me link?

PayPal takes a cut too, but it is unavoidable really

Does PayPalMe or whatever allow you to set up recurring things? Given the whole purpose of patreon is to provide ongoing support for something, it seemed reasonable. Then it's a monthly donation I don't have to think about. But I get that perhaps we're too small of a community for the overhead from such a system to make sense.