102 posts in this topic

Disclaimer: I have no real right to start this thread. But things have to start somewhere. Everything below is personal opinion/thought and I encourage all of you to have your say.

As many of you know/see there is an announcement banner at the top of the site for urgent donations and while those have been met it won't hold the site for very long at all.

Now earlier on I posted in the chatbox with no right to do saying that because the quota had been met you shouldn't donate. It's not so much that I don't want you to, it's that I want you all to think carefully before you do. I was quick to donate because of my belief in the value of Shybi. 

I'm sure we all have our own feelings about the site and how our journeys have progressed because of this wonderful resource that @la-femme has run singlehandedly for a decade. I am truly grateful for this and I admire her for continuing to do so even though she has/is personally suffering as a result. 

For the site to move forward, it's going to need money, that's obvious. But for us as members this brings up a lot of questions and possibilities. There's also many ways that funding can be obtained in the long-term, but in the short-term if admin is reliant on us, we deserve a say and should not just blindly give without clear knowledge of what we receive.

The digital world has advanced considerably since Shybi began. The only slight advantage I have here is that I do have some knowledge in this area. While some of us helped out today, we should have a say in the shaping of the site and we can't blindly give money and hope for the best it's not a solution and also there's always going to be current and future members who can't make financial contributions so it really is a case of coming together to make this a truly useful, accessible resource for those of us already here and all women who type bisexuality into a search engine. 

I am personally happy to support the site going forward, but I'm by no means writing this to impose myself as a leader - which makes this rather ironic :P But I do want to see the site grow, and remain because it's important and I will accept more responsibility if need be. 

Change is coming whether we like it or not, only by discussing it will the site be able to move forward. After giving my donation today, I felt sad not just because it could be lost, but because I've personally known for a long time the site wasn't at it's best - we've all been spoilt by having this place. Our site is a sinking ship and we can only help save it by taking a real interest and speaking up.

Edited by Hungry
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I have been a member of shys since 2008.

In the 10 years ive been here ive seen it go downhill year after year. A site which was once incredable with a busy chat room, debates, close friendships being built up and regular meet ups is now a shell of the site I used to love back then. 

It feels unloved and like its been forgotten by those who own and run it.

I and so many others who have been here since near on the start would love this site to be what it once was but to do that its going to need a group effort and work not just money thrown at the costs it takes to run every month. 

This site used to be 'home' to me. The people on here got me through the hardest times of my life from realizing I was mostly gay, my friends suicide, my marriage falling apart, having my heart broken and I even met my wife here. So to say this site has changed my life is an underatatement but ill admit when I saw the post earlier I wasn't surprised as ive felt the site slowly dying for such a long time.

If this site does stay alive then I would happily help in anyway I can but I do feel this would need all this sites loyal members to help in some way or another. 

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What does it take to run a site like this?  Both in (wo)man power and financial resources?

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Although I've been absent for a number of months, I have been a member of shybi for 6.5 years. I have experienced first hand how the site can help ladies struggling with their sexuality. Not only myself but I have seen hundreds and hundreds of women over the years find the help here they needed. Some of us lucky ones have found even more than that, me included. I owe this site a lot and I didnt think twice when La Femme needed help to keep shybi above water. But I have to agree with Hungry on this one, our site is suffering. La Femme has been kind enough to run this site from her own pocket for a very long time so not to disappoint us all. We've had a great forum we can use to help us with our struggles as well as the ability to make new friends. All for free. Our Admin is struggling, we've helped her in the short term but the road ahead is uncertain. I'm all for getting on board with whatever the site needs to stay afloat. 

I agree @RubyStarlight this site is a shell of what it used to be. I remember when I first joined, how buzzing it was, how I couldn't stay away, and now I find myself only coming online now and again to remind my friends I'm still around somewhere. 

I'm not sure what the future holds for Shybi, but this place is important to us all. I hope we can bring it back to where it once was.

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I think it is great to hear how wonderful Shys has been.  I also think it is important to focus on information in this forum. Shys will not stay open on memories and hopes.

If we can create a list of responsibilities and financials, we could figure out roles (maybe they stay the same, maybe they need to shift) and come up with creative and/or conventional  means of gaining capital to support the site.

We need a map so we know what we are working with.

Is there anyone here who can start to provide that kind of information?

(I mean no disrespect to la femme. In fact I think it would be beneficial, since she has made so many sacrifices for this site to exist, if she is able to communicate her vision and what goes into this operation so that we can support her in breathing new life into this wonderful  space).

Edited by Kailee
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I agree with you ladies. This site does really mean something to many of us and it needs help now. @la-femme has managed a lot on her own for years without charging any members a single dime. It was never about the money. It was about having a safe place to be open. So much has changed in the way of technology since this site came on line though. It's not cheap, let alone free to run something like this and we've had a free ride for years. We are all obviously concerned and wanting to help. It's going to take tlc from us to get it back into it's former glory. 

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31 minutes ago, Kailee said:

What does it take to run a site like this?  Both in (wo)man power and financial resources?

Here's the thing: Just my opinion. Officially, professionals could be admins of this site and update, maintain the site in terms of technical/backroom support. It shouldn't of been left to the admin for so long and I'm not complaining by any stretch and although the mods maybe willing and I don't know if any are capable it's a big ask and shouldn't have be put upon them or left unmaintained. It depends what we wanted the site to be, for what it is now I'd put the minimum at £400/$550 month, it doesn't need to be that high but that way nobody would have to touch anything, for comfort and that would take care of all the basic needs and paying of the staff. I know that's a lot but that ensures a fully secure, functional, changable, accessible site and we could have a few add-ons and a stable search on that amount that would generate more $. The more we have generating income the better. I don't wanna overload anyone with this now, no point.

Guidance would need to be sought and discussions had.

35 minutes ago, RubyStarlight said:

I have been a member of shys since 2008.

In the 10 years ive been here ive seen it go downhill year after year. A site which was once incredable with a busy chat room, debates, close friendships being built up and regular meet ups is now a shell of the site I used to love back then. 

It feels unloved and like its been forgotten by those who own and run it.

I and so many others who have been here since near on the start would love this site to be what it once was but to do that its going to need a group effort and work not just money thrown at the costs it takes to run every month. 

This site used to be 'home' to me. The people on here got me through the hardest times of my life from realizing I was mostly gay, my friends suicide, my marriage falling apart, having my heart broken and I even met my wife here. So to say this site has changed my life is an underatatement but ill admit when I saw the post earlier I wasn't surprised as ive felt the site slowly dying for such a long time.

If this site does stay alive then I would happily help in anyway I can but I do feel this would need all this sites loyal members to help in some way or another. 

Here's the thing, in short what my post doesn't say is - we have no power and the site has degraded even in the several years  and we all know they're reasons for this. Also the main thing I should of said about donating is that I feel I made a mistake, I thought do you know what if this place had closed down anyone could of brought the domain. If we speak up now, the admin has to admit issues and give some control to the members of the site amongst other changes that need to be ironed out. 

I wanted the thread as a document of we all want the same thing and given that people have now donated, anything agreed to by the admin has to be put in place as digital confirmation, where it be a post, announcement, email/PM can be actioned as legally binding. If you ask people to invest in a site, you therefore have to. 

I don't want to rag on her because it feels unfair, but if we don't push now the site may as well die a death. I also don't think this is a former glory thing obviously I would say that I wasn't there! :P It should be all that it was though. But for the site to be the best it can be and be safe it needs to have other functions and marketing to go into if the admin can't afford to run it. It's not even really an if actually, there are more resources that could be placed within the forum that are linkable that would be useful and truly cater to the needs of new and old.

It's one of those things we need to know what's going on truly inc. mods and admin. It's one of those awkward moments where I might be wrong to believe in the future of the site. I know it has value and potential though. @tbare13 said it was never about the money, nor should it be ever but it could pull some of its weight in time.

Edited by Hungry
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How many members are there on Shys?

How do websites traditionally generate revenue? Ads? Member fees?

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25 minutes ago, Kailee said:

How many members are there on Shys?

How do websites traditionally generate revenue? Ads? Member fees?

It's not really about members. It's about how many people view the site. Many members join and never return, don't post but there are a lot of guests. Traffic is what counts really counts for Shybi.

But in order to get good traffic in the first place, the site needs to be optimized: ie. connected to the inital search terms. Bisexual, bisexuality, open relationship, am I bisexual. But over time search engines have developed so they also take into consideration not only the number of visitors, but what they view, what the content of that site is etc. The difficulty here is the content is not policed, we all write our own replies - so quality and relevancy varies which if you discount the search engines not being used well in the first place puts the site at a disadvantage.

Ads could work internally and lots of websites use ads, however due to the nature of the site to be a highly regarded site you need to be using quality ads that are relevant, there's also the issue of do those ads having tracking that would invade privacy etc. There's also no point if they're not of interest to the members and they'll drag the site further down. But this is possible in time but it's not a starting point without $ or real vision.

Most sites these days are boosted by reaching out - social media, likes - quotes, using a sites content on your own etc. Although the site is accessible to the public now, to get more view I assume the admin figured that was worth a shot - it's not content people are using due to it's nature and the setup of the site. So to be private we can't reach out but we can internally link other posts and topics within threads to make the site more valuable alone it's not enough but it's a start, the whole site would need an overhaul for this though.

These are very basic points and we could boost the site, it's just not as straightforward as other websites also I've never done anything of this sort so this is actually a minefield. Marketing affiliates are this sites best option but it's just how they work and how we as members interact with them.

Edited by Hungry
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@Hungry I understand what you're saying. No one is here to say boo about our admin. She has carried this for a good long while.

The site really has never been about the money but to make it into something sustainable there has to be some kind of change monetarily. There are many things behind the scenes that we cannot see that all factor in. We simply don't think about these things because we aren't the ones paying for it but that doesn't mean that it doesn't take funding to run.

Looking at long term solutions is going to be beyond us tossing some money into a pot like we're trying to help a local family out. 

That being said I do realize that some ladies in search of the support that is offered here cannot afford membership fees. Nothing is always black and white but I am interested in hearing how this can become self sustaining. It would mean the the continuation of a positive space for those who are in need of one.

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@tbare13, @Hungry managed to answer your last part in her previous post. She sees the future, so I'm inclined to trust her :P

Also gonna need a dictionary and a browser on hand to translate hungrys detailed response xD

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4 minutes ago, Rocker83 said:

@tbare13, @Hungry managed to answer your last part in her previous post. She sees the future, so I'm inclined to trust her :P

Also gonna need a dictionary and a browser on hand to translate hungrys detailed response xD

Sorry, I got cut off :P The whole point is you or any member here shouldn't really have to worry about this sort of thing unless they want to. In fact on principle I'm not gonna comment further on it until it seems like some change is coming because we could all muse about this but it doesn't mean the site will change - it's not up to us right now and donating should ensure things are taken into consideration so we don't need dictionaries or anything else!

 

Edited by Hungry
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6 minutes ago, Rocker83 said:

@tbare13, @Hungry managed to answer your last part in her previous post. She sees the future, so I'm inclined to trust her :P

Also gonna need a dictionary and a browser on hand to translate hungrys detailed response xD

Thank you, Captain Obvious :P if she sees the future I want lotto numbers.

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6 minutes ago, tbare13 said:

Thank you, Captain Obvious :P if she sees the future I want lotto numbers.

I offered you lotto numbers once and you didn't even play, remember? :P

I started the ball rolling ladies but if nothing comes of this then we know where we stand and what is to come of the site. I hope it doesn't come to that but it'd be wrong of me to encourage anything else at this stage.

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@HungryWhat do you mean by "but we can internally link other posts and topics within threads to make the site more valuable alone it's not enough but it's a start, the whole site would need an overhaul for this though." ?

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13 minutes ago, Kailee said:

@HungryWhat do you mean by "but we can internally link other posts and topics within threads to make the site more valuable alone it's not enough but it's a start, the whole site would need an overhaul for this though." ?

Ok so you know when you see links in a post like for instance http://www.shybi.com and you can click, rather than linking to external source which most of the time it's what you get some sites, mostly blogs like to something relevant on their own site like http://www.shybi.com/forums/index.php?/profile/1-la-femme/ to get more people looking at other content on your site and increasing it's value. For this, there would either need to be posting guidelines or dedicated inviduals who made content which was both useful, relevant to the site and contained link value - make sense?

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@Hungry

Yes.  I think so.  So if we were linking other relevant forum threads into our posts, it would increase the site value? Site value meaning....Shy's is more likely to pop up in someone's Google search?

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If I am totally not getting it, forgive me :) And thank you for trying to explain.

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Just now, Kailee said:

@Hungry

Yes.  I think so.  So if we were linking other relevant forum threads into our posts, it would increase the site value? Site value meaning....Shy's is more likely to pop up in someone's Google search?

It just means the pages will get more hits and more traffic will help generate revenue, overall rating and placement in the search depends on many other factors.  There's more money to be had in people remaining on your site - reading/opening more topics than leaving in short. But there's no point in doing that if you haven't cleared up the site and it's current content first. We could really go round in circles with if, buts and maybes. 

Give a day or two if we hear nothing then we know. If we hear something then maybe there's a point to thinking.. but I am certainly done for now. 

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I am definitely NOT good at handling the back-of-house, technical stuff with this.  I do think that a required fee would keep many, if not most, members from ever joining, at the risk of their husbands seeing the charge.  But I also agree that ads may also risk privacy.  Having a place to donate, like we once had, might help some, though I realize donations were always sporadic.

Many public WiFi networks block this site for adult content.  I’m not sure if there isn’t a way to circumvent that, as I’m sure that reduces traffic some.  Keeping things fresh, like activating the chatroom again, would help keep traffic going, IMO.

This site certainly means a lot to me, like it does to many of us.  Here’s hoping for the best.

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If there were some way to make more than one person the admin of the site so that not all of the cost falls on just la-femme's shoulders, that might help. I'm sure that there are a few of us that would be willing to share or help out with the responsibility of overseeng the site. There could be key donators that could help keep the running so that others wouldn't have to pay a membership fee.

I also think that the chat room feature needs to be brought back because that's what made the site more interesting and fun to come to because we all had fun talking to each other. Maybe that could  be something that could also be covered with a base of key contributors that would be willing to pay for that extra feature to be added? 

This doesn't have to be such a burden to la-femme, especially when there are a few of us who would have the time to help with the admin duties of the site. This site could also generate revenue as Hungry has pointed out. I know for me I'm not looking to make money off of the site, I'm so glad it's been here and has been free but a lot has changed since the birth of the site and good sites cost money to run. If enough of us were to give a consistent amount each month, we could have a great site.

Thanks for your suggestions Hungry and for voicing your opinion. We do need to consider as a group where do we go from here and how can we make this a better site.

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Essentially if things don't change those members who did donate could actually make a claim for their money back. It'd be decided by Paypal but it's actually got a chance assuming you didn't gift, your $ and la-femme doesn't return. I know you probably all think that's a horrible thing to say, but without a present admin the scope for this site is limited, the moderators don't have much power from what I can tell. 

As much as we all love the site, I want everyone to be aware they have that option if they wanted to try it while it seems unfair to be the admin of a site there's you have a responsibility and shouldn't wait 24-48 hours before closing to speak up. I know that is harsh. In terms of other people having administerative power while it's something la-femme expressed she'd rather not to change, other people need to be able to make changes, decisions and more importantly actively support members day-to-day.

Edited by Hungry
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I wish I was more tech-savvy to know and help about these things. I regret I don't.

I will try to help the way I can in the future. Sorry, I was knocked out yesterday.

I'd love to keep it going as it means a lot to me and I agree we need to take action and do things ( I don't know which ones) by having the staff participate in that :)

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Ok...This is what I am hearing. ..

The principle that is being echoed as important to Shys:

-Privacy and accessibility is paramount: no membership fees or ads that will track.

Facts and viable ideas that have been laid out:

-Admin Team could be created

-Key donors could be solicited

-Charitable donations page resurrected

-Chat feature resurrected

-Potentially a bigger moderator team to keep up with more traffic...it might be beneficial for moderators and admin to work closely going forward so because moderators have their ear to everything happening on the site.

-Estimate of £400/$500 per month for site costs and staff paid

Edited by Kailee
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Ok so what happens now? I think we all agree that this site is valuable and we’d all like to see it thrive...how do we as members make that happen? It seems clear that our current admin no longer has the personal resources to maintain the site...no one faults her for that, but how can we help. Is it a matter of someone(s) purchasing ownership of the site? Does @la-femme have a long term goal in mind? There must be some goal, otherwise why ask for donations to pay the ‘ransom’ to move the server and save the site (for now)? She obviously has interest in keeping the site alive, and so do we, together what can we do to initiate change? Do we really just sit and wait and hope for the best?

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