Community Funding for Infinite Conversations

Hi everyone, I have some good news. The team that develops and hosts the software we use for this forum—Discourse—is rolling out a new feature that will allow communities to chip in toward the cost of hosting their forums, and they have offered to set up Infinite Conversations with this feature so that we’re able to use it right away. They’re just asking feedback on how it’s working for us, while they keep working on improving it.

While Discourse is open-source software and can be self-hosted by anybody with some technical knowledge and a modern server, I have always wanted to support the team that makes the software and keeps it running smoothly. Over the years, I have mostly paid for this out of pocket just because I wanted this place—Infinite Conversations—to exist! I always preferred to focus on our creative collaborations rather than on raising money. But I have also always intended for the Cosmos community to ultimately take up responsibility for the site, so it really does become collectively owned and we all share in the (very reasonable, IMO, for all we get) expense.

The expense—which is currently $100/month—is partially supported by donations received on Open Collective, where we have a crowdfunding page that admittedly has not gotten much attention. I have always thought that it was partly a matter of visibility—out of sight, out of mind. But the new feature will be added directly to this site, and it will focus exclusively on funding the cost of hosting.

Once the $100/month goal is reached, the feature will self-deactivate. This would only change if usage and traffic to the site grows so much that we need to bump up to a higher level hosting plan, or if we would like to begin using some of the additional features on those higher plans. To me, this arrangement offers peace of mind because it would be more resilient. For example, if I ever really, really couldn’t afford the monthly hosting expense, I would rest easier knowing that the community could pick up the slack.

So, if you value this haven on the Web for cultural discourse and can afford to chip in to keep it running, please do! We are scheduled to turn on the feature on October 4th. The Discourse team is going to give us six months to try the new feature. Please give it a whirl and provide feedback if you feel so moved. Infinite Conversations has been running for over 5 years now and I hope to keep it going for many more!

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Hi all!

Justin from the Discourse team here. We’ve just pushed the crowdfunding feature live on the site!

You can find it by clicking on the support button in the banner at the top of the site.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need assistance. We’re happy to help and are looking to improve how this works along the way.

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Tested out the feature. A nice addition.

Feedback:

  • the options are for monthly subscription only. Having the option for one time donations is prefered for individuals such as myself that may wish to remain subscription free.

  • the option to remain anonymous is also something that others may prefer.

  • after clicking/“x’ing” out the banner, there seems to be no method to return to it. Perhaps add a statement or send out an email that informs the user that their contribution information can be found under the profile’s “Billing” Tab.

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I would like to know if there is a one time “Donation Option” available,I prefer to do
my Donation that way because of limited income & Month to month is sometimes IFFY?

Thank You for Your Time

Michael E. Stumpf

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Thanks for the suggestion @Michael_Stumpf! We don’t currently have support for one time donations simply because the calculations are a bit weird for a recurring monthly goal. We’ll take a look though!

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