For the last few years, this wiki has been hosted on a rather seedy "one-time fee" VPS provider owned by User:GregorR. While it's been up most of the time, there have been extended (~days) bouts of downtime, including just recently, and the provider's support is best described as non-existent.
We (read: I) are now considering moving the wiki to a slightly less disreputable provider. Since the ongoing hosting costs, while still low, would be an order of magnitude higher than the current ones, we would like to ask any volunteers to contribute towards covering them.
The exact amount depends on the provider chosen, but would be approximately $5/month. At the moment, the only recurring cost is that of the esolangs.org domain name (~$1.3/month), which I can continue to cover.
We've thought of the following possible models:
- (a) The "Random People Just Keep Sending Me Money" deal.
- Basically, we'd post an informal appeal on the site, consisting of a transparent accounting of how much we've paid for hosting, and how much people have contributed. People would send me directly small (well, presumably) amounts of money any way we can agree on, e.g. via a PayPal personal transaction. As an (opt-in) reward, you could get your name mentioned on a "supporters" page, and possibly some other sort of status indicator. (Iff there's consensus this would be a good idea and we can figure out how to make MediaWiki do it.)
- (b) The "Powered by Patreon" approach.
- Similar to option (a), a little more structured. I used to think that Patreon wasn't really meant for this kind of use case, but looking at some of their other "creators", it might fit. Basically, people could choose to contribute any amount they wish as a monthly subscription, with the same rewards as (a). If we can think of other "virtual" rewards, even better. Pros: the site takes care of all the complicated details of accepting money, and with a subscription model, there is more of an expectation of continued payments. Cons: Patreon takes a 5% fee, and (to avoid accidentally making a profit) the monthly subscription levels would have to be really small, increasing the fraction wasted in per-transaction fees.
- (c) The "Crowdfunding is Trendy, Right?" gambit.
- Set up a one-off Indiegogo (or similar) campaign, with a target amount of money that would keep the site running for, say, 5 years (so around $300). Repeat every five years. (Or less often, if the target is exceeded.)
- (d) The "Hope is a Strategy" notion.
- Don't do any of this. Continue to hope our current provider can keep their pyramid scheme going, and doesn't completely disappear on us.
Please feel free to leave your opinions below, including any preferences you may have regarding the proposed options.
D makes sense for the short-term, but having a back-up plan for the next time there are issues with the provider makes sense. The advantage of B and C is that they're easy for people who want to donate; you don't have to email someone and have a discussion about how to get money to them. In terms of B, Kickstarter has their own Patreon-like app now, d.rip, which allows for payments by quarter instead of month which might work better than having really small amounts, in terms of fees.
I'd be happy to host the site on its own dedicated Amazon instance.