End of an Era

Sim

Administrator
What were the costs of running this site at Linode? https://www.linode.com/pricing looks pretty damn cheap.
The overall cost of hosting is trivial compared to the cost of managing the site - systems administration and community management.

Somersoft (along with some of my other sites) currently utilises two Linodes - an 8GB database server and a 4GB web/app server. We had plans to add a third search engine server running ElasticSearch, which would probably be a minimum of 4GB as well.

However, the hosting is only one component of the systems required to operate a busy site like this:

- Database hosting US$80 per month + $20 per month for VPS backups
- Web/app server hosting US$40 per month + $10 per month for VPS backups
- Performance monitoring (Linode Longview) for these servers US$40 per month
- Amazon S3 storage for website backup data approx US$10 per month
- Code Deployment (DeployHQ) approx US$20 per month
- Anti-spam (Akismet) US$45 per month
- Forum software: approx US$25 per month
- Helpdesk software (HelpSpot): approx US$20 per month
- Email deliverability (Mandrill): approx US$5 per month
- GeoIP IP address geolocation web service (Maxmind): approx US$5 per month
- System monitoring and alerting (Pingdom): approx US$15 per month

Total approx: US$335 per month = $4,020 per year = approximately AU$5,200 per year (I liked it so much better when we had a high AUD!!!).

Also - don't forget that these are unmanaged servers, so I have to do all system administration work as well - I would easily spend four or five hours per month just maintaining the servers, sometimes much more.

Just by comparison of how (relatively) cheap hosting is these days - I recall an early version of Somersoft (around 2002 or so) we hosted on a NetRegistry server which was costing Ian $1000 per month. It wasn't long after this that we found a much cheaper hosting solution (Quadrahosting), which we used for many years until we eventually outgrew their servers and needed to move to a VPS solution.
 
Given it costs $5k per annum why not start a donation thread and get people to donate what they can afford to contribue? and have a target for each year? Crowdfunding 101?
 

Sim

Administrator
Given it costs $5k per annum why not start a donation thread and get people to donate what they can afford to contribue? and have a target for each year? Crowdfunding 101?
I think you've missed the point - this has already been covered multiple times. The costs of hosting are trivial compared to the costs of managing the site.

Jan & Ian have always been more than capable of meeting the hosting costs out of the revenue their business generates - no donations were ever required for that.
 
Thanks to all involved for bringing this forum to us. End of an era indeed.

I have not read the previous 10 pages but how will the new site sustain itself financially? or will it end up having the same fate as this one?
 

Sim

Administrator
I have not read the previous 10 pages but how will the new site sustain itself financially? or will it end up having the same fate as this one?
I think any discussions about the new site are best left to the new site - or if you want to take it "offline", feel free to email me.
 
After enjoying over 10 years of Somersoft I thank you Sim, Ian, Jan and moderators and contributors. It has definitely been the go to place for property investors. Missed but not forgotten and I am looking forward to the next phase.

Jane Slack-Smith
 
I'm really sad.

Been part of this since I was living overseas in 2000 and made a lot of friends. Some more than just internet friends.

I'll be in to secure my name for the new site. I'm glad I can keep Simon and not have to add underscores and numbers etc :)
 

Sim

Administrator
I'll be in to secure my name for the new site. I'm glad I can keep Simon and not have to add underscores and numbers etc :)
You're very lucky - I wanted to take Simon (I actually did when I first set it up) ... for anyone else I might not have been so willing to give it up :p
 
RE "substantial hosting and administrative costs" what is a rough yearly cost? is it in the range of 5 / 10 / 20 / 50 or more $K a year ?

Ok , I see the hosting costs above.

So my questions i s, roughly how many hours a month is
systems administration ?
community management ?


Thanks You
 
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I did a double take but yes read correctly. I don't know where to begin but will just say thankyou to everyone for everything. 10 years flew. Jan Somers was one of the inspirations to my property investing, wealth building.

Thankyou so much. Thanks Sim, Somersoft forum mods, amazing folk. This is the forum I learnt more about contracts, different issues involved in detail of investing and also met my mortgage broker, Kristine, the most generous, kind, cleverest person I know.

While I did thank everyone, can't leave without special thanks Kristine, Ruby, Skater, Lizzie, Jacques, Geoff, Y-man, Bob, Kathrynd, Perp, See-change, Wylie, The Rixter!, Oscar, oh this is impossible, I'm so sorry I don't even remember all the brilliant people I learnt from.

Life indeed moves on, but this time here I really treasure. I wish you the very very best and thankyou so much for sharing your journey/s experience/s to help me/others.

xx
 
Should Auld Acquaintance

Hello Ian and Jan, Sim and all others who have created and contributed so much to Somersoft over the years:

I was introduced to Somersoft by some buyer agent customers of mine (now, that's certainly another era!) and so became Somersoft Member #20, officially joining this version of the Board 1st March, 2001 although I had been posting for a short while on previously versions of the Forum

I bought all of Jan's books and have suggested to many people that they may find Building Wealth Story by Story to be not only entertaining but significantly helpful in their investment journey

For myself, what can I say?

Somersoft became so much a part of my life that at times I felt as if I was glued to the computer. Not only have I made good friends through the Forum but I have also developed a whole career: Because of Somersoft, I discovered Mortgage Broking in 2003 at a time when few Australian loans were written through Brokers, and to my amazement am still writing loans in 2015!

And some of my Customers have come from the Forum, which I found very humbling and was always grateful for. Thank you. And some have become good friends, for which words will always be insufficient.

The Somersoft Forums have been beautifully managed, administered and moderated, with good manners, respect and an inherent truthfulness sadly lacking in many other groups or forums. Jan's books and Ian's Investment Programs did not exactly amount to commercialisation of the board and we have been able to enjoy a unique, ad free environment over the past 16 years.

To my fellow posters, thank you for your contributions, your wit and cynicisms, your examples of what to do and what not to do and all things great and small to do with property investing

To Ian and Jan, Sim and all the Moderators over the years, thank you for making this uniquely Australian space possible. Who would have thought you would have been providing this facility so graciously and for so long?

It is indeed the End of an Era, and while we can all move on, let us not rush away without reflecting on how important the Somersoft Forum has truly been.

May the road rise to meet you, and until we meet again

Lotsa love
Kristine
And OO, thanks for taking the time to let me know, I appreciate the opportunity for one last post!!
 
It really is the end of an era. Sad news.

While I feel the decision to close this board is disappointing, and is possibly due to more than the official reason we have been given, I do wish to thank everyone involved in Somersoft over the many years I have been a member here.

Thank you to Jan and Ian, all the moderators, and everyone who has posted over the years. Goodbye and all the best in your investing and life journeys.
 
Thanks Jan and Ian - have learnt so much and hopefully maybe helped someone else. What a great place to visit it was indeed. All the best for your future endeavours.

Thanks also to Sim and anyone that has helped with the admin of the site. Thanks to all thread starters and posters. All the best to everyone. See you on the new site.
 
And I'd hate for this forum to be turned off without me saying a BIG thank you to Kristine on behalf of my then 21 y.o. son, for organising an investment loan for him with a modest deposit saved from his part time income. Kristine, you will be delighted to hear that Lyndon has his little $175k unit on the market this weekend and is hoping to clear well over $325k.

And Our Obsession sent me some maps in those early days ...thank you OO.

Only earlier this year, I found a brilliant mortgage broker, Redom, through these forums and he has worked so hard for us and has been amazing.

Mystery, Virgo, SteveAdl, BrisVegas, Travelbug, Amy - thanks for the inspiration and hope to see you on the the side
 
Not really sure what to say. I grew up on Somersoft and am really sad to see it go for what seems to be commercial reasons.

I can't say I'm enamoured of the idea of transferring to a new commercial forum and starting from scratch. I like the community here, the tone and the lack of ads. I don't contribute to any of the commercial forums.

Is this really a money issue? I get the $5K a year is small change argument, but what is the rest of the cost? Crowd funding sounds like a much better idea to me. With all our members, surely $10 a year would cover it.

Is this really the end?

Cheers,
MichaelW
 
I get the $5K a year is small change argument, but what is the rest of the cost? Crowd funding sounds like a much better idea to me. With all our members, surely $10 a year would cover it.
Im pretty sure Sim has covered it... managing SS is circa 50% of his full time job as a web developer/site manager, he needs to put food on the table and the costs of runnning the site are very high due to this.

The upgrade of the forum to a new platform is also costing tens of thousands, again a cost not quickly raised.
 
I don't come here often but I've been a member since 2003 and I've enjoyed being part of it. I learned a lot but I am down to two houses and not planning any more purchases but I wish everyone here huge success in their investing dreams.
It's also been a pleasure to occasionally help others with their NSW town planning queries.

Savanna (Penny Day)
 
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