As there have been some changes to the site over the last week or so (namely it seems to be no longer run by volunteers, has acquired a commercial team and raises revenues through advertising) in the wiki tradition of openness would it be possible to have a section about the organisational structure behind the site, the teams running it and where it's based? Wikivorce doesn't appear to be a registered company or charity in the UK???
I now see from the advertise your firm section,that we who use this site are now being called unique and from the wording used are now seen as potential clients/customers.By unique I wonder does it mean vulnerable?
So it appears we are no longer a site helping each other out.We have now become a source to attract revenue, basically we are the potential client list for the subscribers.THIS HAS TAINTED MY VIEW COMPLETELY.I FEEL USED!!! by someone else using OUR community support, given freely to each other FOR MONETARY GAIN!!
Our success has been used against us despicably.
I am a completely impartial user who has used the site extensively (my lifeline) since August. Ian, the founder of the site, has provided this marvellous resource to all of us for free so far - unpaid volunteers doing the design, development and administration of a very sophisticated and hugely beneficial and complex website.
We have all commented on the meteoric rise of the number of registered subscribers, well past 6,000 since May 07
We have all made lots of postings, sent loads of private messages and blogged to our heart's content, unloading our feelings and circumstances to the community at large. Prior to buying a business with my STBX, I worked in a senior position (European IT Director of a US$450 million / year company) in the IT industry for a number of years, and have a damn good idea of the costs here.
How much resource does it take to run wikivorce?
How much disk space?
How many fileservers host it?
How much does a fileserver cost?
Who pays for them?
Who administers and supports them?
Who pays for the message board application software licenses?
How much do we each pay for our broadband or dial up access to the internet?
Imagine we were paying to receive 6,000 users broadband costs, to supply them with the data from Wikivorce - How much do you think that Wikivorce pays to handle that many subscribers?
How much do we pay to use Ian's fabulous resources?
Big fat zero!
SO Wikivorce needs to find a revenue source to pay for its services to such a large user base.
How does MSN or Yahoo do it?
It's that or subscription.
How much does one hour of a solicitor's time cost?
£140 - £200 + VAT?
How much has Wikivorce saved it's users with the advice and knowledge sharing? An awful lot!
Get real! There is no such thing as a free lunch. It isn't about integrity, it's about covering costs. Personally, I would be happy to pay a subscription for Wikivorce, but not everyone is in a position to do that. How the founders have managed to keep the site free so far is a mystery, other than that they are extremely altruistic and generous people who care about us - their user base.
Live with some ads, and continue to enjoy Wikivorce
I to have no problems with companies advertising as mike say it can never be completely free even me as a small fry IT user person was suprised at its no costs so yes, but if its going to go through the roof in value would be nice to know that we the us here in the first would be offered a few shares at a nice price before its sold off
We will be posting a more permanent summary of Wikivorce's recent changes in the about us section soon. But so you don't have to wait here are some of the key points:
1) To date Wikivorce has been a 'hobby' website built and totally supported by one person - not a company, not a charity, just a website.
2) The aim of Wikivorce is to help it users by:
- providing access to information regarding divorce
(e.g. Step By Step Guide / FAQs / Forum)
- providing community support, connecting people
(e.g. Forum / Chat / Messaging)
- helping those who by choice or necessity need to manage elements of the divorce process themselves to greatly reduce their legal costs
(e.g. Step By Step Guide/Court Forms)
3) Wikivorce is growing rapidly and the demands for operating costs and support manpower have increased significantly. It is not viable to continue to provide a good service to all you Wikivorce members through one guy working during his lunch hour/evenings.
Through necessity Wikivorce needs to:
- move onto more a more robust IT hosting solution
- recruit a couple support staff (on something in between a volunteer and a paid position)
So I was faced with a choice of how to continue to provide the wiki service to all of you, and also grow it to benefit as many people in UK getting divorced as possible.
There are really 2 options to get some modest income to cover wiki costs:
- charge some kind of membership/subscription
- have some advertising/sponsorship
I feel that even a modest membership charge would exclude some people and compromise my aim to help as many people facing divorce as possible.
So I decided to go down the advertising route.
So the main message is:
- There has been no change in ownership, and there is no intention for there to be any.
- There has been no change in the Wiki mission, to help as many divorcing people as posssible
- I have simply put in place the least obtrusive method of recouping some portion of my running costs.
- I continue to voluntarily dedicate most of my personal free time to Wiki, but i cannot forever subsidise it financially to the extent that I have been.
Now Over To You......
Perhaps I could use this posting to ask whether any of you out there are prepared to assist in some small way on the site.
I am hugely grateful to those who answer questions on the forum.
Examples of things people could do to help:
1) Manage/update the Latest News section
2) Add new useful sites to the Top Sites Section
3) Add a new FAQ when you learn something new
Wishing You All A Very Happy Christmas,
And hoping to continue with you all on the wiki journey into next year.....
I have been in the Family Law game a long long time and with out doubt, this site is one of the best support sites going. Ian is doing a fantastic job and if it means the running cost come from the industry in order to give free access to the general public so be it.