Hi all, 

I just received notice that the cost to run this website on the Ning platform will more than double next year from $239.90 to $588/year. There is no way I am going to pay that. This site is paid up until July 2017. After that, I may decide to do something completely different with this web address, however, I am open to your creative ideas. Not interested in donations to keep the site open. I don't want to reward Ning's price hike decision.

Things on the internet have changed a lot since 1999 when this site first opened. Now there are seemingly dozens of stop motion groups on Facebook. Do a search, it's kind of amazing. This site is pretty quiet and may be losing its relevance. Might be time for something completely different. 

If you want to read all about the price change drama, go here.

thanks,

Anthony

Note: as of 09/10, 3 alternatives have been proposed. Read thru all the posts or simply vote for your favorite option, or create your own, by taking the Poll located on the Sidebar.

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I love the site and I am less active when I am doing other things than stop motion stuff But I pop in and hope to share more in the future!

Yes there are other stop motion groups but this one is a nice community :)

This site is still my home on the internet, the first place I go to, so I would miss it a LOT.  But I do notice that it is a bit quieter than it used to be, and several old stopmo aquaintances that I met here are not turning up as much and are more likely to be found on Facebook these days.

So you've covered what I would have said next, that I would gladly contribute to the cost.  But I've read a few of the comments from other Ning users about the pice increase and lack of service, and I completely understand.  

SMS hasn't lost its relevance to me, but maybe it has for some.  We had to face that when our satellite site for showing videos, Stopmoshorts, got overtaken by the rise of Youtube and other video sites, and didn't really have a purpose any more.  So it happens.  One of the things I always liked about SMS is that it is not based on advertising and click-baiting, and FB is a far less pleasant place to be because of that.  

 

StopMoShorts and 2.0 went by the wayside due to cost also. It's difficult to justify cost vs traffic. Not enough visitors . . then you have to question price. I love SMA.com but have noticed people shifting in new directions. Not like it used to be. YouTube and Facebook have taken over. Different generation. My how time flys.
P.S. If I remember right, back when StopMoShorts began, it still cost around 80 bucks a year. (Circa 2004)

It would be very nice to arrange some way to save all the contents somewhere or make it downloadable in some form or whatever, there is a huge amount of valuable information hidden in all the topics here and it would a big loss to throw it all away.

well facebook is always a good way to go i know it will be differant and limited in the forum style. but people can still posts their questions and we all answere it best we can. and you can post your videos and pictures of your work. its free. and most people are on it more. and can bring in more audiences, just need a few admins, it could work out quite nicely. as theres still a good community here even though its quiet atm.  

I will look into that certainly. It's not a simple thing. The original site that ran up until 2012 has been archived here: http://www.vortex42studios.com/sma/

Mikael Aronsson said:

It would be very nice to arrange some way to save all the contents somewhere or make it downloadable in some form or whatever, there is a huge amount of valuable information hidden in all the topics here and it would a big loss to throw it all away.

Well that bites.

It would be a terrible tragedy to lose the site and not just the info (which can be archived) but the support form other members. Admittedly I only stop in on occasion and only in spurts at a time (usually when a new movie comes out which is happening more frequently).

Looks like a large group will be leaving NING because of the rate hike with over 20 pages of protest postings.

The Clubhouse (also seeing a slowing in activity) which is the only other place I go is built on phpBB software that I know nothing about but see it on the pages so maybe that is an option for this site. If you want to go the donation route I would be willing spend a few dollars each year.

I'll echo everyone else, it would be a sad day to lose this site. 

I had a look at some of the comments on the NING creator's network and that disturbs me more. A LOT of unhappy customers and the complaints they already had *before* the price hike was announced. I'd be worried that NING will just up and vanish, leaving nothing behind and no way to archive or transfer this wonderful site.

There must be a more user friendly hosting site with a better cost/service ratio. 

I've been gearing up to start producing my own stop-mo shorts. Getting necessary equipment/materials/supplies and working on story ideas and designs. I'd really hate to see this site go because it is such a valuable resource. I'm a member on a few of the facebook pages, but this place has a legitimate worth to it, like it's at another level of consciousness on a higher plane. 

Of course, if you're burned out on it, you're burned out. Not much anyone can for that, it's just a fact of life. 

Dennis

I know this at a basic glance can seem steep as an individual but unfortunately I see this as a common cost of site hosting on the internet. As my bill paying day job I am a software engineer (computer programmer) at a company that owns a data center that, along with many other things, offers site hosting. So I can kind of see the background overhead of what goes on more than just price hunting. On average you are going to find $20 a month for a basic blank slate quite common and that provides you with enough resources to maybe run a moderate blog or basic forum that you would have to install and configure yourself most of the time. Usually the next level up would be $40 to $50. So even just looking at this works out to $240 to $600 a year and is aligned with were NING was and is now changing to.

Be aware of many of the pricing plans out there than are low might not offer the bandwidth or the responsiveness to handle a community beyond the passiveness of people reading someones blog or static business website. There are lots of things to consider that are not always well pointed out to the "buy now" snips of what is out there.

As for being quiet, I find that this place might be quiet at times but the amount of meaty and meaningful communication here is higher than many other loud but usually hollow communication channels on this subject. I have personally learned a lot from this place on its own that has higher value than what I have picked up a la cart  for hundreds of other scattered sources. I find I might not be here daily or interacting as most non-stopmo people do on Facebook. I did I would not get anything done in this craft as I would be spending more of my available time touching the keyboard than my puppets.

As for being relevant, many outsiders argue the relevance of the craft in this era of CGI etc. I find the relevance in all of this is actually mingling and seeing the interaction with many experienced and veteran stop motion artists here in a single place that has help ground me in my resolve to keep my projects going, dreams alive, and the art being introduced to newer generations. There is much tribal knowledge that still needs to be passed on before it is lost and have to be rediscovered again and again. Yes new techniques, technology, and materials can invalidate many old ways but there is still many things that will always be important and this community is one of them in my opinion.

I know this might not be the end of SMA but each time there is a rollover to a different system or format there is knowledge and people lost.

I guess long story short is I will help in any way I can be it technical or financial to keep this going. I know you do not want to "reward" NING but unfortunately I see it as the cost of doing business and the grass is not really greener elsewhere for something equivalent in these times without a lot of elbow grease. 

Likewise happy to make a contribution towards costs. I echo the other comments about how there is a concentration of expertise here, and particularly a fund of information on how others have found solutions to particular problems.

Whatever happens in the future, thank you Anthony for making SMA happen at all.

Good points and thank you for your offer to help but I simply do not agree that a $350.00 increase is warranted. I could accept donations or run ugly pop up adds but I've kept this site clean. I don't make any money from doing this and the cost of running this site just continues to go up while activity declines.

There are plenty of places online for people to meet up and discuss Stop Motion, post their videos and photos. I created this site years ago because there weren't many choices. Now there are umpteen! This entire site could be relocated to a Facebook Group for example and it would basically function the same way. The message board categories would not exist however and I can see how that is a downside.

One final thing, I did not mean to infer that Stop Motion is irrelevant, far from it, there so many places online to discuss the subject. Because of that, this site may be losing its relevance.



Shea Street said:

I know this at a basic glance can seem steep as an individual but unfortunately I see this as a common cost of site hosting on the internet. As my bill paying day job I am a software engineer (computer programmer) at a company that owns a data center that, along with many other things, offers site hosting. So I can kind of see the background overhead of what goes on more than just price hunting. On average you are going to find $20 a month for a basic blank slate quite common and that provides you with enough resources to maybe run a moderate blog or basic forum that you would have to install and configure yourself most of the time. Usually the next level up would be $40 to $50. So even just looking at this works out to $240 to $600 a year and is aligned with were NING was and is now changing to.

Be aware of many of the pricing plans out there than are low might not offer the bandwidth or the responsiveness to handle a community beyond the passiveness of people reading someones blog or static business website. There are lots of things to consider that are not always well pointed out to the "buy now" snips of what is out there.

As for being quiet, I find that this place might be quiet at times but the amount of meaty and meaningful communication here is higher than many other loud but usually hollow communication channels on this subject. I have personally learned a lot from this place on its own that has higher value than what I have picked up a la cart  for hundreds of other scattered sources. I find I might not be here daily or interacting as most non-stopmo people do on Facebook. I did I would not get anything done in this craft as I would be spending more of my available time touching the keyboard than my puppets.

As for being relevant, many outsiders argue the relevance of the craft in this era of CGI etc. I find the relevance in all of this is actually mingling and seeing the interaction with many experienced and veteran stop motion artists here in a single place that has help ground me in my resolve to keep my projects going, dreams alive, and the art being introduced to newer generations. There is much tribal knowledge that still needs to be passed on before it is lost and have to be rediscovered again and again. Yes new techniques, technology, and materials can invalidate many old ways but there is still many things that will always be important and this community is one of them in my opinion.

I know this might not be the end of SMA but each time there is a rollover to a different system or format there is knowledge and people lost.

I guess long story short is I will help in any way I can be it technical or financial to keep this going. I know you do not want to "reward" NING but unfortunately I see it as the cost of doing business and the grass is not really greener elsewhere for something equivalent in these times without a lot of elbow grease. 

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