Web-sites and IT funding - survey

Background and objectives: 

To date, IT and website funding has been purely on a voluntary basis. Related to the move towards formalising the DAG (as a limited company or whatever), IT and web funding needs to become more formal too.

This is just a first-pass, and to try to gauge some reaction.

General direction

  • A minimum site membership fee will be set. Currently anticipated 15 pounds per quarter for depositors, but may have to change relatively few members are willing/able to pay that.
  • Any depositor who genuinely cannot afford to pay for access will of course be given free access.
  • Direct credit card payment facility (via third party) to be made available in addition to PayPal.
  • Membership fees may need to be changed, especially as many lower-value depositors will probably stop using the site in the future due having received 100% return.
  • Access to the public site will remain free of charge, though some content of the public site may be restricted to site members only at a later date.

Definitions

Site user - anybody who uses the ksfiomdepositors.org public and/forum sites.
Site member - a paid-up member (user) of the ksfiomdepositors.org public and/forum sites.

Anticipated scale of membership fees

Depositors membership

For private individuals, i.e. depositors or those representing close family members who are depositors

  • Anticipated quarterly fee: 15 pounds per user-id. Discount for two or more user-ids (not yet decided.)

For companies - depositors who are companies

  • Anticipated quarterly fee: 45 pounds per user-id. (invoiced)

Non-depositors membership

Not-for-profit organisations, educational establishments, similar

  • Anticipated quarterly fee: 60 pounds per user-id. (invoiced)

For-profit organisations, government bodies, etc.

  • Anticipated quarterly fee: 500 pounds per user-id. (invoiced)

Anticipated service levels

  • Site up-time better than 95%
  • Technical support via email and telephone
  • Disaster recover program would re-establish the site inside 48 working hours (e.g. in the event of the hosting company going out of business, the site being shut down by an party, etc.)

Alternatives

  • As always, the "keys" to the DAG sites are available to anyone who can convince me they can take over, provide the necessary service levels, abide by privacy policy, etc. This could be either on a professional or voluntary basis.
  • A cheap-and cheerful alternative would be to switch to Facebook, Google Groups or any other "free" service - I would suggest that it would be a seriously bad idea, but nonetheless an option. The IT internal support function would then have to provided by volunteers, or sourced elsewhere.
Yes I expect to contribute the anticipated fee
77% (336 votes)
I cannot contribute due to lack of funds
17% (72 votes)
I cannot contribute due to lack of a suitable payment method
3% (13 votes)
I will not contribute - the sites are not worth paying for
3% (14 votes)
Total votes: 435
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I absolutly agree with that

I absolutly agree with that comment.I am also asking myself the same question,why do we need to have 2 or 3 different funds,and would much prefer to have one single fund,and let the DAG Team,take whatever is the requested fee for the running of the IT services,out of the Legal fund,like I did once.
Jean-Charles

Posted by Jean-Charles Marlier on Fri, 22/05/2009 - 03:21
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS

I completely agree with the comment: 'Having made a contribution' posted by Fraude on 02/03/09. At the very least my contribution to the legal fund ought to be acknowledged.

We should also be told what the legal team is trying to achieve.

Hilbert

Posted by Hilbert on Sun, 29/03/2009 - 16:40
As a member of the pension

As a member of the pension age group, I find that it is difficult to keep up with things on this board, firstly, I have previously made payments to the "legal" fund, but find it difficult to see why we need two or three different funds, why cannot expenses come out of the one fund?

Secondly, I have attempted to vote on numerous occasions, but never ever have been able to place my vote.

I think that many of our members are not into computers like other people assume we are, noting that many of us are over 65 years of age, and are not like the young wizz kids that leave us older generation standing, what we need is something simple.

As stated, some of us have previously contributed, and would like to continue doing so, but now that we have two or three different funds, we are losing track of what to do!

Posted by duke2290 on Sat, 14/03/2009 - 10:31
I am willing to contribute to

I am willing to contribute to the IT BUT not via Paypal. I too would prefer to pay by a cheque drawn in GBP. Regards. Felosleet

Posted by felosleet on Fri, 13/03/2009 - 19:36
People need accountability

People need accountability when making contributions to this site.

Surely they can be given a receipt if they put their username as the reference in a bank transfer ?

Would be good if there was some way of them querying to see what contributions they have made - not sure if that's possible ?

Posted by colinalvin63 on Fri, 13/03/2009 - 11:37
I have already contributed

I have already contributed 150 GBP to the legal fund and am prepared to contribute another 150 GBP. This should correspond to just over the proposed contribution of 0.2% of our total holdings (our joint account and those of our 2 sons). We think you are well worth it!

Posted by Larocadalbera on Wed, 11/03/2009 - 17:22
Quick updated - this:

Quick updated - this: http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/forum-topic/advert-itweb-manager - is relevant to the poll topic.

Re. spam and email addresses, if possible set your spam processing to allow all mail from anything @ksfiomdepositors.org . Yes, I can change things so that mail comes from some other address rather than noreply but it shouldn't be necessary - our domain is properly configured (with something called an SPF record), such that receiving servers should recognise us as a bona fide sender. However, it's still possible that some individuals have their email set such that any mail from an address no in their address book will be treated as spam. So, add noreply(?)ksfiomdepositors [dot] org there, or all blanket white-list all ksfiomdepositors.org addresses if you can.

Posted by ng on Sun, 08/03/2009 - 15:26
I too would like to pay by

I too would like to pay by cheque [drawn on UK bank]. I am happy to pay 1 year up front, but need address etc to send it to.

            Thanks

                        SBS
Posted by SBS on Sun, 08/03/2009 - 08:59
NG Presumably we will be

NG Presumably we will be asked to contribute to the legal fund as well. Do you have any idea when this might be and the amount that might be requested?. We are extremely low on funds and although wishing to pay our way with both funds need to have more information. Thanks.

We think you have done a tremendous job with the site.

Posted by jmf on Sat, 07/03/2009 - 21:01
@losymysaving: Spam filter

@losymysaving: Spam filter reset.

Have you reset the spam filter so mails from "noreply(?)ksfiomdepositors [dot] org" do not immediately continue to go to the spam folder?

For example on Yahoo, if you go to the spam folder and find mail from "noreply(?)ksfiomdepositors [dot] org" there, you can select/highlight the message and then in the bar above find a symbol "not spam", if you click on this then for another time period at least the mails will end up in your inbox.

In hotmail the same applies, but hotmail uses the synonym "junk" where yahoo uses "spam". So the symbol/button/label that you need when you are in the "junk" folder to find in the bar above the lsit of mails is "not junk".

The email service service providers obviously have ways of guessing whether a mail is spam or not. So in this case, hopefully, their guess has been incorrect and important mail has been left in your 'span/junk' folder without you being specifically informed. The same thing has happened to me. I don't know how to prevent the same thing happening again in future so from now on I'll be checking my spam folder intermittently.

You have highlighted a very important point. I'll forward these emails on to "ng", just in case he doesn't notice your email, and suggest he sends out advice from a unique email address so everybody is made aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

On the larger picture, we are at a critical stage. We need to pull together here. Networking, talking directly amongst ourselves, as well as directing communication through the site is important. For instance if you talked to others in the past, now might be the time to talk to them again if only to ascertain that they are not in darkness because the DAG emails are hidden in their spam folder.

Posted by follow_the_tao on Sat, 07/03/2009 - 02:41
Very low survey response

Very low survey response rate?

A factor in the low response rate may be that unlike every other email I get from the DAG, this request ended up in my junk mail

I don't know if the content was picked up by spam filters as normally emails from noreply(?)ksfiomdepositors [dot] org are safely delivered to my inbox.

Posted by losymysavings on Sat, 07/03/2009 - 00:41
Where is everybody? To try

Where is everybody? To try to answer, an earlier poll - http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/poll/members-level-involvement gives some indication. A response of up to around 400 is typical on most polls.

The anticipated "site membership" fee assumes broadly similar numbers will contribute. Certainly 2000 will not. Remember, of the 2500 members you see here, many are couples, many more are people who want to read but not post (perhaps older people who don't like typing on a keyboard) and some are smaller depositors who have registered in order to receive newsletters etc, but not really take part.

Site use statistics show a generally flat trend and generally around 1500 individual visitors per day on average, with around 2200 total visits (i.e. some people visit more than once in a day.)

Posted by ng on Thu, 05/03/2009 - 12:11
Probably something to do with

Probably something to do with the user-unfriendliness of the Website!

Posted by Jasper on Thu, 05/03/2009 - 05:16
@Shockedsa: Exactly. You have

@Shockedsa: Exactly.

You have your money you're gone.

15K changed to 50K by a cynical self serving incompetent government of the IoM,

Ciao.

Posted by follow_the_tao on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 23:36
Yes it is strange where is

Yes it is strange where is everyone?

Posted by bellyup on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 23:10
I would like to pay by cheque

I would like to pay by cheque please. Not keen on pay pal and they do take a % out.

Please put the details we need on the site, to enable us to pay.

Will one be for IT?

And one for Legal?

What Name will need to be on the cheque?

And what is the Postal address to send it to?

thanks

Posted by upthecreek on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 21:23
It seems strange that after

It seems strange that after more than 48 hours, and everyone having received an email telling them about it, only 343 people have voted in this poll (around 13% of members). Are there really that few people who look at this site regularly? Is the expected contribution based on a certain minimum number of people agreeing to it?

Posted by RWT on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 20:21
Stuartb, but of course you

Stuartb, but of course you will be treated equally! DCS is a top up scheme for private depositors with deposits < £50k.

If the liquidation brings a return of 75%, we ALL get 75% of our money back. The DCS tops it up to 100% only for those private account holders who had less than £50k.

Apart from those lucky ones, we are all treated equally: bondholders, private depositors and corporate account holders.

Posted by jkk on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 18:06
Swiss I absolutely

Swiss

I absolutely agree
Added to that we can actually see what we are getting.
This is not the case for the legal funding
What exactly are the lawyers doing at this present moment in time?

Posted by bellyup on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 13:30
I think you are doing a great

I think you are doing a great job. I have made a goodwill contribution already in recognition of this. My future contributions I am afraid will be dependent on whether (as a small investor) I succeed in getting 100% of my funds returned. In theory this should be so...
In any event, once again, my thanks for all the efforts so far.

Posted by frank on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 13:21
Bank Transfer Amount GBP

Bank Transfer

Amount GBP 111.00 Transaction type: EBP
Debit / credit: Debit Transaction ref:
Posting date: 19/02/2009 Advice flag:
Value date: 19/02/2009 Voucher:
Timestamp: 22:04
Transaction narrative: KSFIOM DAG
KS-F IOM DAG
FP 19/02/09 40
42021200298802000N
The last transfer I made was by bank transfer copied as above, others I had made by paypal which I believe are less cost effective.

I would have thought it would not be too difficult for each contributor to have a unique ID which they could include in the transaction narrative. For my own purposes I put KSFIOM DAG, I could as easily have put KSFIOM Peasant.

In the best of all outcomes there would be a successful claim for damages from which such expenses could be repaid:)

Posted by Peasant on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 11:46
I would be happy to pay to a

I would be happy to pay to a UK Bank account or by cheque. Will this payment provide access to both the KSFIoM DAG & KSFIoM DAG CHAT sites?
As I now live overseas the web site is essential for keeping in touch with events and for clarifying the complexities of the situation.
ng has done an excellent job in the format of the site and maintaining it.

Posted by Afam on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 09:36
Need to be very clear on

Need to be very clear on payment methods. I am waiting to pay but do not know how to.

Posted by simonbr on Wed, 04/03/2009 - 09:14
Well said Bellyup. Its

Well said Bellyup. Its always the same in any voluntary group or committee, a few good hard working people putting in most of the work and funding while everyone else voices their opinions and advice. However when it comes time to really get involved or donate something to the group they shy off with sad excuses of they are too busy, don't get anything back from it, etc. etc.

It would be interesting to see exactly who the contributors to the various DAG funds (legal, IT and advertising) have been. Just for the record, we have donated to all three and will continue to do so even if it means giving up the odd rare treat that we can still afford.

Posted by rapata on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 19:14
As I understand it, if the

As I understand it, if the DCS is triggered by liquidation, the bond provider will be compensated (to a sum of £20,000) which, when distributed between the bondholders will amount to a negligible sum. In my case this is equivalent to writing off £200k. and gives me little enthusiasm for supporting liquidation.

If I am wrong I will be delighted to be convinced that I will be treated equally to private depositors as the recovery of my money will make a significant difference to the quality of my retirement.

I would like to be reassured that this group supports 100% return of money to ALL of us who have become entangled in this mess.

Posted by stuartb on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 19:13
But you have had it free for

But you have had it free for the last 4 weeks so a small donation would not come amiss would it?

Posted by bellyup on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 13:18
Keep up the good work ! A

Keep up the good work ! A quarterly charge of £15 is great value for all the efforts on our behalf. Lets keep praying for an early end to this injustice.

Posted by legacy41 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:38
Thanks for the site as it has

Thanks for the site as it has provided space for lots of informative discussion. But those of us who are small depositors expect to get paid out in March, so will not need to follow the discussions as closely. Perhaps you should have had an option - as a small depositor, I will have no further use for site.

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 09:51
Zoggy, can you please explain

Zoggy, can you please explain why you think liquidation is bad for bondholders?

Liquidation in principle pays equal dividend to all creditors: personal account holders, bondholders, small business accounts, large corporate accounts, all of them.

Why do you single out bondholders as different?

Posted by jkk on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 09:38
I concur with StuartB - like

I concur with StuartB - like to see more activity with regard to the bondholders. As a bondholder I cannot support liquidation and if this is the direction we are going then I would rather pursue the aims of the insurance companies.

Posted by zoggy on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 09:09
In my case, the return is not

In my case, the return is not significant for the cost, although I know for many it will be. The 'will not' vote is harsher than I would intend to mean. I suppose I am jaded by the failure of another group action that had a lot more fury and lot more at stake.

Posted by hrdubwd on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 02:13
I can not contribute

I can not contribute immediately due to a current lack of payment method. I hope that this will be resolved in a couple of months.

Posted by Duncan on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 00:15
I would be happy to make

I would be happy to make formal contributions if I can be confident that this website includes people like myself who have funds at risk because we have bought bonds.

It is clear from recent posts and the results of polls that a (significant?) number of subscribers support liquidation/DCS which would give a negligible return to bondholders.

I have made financial contributions in the past and will continue to do so if I am confident that the aim is 100% repatriation of funds to all depositors.

Posted by stuartb on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 23:14
There are no labor costs to

There are no labor costs to the site because ng has given up so much of his time, and he deserves just as much pecuniary recognition as the lawyers. Without his endless hours of work we would be nowhere. This site is the backbone of all DAG's efforts. I don't even want to try to calculate how much this web site would have cost had we paid the "real" price. By keeping this site going, ng is giving up so much of his time that could be used doing real work with real money.

There are often little hiccups on the site. I think it was down earlier on today. Who do you think dealt with that? ng is always coming up with new ideas to enhance the site and its performance, so please contribute to ng's efforts if you can. He has done a brilliant job, and as far as I'm concerned, his efforts are just as important and ongoing as those of the lawyers. The only difference being is that he doesn't charge the same amount of money.

Posted by chd on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 23:14
1) I think you need a

1) I think you need a "perhaps" or "it depends" option

2) I think you need to be clearer about the actual scale of expenses, and what the actual costs are for. Is the fifteen pounds based on an assumption that all will pay? 50%?

3) What is the point of having a 'non-depositors' category, when you cannot verify if someone is a depositor or not? Why would they pay 500 pounds just for the privilege of publicly announcing themselves. What if they are joining the group because they have something seriously helpful to contribute?

4) I can certainly provide heaps of gratitude, and I hope that this will all be satisfactorily resolved soon so that there will be no more need for this site.

Posted by Tomigaya on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 22:42
After reading some of the

After reading some of the comments on here regarding funding, I have contributed towards the legal fund a couple of times at least. I'm not sure if it's logged anywhere ?

I think that the membership fee of £15 per quarter should fund both I.T. operations and the Legal fund. I don't think you can rely on ad hoc contributions for the legal fund.

Legal expenses are a real cost - lawyers need to be paid to continue acting on behalf of the DAG. Consequently I feel that most of the funding should be towards this end. To date, no I.T. labour costs have been incurred due to the dedication of people like ng. If the site is working as is, why rework it ? Surely I.T. maintenance now will be minimal, or am I missing something ?

Posted by colinalvin63 on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 22:12
I think it would be worth

I think it would be worth including a 5th option in this vote, ie. "Agree to contribute an amount upto the required quarterly amount, according to the funds I have available".

This might at least get some members to contribute £10 or £5 per quarter if they truly can't afford £15.

Posted by colinalvin63 on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 22:00
I sincerely hope that this

I sincerely hope that this fiasco doesn't crawl on another year

Posted by bellyup on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 21:44
Thanks ng for the

Thanks ng for the clarification. I can now understand the problem with acknowledging receipt of bank transfer contributions which I hadn't thought about! Although part of the 40% who will be covered by the EPS I intend contributing to the site as I joined it the day after the collapse (under a different username) and it was a tremendous support driven by a real hard working team. I appreciate that there are many people who desperately need their savings back.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 21:31
Perhaps doesn't need saying,

Perhaps doesn't need saying, but of course I don't imagine that any "For-profit organisations, government bodies, etc." will actually pay 500 pounds per quarter for access to the site! The motive for setting that high figure is I believe in the DAG's interests! On the other hand, if they want to help fund us, then that seems a reasonable figure!?

Posted by ng on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 21:05
As I've indicated before, I

As I've indicated before, I am willing to contribute to the operation of this website but can only do so by cheque. To compensate for your trouble I'd be willing to pay for one year up front.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 20:06
Payment by cheque - Right now

Payment by cheque - Right now no, but will be in place assuming this "formal" process goes ahead, and that in turn will depend on results from this survey. I'll do a separate survey later re. prefer payment methods - many of us are not in the UK, so PayPal or credit card is the only viable option to avoid excessive charges.

Posted by ng on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 19:38
@fraude ... On reflection I

@fraude ...

On reflection I think I made the contribution to the "legal" fund and not the IT funding. I presume the IT funding as proposed is just for the web page and the legal fund is something additional and seperate?

I need to write a more detailed proposal, but the "IT element" consists broadly of the following:

> Keeping the sites running, resolving technical problems, installing, upgrades, checking security from time to time etc.
> Planning and implementing procedures for site security, measures to help ensure user privacy, etc.
> Planning for disaster recover. Put simply, what happens if our hosting company gets destroyed by fire/flood, or even shut down by the authorities (I think the latter is unlikely, but did happen to one bona fide banking-related site that I know of.)
> Providing user support for simple things like problems accessing the site, logging in, uploading documents, etc.
> Providing general IT support to other DAG members, notably the London Team (will be Strategy Team)

So, it's probably not correct to imply that you would be paying for access to the site as such - the membership fee is really just a means to provide funding for a general IT function, as it would be impractical to fund individual IT activities. It's not yet been decided how funding will be routed in practice - possibly I will be invoicing the DAG entity.

Receipts

Re. receipts for contributions (whether legal or IT) - that should be automatic for contributions made via PayPal. It's impossible to provide receipts for contributions made by bank transfer, as that would require us to know "who is who" in terms of linking a sending bank account to a user-name/email address, i.e. further impacting privacy/anonymity.

However, for the new "formal" membership-fee concept, I do plan to provide receipts and invoices where appropriate.

Posted by ng on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 19:30
IS IT POSSIBLE TO PAY BY

IS IT POSSIBLE TO PAY BY CHEQUE?

Posted by joyce p on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 19:22
On payment methods, not keen

On payment methods, not keen on using PayPal, but direct credit card payment or transfer to a UK Bank account (as for legal fund) would be fine. Not sure, but believe many not keen on PayPal.

Posted by icdbrazil on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 19:12
On reflection I think I made

On reflection I think I made the contribution to the "legal" fund and not the IT funding. I presume the IT funding as proposed is just for the web page and the legal fund is something additional and seperate?

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 18:52
Having made a contribution

Having made a contribution earlier in the year and had no acknowledgement that it was received (although from my bank statement I see that it was proceesed) has put me off making any further contribution. An automated e-mail of acknowledgement is all that is needed.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 18:21
I'll be happier too! Would

I'll be happier too!

Would those who answer the "lack of suitable payment method" give a bit more detail here as a comment please?

Posted by ng on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 17:55
Glad this is being formalised

Glad this is being formalised - the Begging Bowl approach was sadly inadequately supported.

Posted by go mann on Mon, 02/03/2009 - 17:38