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Pictures of England
 

Exploring the most Picturesque & Historic parts of England..

An update from poe and thank you to all

 
poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 922
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 23:37 on 6th March 2014

Dear members,

Firstly we'd like to say a huge thank you to all those who have recently made a donation in an effort to save the Pictures of England website. Your loyalty and generosity has been overwhelming to say the least and we cannot express our gratitude enough. It has also been hugely encouraging.

We are not out of the woods yet, but would like to update you on the situation now that we have more details to share.
The money we need to raise by the end of March is 2k. This is the absolute minimum but should help secure the sites immediate future.
With the money raised so far (£596.50) we think this is now achievable and urge anyone who has yet to donate to please consider doing so to help the website stay online. Thank you.

Unfortunately we still cannot reopen the site to new image submissions just yet. We apologise sincerely for this and realise it is hugely frustrating for our members (as it is for us too) but please bear with us a little longer and be assured that we are trying our very best to get the site fully back on track. We will of course inform you of any progress as and when we can.

Again many thanks for your kind and ongoing support, it is immensely appreciated.

Chris & Sarah

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Vince Hawthorn
Vince Hawthorn
Posts: 12759
Joined: 19th Apr 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 23:49 on 6th March 2014
  Thanks C&S for the update, it is good to know where we stand and I do wish POE the success it deserves. Mostly everything has been said throughout various threads but to add every little that helps please plough back any sales money straight back into the site - I know so far it is only one small pic but you never know!
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Dave John
Dave John
Posts: 22336
Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 00:02 on 7th March 2014
Fully agree Vince, and likewise i have donated my commision back into POE. And should I be fortunate and have more sales I will be handing the commission over again. But it certainly is good to know the latest position that we are in. Thanks Chris & Sarah for such a great site. You know we are all fully behind you.
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Neil Rodgers
Neil Rodgers
Posts: 5122
Joined: 30th Jun 2013
Location: Spain
quotePosted at 06:36 on 7th March 2014

Hi Chris and Sarah

I share the same sentiments as Vince and Dave. 

I have another small amount pending but will make sure it's in before the end of March with any other amounts collected.

Come on all the members who have not donated yet excuse the pun

DIP DOWN TO DEVELOPE  

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Ron BrindPremier Member - Click for more info
Ron Brind
Posts: 19074
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 08:14 on 7th March 2014

The members say it all Chris and Sarah. They love you, as we do and really are behind you during this testing period.

POE has been live for 12 years or more, you have done a great job and we just can't let it go!

C'mon anybody looking in, please help POE to stay online and donate today.......thank you.

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Stephen .
Stephen .
Posts: 64
Joined: 24th Jun 2005
Location: England
quotePosted at 08:21 on 7th March 2014

I have been rather  tardy in renewing my subscription but did so this morning. I had wanted to send a photo but then found I wasn't able to. 

Is  using a lot of capacity one of the problems?

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 922
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 10:22 on 7th March 2014

Hi Stephen, thanks for renewing your Premier membership, it's greatly appreciated.

To answer your question - capacity is the main problem right now regarding why we had to stop new submissions. This will hopefully be resolved if we can get enough funds in to cover another upgrade, but it is not the only problem.
Lack of major development is severely holding the site back, and unless we can find a way of funding the necessary work, allowing us to really capitalise on the various revenue streams the site now has to offer, it is going to continue to struggle. We are obviously investigating various solutions but right now suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks for your continued support.

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Patrick Hogan
Patrick Hogan
Posts: 69
Joined: 12th Jun 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 11:33 on 7th March 2014
On 7th March 2014 10:22, poe wrote:

capacity is the main problem right now regarding why we had to stop new submissions.


 I would say that this could be adressed by 'Quality over quantity'........ There must be 50% of the current storage taken up with below quality and uninteresting images.
Maybe freeing up all this storage could help........
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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 922
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 12:02 on 7th March 2014
Thanks Patrick, that is something we have been and still are looking into but it's not as clear cut. Every single image including it's title and description helps bring in traffic to the site. If we suddenly remove a large portion of images, we could suddenly have a huge drop in traffic to the site, which would be disastrous. Thank you for your input though it's appreciated.
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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 922
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 14:04 on 7th March 2014

What I said earlier about the development problem is probably a bit vague so here is an example.

The most obvious form of revenue for the site is its images, and selling them. This has been the plan for many years but it hasn't been until lately we have been able to implement a way for this to happen, not efficiently as over the years the poe site has become a very large and very complex beast, with many web developers refusing flat out to work on it. Most try to push us towards a complete rebuild of the site with prices in excess of £25,000. Half the problem is poe was never setup as a commercial venture to begin with, so the foundations are not there, it was simply a labour of love by Sarah and myself that over the years became well recieved and attracted a lot of visitors.

While eventually we did manage to get quotes for the recently added image selling system, most were way out of our reach between 4 and 7k. We therefore had no option but to go for a very bare bones limited system at the cost of 1k. This now allows images to be sold at least but is well short of what the site really needed. There is no management system for the image selling (so its very time consuming), no easy way of buyers finding images so lots of potential sales are lost, no user control, etc etc and this has been a familiar pattern over the years as we struggle with the costs to implement new development, and have no choice but to go for the cheapest solution.

To really capitalise on the image selling, which would help poe towards the goal of being self sustainable and also give our members something back for all the great support they have shown over the years, we really need a much better and much more prominent image search. Therefore this is the next priority on the very large development list but there are absolutely zero funds to get this done at the moment, and won't be for the foreseeable future which is very frustrating. And there lies the problem on top of the ever increasing hosting requirements.
The development list is long, with many items on it that we feel are a necessity for the long term future of poe, such as making the site mobile/tablet friendly for instance, as those devices now account for around half the websites traffic, some of which we obviously lose because of lack of optimisation for those devices.

It can be quite daunting at times, but we do believe Pictures of England has something special to offer everyone and has earned its place on the web, even amongst rival sites that have popped up over the years with seemingly millions to spend on just marketing alone, so we would never give up on it or the vision we have for it.

The hosting problem is intermittent, and once we have enough Premier members, should oneday become a thing of the past, but as pointed out, it is not the only problem and without crucial and often costly development, the website will continue to be held back.

 

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