As you are most likely aware there are several sites in the Survival UK group. The main site, (this one) ‘SurvivalUK.net‘, the forum on ‘Forum.SurvivalUK.net‘ and the download site on ‘Files.SurvivalUK.net‘. Each is for a particular area of prepping. The main site for articles and information relevant to prepping, the forum for members to discuss issues relevant to prepping and then the download site for document storage of prepping articles and files useful to prepping.
As you know from previous articles I decided at the start of the year to finish off the long delayed download site, to refurbish the main site and to relook at the forum as part of my prepping in 2014. This download site is finished and running so that is complete.
This is the start of the process to refurbish the main site and revisit the forum.
I originally started SurvivalUK with the intention to help people who have opened their eyes to the looming economic crisis to prepare for an uncertain future. To share information, to provide guidance and to facilitate them meeting like minded people with a view to help each other and if possible build bonds. I am also doing that out of the goodness of my heart and am doing it without any help financial or otherwise, excluding those few who write articles. It is a thankless task and takes up a lot of my free time. Especially the forum.
I think I have succeeded in helping people as from what I can read there are a lot of people out there that are beginning in prepping that have come a long way from their initial enquiries. There are also a few more people in contact with others to their mutual benefit. Many are helping each other out and sharing and working together to improve their preps. There is a cliché that is used by the namby pamby PC brigade to justify their intrusion into others lives and that is ‘if it saves even one life it is worth it’. I usually laugh at that but in this case it is true. Nobody gets their rights trodden on and it has helped several people improve their chances of survival after an event.
And the key word there is ‘several’. It seems that very few people actually get involved in the sharing of data just in its acquisition. They come on the sites, download whatever interests them and don’t contribute. I’m hoping they get something from that because we don’t. I can understand that some people have to start somewhere and this may be all they have. That is not usually the case though, we all have skills and knowledge that can be shared. If everyone who visited the site that got something from that visit asked a question or replied to a question then we would all get something from it. At the moment except for a very small group it is all take. It looks to me, from the system statistics, that for everyone who has written an article we have several thousand people who read it and move on.
The forum is completely different. There were a few, about 15, regular users and since the ISP issue that has dropped to about 6. Sporadic posting and very little real value. Northern Raider has struggled to keep the forum going when it has gone quiet as it has now. He is dedicated, knowledgeable and a valuable friend. The articles he has written, the input and help he has given to all of us have been invaluable even if he does throw his toys out of his pram when he gets frustrated. He has been providing advice a lot longer than I have and he also has experience with his own forums. His experience indicates that I limit the access on these sites to registered users which makes people contribute.
It is times like these that I shoot myself in the foot. I’m being advised by someone I respect to restrict access to people leeching off the files but I can’t achieve my goals if I do. Many beginners can’t contribute in the way I want so I would be removing them from access to a valuable resource right when they need it most. OK, most won’t go on to contribute but some may.
I’m going to monitor the sites and consider the options. Currently though here are some facts around the sites.
I put in;
Money. Sites, Meets.
Time. Sites, Articles, Reading.
Experience and articles.
I get out of it;
The warm glow of satisfaction in helping people. (Not insignificant)
I get to meet people and build relationships.
I get to see other peoples views and input.
I get to see other peoples knowledge in articles.
Currently there are over 1400 visitors to the main site every day. This is lower than it was last year prior to the ISP issue where there were about 1900 visitors per day.
There have been approx 12 contributors over the years. Four with more than 1 article and a total of 77 articles out of 725 articles.
The forum has 550 registered users with about 50 visitors and 6 contributors per day, the same people with an occasional swap as people move on. This also is lower than it was last year where it was approx. 100 visitors with 15 contributors.
The files site has started with 5,337 files available to download making a total download of 32Gb. More files are ready and will be loaded on when I have the time. Another time consuming task.
If I make changes to restrict access this means I will have to spend some time configuring the systems and more time managing the systems day to day, I will see less people on the site as visitors will be put off by having to register and follow the new rules, although those that do should all be contributors in one way or another but what will they be contributing in order to stay on the sites? My own experience is that there are few people that actually deliver on their promises and I see the site being filled with posts about a shortage of bananas in Croydon and other newsy type articles which I don’t want as people struggle to fill quotas.
I’m going to monitor usage and contributions over the next few weeks and see what happens. My only thought so far about any changes are to restrict the files to those that provide valuable contributions, one point off for anything found in the news, two points off if that is the guardian.
I’m open to suggestions on the way forward. Feel free to email me or leave a comment below whichever side of the discussion you fall under.