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Brickipedia:Proposal to move Brickipedia to ShoutWiki

From Brickipedia, the LEGO Wiki

Earlier this year there was discussion and a vote about many changes, some of which ended up being implemented, while others weren't. For example, we voted to consolidate the sites, although due to technical reasons this hasn't fully been carried out yet. One of the proposals which got more votes than most other things have for a long time was ToaMeiko's proposal for a new host for Brickipedia. Even though the votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, it wasn't implemented and now, in December 2016, Brickipedia is hosted on the same server it was hosted back in March 2016 when Meiko's proposal was created. It goes without saying that obviously the problems that were present in March are still present in November.

As such, I would like to propose the following: let's move Brickipedia into ShoutWiki.

Why?[edit]

  • Better performance. Site slowness, occasional timeouts, database errors, error 502/504 etc. are all too common and they're things that really shouldn't be happening at all. Needless to say that this is directly linked to the current server's insufficient resources.
  • Financial aspect of things. As pointed out by Meiko in the March discussion, the current hosting costs quite a bit but doesn't provide sufficient return for the money.
  • Long-term stability. ShoutWiki has been around for a long time and isn't going anywhere.
  • More and better support. ShoutWiki's staff consists of MediaWiki professionals who have been working on the software for a long time. (Full disclaimer: I'm a member of ShoutWiki's Customer Support Team and over the years I have written numerous extensions and skins for ShoutWiki.) I'm also a sysadmin on Brickipedia and based on my experience over the past year or so, I can say for sure that ShoutWiki has more manpower on the technical front, which enables us to focus less on the operational side of things (i.e. "Is the site up? Why is the site so slow?" etc.) and more on improving Brickipedia via new content, new features and other cool things!
  • And more features. Currently Brickipedia's running on MediaWiki 1.26.2, released in November 2015 which reached its end-of-life this November, on PHP 5.4.45 and due to the PHP version, it's not possible to upgrade Brickipedia to a newer version of MediaWiki without upgrading PHP, which is a prime example of an issue that's not going to happen on ShoutWiki. ShoutWiki runs MediaWiki 1.28, the current latest stable version of MediaWiki with many custom features to protect against spammers and the like.
  • Security. ShoutWiki takes security very seriously, whether we're talking about something that is used on ShoutWiki or not. The recent security incident regarding the public exposure of database backups of sites hosted on Brickimedia's server underlines the importance of proper procedures to ensure the security of users' private information stored by Brickipedia.

Notes[edit]

  • URLs — like Sir Tim Berners-Lee said, "cool URIs don't change", and they don't have to change in this case either (provided that the owner of the domain agrees, of course). ShoutWiki has plenty of sites using their own, non-ShoutWiki domain names.
  • User accounts and wiki content can be imported easily enough. (Okay, so user accounts are always slightly tricky, but there is a script for migrating users between databases, so it should definitely be doable, though!)
  • All the features you've come to love, from social tools to the Refreshed skin and beyond, they'll all be there!

Questions?[edit]

Please leave any questions you may have in this section and I'll be more than happy to answer them! --Jack Phoenix (talk) 19:29, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

By my understanding, what you're proposing is simply changing hosts? We can keep everything the way it is (unless people want it to change), but just be hosted on a different server? Also, will this move have an effect on our LUG support? I seem to recall someone mentioning we couldn't get it on wikia because we were technically part of a larger group that wasn't LEGO related (or something like that, someone with more understanding of the program please chime in here) BrikkyyTalk 08:28, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I think you'd have to explain what you mean as "keep everything the way it is" and be a little less... completely vague, in your question. As for the LUG support, that's not something anyone from ShoutWiki can comment on. --Lewis Cawte (talk) 17:24, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, no, not everything will stay exactly the same. One of the reasons for the move is to get rid of things like the "out of memory" errors preventing edits and whatnot that multiple users — myself included — reported in early December. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 16:02, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Will look into the LUG support situation. --ToaMeiko (talk) 05:41, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Heard back from Kim and he says he doesn't see a change in hosting effecting our LUG support status, as we'll retain our domain and identity and control over that. --ToaMeiko (talk) 00:20, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
How long would the move take? Soupperson1 Friends are Forever! <3Friends girls.jpg
The following answers are purely as a representative of ShoutWiki and do not in anyway reflect my opinions or views on Brickimedia or this topic -
I've not been asked to assess this. In theory, not very long. The relevant databases can be imported in a matter of minutes. We'd then need to create the relevant settings files (various bits of copy and paste), as well as add some aliases to a couple of files to handle the web address. The more complicated part comes when we have to deal with merging the user database and any conflicts there. We've also got the image import to contend with, and work out how we're going to deal with all the images. In fact, that last thing is probably the thing that will require the most discussion a move happens - assuming it is supported. While I've not discussed this with anyone else on staff at ShoutWiki, I will on this rank occasion pull rank and say I'm not happy maintaining the current shared image setup. We may be able to do it as more of an InstantCommons style deal, but I will not have forced centralised uploads. --Lewis Cawte (talk) 17:24, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
What's the setup on ShoutWiki like compared to Wikia? ie, is there any chance we're going to get new skins/"features" forced on us at any time? Also, what happens with ads- will the number/placement of ads change? NovaHawk 12:52, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
The following answers are purely as a representative of ShoutWiki and do not in anyway reflect my opinions or views on Brickimedia or this topic -
With regards to new skins and features. All wikis get a choice in their skin. We don't have any plans to force wikis to change their skins, I can't say with 100% certainty that we won't have to disable a skin in future for some reason or another. When it comes to features, we often enable extensions globally that apply to all wikis. These are often behind the scenes, staff or anti-spam tools, and very rarely features that affect editors or day to day users.
Ads is a question I can offer less certainty on. There's an open task on our Phabricator for doing a review of our placements. What I do know is that we're ditching a few of the smaller, poorer (or non-performant) units because nobody really likes looking at ads. Saying that, our placements and styles vary between skins - we don't inject ads in to the content area and I'm fairly certain in saying we never will. We don't (knowingly) have any rollover or page-fill ads (or whatever the appropriate term is) on our site. As Refreshed is not a skin we currently offer - we'd have to convert it to use our ad serving extensions, however, we'd probably look at the current placements and work from those. --Lewis Cawte (talk) 17:12, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
We offer you the skins and the features; how you use them is completely up to you (as long as it doesn't violate ShoutWiki's terms of use, privacy policy & content policy).
As a developer, I'd say that skins are quite stable these days. A much more likely scenario is that we'd have to disable a malfunctioning extension (*cough*I'm looking at you, MultiUpload*cough*).
We already offer a lot of MediaWiki extensions and we plan on making more available, but it is not our intention to force these changes on any wiki. They will however be available should the community ever choose to enable some of them. Security is, of course, an exception — should a security issue be discovered with an extension, a skin or even MediaWiki core, we will review the report and act accordingly to protect ShoutWiki users, even if it would mean temporarily disabling the offending piece of code.
Regarding ads and the Refreshed skin, the following Phabricator tasks on ShoutWiki Phabricator may be of interest: T89 and T99. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 16:02, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
What level of access do current Brickipedia admins/sysadmins have in influencing development and features? I get that ShoutWiki is all about letting sites do whatever but I'd like to know what our restrictions would be. In addition, will our site be able to generate revenue to be able to sustain itself when it comes to non-hosting-related expenses? e.g. shipping contest prizes, review sets, sending members to events, etc? Or will ShoutWiki take any and all revenue the site generates in ads? It's been evident over the past few years that a donation-based funding system is not enough to sustain the website's expenses alone, so if we take away our ad revenue, that's not gonna work out. --ToaMeiko (talk) 05:45, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Access - the same as everyone else. In fact, that's wrong - you're already getting some special privilege with the amount of third-party code ShoutWiki supports for your wiki. You want anything else, well then there's Phabricator or osTicket. If we're really getting enough revenue to do those things already, then we've got the wrong priorities. But, I'm doubting the ad revenue even justifies the hosting costs at this point. I'll just refer you to NovaHawk's point. If you want an official answer from ShoutWiki, this isn't it. This is as someone who spent a fair bit of time as a sysadmin in the early days of this project. --Lewis Cawte (talk) 10:11, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Have you browsed through the help pages and other documentation on ShoutWiki Hub already? That should give you a nice overview of things. Additionally you might want to sign up (it's quick and free!) and try creating a new wiki. :)
The question of features and their management is a good one, no matter where and how you're hosting your wiki. MediaWiki is highly extensible and you can do almost anything with it (it doesn't yet make your coffee for you, but for almost everything else, there's an extension!). The sad fact is that not all extensions are equal. The extensions used on Wikimedia sites are guaranteed to be mostly stable and functional with the given MediaWiki version (i.e. the REL1_28 branch version of, say, the Interwiki extension is pretty much guaranteed to work with MediaWiki 1.28); the same is true for certain other extensions, such as many of those that I maintain, which includes extensions used on ShoutWiki sites as well as social tools.
Then there are the other extensions that don't exactly fall into any of those categories. Their stability is questionable. Some — like MultiUpload — provide a highly desired feature, yet the extension keeps breaking like just about between each major MediaWiki release, and the fact it has no active maintainer doesn't help either. These kind of features are the ones you'd really want to avoid at all costs, if possible, because they make life a lot harder for you — whether you're running your own MW instance or not. Likewise, security is another important aspect to consider. The more unaudited third-party extensions you have installed, the bigger the risk, especially if you're not fluent in PHP and thus capable of reviewing the extensions on your own. The popular Tabber extension, currently installed on Brickipedia and several other MediaWiki wikis (even though it's somewhat unnecessary to install a separate extension for that because the same functionality can be achieved with a bit of CSS and JS without requiring any PHP for that) had a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability for years until a new maintainer stepped up. But a new maintainer taking over an abandoned extension is a pretty rare occurrence, sadly. On a setup like ShoutWiki's, the importance of security is paramount, and that's why we need to review requested extensions and that's why we reserve the right to reject extension requests. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 17:15, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

How and where is ShoutWiki's servers hosted? Is it a single location? Or are there multiples based on geolocation? How powerful are the servers and how much resources can be allocated for an individual website? Do all ShoutWiki sites share resources or are the allocated individually à la VPS? What's the network infrastructure powering the servers? What kind of bandwidth can an individual website on ShoutWiki expect? Are the servers powered by backup generators in the case of a power outage? Uninterrupted power supplies in the event of power blips? --ToaMeiko (talk) 19:10, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Lcawte is more qualified to speak on the specifics, but I'll gladly shed some light on the matters I know about. It's not a VPS-like setup, because honestly I can't see how such a setup would scale. We host over 8000 wikis on the same codebase. Bandwidth has never been an issue and I don't see it becoming an issue anytime soon, as we have plenty of that. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 19:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Could being a part of ShoutWiki increase our page views in anyway? e.g. increasing Google search results, etc. BrikkyyTalk 02:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

I think there's definitely the potential for that, yes. However I'm going to hold off on promising anything, because search engine optimization itself is a form of art — or (dark) magic, depending on how you look at it. One part of the problem is that "search" still largely means "Google", despite Bing and some other (smaller) alternatives. Google certainly seems to favor bigger hosts over smaller ones, hence why many moved wikis are struggling — honestly, you'd be surprised how many people use search engines to access sites they frequently visit (such as Gmail, YouTube, etc.) despite these sites having easily memorizable URLs. What we can do as editors is to keep creating quality content and promoting it via social media and co-operation with other LEGO fan sites, and thus get our name and URL out there, so that people will associate Brickipedia with good quality content, stability, etc. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 19:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Would it still be possible to make phab:T145302 possible if Brickimedia moves to be hosted on ShoutWiki? I'm guessing this task would be closed and transition into sw-phab:T131? SamanthaNguyen (talk) 22:56, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Stuff from Ajr[edit]

Hi all,

I've put a comment in the oppose section below, as I personally don't think moving to ShoutWiki will help us much. That said, I'll do everything I can to make it happen (transferring domain name, etc) in the event that it does. Just a few of my own thoughts:

  • The Brickimedia domain is doing OK. We're doing pretty well in search results, though still behind lego.wikia. But we keep picking up!
  • If we had more people that could help out with social media, we could do better.
  • If we further consolidated to get rid of Meta, that would be good too. Just have the one domain name, make it easier.
  • We're doing fine financially! Sorry for not posting regular updates, but this year has recouped almost all of the money I've put into the site with no signs of slowing down. We've been getting payouts every month for the past five months, and are in the black by over $500 this year. No need to worry about that, and I can pump more into hosting and such. NBP - as I've said before, if you want a refund on your donation, just ask. I'm not paying interest though!! :P
  • The usual apologies for not being around much :-(

Anyway, happy to answer any questions. Like I said in my comment below, if we want more community, I think Wikia is the place for that. It's always cool being on our own, but that requires a dedicated tech community that I'm not sure we have consistently (no offence intended). Ajraddatz (talk) 07:17, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

I can help out with social media if you guys like. I don't do that much editing, it would be nice to help out in some way. BrikkyyTalk 08:00, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't think our Facebook is updated very consistently. Twitter is (or at least was) a little better. I don't know who you'd talk to about getting access, but I'd be okay if you had it. (Also, thanks Ajr.) Berrybrick (talk) 15:00, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
If anyone would like to help contribute to the Facebook, send me a friend request [1] and let me know who you are either in a Facebook message or on my talk page here and I'll give you access to the Facebook page. As for Twitter, just email me and I'll set you up with the login. Obviously use common sense when acting on our social media channels. Prior marketing experience is preferred but it's pretty simple to get the hang of. Just posting regular content with links to our site as often as possible will help not only the social media but our wiki as well grow. --ToaMeiko (talk) 18:21, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi Ajr, thanks for your comments on this! Some thoughts on your thoughts:
  • The bigger the site, the better the visibility on search engines. It's nothing new, really. Big sites (like, top 500 or so) also tend to have contact people inside Google etc. whom they can directly get in touch with in the case of problems, whereas the rest of us will have to stick to using contact forms and whatnot. Sucks, but nothing much we can do about that expect to improve our content, get the word out there and have people link to us, using our sitename.
  • Social media is big, so having a few people manage the Bricki(p|m)edia accounts would definitely be awesome!
  • Meta (and the closed-but-stil-existing Customs and Ideas) is going to be closed eventually, but it's not exactly the easiest technical task to do.
  • It's great to hear that the site isn't on the verge of bankruptcy! Even better is to hear that you're willing to invest more funds into the site. That being said, I don't think it should be necessary. The site should be doing well (from a financial point of view, that is) should an important contributor or contributors leave the site or disappear etc. for whatever reason(s). I'm not suggesting that you would do that, but over the years I've seen circumstances change rapidly and people come and go. We need Brickipedia to be here in 2026...2036...2046...you get the idea. Likewise, I can claim that in 2026 I'm still going to be around, editing Brickipedia, writing MediaWiki extensions and skins as I don't see myself quitting either of those anytime soon, but I can't know for sure. What if I get hit by a bus tomorrow? Life's full of surprises, both good and bad ones, and that's the reason why being prepared is essential.
  • As for your comment about community, editors and Wikia, I must admit that — along with your oppose vote — I find it very surprising, to say the least. In early March you though it'd be "worth trying for a month" to move to a different server. I'm not exactly a math major or anything, but that proposal didn't exactly seem to be quite as thought-out as this is — 3-9 sentences is considerably shorter and more vague than this proposal — and that was something you as well as several other community members had no problem with.
    But suggesting moving back to Wikia, even as a joke...oh boy, where do I start? I guess I should start by saying that this isn't an official answer on behalf of ShoutWiki and I'm only trying to represent myself, a Brickipedia administrator, a MediaWiki developer and someone who's been involved with wikis for over a decade here. A major argument against moving "back" to Wikia would be that we'd lose users instead of gaining any. See, Wikia likes to ban people (and later disable their accounts) based on accusations and implications rather than facts. I for one am rather fond of my ability to make edits to Brickipedia and despite the outcome of this discussion, or any other discussion for that matter, that's one thing I'd like to keep as-is; and I suspect the same is true for many other users of the site as well.
    ShoutWiki's technological innovations, many of which I have authored or co-authored and which I maintain, are stable, well-written (note that this does not mean "bug-free" because bug-free software is impossible to create as people make mistakes) and used by many MediaWiki sites around the world, from Brickipedia to considerably smaller wikis, from ShoutWiki to various smaller wiki farms. ShoutWiki runs the latest stable version of MediaWiki, unlike many other sites running MediaWiki — including Wikia, wikiHow and even Brickipedia. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 18:27, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Brickia (or Brifandom powered by Wikia now I guess) has 164 accounts that have edited in the last 30 days. We have... 30. That's clearly where the community is, and I think I still have enough name recognition over at Wikia to give our community some favourable conditions of re-entry. It's certainly not a joke, anyway, though I do understand that people here don't like Wikia. Ajraddatz (talk) 19:42, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure half of our 30 are globally banned at Wikia :P Many users decided to burn the bridges when we left... CJC95 (talk) 21:26, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
The only users I know who aren't globalled are Sam, Ajr, Lcawte, CJC, and Cook879. The rest of us have been hammered. 9_9 The Princess Cave~ 20:50, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  1. CJC95 (talk) 12:06, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  2. Lachlan (talk) 13:34, 22 December 2016 (UTC) As long as we are still on the Refreshed skin and the adverts stay reasonable I think you should go for it
    # We will need to find out how moving will affect our relationship with TLG before we move and contact them beforehand if it does change something. However I still think a reliable server and not having to worry about funding is better than free gifts from TLG- although they're definitely appreciated and it's a really great program LEGO has going, our site seems to be seriously underutilising anything we get anyway. NovaHawk 23:22, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
    @NovaHawk: But how active is our reviews section without LUG support? From my recollection it wasn't very successful. The biggest issue preventing us from getting more sets to users is shipping them across the country or internationally when we barely generate enough revenue to pay for that. Several users have paid out of pocket for that, but that shouldn't be necessary, especially since that severely limits which users can receive sets. Part of my proposal months ago to move hosting was to cut down on hosting-related expenses, but that didn't mean to cut down on income as well. Therefore, unless ShoutWiki can present how our community can generate income while being hosted on their platform, I don't think this is a good idea. Finances has been the biggest struggle this site has had from the beginning, and yes, while moving to ShoutWiki will reduce one area of expenses, if it prevents us from creating income to support any other areas of expenses our community has or might have, that's not a good financial decision in my opinion. --ToaMeiko (talk) 19:00, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
    While I definitely appreciate the support from LEGO, I'd argue that there are other obstacles to writing a review. Namely that it takes quite a bit of time to put together a good, interesting review, to take the pictures needed and postprocess them (cropping, adjusting the lightning, etc.) and finally submit it. I've bought some sets earlier this year that I've been wanting to review, but alas, unlike ordinary page edits or such, it's far more time-consuming to write a review.
    While I don't know about the specifics of LUG support, it would certainly seem odd, to say the very least, if the site were to lose its LUG status over changing the host. The technical platform and its specifics should (IMHO) be irrelevant to LEGO — it's the content and the community behind it that matters.
    We should keep Brickipedia's core mission in mind: to be a comprehensive LEGO encyclopedia. Editors need stability and safety in order to be able to make Brickipedia an even better LEGO resource; constant out-of-memory errors and inadequate technical resources aren't exactly helping the matter. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 19:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
    @ToaMeiko: (sorry for the late reply, haven't been able to get online for long enough to properly read this in the last few days): Well, since September 24 we've had 4 reviews, 3 of them due to LUG support (I'm using September 24 here because there seems to be a bug in the RC- I'm asking for the 500 most recent edits in the last 200,000 days and it's not going back any further). So, while LUG support does make up 75% of our recent reviews, I wouldn't exactly call 4 reviews in 3 months active or successful anyway. But as far as finances go- aren't we still losing money? So basically as far as I can tell, if we stay, Ajraddatz and other donors are paying out money but we have potential to make money if we miraculously get a stack of extra viewers. But if we move, we don't have the potential to be losing any money but worst case scenario, we don't have potential to make any money either. So I'm not exactly seeing any drawbacks here. But I have no idea how finances have been going over the last year or so, we could now be making money for all I know. Plus I'm terrible at finance and could be completely wrong about this whole thing :D NovaHawk 12:49, 28 December 2016 (UTC). edit: please ignore the financial comments, looks like it was wrong. NovaHawk 07:10, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    If there's an updated version of this it could help this discussion. BrikkyyTalk 06:55, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  3. Sounds good. --CPPLAYER90210 71013-penguin.jpg T ~ C 23:44, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  4. Per NovaHawk - I would advise contacting TLG before making any agreements/changes. I support provided the content that is imported which is the property of Brickimedia under the CC-BY-SA (not TLG content) still remains under the same license. Don't want everyone's hard work to be forfeited and un-credited by sources which like to duplicate the content of Brickimedia. SKP4472 (Admin) 14:50, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
    1. Changing content license is up to the community, and it is not something that can be done on a whim, as it basically requires consent from all parties who participated in the generation of the content. Therefore I don't forsee a license change happening anytime soon, if ever (with the exception of possibly migrating from the current CC-BY-SA 3.0 to CC-BY-SA 4.0, which some wikis — including Wikimedia wikis like Wikipedia, etc. — are considering). --Jack Phoenix (talk) 16:02, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  5. Per Nova. Berrybrick (talk) 19:30, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  6. Originally support, but some interesting questions have been asked which made me switch to neutral -I know that this proposal was made with good intentions, and the idea is good as well, although I think I need some time to think about it just a little more. Alright, so maybe we won't get LUG support, but I agree with Nova - this opportunity I believe will help us much better in the long run. SamanthaNguyen (talk) 19:32, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  7. We'd be better off on ShoutWiki than on our own, TBH. Rocko | The Princess Cave~

Neutral[edit]

  1. I can understand how moving to ShoutWiki could help us financially, but I also believe that our LUG status is helping us out at the moment. Until the issue can be elaborated any further, I'll remain neutral. LCF (talk!) 19:22, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
    #Waiting for more info. BrikkyyTalk 04:59, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
    # If we can get a more reliable server and still stay independent, I'd be happier with that. I was under the impression we were losing a stack of money every month. Definitely oppose going back to Wikia though. As for search results- has anyone typed in an item number of a 2016/2017 set followed by "lego" into lately? We seem to be at the top as far as I can tell :S NovaHawk 07:10, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  1. Despite there being potential upsides to this, I don't see it being worth the time and effort required to handle this kind of task. Brickimedia is far from a perfect wikifarm/host, but (no offense to ShoutWiki developers) I don't think ShoutWiki would be much better for us. If we want a perfect wikifarm/host, Wikia will be the closest we could get, and we didn't like that several years ago, hence why we're here. Being here gives us the ability to control so much more. So while our backend and server might not be perfect and does have its issues, being here allows us to fix that. Yes, ShoutWiki is probably less buggy. So moving there would solve some problems. But it would also make us lose some independence I'm afraid. With the time and effort it would take for our sysadmins to pack everything up here and move it to ShoutWiki, we could dedicate that time and effort to fixing some of our own bugs instead, which allows us to retain our independence. Why do I care so much about our independence when we're good friends with the guys at ShoutWiki you're probably wondering... Mostly from a financial standpoint which I believe I explained my stance on earlier in this page. Right now we not only have independent hosting but we also are independently funded. Thanks to Ajraddatz recent update to our financial reports, it's been shown that 2016 was our first profitable year. If you're wondering why I care so much about profitability when Brickimedia is and has been from the beginning a self-claimed non-profit organization, it's all about opportunity. With profitability, our opportunities are much greater than they've been in years past, such as when we were on Wikia and when we were unprofitable in our first several years of Brickimedia. Back then, despite our necessary expenses covered (hosting), we didn't have opportunity for much more and no opportunity for significant growth. Now that we're showing profitability, our opportunities here are greater. We have the ability now to offer activities to our community at no cost to members. Activities such as free review sets, contests, etc. Previously, shipping expenses for sets and prizes has either been paid out of pocket by myself or by the recipient, and this shouldn't be necessary. Our community should not be an expense to its members. Now that we have profits that can fund these activities, the opportunities are greater. We also have more ability to fund our operations. We could expand our server resources if that's still a concern to the community, or we could budget in marketing funds so that we can start utilizing paid advertising to reach new audiences and hopefully grow our user base. All of this and more is possible as of this year, and as we go on, I'm sure only more and more opportunities will be created each year. Moving to ShoutWiki though, we'll lose our self-funding. We'll go back to the state we were at for many years and not too long ago where merely our basic expenses (hosting, domain) were covered. In essence, I believe moving to ShoutWiki would be one step forward and a few steps back for us. --ToaMeiko (talk) 05:48, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  2. I'm pretty much totally removed from the day-to-day here, but I would like to say a few things. First, the ad revenue generated by the site is currently enough to sustain our hosting and even upgrade if we so want. I'll release more info at the start of 2017, but we're doing pretty well in that regard, to the point that I think I've recouped all of the initial value I pumped in. My goal here is still not to make money, so if we want better servers or whatever I can pay for it. That said, I've still been watching the site, and the community isn't growing much. If anything, it's staying the same. I think that if we want to improve that, the place to go is back to Wikia. They have the search results and the infrastructure. It's the people that make these communities worth building, and I doubt we'll get more of that on ShoutWiki. All this said, it's nothing personal against ShoutWiki - I just don't see benefit in moving from one small host to another. Also, apologies for not spending more time here, but the interest has really gone I'm afraid. Glad to still pay for hosting though, because the site still has nostalgia value if people like using it. Ajraddatz (talk) 07:03, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    See Brickipedia:Financial reports. It's gonna start messing with my taxes if this keeps up! Ajraddatz (talk) 07:12, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  3. Per Meiko really. It kind of seems like people are jumping to "support" before it can all be laid out. Also, from what's been mentioned, it seems like moving to ShoutWiki could be a bit of a struggle. Additionally, if we're doing fine on the financial side of things it doesn't seem like a bad idea to simply upgrade to something that won't be so troublesome. BrikkyyTalk 08:00, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    Also, now that the possibility of moving to brickipedia.com is a reality, I'd rather see us do that over this. I know we could do both, but I think changing domains and using some of the money we have for a better host would be the best choice. BrikkyyTalk 03:43, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
    Based on my decade of experience with (MediaWiki) wikis and almost a decade's worth of development experience, I doubt it would be as much of a struggle as you think it would. Database errors on page views, let alone edits, are quite a struggle too and they don't really help with page views and defintely don't impress brand new users who have never been to Brickipedia before. --Jack Phoenix (talk) 18:27, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  4. This isn't an oppose against the move itself so much as thinking we need to step back and consider all our options, then take it to a vote when everything's been discussed (now that it appears that we have options since it turns out we've got money). Eg, would upgrading to a better server that we can afford fix all our errors? Is it possible to upgrade our version of PHP and how hard would that be for our sysadmins? (with what little experience I have with PHP, I do know it's not just as simple as hitting an "upgrade" button or anything like that). Is there anything we can do to improve our security? Again, I'm not closed off to the idea of moving to ShoutWiki, but I am just a bit worried about us getting locked into a wikifarm again then finding out later that we could have been doing better on our own. NovaHawk 01:24, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
    While I don't oppose your oppose (it's actually fairly sensible), I'll answer your points fairly quickly. Upgrading the server would fix some of the performance issues you've been having - depending on what the server "upgrade" is... your cache is still going to be terrible running through CloudFlare imo. Upgrading PHP (or even to HHVM) would be a lot easier if we were running on a decent Linux distro, not this garbage, ageing Debian. This could be fixed if the server moves to a new provider (RamNode tends to be garbage in most respects based on previous experience) Security is improved by having competent, active people on the "sysadmin" "team" who think before they do stupid things like symlinking the backups dir to the web root. In addition to that, staying up to date with the latest software releases - such as, but not limited to, OS and it's core software (tick), PHP & MySQL (tick) and MediaWiki + extensions (tick!). If people didn't realise, you got a tick for stuff not at the most supported release at Brickimedia. --Lewis Cawte (talk) 10:06, 31 December 2016 (UTC)