It is with heavy heart that I have to tell you about my current thought process. The fact is: the forums might close at the end of June if a few things don’t happen. Let me explain what is going on.
Why I Made This Decision
You might have seen that I made quite a nice update about how I will be able to fund the Forums in September. However, after some deep discussions with the heads, I just don’t know if it’s viable.
The activity of the forums is way down since early 2021. We used to have around 30 people online at the same time. Now, there are times in the day when absolutely no one is online. The discussion topics aren’t doing so well and the overall atmosphere is a bit of a nightmare. I just didn’t see much of a silver lining. It looks like the forums are dying and there’s not much that I can personally do to save them.
On top of that, I’m not using them much myself. After taking antidepressants for over a year and being in weekly therapy, I feel much better. However, some of my worst mental health times in 2020 and 2021 happened here on the forums. People have witnessed my breakdowns and struggles and these things are still on my profile when I look. It’s just not a very pleasant place for me to be. The fact that activity is low means that those issues are still pretty fresh on my profile and suggestions. I just pushed away many people who loved and supported me when I was at my worst and now the forums aren’t the loving place they used to be for me.
Then, there’s the funding. As I said before, I will have the money to fund the forums in September. However, I am not making any money in the summer. That’s 3 months where I’m going to stress about trying to find the money. That’s 750 that I need to raise on no income at all. There aren’t enough people who are active, able to help and who care about the Forums to fund that over the summer. This wasn’t something I considered when I made that happy announcement.
Plus, I’m 25 today. I can feel myself entering a new phase of my life. I’ve felt it for about 6 months now. I want to settle down. I want to get married and have a house with a dog. Sure, I’m going to be making 600 more as of September, but that’s not as impressive when you realise I was literally forsaking going out, getting anything more than the bare minimum of food etc to pay for the forums. I’m no longer going to be living paycheck to paycheck, but I could really use that extra £250 a month to start saving for a deposit on a house.
I have a tutoring business that I am keen to get set up. There’s no money in these forums, despite me putting about 4 years of hard work into them. Tutoring has money in it because lots of parents can afford to pay for it. Most of the people here are underaged and can’t afford to spend money. The extra £250 a month could be used to advertise for that business so that I could start making more money there.
I also don’t think it’s right for me to be the sole owner anymore. I had some serious breakdowns last year that made me close the Forums temporarily. That’s not fair on the people who have invested time and energy here. For a place like this, we need a board of people who make decisions. Not just me.
To be honest, the biggest reason is the traffic. I’ve always been keen to keep this place up and running if it’s a safe haven for other people – even if I don’t use it anymore. Lots of people have moved onto different phases of their life, though. Considering I don’t use this place anymore and it’s costing so much, I just don’t think it’s fair on me to keep going.
There is Still Hope for the Forums
There is still a way that we can save the Forums.
I can’t pay for them anymore, but there is something we can do.
We need to find ways to raise 250 a month for July, August and September (I get paid at the end of September). I can’t do this alone. People who want the Forums to stay open will have to help me with this. Each 250 we make will keep the Forums open for an extra month (the current shutdown day is June 30th)
We will rebrand the Forums in September if we make the funds to last until then. On 30th September, I will remove the logo and we will find something that is a little friendlier to our most popular sections (e.g. RPing).
After this, I will support and fund the Forums from October to December. During this time, we will have to find other revenue streams and also I will speak with other users to spread out ownership to other people who are invested in the Forums. From Jan 2023, I will step back and take a break I need it.
If you are keen to support and keep the Forums open, please consider making a donation on Ko-Fi, Patreon, PayPal or here on the Forums. I will be updating the goal on Ko-Fi so you all know how close we are to each milestone. The links to support this effort are in the footer at the bottom of the Forums.
I have alluded to the fact that I made some mistakes last year and I know that how my mental health affected the Forums is one of the main reasons why many of the RPers left. My mental health is a reason for my behaviour, but it is not an excuse.
If you were upset, distressed, angered, saddened or in any way affected by the way I acted during those months, I am so sorry. I wish I could take back my actions. I hope you understand that I was suffering then and I really didn’t mean to do it. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I hurt you all, though. It’s not right and I am really sorry.
I hope this all makes sense and I am sorry if the announcement was a bit late. It’s a bit of a grim announcement to make on my birthday, but I wanted to make sure both other heads understood what was going on before I made this. I didn’t want to undermine anyone.