A major Christian forum closed on Dec. 31, 2020

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AgnosticBoy
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A major Christian forum closed on Dec. 31, 2020

Post #1

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Here is something to read for those who think that running a forum is easy and cheap:
A message from the President of Catholic Answers

Dear Members and Patrons of the Catholic Answers Forums

On Thursday December 31 at 5pm PT, Catholic Answers will close the Catholic Answers Forums (CAF). I have made the decision to close the CAF after lengthy consultation with the Catholic Answers executive committee and board of trustees.

Because Catholic Answers has limited resources, we are always evaluating our programs to determine if they provide a good return on investment. I understand that the word "good" is interpreted subjectively. Opinions about the merits of the CAF range more widely than those concerning any of our other works. Some find them helpful, others contentious, others find them addictive, and still others find some of the content not suited to an apologetics apostolate and some of the content better suited to private spiritual direction and sacramental confession.

When we add to the inconclusive value of the forums, the significant cost in financial resources and personnel time to host, operate, and to what degree we can, govern them, Catholic Answers can no longer justify the effort. Our attempt to draw even a tenth of what they cost to operate through patronage was not successful. Some regular users of the Forums welcomed user fees. The vast majority wished to make use of the Forums for free. For our part, we need to make the best use we can of the gifts that donors to Catholic Answers give us to spread the Catholic Faith.

Recurring Patron donations will be discontinued on December 31. If you would like to continue supporting the work of Catholic Answers, you can donate here.

Thank you all for your support over the years and God bless.

Christopher Check

President, Catholic Answers

P.S. Please visit www.catholic.com to search the largest database of Catholic answers.
https://forums.catholic.com/

I participated on that site for years. I became friends with a few, some offered to pray for me, and one became a family friend. Now mind you, the site was larger than this forum. Last I checked, I remember seeing 100,000+ members, but I'm not sure how many were active. I'm sorta learning this myself as I've started my own site and with little knowledge about site development while also having a small budget. I overspent on development and have little left for advertisement but hopefully that will change soon. This all just goes to show how complex and costly running a forum site can be.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

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otseng
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Re: A major Christian forum closed on Dec. 31, 2020

Post #2

Post by otseng »

It is definitely not easy running a large forum. There are so many things to think of and to handle. You have to handle the coding, hosting, marketing, moderating, admining, stopping all the hackers (in the past 24 hours, there's been over 200 attempts on the forum), and, when there's time, to actually participate on the forum. And financially, it's a losing proposition.

I assume the main reason Catholic Answers had to close was they had a staff, which would be the biggest cost. One advantage we have on this forum that makes it sustainable long-term is we don't have a staff. All the moderators are volunteers. And I devote my time here as my ministry. The only thing that could potentially shut this place down is I had placed a wager on this forum. O:)

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Re: A major Christian forum closed on Dec. 31, 2020

Post #3

Post by AgnosticBoy »

otseng wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:08 am It is definitely not easy running a large forum. There are so many things to think of and to handle. You have to handle the coding, hosting, marketing, moderating, admining, stopping all the hackers (in the past 24 hours, there's been over 200 attempts on the forum), and, when there's time, to actually participate on the forum. And financially, it's a losing proposition.

I assume the main reason Catholic Answers had to close was they had a staff, which would be the biggest cost. One advantage we have on this forum that makes it sustainable long-term is we don't have a staff. All the moderators are volunteers. And I devote my time here as my ministry. The only thing that could potentially shut this place down is I had placed a wager on this forum. O:)
One thing I find interesting to look at is the ratio of members to staff (or moderator). For instance, RF has about 33,000 members and 34 moderators. That amounts to a ratio of 970:1 or there's 1 moderator for every 970 members. I would think that's a lot on the staff, but then again it depends on the type of members and the amount of things requiring enforcement and support.

I am part of a reddit group that has about 36,000 members but then there's only 3 moderators.

People should realize that having a forum is like running a business. Now if only I could figure out how to claim it on my taxes, without having to be questioned about or taxed on any earnings. :)

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