A.org up for sale at $10,000

Status
Not open for further replies.

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
It appears that Wayne has offered the Amiga.org site up for sale with an asking price of $10K. Now, this has been done in the past when he 'sold' the site to Spanish lesbians as a wind-up, but this time, it appears that he is serious.

Link:
http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=48971

He is talking about putting it on a certain auction site 'until it sells' with a reserve, however, I doubt that anyone in the current climate has that kind of spendoli burning a hole in their pocket. That having been said, it is about the Amiga community, so for the members on here that aren't members of A.org I thought I would put a post up for others to discuss.

NO trolling posts please; this is for sensible discussions from a community/retro scene perspective.
 

r0jaws

Mondeo Man
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Posts
7,237
Country
UK
Region
Lincolnshire
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

A.org was the first forum I came across when I started up with Miggys. I then discovered other sites such as this one, and rarely go back there.
I'm not sure how Wayne came up with his value, $10,000 seems a bit steeps to buy the name, logo and rights thereof.
I'll be interested to see how this pans out, I don't see a single individual coming up with the readies. Unless of course it was a company like Amigkit. Perhaps that's Wayne's intention?
More likely, I think, a conglomoration of Users will all chip in and vote in a 'Head Admin' or some such.
However, it could all go pear shaped, there are other Forums out there after all. Only the hard core fans may be interested in keeping it going, in which case it could just end up fading away, which would be sad in a way, but maybe inevitable.
If Wayne has no interest in running the site, it is my opinion that, he should just hand the reins over to his Moderation team and let them get on with it. Whilst I understand his reasoning behind asking for the cash, Forums sites don't end up belonging to an individual, but to the people who participate. If no-one participates, it dies. If he does decide that it's 'his ball, and unless you pay you can't play' and pulls the plug, that's upto him. I think he would be wrong to do it, but that's not my decision to make.
(If it does look like he's going to do that, I'm going to get my 2000 photo story off there before it vanishes for good!)
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

Strange that he wants to sell it so soon after porting the whole site over from Xoops to vBulletin and I have to say he did a good job of it!

As for the worth of a site. That is always hard to evaluate and work out. There are many factors in the value. The biggest is the value of the domain name. Not just in the cost of owning the domain name, which is only ever going to be about £10 a year, but the actual internet value of Amiga.org as a domain brand name. It is quite a high profit Amiga domain, next only to Amiga.com and Amiga.net. For that reason it can command more money to change hands.

Next is the actual content of A.org. The forum has been running for a very long time and contains a lot of content. However as all of this content is member posted it can be argued that they own the content, not the owner of the site.

There is also the vB license which itself is worth a couple hundred dollars on its own so that can be factored into the price.

I doubt he will get any offers close to $10K. I would estimate A.org is worth more like $1K - $3K.

However there is one issue. Any site setup and run by mainly a single person also contains their identity. The way it is designed and functions will be unique to that person's way of thinking, much like Classicamiga is for me. You can't just sell and hand over a 15 year personal project like that and expect it to continue feeling and running the same into the future. It will quickly collapse and become a mess purely because the main motivating force behind its existence is removed.

The thing is though. A.org has in truth been dying for quite some time. It is no longer the central and only Amiga forum resource online and there are a number of alternatives to it that members can move to and use instead. The lose of A.org would be a bad thing more for the wealth of knowledge in its 15 years of discussion held in the database, rather than for its current membership and site design/setup. The content is everything and is really just an archive of an Amiga community, and it is this that is really what is being sold.
 

RedDaemonFox

Amiga's enemy is my enemy!
AmiBayer
Joined
May 10, 2009
Posts
737
Country
United States of Hell
Region
Melbourne, FL 32901
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

All i need is Amibay, VCF, Dcisozone, TPB, and EAB. Amiga.org I really have no preference to, I've gotten Soooo much better help from everywhere else
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

Exactly. If the Amiga community only had A.org as its single community portal and forum then it would be a very different story and the owner could command pretty much what they liked to sell the site to another individual, or to a group from the community. But as it stands there are so many different branches within the Amiga community, with portals, news, information, community, and forum sites, that the closure of one will not really worry everyone in quite the same way. There are the die-hard A.org supporters, just as you get with any site, but I doubt even they will be prepared to be blackmailed into paying $10K just to basically keep a forum going. They will just eventually swallow their pride and move on.

The problem is Wayne is looking for some kind of financial reward for the 15 years he has devoted to A.org. However he wasn't doing this for financial gain originally, but because he was passionate about the Amiga and its community. Now that has changed, he has lost interest, and so much time has passed, he is now thinking all the time he put into it is worth a lot of money. But it is the community that has shaped and made A.org's content as large as it currently is. Yes you could argue that the site does have a large registered user-base, and it is that which is really being sold, but that just isn't fair to the community as it is a non-profit community site, not a commercial entity like Google or Youtube.
 

Kin Hell

Active member
Banned
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Posts
6,970
Country
U.K.
Region
Cornwall
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

In all honesty, anyones life-work is priceless but, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
@ $10,000, it's a cheap life, but way too much for what is actually for sale. I read the thread as far as page 6 & realised I was just wasting my own time.
I hope Wayne can find a buyer to move on to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy in life.

Kin
 

Caius

Member
AmiBayer
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Posts
76
Country
Norway
Region
Hønefoss
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

A couple of years ago I returned to the Amiga after a few years break. To me a.org is special, if nothing else because it was the first community I encountered. If it where to close down, though, I don't think it would be a blow for me personally. As already mentioned it has suffered a slow death for quite a while.

But from a more general perspective it's important to realize that the closing of any popular Amiga site has a ripple effect on the entire community. There are two things keeping the Amiga semi-alive these days, in my opinion. It's the community, and it's entities like Individual and AmigaKit. These live in a symbiotic relationship. Both are important to keeping the existing user base, and we also regularly see examples of previous Amiga users coming back for sentimental reasons. With new hardware, and someone selling it, it's easier and more natural to stick around. And when there are active Amiga forums, these developers and manufacturers has something to live on.

Now, some would argue that in the event of a.org going offline the existing users would simply spread out to other sites. But I think this is only partially true. There are many a.org users who would not feel at home on these other places, which is why they stick to a.org in the first place. I'm sure that the total number of Amiga users would shrink from this, which in turn hurts everyone.

While Wayne has stated clearly that he has no intention of closing a.org anytime soon, I think his statement of wanting to sell the site, and his talk about not caring about the Amiga anymore, nevertheless has a psychological effect. I feel it myself. a.org already feels dying because of it, and it will affect the entire atmosphere over there.

In short, even if you don't care much for a.org, don't forget that its death would ultimately hurt even this site.
 

r0jaws

Mondeo Man
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Posts
7,237
Country
UK
Region
Lincolnshire
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

Having read a bit more of that thread before it closed, I think I have an understanding of where Wayne is coming from, ish.
I think he see's the payment as an apporximate value of what he thinks his time and effort over the last 15 years is worth, it is also a form of protection for the site in a way. Anyone willing to stump up $10'000 is going to invest a large amount of time and effort into it.
Unfortunately, he has got this 'Value' all twisted up with his self worth, and is getting deeply insulted when people suggest that $10'000 is too much, or that he should just hand the reins over to someone else for free.
The thing is, he started up this website, not as a commercial enterprise, but as a labour of love for a system and community he felt like supporting. Yes, he maybe entitled to some form of reward, but surely the reward would have been the enterprise itself? If it wasn't, then frankly, he has been wasting his time.
Selling off the Domain name, and his position as Webmaster does hold a value, but $10'000 isn't it. I was thinking much more in the region of Harrison's estimations.
His disenchantment with the whole community and systems is evident, I just think he could have bowed out with considerably more dignity than this farce will allow.
It seems a shame, and I echo Kin's sentiments about happiness. A.org doesn't make him happy any more, time to move on.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

Without wishing to be derogatory to Wayne for the 15 years he has put into A.org, my thoughts on returning back to the scene about 2 1/2 years ago were that the site should have taken better control of the fanboi element and trolling, for which it has become so well known. Passion and enthusiasm about the retro scene are part of this, but when it descends into fanaticism and abuse towards others who may not share the same view, that's when the slippery slope starts. A.org aren't the only site that could be tarred with this particular brush; there are lots of other retro sites that carry a fanboi element that is ultimately affecting their sites in a negative way.

Any value, either financial or sentimental, cannot hope to be realised upon selling the domain off. Also, there is the question of vested interest of members who donate towards the running of the site, in doing so, have they become shareholders in his enterprise? That could turn out to be a real can of worms that is about to be opened. Wayne has positioned himself as the 'owner' and figurehead behind the site, but ultimately, does he actually 'own' it?

In contrast, AmiBay has several founding members, but the site is and always has been a community project and as such has no outright 'owner'; this is how democracy is preserved and maintained on our site. If a founding member were to move on, there would always be others to continue the site.

Thanks to all for the intelligent discussions so far; it's been quite revealing what different opinions exist on this subject. Carry on....
 

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,845
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

Caius said:
While Wayne has stated clearly that he has no intention of closing a.org anytime soon

This is important for people to take notice of!

Caius said:
, I think his statement of wanting to sell the site, and his talk about not caring about the Amiga anymore, nevertheless has a psychological effect. I feel it myself. a.org already feels like it's dying because of it, and it will affect the entire atmosphere over there.

Absolutely. He has handled it very poorly, seen from a perspective where cultivating and nurturing the community is the only thing that matters... But he is a human too, and I can understand his frustrations and that he's gotten tired. So better he step back, and let someone else manage it.

Caius said:
In short, even if you don't care much for a.org, don't forget that its death would ultimately hurt even this site.

That is true for those users who leave the Amiga community with Wayne to the extent he's leaving. Allthough I don't think it'll be many, but at the size we're now, every user is noticable.

@Thread

Re: $10,000

Wayne has stated that it's the the money he's sunk into it, the brand rights, the content and active userbase that makes up that value for him.

No matter how much we've contributed to the site and "built it with him", it's still his. Do remember that he is not closing it next week, or next month or whatever. He's looking for a new owner. Until then, it's business as usual.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@ Arnljot

Re: $10,000

That's where the problem lies. Has he actually put 10 big ones of his own money into the project, or does the community have a vested interest as they have donated over the years? That is a difficult question to answer when you have been asking for donations.

I don't feel that the community should feel that they are 'held to ransom' by this decision by Wayne. Sure, sites shut down, but would Amibay exist if Amibench wasn't closed down by Mark Wilson? If a.org were to close, the community itself would probably seek to replace it in the way we replaced Amibench. To revere Wayne like a 'saviour of the Amiga' is being extremely blinkered and thinking along the lines of the fanboi.

Here's an example. Doomy is a true zealot, fanboi and extremeist within the Amiga community. If this was the main reason that a site was popular and determined the size of membership and longevity, wouldn't Doomy have a site with millions of members that still exists today?
 

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,845
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@Merlin

Re: Money out of pocket

That's really where it hurts Wayne. Discussions about operating costs of Amiga.org has always left Wayne upset. Just recently when he migrated to vbulletin because the server changed php version. Then members came up with $20/month alternatives, Wane shot them down.

Wayne says the site costs that much to run (can't be bothered to look it up, but it's was way more than the monthly feed the kitty).

He has made the choices and put his own money forward, the same way the community knew that it was "Donations" and not "buy a share" when they clicked the PayPal button.

Furthermore Wayne (perhaps jokingly) says that the $10K will go to settling creditcard bills. If that is so, I hope that it's stuff he's bought, and not running costs of Amiga.org

So my thoughts so far is that Amiga.org members who have donated knows that it was a gift. Not a purchase.

What is more interesting to me is what will happen with the effort put in by people who are moderating Amiga.org and who have been helping out with patching it, and programming features. Most noteably I think it was Karlos who ported the data from the old xoops system to the new vbullitin based site. Will some of the rain drop on them, or will it all go to Wayne?

If we're to take Waynes word he does infact own Amiga.org as it was transferred to him from his local Amiga User Group when it closed down, he's got the papers he says. This puts him then in a position to do what he want's with the site legally, if that's the case. Morally, he's gotta deside what to do with the money vs Karlos and other major contributors.

Re: $10,000

One last thing to note is also that Amiga.org is the only amiga community site that we know of which has written legally binding permission from the old Commodore Amiga to use the Amiga brand name and logos on it's site and merchandising. THAT is worth way more than $3-5,000, and puts it up pretty close to $10,000 if not somewhere above.

New owners could have Amiga.org t-shirts printed with very amiga-like logos, and sell them to get back their investment.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@ Arnljot

So, taking your point forward, is he actually selling a site or a brand? As far as I am aware, whilst he might have had permission to use logos etc. by Commodore, that doesn't allow him to sell it as a brand image. The only brand he has is Amiga.org and I would have thought that the ticks, boing balls etc. aren't his to sell along with the A.org site. Maybe it's not as much as you think.....
 

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,845
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@Merlin

Amiga.org has the right to use the logos to brand Amiga.org.

So by my reckoning Wayne has rights to use the Amiga name and logos. But only limited to promoting Amiga.org, naming it. And putting a logo on it.

Not much, but certainly something under the current Amiga Inc.

So he's selling the Amiga.org brand, with it's installed site and software with content and users.
 

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,845
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@Merlin

I've asked Wayne to explain it in the "Who wants to be a millionaire", sorry, "who wants to buy amiga.org" thread.

It's best to get it directly from him. A bit strange that he hasn't brought it up himself as he's the seller. But perhaps he's got a lot on his mind.
 

Kin Hell

Active member
Banned
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Posts
6,970
Country
U.K.
Region
Cornwall
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@ Arnljot

T-Shirts are one thing but I doubt any A.org wannabe owner would be thinking that a printed T-Shirt Fest was ever going to recover a $10,000.00 + investment. :whistle:

@ thread

Funny old world innit. Driven by money...Wtf happened to Love? :inlove: ....and please, no comments about the swinging 60's. :laugh:

To some of us, it might appear Wayne has gone the wrong way about this announcement, but then that's his business & he is entitled to it. The selling of the site could bring a much needed change, where a new owner could perhaps enforce a more stringent form of Moderation. If the site collapses entirely, the community will suffer in lots of different ways & one bad spin off should this ever happen is, the Trolls & Hecklers will need to find a new forum. A grim thought for sure. :banned:

Kin
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

AFAIK permissions granted are non transferable, so if someone purchased A.org I don't think any permissions and rights to logo placement would automatically be carried across to the new owner, and would require the new owner to reapply for those rights. It might however still be retained if the site didn't actually change, but new administrators just took over the helm in the background. Something that might be hard because hosting would need to be transferred, as well as the vBulletin license.

However as Commodore in its original form no longer exist I doubt any of the original rights obtained really hold much weight now anyway.

If anyone has any more information on a site owning rights and where they stand in terms of ownership of those rights I would be very interested in knowing. Do you know about this Zetr0? Especially as I've secured the permission from many different publishers recently for permission to scan and make available printed Amiga works on classicamiga. Especially those from Future Publishing and Bruce Smith Books.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

@ Harrison

I don't think his permissions amount to a hill of beans. Recently in the thread at A.org Wayne has stated that he considers the Amiga.org logo to be copyright and there are some old letters stating that he had some sort of agreement, but since the original company that he made the agreement with hasn't existed for ages, what does it amount to? Copyright may still exist on Commodore logos, artwork etc. but who is going to make the breach of copyright claim?

It also seems he isn't about to sell to Bill McEwen either; he says that he killed a membership and a post from Bill yesterday in the thread, although how true that is I don't know.

It's like a telethon over there right now, with pledges flying left and right. They are only now starting to open discussions about how the 'new' site might be run - I would have thought that should be ironed out first before people start throwing money at Wayne.

Just to compare A.org with AmiBay for a moment.....

When AmiBay was being set up, how it was to be run and the command structure was the first thing we discussed and it was agreed that the original founders of the site all purchase a domain that could point to one master domain selected from the ones purchased. That's why we have the .org, .net and .co.uk all pointing at the .com master domain. The master site could be changed at any time to any of the other domains as it really doesn't make that much difference and no one person 'owns' the site; AmiBay is truly a community project for that reason.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Re: A.org up for sale at $10,000

It appears that Wayne is starting to have problems with leech bots downloading the site and rinsing his bandwidth; if he didn't want things like this happening, why did he cause panic in Troll Town by announcing he was selling the site?

I am getting hooked on the thread on there now.... :coffee: :popcorn:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom