The Future of Sinclair ZX World

General Chit Chat about Sinclair Computers and their Clones
RWAP
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The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:22 am

Taking account of my ongoing health issues, I have been considering what would be best for the Forums and other community projects which I currently run (such as the Z88 forums and the QL Wiki).

Looking at what happened with World of Spectrum when Martjin was unable to continue with the site, it is important to consider the long term viability and what should happen if I (for example) were to walk under a bus tomorrow. My health issues also mean that I no longer have the time or energy to continue in the way that I have been.

My family would not really know what to do with the forums - and would not continue to pay for the hosting. There is also not really anyone else involved in the administration of the site.

We also need to consider how to develop a ZX80 / ZX81 resource (for example a one stop shop where the latest games could be downloaded and hardware documentation is available).

After deliberation, I think the answer is to set up a non-profit organisation (Sinclair World ?) which could then own these resources and be responsible for their maintenance, improvement and upkeep. It would take some fund raising to set up the organisation, as well as willing hands to set everything up and create the necessary constitution, book-keeping etc to keep it viable.

What do others think - and who are the willing hands?

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:56 am

This is a very sobering post!

We definitely need to keep this going for as long as there are zeddys.

I have a young family and therefore little time to offer, and certainly no consistent time, but I should be able to contribute some cash towards a shared resource.

PS please be careful around buses...

Lardo
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1024MAK
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:53 am

Go by train, not bus :lol:

Seriously, I already have too many fingers in too many pies, but would help out where I can, and that includes helping with the money side.

Mark

Edited to add the missing word :oops:
Last edited by 1024MAK on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RWAP
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:04 pm

It is indeed a sobering post - the main issue is that if you stick a finger in a pie, that pie is yours for ever no matter how much you ask other people to try it! :lol:

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by Paul » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:25 pm

I am willing to take over this forum if you assist me in the beginning.
Can we use hangout or something similar to discuss details?
kind regards Paul
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:46 pm

Paul wrote:I am willing to take over this forum if you assist me in the beginning.
Can we use hangout or something similar to discuss details?
kind regards Paul
Thanks Paul - it is not so much the administration at the moment which is the issue (there is not too much to do) - passing the site to someone else to host on their server has the same issues as me hosting it - ie there is no security in the event of their sudden death.

Hence, why I think a non-profit organisation is the best way forward, which could maybe bring together several of the most important resources for Sinclair users (not just the ZX80/ZX81 forums).

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:39 pm

If a non-profit organisation was formed to look after this forum and various other Sinclair related sites (including maybe archives of other privately owned Sinclair related sites with the owners permission), that would be great.

Various useful retro computing sites have disappeared over the years due to various reasons, including the owners losing out in the race of life :(

So I would fully support such an effort.

I know very little about hosting sites. But would like to help. I'm happy to carry out moderators duties and maybe some of the administration of such a site.

The non-profit organisation would need a number of people so that it could function, even if some of these people were not able to carry out any duties/work. So maybe a committee? How many people should be on the committee? Five? More? Less?

In terms of funding, in order to keep things simple, would just donations do? Or do we ask members to pay a small amount? Or does anyone have any other ideas?

If any software authors are reading this, would you like a Sinclair World site to host your software? Please post your thoughts.

Mark

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:22 pm

My private preference would be for an actual limited company to be created which would own Sinclair World. The Company would be set up to be non-profit and could decide whether to apply for charitable status or VAT registration (so it could reclaim the VAT on all hosting fees etc), but would have a major advantage over a simple group type structure - it could own the domain names and webhosting.

If you had just a simple not for profit organisation that wasn't a limited company, then the hosting and domain names would have to be in the name of one person, who might not be with the organisation after a while and then you are left with similar issues as me doing the hosting myself.

You would not want a membership structure (because who would be a member ?) - just a few people who would be in charge of the company and decide on things such as hosting company to use, what features to install / replicate and what resources should be available, or whether any funds should be invested in new projects (eg as seed capital to get new hardware developed).

Yes, it would take fund raising to get it off the ground - ideally you would want to raise enough money to get it set up and cover the anticipated running costs for 5-10 years, with the ongoing option for people to donate money to keep the company going in the longer term.

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RetroTechie » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:10 pm

RWAP wrote:Taking account of my ongoing health issues (..)
Sorry to hear that, Rich. :(
If you had just a simple not for profit organisation that wasn't a limited company, then the hosting and domain names would have to be in the name of one person, who might not be with the organisation after a while and then you are left with similar issues as me doing the hosting myself.
I like the idea, as long as the formal (legal) shape reflects a non-profit goal. And otherwise formalities are kept to a minimum. Just what's required to have continuity not depend on a single person.

Such a foundation could perhaps provide hosting for Sinclair-related personal sites that have disappeared. Provided their authors are okay with that (or at least not object :) ). Software usually finds its way to various archives, forums can -if necessary- be started from scratch, but in between you have much useful stuff like game tips, hardware project descriptions, general info / manuals / user guides, up-to-date info on community events, etc. It would be nice to have a one-stop place where such things could be found long-term.

In terms of people a small number should do - say a 3-5 member team to run things?

As for funding: right now you're already paying the hosting bills I assume? :) It wouldn't hurt to set up a donation option, any donations would help to cover future hosting, ideally to the point where your personal £ input isn't needed anymore to keep things going. If there'd be funds left over, these could be transferred to foundation once set up.

I'd be happy to contribute how I can, but (at least for the foreseeable future) would have more time than money to offer. Advantage of a non-profit organization would certainly be that it de-couples people willing to help with their time, from people willing to help with funding. So that you don't need a single person pulling the cart who puts in both time and money.
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by Paul » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:19 pm

RWAP wrote:
Paul wrote:I am willing to take over this forum if you assist me in the beginning.
Can we use hangout or something similar to discuss details?
kind regards Paul
Thanks Paul - it is not so much the administration at the moment which is the issue (there is not too much to do) - passing the site to someone else to host on their server has the same issues as me hosting it - ie there is no security in the event of their sudden death.

Hence, why I think a non-profit organisation is the best way forward, which could maybe bring together several of the most important resources for Sinclair users (not just the ZX80/ZX81 forums).
If it's ok with you I'd like to discuss details in private with you.
I'd like to concentrate these things in our ZX-Team that is already running the German forum, the German wiki, the irc chat and a mail relay server and the zx81.de domain. At the moment all this made by individuals of our team. It might be time to organize these in a structure that gives safety for the future. This will be a discussion in march on our team meeting.

kind regards Paul
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

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