Open Dispute.

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southpaw

Site Veteran
To the owner of ELB. The end game is apparent, and you are MIA, GOA, or whatever. Thanks for nothing. I will not pay money to renew or join this sight, you own but have been unresponsive to resolving and correcting issues or problems with it, that apparently, ONLY you can fix. The moderators, and all have made every effort to work with you contact you, and address these things, but again, you are NOT around or respond. So you are pocketing the funds folks spend to become members, or not disclosing them or dispersing them correctly. Prove me wrong. My dispute is not with ELB or the folks for years that toil and contribute and dedicate their collections, research, knowledge, technical resources, and original thinking and memories, but with you as from what I know, this place is dead for a smooth operation. Do us all a favor, and come clean. Thanks, and we all hope and wish you are well and ok. Respectfully, southpaw.
 
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John Smith

Junior Member
Great post, couldn't have said it better myself.

What we need to do is start another forum away from this one. Cut the adds in half and make it more of a resource and less of a profit generator. The owner needs to have pride in the hobby, not greed. I've never before been a part of a forum whose adds are so intrusive.
 

EMT-BLS

Member
If the mods are okay with it, I think several of us would help put together a new site. Not a slam on Jman, I'm sure there's a solid reason as to why he's unavailable - but this concept is a strong one, and it'd be a shame to lose it over something so trivial.
 

Dave F

Moderator
Support Staff
If the mods are okay with it, I think several of us would help put together a new site. Not a slam on Jman, I'm sure there's a solid reason as to why he's unavailable - but this concept is a strong one, and it'd be a shame to lose it over something so trivial.

Or perhaps help us make this site better. Granted theres only so much Tony and I can do programming wise, but we’re open to
ideas on how to make this a better experience for everyone
 

EMT-BLS

Member
Or perhaps help us make this site better. Granted theres only so much Tony and I can do programming wise, but we’re open to
ideas on how to make this a better experience for everyone
The challenge is, without admin access, you're not going to get anything done. Either you get full access, or make a new site and start from scratch.
 

tsquale

Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
The problem with starting a new site, is the loss of years of information that is here. If @Jman423 no longer wants to be a part of this forum, I hope he would put it out to offer to someone who does versus abandon it completely.

I believe @Nathan R as an admin as well, should be able to either help correct some issues or upgrade @Dave F and @Tony P to admin levels for them to attempt to.
 

EMT-BLS

Member
The problem with starting a new site, is the loss of years of information that is here. If @Jman423 no longer wants to be a part of this forum, I hope he would put it out to offer to someone who does versus abandon it completely.

I believe @Nathan R as an admin as well, should be able to either help correct some issues or upgrade @Dave F and @Tony P to admin levels for them to attempt to.
One hundred percent agreed - but we've had radio silence for months. I'd love Jman to come back and take the wheel, or hand it over...but we're dead in the water here.
 

d119

Member
I think it's important to remember that there are hosting costs for this site that are probably more expensive than you think. I don't know anything about the politics of the site as I'm a returning user from a long time ago, however I doubt the owner is turning all that huge a profit off of the ads, if any at all.
 

Tony P

Moderator
Support Staff
I think it's important to remember that there are hosting costs for this site that are probably more expensive than you think. I don't know anything about the politics of the site as I'm a returning user from a long time ago, however I doubt the owner is turning all that huge a profit off of the ads, if any at all.
From what I know it has run at a loss the majority of the time
 

d119

Member
From what I know it has run at a loss the majority of the time

I wouldn't be surprised. Server space with a hosting company that has reasonable uptime and a decent connection is not inexpensive. I think it is unfair to make an accusation that someone's turning a profit on this.

However, absentee site owners are definitely a serious problem. I thought JohnMarcson owned this?
 

Tony P

Moderator
Support Staff
However, absentee site owners are definitely a serious problem. I thought JohnMarcson owned this?

Jman has been owner since 2018 if not longer. I can't remember the specific date. Might be closer to 2016
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
Part of the money went to legal fees when a site member had a hissy fit and sued.. the rest went to server space etc. Hopefully nothing is physically wrong with jman as he didn't succumb to an illness or injury...
 

Nolines

Silver Supporter
Let us hope that with this Covid-19 Crap out there he hasn't been dealing with that, I have already lost 1 relative to it I'm told and 2 people I know through work and now two family members from work who went home to bury a relative of theirs has positively tested for it and can't come back for a few weeks..
 

Da-Sarge

Established Member
These site issues like server issues, search refusing to work things like that are related to database linking issues I pray someone with Admin access to the system comes back soon to get this forum back up and running reliably its a great resource for those with emergency equipment and how to configure it and maintain it it would be possible to clone the info to another site but that would take time and access to backups and such it also might be server issues heardware wise causing instability hopefully a solution will come soon
 

OSP959(R)

Member
Ever had a lightbar project with so many issues that you gutted it and started fresh?

I've owned a large forum for over 20-years and it's still going. Forums are only as good as it's members. There are a lot of images and pdf files missing from posts in this forum, but it's still a good resource because it has knowledgeable members willing to help. With that said, a new forum with the right members can be just as helpful as an old forum.

After being a member here for 9-years there's things I would do differently, but it's not my place. Just pointing out that the strength is in the community, not where it meets.

Not suggesting that people abandon ship, just that there's always options.
 

Da-Sarge

Established Member
This forum has been a great help for me when I first got my liberty light bar it made setting it up with wireing, availability of upgrade parts and so on to get it running ive also purchased a few pieces of my own equipment from the fine members on here so I pray that we can get the problems repaired soon and bring elightbars.org back to its former glory if I knew more about how this sites systems worked ide help out if I could
 

Nolines

Silver Supporter
Does anyone live near him, maybe they can go check on him and see what's up, make sure everyone is ok??
 

Bigassfireman

Senior Member
Does anyone live near him, maybe they can go check on him and see what's up, make sure everyone is ok??
This was my thought as well, with the resources and skill set represented on this forum, I'd think someone would be able to at least make contact to make sure he is well.
 

Da-Sarge

Established Member
Its good to know jman is ok and all is well once again I do however reccamend jman allow a couple of other staff to have admin access in the event this type of thing happens again because as we all know life happens lol so I hope this us taken into consideration for continued reliability of the forum
 

Jman423

Administrator
Administrator
First thing's first: Merry Belated Christmas. I hope everyone (and their family's) made it through this tough year and enjoyed the holidays.

Now, straight to the point- Contrary to popular belief, the other staff members cannot perform the duties that I perform, no matter what their "permission" levels are. That is not a dig at them in any way... but as far I'm aware, none of them are trained I.T. professionals that are interested in the task. Also, they don't have the dozens of passwords to vendor websites that provide software updates and licensing for our server, SSL certificates, domain names, forum software, & other services... nor do they have the credit card to pay for any of that.

I am a hugely private person. All I'm willing to say is that for the past year, an increasing amount of obstacles have prevented me from being able to care for the 3 websites that I manage. Late in the year, it deteriorated to the point where I was basically checking to see if the sites loaded on my phone and calling it a 'win'. I did not see the search problems, the uploading problems, the posting problems, or anything else. That's on me. The staff does an incredible amount of work as volunteers, it is not their responsibility to tend to major technical issues.

To those of you in this thread trying to incite idiotic behavior, shame on you. At the end of a year when 333,000 U.S. Citizens have died during a global pandemic, you come out swinging at me for being mysteriously absent, not even asking why I'm unable to handle things... or, if I'm still alive. There is a lot more going on in this world beyond eLightbars, many more important issues.

As for John Marcson, I need to check in on him, I haven't spoken to him since mid-2019. As mentioned, he is solely the reason for this community's success dating all the way to the late 90's. If John came to me and told me he wanted to take the site back, I would hand it to him with no questions asked. Like me, he had things to handle... personal life happened.

Since it was mentioned again, let the record reflect that the loss of content or data on eLightbars was largely out of our control:
  • In 2010, other parties took control of eLightbars with malicious intent. Although control of the domain name was able to be recovered by John, the site's database remained in the other party's hands and later became Lightbarn. When eLightbars got back up and running (fresh start), Lightbarn failed.

  • Somewhere after that, we were attempting to offload our surprisingly large attachment storage to Amazon because our server's disk space couldn't accommodate it. We utilized a 3rd party module to make it all work. The module renamed ALL of the attachments and associated the files with the post it came from in the database. Following a forum software update, the module broke and the database tables became corrupt. We had thousands of images with random filenames and no way to associate them with the broken links in the forums. The 3rd party developer was no longer reachable nor was he releasing new products/support.

So, the elephant in the room: advertisements. It's easy for you to sit at your computer or look at your phone and assume that I have full and complete control over the ads you see, or even that I know where (and how large) advertisements are. You're 100% wrong. Google can place whatever they want, wherever they want despite the settings I've dictated. The content within the ads is 100% dictated by YOU, the end-user and your search history among other things.

The idiotic notion that I'm greedy or that I'm embezzling from my own 1-person company is hilarious. What hits my "company" bank account every year is the sum of managing 3 websites and some occasional moderate technical work on websites of customers referred to me.

subscriptions.png

As for subscriptions, the total for 2020 is 11, plus 2 lifetime memberships from previous years.

The remaining sources of income are Google Ads, Amazon Associates (ads/referrals), and eBay Partner Network (ads/referrals). Google is usually the only dependable source of income, the others are dependent on users clicking an ad and actually buying something right at that time.

To that, you can apply the costs:
  • Server/Hosting
  • Software Licensing & Maintenance
  • Domain Names
  • SSL Certificates
  • Addons, Modules
  • Service Level Tools
  • Incidentals
Fact: some months I have an excess in the bank account, most months I'm feeding it from my personal account... but the bills have always been paid.

@southpaw @John Smith @toyotafan
I don't know why you think I... we owe you anything. We are, or were at one time, all enthusiasts just like you are. No one is entitled to this site being online and available to you. If you think the site is poorly managed or that I'm shady with the finances, or that the moderators are unsatisfactory, or that completely unintentional bugs/errors are so heinous that you have to launch a verbal assault on the site and its staff... I invite you to log out and never log back in. However, you are more than welcome to be here, and I would hope that you would rather help us get back to the "John Marcson" days of eLightbars.

And just for the record, eLightbars pulls in less than 1/3 of the other site that is similarly built. I can confidently say that if the other site was no longer able to carry the difference, eLightbars might not exist at all.

Should you deicide to "start another site", I wish you the best. As long as it doesn't become a problem for our members (trashing, trolling, fighting), links to your new forum would be welcome.

Again, thank you to the other administrators and moderators who volunteer their time to keep this site organized and under control. And as always, thank you to the members who have contributed to the community over the years. I'm sorry for the recent, extended usability issues. That kind of thing is unacceptable to me as an end-user, and I know the frustration. Believe me when I tell you that I did as much as I was able to do, which wasn't enough.
 
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