Report on the saving AMG discussion

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attic owl
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Report on the saving AMG discussion

The turn out for the meeting was very light. The people at the front desk knew we were there and they knew how to answer if asked where the AMG meeting was.

Scott had told me, when I talked to him on the phone, that there were two serious offers

for AMG. Nothing has come of the offers yet. He told me that the $150.00 cost per month is

because the server is a dedicated one, i.e. it handles only AMG, hence it costs more. It is

in Philadelphia. Because it is a dedicated server it is faster and less likely to have speed

problems and it has unlimited capacity. He told me that he has to divest himself from AMG

because of his job. I discussed this at the meeting.

Naran sent her best wishes for success with our meeting and said we should know she is doing

everything she can to ensure the forum stays on line.

It was generally agreed that Scott has to do something with AMG so that the person, or those

who take it over, can get to work to save it. We discussed ownership, and how to organize

it. It seems that ownership by investors would be a desirable method. There did not seem

to be people at the meeting ready to step forward to organize donors and make an offer to

take it over; however, we've seen plenty of offers of monetary help on the two threads

concerned with this issue. If several investors come forward they could form a board of

directors.

We discussed methods of fund raising: pledge drives, tie posting privileges to membership,

payments on a monthly, quarterly, of yearly basis, automatic monthly credit card payments,

Kick starter programs, "begathons", and linking up with some other site that is better

funded.

The alternatives to AMG's own system was discussed, viz. Twitter, and Facebook. Twitter

does not allow lengthy discussion, and Facebook, though closer to AMG's set up has no

archival set up, that is, when things are eliminated there is no getting them back. AMG has

great archival power. Many are not "into" Facebook. The AMG format is simpler and easier

to navigate through.

Some web site features were discussed. A links section could be included in the format of

site. Some of the other features are little used and should be dropped. The Public Square

is the centerpiece of AMG.

No conclusions could be reached with such a low turn-out but this report may the useful as a framework for wider discussion.

Attic Owl

taxfoe
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Not interested in an

Not interested in an ownership position and my offer stands as it appears in the 'community' thread. Personally, I'd prefer to stay away from Twits and Faces but what will be will be. A seamless, turnkey takeover would be my vote.

Thank you for taking the initiative to marshall this through!

Three Pipe Problem
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taxfoe, did you hear that

taxfoe, did you hear that YouTube, Twitter, and FaceBook are all merging into a single service??

The new site is going to be called YouTwitFace.

(Stole that from someone.)

Bruce Libby
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A couple of things that might

A couple of things that might help/
1. Specific time line ?
2. Is there a method that will allow divestiture for Scott i.e. a transition to new ownership /operation ?

It appears the monthly thing is doable, the rest of it ?

Tom C
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Hey, I might buy into an

Hey, I might buy into an "ownership interest", we could be the next internet billionaires!

Reaganite
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I'd be willing to go in on an

I'd be willing to go in on an ownership interest. I also have some technical skills that could possibly help out on the back end.

pmconusa
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What's the additional cost

What's the additional cost other than the server? I'm sure that 150 x 12 or $1800 is not the only cost Scott incurs. I'm sure that there are at least 12 of us who think $150 a year is doable even if the cost is double I think we should be able to swing it. Since as you know I do a lot of posting I'd be willing to cough up more but what is the limit needed and who is going to do the work Scott does for free?

If it can be worked out for say $3600 per year we could sell 24 Shares at $150/share that carry with them the obligation to kick in $150/yr. or whatever is necessary to meet the $3600 per year obligation. For that we could form a board of shareholders who get to decide policy and content on the site. The shareholders would be automatic members and then we could get anyone who wants to view the blog or post would pay an annual membership fee of say $10 per year to be able to participate. If we got 360 members it would relieve the shareholders of having to kick in anything. Think about it.

Spider
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Assuming AMG stayed basically

Assuming AMG stayed basically the same....I would purchase a subscription to the entity running it. Say....hundred bucks a year. Say....maybe 30 or so subscribers...that was a wicked wild guess....that's 3K. Change the assumptions and you get a different answer.

Ugenetoo
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I think Naran should own it,

I think Naran should own it, moderate it, and charge a monthly fee to post on it.
I have no problem with her getting a salary, however small, to run this gig.
She has done a hell of a job as moderator, but, how long can she continue on a volunteer basis?
I don't know what the numbers are, but I suspect ten to fifteen dollars each per month would cover costs and maybe leave a little left over for a stipend to whomever.

Naran
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Thanks, Ugenetoo, I

Thanks, Ugenetoo, I appreciate the support, and the kind words. Unlike the popular mythology from the liberal left, AMG and I are not supported in any way by the Koch brothers, or anyone else. It would be nice to have some compensation for the work I do on AMG, because the local banks aren't prone to accepting good intentions and grassroots activism as "in kind" remuneration.

That only works for ACORN, and in liberal circles in DC.

charlie neville
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I'm with Ugenetoo, here.

I'm with Ugenetoo, here. Naran's done a marvelous job under trying conditions at times. Financially I'm in, with my limited resources.

charlie

Bob S
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Someone make a decision.

Someone make a decision. Let's move this thing forward.

Ugenetoo
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Naran?

Naran?

Naran
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As I've said previously, it's

As I've said previously, it's not up to me. It's up to Scott. He's the official owner, and he's the one who has to make the decisions.

Rebecca
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Things that need to be

Things that need to be done:
1. Scott needs to set a sum that he is comfortable with to transfer ownership to whatever entity becomes owner.
2. If this is to become a corporate enterprise, (this may be the safest route) then that sum as set by Scott needs to be made available to us.
3 Personally, I think an attorney (hopefully we can find a like minded lawyer who would give us a reasonable rate for we pour souls.) should create a simple c-corp with shares that can be sold to anyone interested to raise the money necessary to purchase AMG from Scott.
4. The new Corp will assume all debts and obligations as currently are involved at this point.
5. The general consensus is that any new stock purchasers shall become directors as is standard procedure.
6. Everyone on this forum or the majority is of the opinion that NARAN should be the Chief Operations Officer and general Manager, I concur.
7. Stock prices should be set a a relatively low enough price so that all of us can purchase at least one share. The number of shares will be determined by the necessary amount to purchase and operate the site for a stipulated period. (I recommend $100.00/share as an initial start-up.)
8. An advertising officer should be considered in order to secure enough funding to be able to operate AMG without an annual fee to be charged to those who post on AMG.
9. The Idea of sponsors can also be considered by contacting other like minded organizations who would like to sponsor dedicated threads that are in line with the philosophy of AMG i/e conservative groups, NRA, SAM, Libertarian Party etc.
10. There MUST be a corporate secretary to handle any and all legal filings as is required by law. Any Volunteers?
11. There is to be an annual meeting of the directors. It may be in person at a designated place or a Net meeting. This will determine the direction that AMG should travelfor good of this new enterprise. 20+ Years ago I sat on the MEMIC board during it's start-up. We initially met every 3 months and then every 6 months after a couple of years. As MEMIC became more stable that changed to an annual meeting. I am no longer on that board. They may have even disbanded the governing board at this point. I am not sure.
12, Until such time as AMG can become self sustaining, it may be required that we establish a means of funding AMG whether it be by subscription or an annual dues, but it must be considered.
13.There should be a Treasurer separate from C.E.O. and the C.O.O. whose only responsibility is maintaining the finances. (any nominations?)
14 Stiphens must be set by a vote of the Board or at least an initial agreement for the officers involved in running AMG.

My ideas are contingent on Naran (no pressure intended) becoming the C.O.O. of AMG. I prefer TJC as a CEO. He seems to have a level head on his shoulders according to his posts. There are many others who have been regular contributors to this forum and I would like to see them remain as such since they have shown themselves to be intent and resourceful in finding stimulating topics upon which this forum can comment and stimulate enlightened conversation.

Hopefully, this will transform itself (with the right guidance) into a self sustaining enterprise.

I hope this is of some service to those who are working so diligently in keeping AMG alive.

Three Pipe Problem
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"The general consensus is

"The general consensus is that any new stock purchasers shall become directors as is standard procedure."

It is far from standard to equate the stockholders of a corporation with its directors. And in LLC land it is more common but also not "standard". In an LLC someone with both roles is known a "member-manager". The idea of AMG taking on a new director/manager every time it needs $100 seems problematic to me, given that few people here can agree on any given topic. There is a reason that companies are rarely run by committee. And the idea of continually diluting ownership every time $100 is needed makes as little sense to me.

I also still think it's probably offensive to plan the details of the takeover of a business in a situation where the owner obviously could participate, but clearly doesn't want to. Perhaps we can leave the rest of this plan to be worked out among any potential investors should any offer actually be extended. Since it very probably illegal to solicit funding for a business in a public forum like this anyway, such an invitation is not likely to occur here.

attic owl
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Thank you Rebecca. We

Thank you Rebecca. We needed a plan that can be reviewed, tinkered with if need be, and which give us some sort of clear organization. You've given us something we need here in your post. We need someone or some people to talk to Scott and find out what range of price he would be happy with. In other words we need take the lead, to pull this together for funding, and to make an offer.

I could help a little with money. But I'm no money bags.

Bob S
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Wow, are some making this

Wow, are some making this harder than it needs to be?

Reaganite
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Am I the only one who feels

Am I the only one who feels that we've just entered the Twilight Zone with all of this talk of stock holders, LLCs, sub-chapter S corporations and boards of directors?

AMG is a PHP-powered bulletin board. It is not a social network. There's a world of difference between the technology behind AMG and that which is behind Facebook. There's also a world of difference in scope.

Over-complication will be the end of AMG.

I've offered to help fund the purchase of the domain from Scott and to help with the behind the scenes technical operations. That still stands. But c'mon guys, let's be realistic about this.

Bob S
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Thank you Reaganite, I

Thank you Reaganite, I thought it was just me. It should be a simple matter of transferring it. Scott just needs to set the terms.

attic owl
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Bob S and Reganite , it is

Bob S and Reganite , it is more complicated than that. Once it is transfered to whomever, it has to be funded over time. In the past Scott provided the organization and funding from his own pocket and what money he could raise.

I'm all for keeping it as simple as possible so long as it works.

Reaganite
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I'm aware of what it takes to

I'm aware of what it takes to fund a website, attic owl. My point is that we don't need to create a Rube Goldberg-like set up in order to keep it going. Right now, with the clock ticking, we need to focus on keeping AMG alive. Grandiose plans for the future need to take a backseat for the moment.

Calvin
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Okay Reaganite, it takes some

Okay Reaganite, it takes some short term money and someone in charge. I think Rebecca pretty much explained that.
But,,,,,,,,,,,HOW MUCH $$$$$$$$$$ ? Nevermind making a profit; it is absolutely essential that AMG stay active for the next 13 months !

Spider
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Calvin gets it.

Calvin gets it.

taxfoe
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Plan B: AsMontenegroGoes
Bob S
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it is more complicated than

it is more complicated than that.

No it is not. I am quite familiar with sites like this. I have been involved with bigger boards. I could start a board in a couple of hours for under 100 bucks. It is not complicated at all. Scott needs to set a price for AMG. Simple.

Three Pipe Problem
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I agree with Bob in the sense

I agree with Bob in the sense that this is a popular forum, nothing more. Because of its popularity a dedicated server and some periodic updates on it are required... many of us apparently have experience running sites on this scale or larger. And previous conversations have also suggested that funding AMG will not be a major challenge, if methods that the mgmt has not wanted to adopt in the past are used.

Since I do not think the mgmt are obligated to do anything, I would rephrase "Scott needs to set a price" to "If this conversation is going to continue without being an odd sort of farce, then Scott would need to set a price."

I find it to be blindingly obviously that if Scott wanted to publicly set a price or facilitate a Kollective discussion about this, he would have done so already. If he wishes to do so in the future I am sure that he will. Perhaps at some point others will notice that he is not participating in this conversation. I chose the route of PM'ing him about what would be appropriate and received feedback to the effect that he was not interested in members publicly raise money at the time. I think it's crass that I have to spell this out when it's obvious from the posts that Scott and Naran have actually made, and the fact that the previous thread was locked.

Scott has provided information to the effect that there have been interested buyers. And yet this thread is now turning into the one that got deleted... given that he *has* allowed a public discussion of ways of keeping the group in touch in case the site goes down, and to facilitate an off line meeting of those interested in saving AMG, it comes off as insulting to the current owner of AMG, and the idea of ownership, to continue plotting as though AMG is going public or something. I am personally disappointed that Scott has not been more vocal, but where is the respect for the fact the he, and not the crowd, owns this? At the very least, if we want to group together to put what we consider to be a compelling offer together, let's group together out of the public spotlight to do so. A private forum could be set up in a matter of minutes, and I think it would be more polite.

I respect the fact that others may see it differently, just sharing my own view here and hoping others will consider it.

Mackenzie Andersen
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Three Pipe Problem is right.

Three Pipe Problem is right. It is stated in the first post that there have been two serious offers. That is private business, as are any other offers to be made.

attic owl
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I seems clear to me that

I seems clear to me that someone has to contact Scott, set up a method to find those who want to help financially, and get on with it. In other words someone has to step up to do this. And I'm not him.

pmconusa
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Someone please talk to Mel

Someone please talk to Mel Udall. He has his own site that he funds himself and it takes outside commentary. As has been mentioned its not rocket science and I think enough of us have expressed a desire to assist financially. someone take the ball and talk to Scott and get it done before this turns into a mini Obamacare rollout.

Melvin Udall
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Udall has a simple blog via

Udall has a simple blog via blogspot. While it takes comments, on posts, the format is much different than AMG's 'bulletin board' structure, which is what I've often heard it called in the past.

And the traffic doesn't begin to approach AMG's.

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