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RE: !! *Very* important Oracle-L message !!

From: Orr, Steve <>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:06:37 -0700
Message-ID: <>

I like Jeremiah's idea.

All the "sermonizing" about the value of the list and how we should be required to put something in the "offering basket" is just so much "preaching to the choir." :-)

I would gladly pay a subscription fee because I understand the value of the list after having been on it a few years. HOWEVER, a newcomer may not appreciate the value of the list without having seen any content over time (as we all have). Requiring an up front entrance fee would probably scare them off like "fire and brimstone sermon." If entrance to the list is free then we can better "evangelize new believers" in the list. Broad participation keeps the list healthy. In order to keep the list healthy we need to be constantly adding new members and the best way to do this is to make it free and easy. Another approach would be to make the first 6 months free but this could be an administrative burden to enforce. So I think voluntary contributions are the way to go... Do I have an "Amen?"

Steve Orr

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 11:27 AM To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

On my web page I maintain an payments paybox, which is for collecting anonymous donations. I think if Bruce sets up a paybox for each list he hosts free of charge, and included a pledge request in the list footers, there will be a steady stream of donations.

Amazon calls this the "Honor System," and it can be found at:

It is basically like paypal, etc, but you can put the paybox inline with any HTML, and it allows anonymous donations. The fee to Amazon is 15% of the total payment per transaction plus 15 cents.

I work for Amazon, so feel free to flame me for shamelessly promoting my own product as a solution to this. As an act of contrition, I promise to pay US$50 into any form of collection that Bruce sets up, Amazon or not.

Jeremiah Wilton

On Wed, 29 Aug 2001, Anjan Thakuria wrote:

> Can we just start pledging ..We have got to keep this form going under.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > Sent: 28 August 2001 23:29
> > To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
> >
> > Ok, now that I have your attention, please read the following message
> > Bruce Bergman,
> > owner of It concerns the future of this list.
> >
> > Please read the entire message before replying.
> >
> > -------------------------------------------
> >
> > Hello ORACLE-L list members --
> >
> > I would like to take a few minutes of your time for a "State of the
> > address, if you can call it that. This is a rather serious message, and
> > request that you take the time to read this message entirely. I've got
> > problem that needs resolution this week, and I'm hoping you folks can
> > me come to a conclusion. This message turned out to be fairly
> > long-winded, so please excuse me for that. :-)
> >
> > Fat City ( is my company, and I am the provider of the list
> > services that you receive ORACLE-L through. I've been hosting Internet
> > mailing lists for over 10 years, and carry quite a few lists, including
> > big selection of Oracle-related lists (14, in fact). Fat City has
> > been a labor of love for me. Over the years it has rarely generated any
> > income at all, and it usually does not cover my expenses -- most of the
> > time
> > it is a monthly loss for me. The vast majority of my 60+ mailing lists
> > have
> > been hosted for free, at my expense (as is the ORACLE-L list, for
> > Yet I have absorbed these costs because I enjoy hosting discussion lists
> > and I know a lot of lists can't afford to pay for quality service.
> >
> > I am soon to be one of the Rhythms Orphans. Rhythms, my DSL provider,
> > gone bankrupt and will be out of business by 10-Sep-2001. I need to
> > another provider of high-speed Internet in order to continue operations.
> > am at the point of either folding shop completely and going out of
> > myself, or trying to make Fat City a viable, money-making endeavor. I
> > to make this decision by this Friday (for financial and planning
> > After Friday, I am committed one way or the other.
> >
> > My upstream ISP and I are on very good terms, and in fact, I've been a
> > customer of theirs since 1985! As a result, they have graciously
> > to help me out of this situation at considerable expense to themselves.
> > I'm not at liberty to discuss the terms of the contract I would engage
> > with them, but suffice to say that is one of those once-in-a-lifetime
> > opportunities that I'd be a fool to pass up. I have this offer
> > from the President of that company, if I want it. Simply said, my
> > to take them up on their offer and switch Fat City over to a dedicated
> > or
> > better solution revolves around being able to generate quite a bit of
> > additional
> > income per month, and very soon. In an effort to be open and up-front
> > you folks about this, I basically need to generate an additional $500
> > per
> > month. Right now that seems daunting, but I've been working hard to line
> > that
> > additional income, and I believe I can do it. Just not right away. My
> > estimates are that it will take me four or five months to come up to
> > level. I need to get out there and sell website hosting and list
> > packages, and get new customers. That takes time, unfortunately. I
need a
> > buffer to enable me to get past this startup phase.
> >
> > After some discussions with Jared (the list owner), and some
> > from him, I am coming to you to ask for you help in keeping Fat City
> > financially afloat until I can be self sufficient. I'm not asking for a
> > specific dollar amount from anyone, nor am I *expecting* anything from
> > folks. But if it is within your power to contribute some money towards
> > this
> > end (and yes, I know these are hard financial times for everyone), I am
> > hoping you can help. If I can get sufficient promise of funds that will
> > see
> > me through the next few months, I am willing to jump in with both feet
> > make Fat City a viable business. If it looks like the contributions are
> > not
> > sufficient to enable me to do that, I will cease operations within the
> > 45-60 days.
> >
> > Let me be clear about a few things: If I *do* cease operations, I will
> > all of my lists time to find new list providers, and will make every
> > to aid the shift over to the new provider, provide list dumps, archives,
> > mail forwarding, etc. Even though Rhythms goes out of business on
> > 10-Sep-2001, I have secured service until at least 10-Oct-2001 to enable
> > this to happen. So don't worry about having to rush into your
> > if
> > things don't work out. I would also like to clearly state that this is
> > some attempt to blackmail or coerce anyone into coming up with money.
> > will either succeed or fail based on what you folks can comfortably and
> > willingly contribute. If I had the ability to cover this startup period
> > myself,
> > I would definitely do so. If Fat City ultimately goes under, it wil NOT
> > your fault, and I hold no one to blame. That's just how the Internet
> > are right now. I do not want anyone to contribute if they don't have
> > the money, or if things are tight at home, or anything like that. I
> > like contributions to be made from those who are able to make such a
> > contribution willingly.
> >
> > Also, I don't want anyone to send any money right now. Basically I just
> > want a show of hands of those who could contribute something to this
> > Send me ( or Jared ( an E-mail
> > what amount you'd be willing to contribute. If you would rather donate
> > anonymously, perhaps Jared could collect those donations. I will "pass
> > around the hat" until Friday morning, at which point I'll see if there
> > sufficient pledges to enable me to move forward. If it seems like there
> > is,
> > then I will come up with a way for you to honor your pledge (probably
> > either
> > directly to me via check or via PayPal, most likely). The funds can be
> > collected in the next few weeks, but I must make my decision on Friday.
> > apologize for the late notice on this, but I was not given this offer by
> > ISP until late last week.
> >
> > In return for your contributions, I promise the following things:
> >
> > - I will use all contributions ONLY for the express purpose of paying
> > my
> > Internet service costs
> > - I will continue to host the ORACLE-L list for free for the forseeable,
> > indefinite future
> > - I will make no more requests of this list for contributions of this
> > - I will provide a full accounting and update to the list on the costs
> > how the funds are being used
> > - I will make improvements to the list that will enhance your features
> > performance (for example, faster turn-around on list postings, etc)
> > - I will at least carry though for the next calendar year unless I have
> > catastrophic financial failure
> >
> > Please note that the ODTUG organization is already making a considerable
> > contribution by way of a monthly payment for service, so they are
> > aware of this situation and are actively helping out. There are a good
> > number of people here who are on the ODTUG lists too, so I wanted to
> > that out ahead of time and let you know that they are being very
> >
> > Another way you could contribute would be to come to Fat City for your
> > hosting or website hosting needs. I had just started offering website
> > hosting services before this mess started, and obviously, a monthly
> > customer is far better than a one-time contribution. If you go to
> > and click on the "Website Hosting" link, you can
> > check out the packages I offer. In an effort to get new customers, I am
> > willing to waive all setup fees in order to bring new customers on
> > If you become a customer here in the next couple of months, that would
> > tremendously. If you have an interest in hosting your website (personal
> > business) with us, -or- a want to start a new mailing list, please
> > me for details.
> >
> > I know this is a lot to ask of you folks. You are entirely welcome to
> > tell me to jump in a lake, and that that's how business is right now.
> > I
> > know many of you personally, either from ODTUG conferences or from other
> > Oracle events, and I also know how staunchly you support this mailing
> > with useful information, humor, helpfulness and an eye toward quality.
> > would like to think that you find Fat City to be the best place to host
> > your
> > list, and that you will want to help me out so that I can continue to
> > provide the list to you folks free of charge. I made a promise to Jared
> > years ago to host this list for free because I think it is one of the
> > and most valuable resources out there. I intend to honor that promise
> > him by continuing to provide it for free. If it turns out that I must
> > close
> > shop and call it quits, at least I will have known I did my best to make
> > succeed, and I did so without having to reneg on committments I had
> > made in the past.
> >
> > I am being open and honest with everyone because I believe that this is
> > best way to succeed. I believe you appreciate this kind of approach,
and I
> > want you to know that regardless of what happens, I certainly appreciate
> > every consideration you give this request. Whether or not this
succeeds, I
> > know that you are a great group of people and I wish this list the best
> > luck
> > in this life, or the next. :-)
> >
> > Remember, time is of the essence. The sooner I hear from people who
> > can help, the sooner I can nail down a line of approach. If you have
> > questions or concerns, please E-mail me.
-- Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: -- Author: Jeremiah Wilton INET: Fat City Network Services -- (858) 538-5051 FAX: (858) 538-5051 San Diego, California -- Public Internet access / Mailing Lists -------------------------------------------------------------------- To REMOVE yourself from this mailing list, send an E-Mail message to: (note EXACT spelling of 'ListGuru') and in the message BODY, include a line containing: UNSUB ORACLE-L (or the name of mailing list you want to be removed from). You may also send the HELP command for other information (like subscribing). -- Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ: -- Author: Orr, Steve INET: Fat City Network Services -- (858) 538-5051 FAX: (858) 538-5051 San Diego, California -- Public Internet access / Mailing Lists -------------------------------------------------------------------- To REMOVE yourself from this mailing list, send an E-Mail message to: (note EXACT spelling of 'ListGuru') and in the message BODY, include a line containing: UNSUB ORACLE-L (or the name of mailing list you want to be removed from). You may also send the HELP command for other information (like subscribing).
Received on Wed Aug 29 2001 - 14:06:37 CDT

Original text of this message