In discussions with some of our other members via email and watching the comments, I get the feeling that many of you are beginning to feel the same way I do. We are outgrowing Blogger. We have requests for Forums, and a better way to read/write posts without burying others. Since I was the one that originally created this blog, though the idea came from a discussion on Lance's blog between Lance, The Skeptical Sorcerer, and myself, I kind of appointed myself the lead maintainer. Therefore, I have been looking into other options for us. I would like to get us off of Blogger and on to a hosting service where we can have those options as well as have more control over the back end. That way, IF we ever needed to block someone from posting we could, or else we could do it like Pharyngula does with having a separate place for the ... abusive ones.
In looking at shared hosting services, I have come across 4 that would work. They would include the tools that we would need, as well as our own domain name. I narrowed it down to 2 which are really seems to fit us best cost wise and tool-wise (webhostingpad.com or hostmonster.com). The problem is the cost. I'm a college student, so I'm not that wealthy (My goal it to make as much as an English teacher does, someday :)). I don't want top place adds up, and I am willing to do the maintenance on the back end, but the initial set up cost is the problem. I would like to do a 3 year hosting deal, as that is the most cost effective upfront.
I hate begging for money, but I feel I must. For a 3 Year hosting plan, including our own domain, we would be looking at ~$150-200 (All currencies listed are USD). I am willing to pay for some of that, But my big question would be if some of our members would be willing to help pay for that also. PLEASE DON'T feel obligated to, I understand that some of you may have even less than me, but if you could, that would help me a lot. (I feel like NPR begging for money). We have roughly 50 members and at $3 apiece we could make it. I will look into having some Google-type ads to help support it in the future. I have created a poll to the right and want your feedback before I create a way to donate (probably Paypal).
Finally, If we do end up doing this, I feel that we have outgrown the Raytractors thing. While that will still be part of our mission, and likely a huge part of what we do, I want your feedback on a new name, I will try to keep this same address pointing there though. I was thinking something like creotractors or fundytractors, but I'm open to all suggestions, I just see quite a bit of non-ray focused discussion as well.
Update: Thanks for all the support, both in comments and email. based on the feedback I've gotten so far, I have set up a donate button. Please donate what you feel comfortable with, and there is no minimum (or maximum just in case Warren Buffet is secretly a Raytractor). Keep thinking of names or else if you want to keep the name Raytractors.