I hope you are all well. Following the strong response in favour of keeping the website and forum running, I am pleased to confirm that I have authorised payment to extend the services underpinning the site for a further three years.
Thank you all for your kind words in support of the site - it is gratifying to know that so many of you enjoy your interactions on this site.
Very generous mention was made by a few folks of contributing to the cost. Firstly I am very grateful for the kind offer that was made - the cost would normally be trifling (£350 for three years), though my current situation as a PhD student means that I have limited income, which makes the sum something to consider, though still manageable. I hope everyone will appreciate that I have been in two minds about the idea of contirbutions because the fact remains that the forum has to be a meeting place of equals. Having contributed to the forum's costs must not, confer any advantage in terms of how members are treated should they overstep the mark.
The apparatus for making small donations is already in place, attached to my podcast 'The Napoleonicist'. I have copied the link to the relevant site below. Making a donation through that channel therefore keeps the process anonymous amongst other forum users. Whilst I will know who has donated, and will write to you in person to thank you for your kindness, no other forum user will know. There will be no 'badges' to single out those who make a contribution, and I respectfully ask that users do not post announcing whether they have contributed, in order to not palce any pressure upon others.
I also have to emphasise that, grateful though I am to those who may feel inclined to contribute, it will remain incumbent upon me to to handle any breaches of forum rules (admittedly rare occurences these days) in an unbiased manner. Having contributed to the forum therefore will not result in any difference in how breaches will be handled. This includes removing individuals from the forum if necessary.
I also want to finish by emphasising that this is wholly voluntary, and I do not want any member to donate through a sense of obligation. Please also note that the amount of £3 flagged on the website is a pre-set suggestion, and should be editable by anyone who wishes to amend accordingly.
Far more importantly than awkward discussions about money, I greatly look forward to continuing our discussions over the coming years. Thank you for your continued enthusiasm, and happy posting!