Can I sell my site with preconditions for the new owner?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by Shin Ryoku, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    Currently I own 8 forums which is about 4 more than I want at the moment. All of the four that I am thinking of selling are photography forums where people come to share their photos and talk about gear. All of the photos posted are converted to attachments.

    I have always allowed members to delete their own photos and/or edit their own posts at any time, so long as they have an account in good standing (ie, not banned). I would hate to sell a site to a new owner who revoked those privileges.

    Can I sell my sites with preconditions for the new owner to allow members to do those things?
     
  2. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    You can if you sell it under a contract but the more preconditions the less you can ask for the site. What worked for you might not work for the new owner. Why don't you find an admin for the sites that you want to sell. You would still own it and you can make a deal that income is split between the two of you, he then still need to follow your rules. The income split is something you need to look at what percentage for you and for him. Also what can happen is that a buyer buys the site and removes the forum or that he installs other software do you want to prevent that too. That you are worried for your site i can understand but it the end preconditions will drop the price down or you cant even sell the site because its not interesting for anyone but you.
     
  3. pierce

    pierce Habitué

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    Once you sell it, its no longer within your control.

    What stops him from selling it to the next entity without those conditions?
     
  4. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

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    in theory, yes. but you need an agreement drawn up, and you need to consider, what if he breaks the agreement? are you going to sue?
     
  5. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    Good points, everyone. I guess I just have to find someone with similar values to mine, as best I can tell, and hope for the best.

    These are small sites, currently earn very little, and I wouldn't be selling them for profit. Just a way to get out from having to keep them updated without shutting the sites down for the members who enjoy them.
     
  6. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    Terms are difficult to enforce even if you setup a procedure in mutual agreement.
    Best you can expect is the new owner transferring the responsibility for those terms to the newest owner, who's in turn not expected to abide by them since he was not a party to the original agreement.

    Ownership changes are a difficult period where its normal for a worried new owner to limit those permissions at least temporarily, even if your users were under your guidance a mature, responsible crowd (yet to show they're willing to work with the new owner to limit abuse of his trust). No buyer likes acquiring a community just to face tension with its users.
     
  7. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

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    If you don't want to own the forums anymore you're best served by letting the new owner know how you feel about certain things but then letting them run it as they see fit. As long as you didn't collect money in return for any particular service or feature that you were running there should be no problem.... except that the forums may decline after you leave as is often the case after a sale. But honestly that's not your problem once you're gone.
     
  8. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Enthusiast

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    Maybe put a feeler out if one of the existing members is interested in taking the mboard and has a similar view as yours.
     
  9. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    Is there any way these 4 small, similar forums could be merged into one larger, viable forum?
     
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  10. pierce

    pierce Habitué

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    That's like saying can we merge a windows and Mac forum..
     
  11. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Doesn't mean it can't be done.
     
  12. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Enthusiast

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    Reminds me of Webhostingtalk. Lately they been merging/folding their other mboards into WHT.

     
  13. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    It's certainly possible. That's a great idea.
     
  14. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    'Cause like whoever heard of a general computing forum with Mac and Windows sections!

    Seriously... there are many forums where an application or a usage are more central than which platform the person is using. Mac- and Windows-using members can exist peacefully and collaboratively within the same forum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  15. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    I asked the mods on each site to tell me which they would prefer:

    Option 1: I try to find a new, good owner for the site

    Option 2: I merge the site with three other ones

    All of them preferred Option 2. I am going to go for it.
     
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  16. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Enthusiast

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    That's a great idea and works out good since it'll be under the same ownership and no fear of unwanted changes.

    And some of us use both platforms, like I do, and maybe toss in Linux for good measure. (Thought I included this on my earlier post, but must've brainfarted.)

     
  17. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    This should be interesting, I hope it works for you.

    How many posts on each site?

    How many staff on each site?
     
  18. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    Site 1 - 229k posts, 2 mods
    Site 2 - 52k posts, 5 mods
    Site 3 - 16k posts, 2 mods
    Site 4 - 3k posts, 1 mod

    Site 1 is older but not more active than Site 2.

    I have three other photography forums which could be merged in with these, but those forums are all fairly successful on their own, and I don't want to jeopardize that.
     
  19. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

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    Gratz! Here's a couple of things I've learned to pay attention to by living through a few forum mergers:

    You will get less member resistance if you can frame this that their community is expanding, rather than being dislocated. It helps that your mods are all on-board. It is helpful (but not necessary) that the new combined forum has a new name. Its mission (or description) should encompass that of all four merging forums in some way. You and your team need to start talking about this a a broadening of each forum community, rather than as a merger.

    While it would be relatively simple to replicate all of the message sections from each of the four forums in the new merged forum, that would give you an unwieldy forum to navigate. Sit down with your team, and figure out what you want the new forum structure to look like—I suspect this will take more than a few rounds of suggestions over two weeks – a month. Get it done right, not done fast. Then, rearrange each of the four forums to that new structure before the move, move threads to the proper section (this could take a weekend of work to do—better to have 4 teams working). Make note of any existing messages that don't seem to fit anywhere. Let your members use and get used to the new structure for a couple of weeks. Use their feedback to tweak the structure if it needs it. Then merge!

    Some people will be members of two or more of these forums—and may have different usernames or avatars in each. You need to set up a process for people to tell you how they want to be known. I know The SandmanThe Sandman has dealt with this several times, and may have some suggestions.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
     
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  20. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    Thank you very much for the advice/information!
     
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