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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ | Supporting IMC [Click to see summary view]

Contributing to IMC

Contributing to IMC

Contributions
As most of you know, IMC is wholly member-funded. We rely on contributions from the members to keep this site alive.

What do we need?
Money!

Most urgently, what we need is cash.

The amount of concurrent users seems to demand greater bandwidth. We are now hosted on a high-speed, colocated server, but this means we have to shell out $75 per month to keep things going. (It used to be over $250 a month, so the situation has improved quite a bit, but having monies coming it always helps.)

As it stands, the Huntington SysOps have paid for the vast majority of the site support out of pocket, but that much cash every month among only few people becomes a disproportionate chunk of our RL budgets.

We estimated that if every registered member sent us just $1 every year, we could pay for a year's worth of colocation and then some. What we ask is that you collect your pennies, grab the change from couch cushions, pick up nickels... and turn it into $1 that you send to us.

Think about that. One dollar a year.

Of course, if you can spare more, and would be willing to send it to us to help support the site, we would be infinitely grateful. At this point, however, if you don't count the cash outlay from the Huntington SysOps, we've received donations from about fifty users on the site. Based on the number of actively registered users, that's about one-tenth of one percent.

We don't ever want to go to an ad-driven model like other chat sites. Ad money is fickle, and a great many ad-driven Internet sites have gone under in the last six months.

We made a commitment to the user base long ago to stay ad-free. We want to keep that commitment, but unless we get donations, or start to limit the number of users, we're going to be hard-pressed to finance the site.

What do we we get for donating?

Right now we have two perks we give to donors:

A custom gummi. You can replace the generic IMC gummi with an image of your own choosing! However, there are a few stipulations: The image:

  • Must not be copyrighted or trademarked, or you must be the copyright / trademark holder.
  • Must fit in with the community standards since it will be seen in all rooms.
  • Must be 32 x 32 pixels, 512 bytes runlength, and .GIF format.
  • Must follow the same naming and coloring conventions of the other gummis.
  • Must be supplied to Genji (thegline@im-chat.com) via email.

Image hosting space. You can upload up to 10MB of images, each no more than 64K, through the /users/ panel. (Please don't use this for storing anything other than images to be used in IMC rooms.)

Can I donate on someone else's behalf?
Yes, you can. Just let us know the MUN name and email of the person you're donating on behalf of. However, we do confirm this with the other person, so don't donate on behalf of someone without consulting them first.

Is there a minimum donation?
The short answer is no. Here's the long answer:

Donating to IMC works a little like donating to a museum. In the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, there's a little sign Pay what you wish. You must pay something. You can, in theory, donate as little as one cent to IMC, but a suggested donation is $10.

Where To Send Donations

Note: Donations are not tax deductible. Here's the address to send donations to:

Illusionary Minds Chat
P.O. Box 854
Huntington, NY 11743 (United States of America)

Personal checks are not recommended; they take time to clear and people concerned about anonymity will not want to write one. Send a money order made out to Serdar Yegulalp, who you all know better as our Code-God Genji (thegline@im-chat.com). You can get a money order from most grocery stores, banks, or post offices. (Note that banks often surcharge you to death; try your local supermarket first.)

You may also send well-concealed cash, but we assume no responsibility if the money does not arrive safely. This is a last-ditch move and should only be resorted to if you have absolutely no other way. (For the record, we have not yet had an incident where cash was lost in the mail, but you never can tell.)

Donating Via Credit Card / PayPal

Donation

We also accept donations through PayPal -- the email address to use is thegline@optonline.net. PayPal accounts are free and easy to create.

A final note about donations...

Donations are not tax deductible.

Please keep in mind that while donations are warmly welcomed and appreciated, donors are not exempt from the site's rules. Donating to IMC is not a contract of any kind; it is a donation.

We have had problems before with users who donated, assumed this conferred upon them some kind of immunity from the rules, and then proceeded to abuse the staff. Obviously this is unacceptable.

IMC's Code

Can I get a copy of the code used for IMC and run it on my own server?
At this time, no. There are several reasons for this:

1) The code for IMC is very large and complicated, spanning several hundred files. These pages are updated constantly and often drastically, which makes keeping up with the most recent version very difficult.

2) The backend database used to support the site is also being constantly changed, which would make moving from version to version quite onerous.

3) The site's administrators have a lot on their hands, and can't afford to provide support for the code. (Many people who release the source code for their software have told us that despite stern disclaimers that they cannot and will not provide support, they still get bombarded with emails for "just one question.")

4) The site is a work in progress. A lot of it is far from finished, and it would be a disfavor to others to provide them with something which is still growing.

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