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The Future Of Property Bee

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Some news that many of us won't be too happy with....

Beerhunter has posted the following post on the propertybee forum. A real shame to see him go and I can only hope that somebody will keep this fantastic tool alive.

** Important: The future of Property Bee **

by Beerhunter on Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:23 pm

Firstly I would very much like to thank everyone that has helped or used property-bee, at times its been fun!

However after almost 3 years tireless unpaid dedication running, developing, administrating, moderating, spam busting, answering everyone’s questions on the forum and by email… I no longer have the enthusiasm to continue running this site.

I would like to clarify a few points (before the rumours start!)

* no third party has approached me requesting that the site be taken down, this is purely my decision.

* this isn’t about throwing more money/donations at the problem, its about my lack of enthusiasm to continue, primary because of the amount of time it takes away from other things that I need/want to do.

The reality is, that this year I had my first 2 week holiday in 20 years, and I’ve realised just how exhausted I am, and how I need to change the way I work / my priorities.

So what is the future for property-bee?

I still think it is a great idea and hope it will continue… if someone would like to take it over.

In reality it requires a group of people (one is not enough as I’ve found) whether this is done as an open source development, a sister site of an existing site, or as a commercial enterprise, I’m open to offers.

If your interested (and have the relevant experience - see below) then email admin@property-bee.com with a short outline of your proposal (experience, direction you want to take property-bee in, etc)

If you have any questions, please post them below so everyone can see, and read the reply.

Sorry for the announcement, but hopefully there will be a way forward for property-bee to continue.

Cheers

BH

Some of the answers to the questions I expect…

Technologies used in property-bee;

* php (custom scripts to handle requests from the toolbar, website via smarty, cron jobs to process data)

* javascript (needs experience - no just javascript on a webpage)

* mysql (4GB+ backend database, optimised by vertical portioning)

* server (perl/php cron jobs for backup, processing data, spam reporting etc)

* website (xhtml using smarty via php and mysql)

* forum (phpBB3 with custom mods and skin)

Hosting;

* dedicated server provided by Eukhost (2.2GHz, 2GB Ram, 160GB Disk, Linux running php, mysql, apache etc) until 10th Dec 2010.

Income;

* donations cover the cost of hosting

* google adwords generates a small income of approx £30/month

Time;

* managing the site approx 10 hours/week

* development - depends on the fixes/changes.

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Some news that many of us won't be too happy with....

Beerhunter has posted the following post on the propertybee forum. A real shame to see him go and I can only hope that somebody will keep this fantastic tool alive.

that is a great shame. i'd willingly pay £5 / £10 a month or whatever to use it on the grounds that it is a great tool that will be invaluable when i decide to buy...

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Gutted I use this everyday. I will have to subsribe to rightmove's tracking service!

Just as the next leg down is about to kick in, what timing! Also I have noticed that rightmove have changed there format and looks to be incompatible with PB.

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Hopefully someone will take this on I think a couple people from here expressed interested. I wish I had the time and knowledge but it's beyond me.

We seriously need PB to continue. It's essential IMO. I'm sure anyone taking other would get a good few donations from Here to get them up and running.

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Gutted I use this everyday. I will have to subsribe to rightmove's tracking service!

Just as the next leg down is about to kick in, what timing! Also I have noticed that rightmove have changed there format and looks to be incompatible with PB.

What tracking service? Never heard of it?

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Hopefully someone will take this on I think a couple people from here expressed interested. I wish I had the time and knowledge but it's beyond me.

We seriously need PB to continue. It's essential IMO. I'm sure anyone taking other would get a good few donations from Here to get them up and running.

Ditto.

I wish that I had the technical skills to take on the project. As I don't, I would be happy to help provide financial support to a person or group who / which would be willing to provide ongoing support.

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The future of any service, property bee included, is for it to be 'free'. Whatever form it takes in the future, it needs to be a free service. That is the only way to roll the information out to the masses, and the only way to mae a difference in the proprty market,.

Otherwise, it is just an exclusive 'know it all' club.

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I'm gutted!!!!! But lets be honest. Beerhunter has helped us all out so much. He does deserve a life after Property Bee. Darn shame, but hopefully someone will come along with the I.T. knowledge & a monthly service charge & PR can keep going. Beerhunter - did you not approach suitable sources? Would have thought PB could have been sold , not just given away. Youve worked tirelessly for all us for a long, long time & it would have been good to see you get some personal benefit out of it.

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The future of any service, property bee included, is for it to be 'free'. Whatever form it takes in the future, it needs to be a free service. That is the only way to roll the information out to the masses, and the only way to mae a difference in the proprty market,.

Otherwise, it is just an exclusive 'know it all' club.

Yes, whatever the future, charging isn't the way... or at least it hasn't worked for "The Times"

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The future of any service, property bee included, is for it to be 'free'. Whatever form it takes in the future, it needs to be a free service. That is the only way to roll the information out to the masses, and the only way to mae a difference in the proprty market,.

Otherwise, it is just an exclusive 'know it all' club.

Fair point.

I would be happy to support an open system where I help support it even though everyone can still gain access to the information. I think of it as an optional tax that I would be willing to pay even if many others benefit without paying. This is a "freerider" problem that I am happy to live with.

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The future of any service, property bee included, is for it to be 'free'. Whatever form it takes in the future, it needs to be a free service. That is the only way to roll the information out to the masses, and the only way to mae a difference in the proprty market,.

Otherwise, it is just an exclusive 'know it all' club.

As I said on the other thread this does have to remain free as making people pay will reduce the numbers of users and reduce it's effectiveness.

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Gutted I use this everyday. I will have to subsribe to rightmove's tracking service!

Just as the next leg down is about to kick in, what timing! Also I have noticed that rightmove have changed there format and looks to be incompatible with PB.

next leg down heh? I am not so sure anymore.<_< Anyway, do we know the exact date of PB server going OFF line? :(

Edited by LittleSteroid

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Beerhunter..

If you read this, many thanks for your time and dedication to Propertybee.

You have bought a great tool and service to many, many people.

Here's hoping someone can continue your good work! winesmiley.gif

Libs

Edited by libspero

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Given the enthusiasm on this site for Property Bee, is there not something we can collectively do? I'll make the first offer - two hours per week of my time. I have absolutely no relevant skills whatsoever but would be prepared to do a small amount of mundane brainless stuff.

Mods: if it was part of HPC it would inevitibly bring more traffic, boosting advertising revenues. Why not have a good think about it, then request some assistance from your own esteemed posters?

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It is indeed very sad news. :(

For anyone willing to manage the maintenance of Property Bee, I'm willing to provide whatever technical support I can on the assumption the tool remains subscription free. I'd really hate to see such a valuable tool disappear from the scene.

P.S. You'll notice my name listed in the current set of developers for the Property Bee add-on, so I have a little bit of experience. :)

Edited by s-p

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I have experience in Javascript/PHP/SQL/HTML, although I haven't developed anything from scratch myself (more due to time contraints than anything), I have written a lot of code for my own websites.

One think I don't have is a lot of time (full time job and my own businesses, all of which are web/coding based), so would need a couple or more volunteers.

Regarding cost, it likes BH is paying about £75 a month, which is more than I would be willing to pay all by myself (although makes me wish I had've doanted more to him), so ideally this would need to be covered. Even regular subscriptions of small amounts £1.50 per month for example) would be more than enough. If 150 forum members paid £1 a month (Paypal would take about 25p of that) then that would cover it. People wouldn't miss £1 a month going out, but £12 in one hit is usually too much for people to stomach for something, despite the massive potential savings and upperhand that Property Bee gives.

If anyone would like to help out, then let me know. If you have coding experience then great, if not then don't worry - extra hands are always needed somewhere. I expect the current mods on the Property Bee forum would continue, but if not, then help would be needed there.

I would like to e-mail BH sometime tomorrow with a proposal and it would be good to be able to do it as a team rather than just a single person. We really need to keep the Bee Buzzing.

Obviously if someone has more time and technical experience then I would stand aside, but if I can help I will.

Edited by hpc-craig

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