SitRep: Please read, IMPORTANT


HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate
Staff member
Super Mod
Oct 2, 1998
Hey Folks!

I'm writing this message to give you a heads up on how is doing, where we're going, and how it affects you guys.

Here's the sit-rep: is currently passing in excess of .5gB per day, sometimes hitting .75gB. That's per day; broken down, we're hitting close to 20gB per month, and it's only increasing.

As you know, we've grown extremely fast. So fast that we've overpowered the server we're currently hosted on, a legacy P100mhz from the dawn of time.
We're the busiest site they host on this server (we currently use up to 50% or more of it's resources), and we rival some "adult" sites they host in traffic. No kidding. You've seen how much power we use yourselves; it's the reason why the search and edit features don't work.

As a result, we have bought a new server which is currently in route. We were supposed to take delivery of it yesterday, but it was DOA. To quote the techs, "Flowerpot it". The company is replacing it with a better model for the same price: a PII 350mhz with 576mB RAM and lots of other bells and whistles. It's a powerful server, but it came at a cost as well, several thousand dollars. We should have it on hand by next Tuesday, and should be on it by next Thursday, God Willing and the creek don't rise.

Here's where it starts getting tricky. Our ISP notified us that we would have to start paying excess bandwitdh charges starting this month. We were going to be hit with a $6000 excess fee, but we've worked out a deal now where we should get the bandwitdh we need. Thus far, our out of pocket costs for this site has been close to (or over) $1000 per month. Add in the cost of the new server, and we are rapidly becoming a very expensive site to maintain.

That is part of the reason why we have been running sales lately, because we need to find a way to make this site pay for itself so that it can remain free to you guys. We've been trying to hold off for four months now, but it's now at the point where we must take action.

Let's keep this straight: We aren't fools, we know that if we turn this into a pay-to-view site, it will die, and die quickly. No if's, and's or but's about it. That's not what you guys want, nor is it what we want.

We also don't want to head in the direction that other sites have taken and turn this site into strictly a sales tool for our parent organization. That would limit our scope and compromise our ideals, two things that would adversely effect the atmosphere here.

In order to keep from turning into a liability, we must try to find other ways of generating income, without compromising our ethics, or your trust in us.

So, we're working with companies to try to get you guys deals on knives, which we know you want, and will help us alleviate the overhead of running, something that we all want. So far, we've seen a lot of interest in the Native. REKAT has offered the SIFU, and a few other companies have stepped forward with offers for other unique knives for us to pass onto you. You'll also notice we've had some hard to find items, or close outs, for very special prices. Rest assured, we will not start carrying standard, in production products, we have no intention of competing with the dealers who we are trying to help. We're going to try to spread things out so that you guys aren't hit all at once.

Right now it may seem chaotic and like we are going for the "full court press" because we are trying to play catch up and pay some of these unexpected expenses. Very shortly we will be offering hosting options for knife companies, and FYI, the prices will probably just cover the bandwidth cost for the site, if that, but we are offering it as a service.

We are also considering other revenue generating activities to help take this site in the direction it needs to head in. Ideas like a voluntary membership fee which would get you a shirt (or other merchandise) and would help take us to the next level. We have a lot of features we would like to add for you guys, site-wise, but we don't want to prematurely let the cat out of the bag on this.

In summation, we're becoming a victim of our own success, and we are taking steps to help prevent us from being shut down. You guys have supported us a lot in the past and we appreciate it. We know that you'll support us in the future as well. We just ask that you please have patience and hang tight, and with your help, we'll grow into something even greater soon.

Thanks for your support,


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here
Count me in..but I really don't need the T-shirt....."Have plastic will charge"...
Spark, thanks for the update.

Speaking for myself I believe that "Bladeforums" merchandise would be a sure winner with the members here, and it would have a minimum of impact on the dealers who associate with the site. Put the logo on knives, caps, and do not forget sweatshirts! Perhaps working with a group like Lands End on a cross promotion?

Keep up the good work!

Thanks for keeping us informed.
IMHO put aside the $80 knife.
Find a $10 T-shirt we can sell for $20.
That will keep us going.

"We are ready for an unforeseen
event that may or may not occur"
- Dan Quayle -

Yipes, please don't go !
Sorry I haven't bought any of the Spydie specials, I'm paying for a couple of hand mades right now, soon I'll be able to send all my excess $ to you (well, maybe not ALL)
But really, I think most of us will do what we can.
This sounds like a great idea.

This way the sight stays free, but it gives us all a chance to give back.

I'm in. How much is the membership fee?

Life is like a box of knives...


A not too unexpected situation unfortunately. Fortunately you and Mike seem to have the patience and concepts to prevail.

I've already budgeted myself for the blue Spydie Native, BFC Tie Clipit (what is the status on it by the way? )and the mini-civilian model currently offered in S. Africa only but said to be in the queue for a grey forumite run of 500 pieces. Not sure where the Bladeforums "Q" model is, or for that matter the "Military Man" T-shirt to be sold outside the store but generating some sheckels for the site.

Looking forward to these products becoming available to augment the special close out deals you guys are able to offer.

As for membership fees, I too have no problem with them especially when one considers what we get here on BFC

I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited 15 April 1999).]
I could handle the voluntary membership fee with a T-shirt thing without too much pain.
I'm cool with a membership fee without any freebies, either. It's worth it to me to pay a small fee to be able to participate here. Plus I'll take the money from my wife's purse to pay for it.


I buy magazines to get info on knives but, I feel the info I get here is much better then any article I have read in any magazine.A membership fee makes sense to me and BF merchandise is also a great idea.I'm sure both would be well received.
A membership fee wouldn't be a bad thing, it might help assure that all members are serious about their knives, whether they are collectors, makers or both. I do think that a BladeForums shirt or cap would be cool, that way we all would be readily identifiable at the knife shows. Whichever, count me in.
Mike C
Spark -- something even greater soon? Major UH-OH! Our Head Accountant already emailed me and questioned my way-over-the-budget Internet access bills for the past two months! At the rate I'm going, I may find myself jobless soon

But as my environmentalist wife told me, "there's no such thing as free lunch". I wanted to buy her the Spydie Dragonfly at BF Store but the creek had already risen on my credit card -- so I'm waiting instead for the blue BF Native (for her) and grey Matriarch (for me) ...

Nevertheless, count me in to pay for a voluntary membership fee -- with a shirt or no shirt!
I already put an order in for a Syderco. Glad I did. Didn't realize how critical the $ problem is to keep things afloat.

How about hats, keychains, window decals as other money making ideas?

A LOW membership fee would probably be tolerated by most. How many members are there???? If enough members, maybe $5.00 or $10.00 / year would cover it????

Good luck!

"Walk softly and carry a big stick"...TR

Count me in I'll be glad to help support this site with a fee. How about some of us collector/dealers sending in unusual quality stuff as donations that could be put up for sale. Mike, I hope there is a way you can write off the expense of this site at least.
Thanks for the gift (it is a fine one).
Count on me as well, membership fee or whatever.

Let not however forget about the newbies, lurkers or whatever. This site is a great place to begin to learn about knives and should continue to encourage newcomers to shuck off the jaded stereotypes associated with our "Sharper Image."

I'm sure once new forumites learn what's to be found here they too would pony up a membership. In the meantime, lets include a trial period to welcome them aboard!

Life is a journey, not a guided tour -- GO ARMED!

Hey Spark,
The membership thing isn't actually a bad idea, the wealth and breadth of knowledge here is great and to pay for that and get a free t-shirt ain't so bad!


Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the States, you are being charged for bandwidth usage, right?

Now, I don't know how I can help, but our ISP is currently getting bandwidth from Globe/AT&T via direct link to Hongkong, and we pay a flat fee per month. Incoming traffic (subscriber downloads, browsing, etc) are heavily used. BUT, outgoing traffic (queries, etc.) are very slight. If my position in this ISP can help, do let me know. I don't have quintuple T-3s connected, but I believe I can offer the outgoing bandwidth (incoming for those who browse/reply through the forum) to Bladeforums, maybe as a backup or a mirror.

If this is possible, you guys have my email.
I tried hosting a "crack" site once, but because of the heavy downloads (zip files which can't be compressed), our server bogged down. I don't think that'll happen with HTML, will it? since HTML is basically text in format... except for the pics.
There's always Ulead's Smartsaver Pro to cut those down to size, and still maintain decent quality, eh?

Let me know.

I would pony up for a voluntary membership as well . . . I never wear t-shirts really, so that's of no concern . . . this site is one of my primary entertainment resources, I prowl it pretty much daily, and I bet that's true for a whole lot of us forumites. And personally I'd rather do that than buy a knife that I wouldn't otherwise want (until you guys offer the Sifu, at which time I'll jump up and bark!)
Spark, Mike - sounds like a serious problem. Certainly it would be a loss to lose. I may be out of line, but I believe that the forumites need to maintain their own site, one way or another. We appreciate your efforts, but losing bread on a hobby does have its limitations.

How about this one. Members pay an annual fee. ($10 would be fair) 1700 members retro gets you out of immediate trouble and gives you a lttle backup.

Each manufacturer with a forum on Bladeforums donates 10 knives of a model each month to Bladeforums.Com store. (smaller manufactuers might go fewer) A different model each month. 120 Knives per year. certainly cheaper than maintaining our own forum "chat room" site. Many of the forumites are dealers. Dealers donate 1 knife each month to the store. store posts a list each day on what is remaining with favorable prices. Part of the $ is used to place a small ad in the knife mags informing the knifenut ELU of the special deals available on store (explaining the function of the sales). This would add lurkers or members and sell knives as well.

Spyderco will begin by donating 10 Calypso jrs. (micarta) 6 plain and 4 serrated for April. Sold at half retail to the forumite ELU, these would probably sell quickly. (Danelle, you ship to Spark and maintain program). Any takers?
Sal- You're a gentleman and a scholar.
Mike K.

"You like the feel of steel
You're hot stuff with a hat pin"