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Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Richard, Sep 22, 2016.
See announcement here:
Sounds reasonable to me, there's plenty on incentives and no real alternative platforms/mediums . I can't comment on any of the tech stuff as it's not my area of expertise but I hope the transition works well for the overlords and the serfs.
Seems like I wont make the two decades on the forum....
First up, i am very happy to pay my $33 per year.
Secondly I absolutely support your decision to improve the financial base of the forums
2 comments about your specific proposals:
You said that ~40% of members with over 5000 posts already subscribe.That implies that more than half have resisted your invitation to subscribe. If a significant number decide not to pay now, that could have a significant impact on the vibrancy of the forums
I think you should consider some honorary memberships for long term members with over 5000 posts who don't post much any more. I don't think they stood be discouraged from dropping in occasionally
But overall I think it's a fair proposal and hope it makes the forums more financially viable
(But wordpress? Really?)
Just re-register. It's not discouraged. At your post rate it would be every couple of years.
Well it's disappointing that you Louie are the first to announce that $33 per annum either hurts your pocket - or - you conscientiously object to fee-based online services.
But there you have it.
I'm completely expecting some people to have this kind of response and whilst disappointing - it's how it is.
You, of all members, completely understands what's going on with online trends - these forums, this audience, this content - it does not scale to what is now required to enable a 100% advertising supported model.
Discussion NOT criticism!!
Costs and maintenance aside, the question I often ponder about online communities, is who do they belong to?
Really, without "our" posts and "our" media, the forum would not exist in any meaningful way, we the users are essentially a free resource through which the forum "owner" or admin, are potentially able to derive an income.
How do sites like whirlpool etc survive? IDK
Sailing Anarchy does a very good job of driving revenue from what is a very unique, but similar user profile to ski.com users. In fact the site owners do reasonably well by all accounts, BUT it is a worldwide community. i.e.: better numbers for the advertisers.
I don't believe there are a whole lot of examples of successful user pay forums around. I would imagine that in the longer term people will drift away, less will be posted, the value of a visit will become less and less. And or we will see the advent of usernames appended with a number?
Good luck, and all power to you, if you can make a go of it though.
Cheers Nidecker1 (or is it 2?)
Seems fair enough to me.
When I was a member of Larry Lewis's Prophet BBS in the late 80s and early 90s I was more than happy to kick the tin when he put out an appeal for contributions.
As I'm already subscribing it looks like all upside for me.
I'm not going anywhere because, really, who else would have me?
This is a very real thing and has been given thought. We will introduce 'gift' memberships (like reddit) plus there will be some sort of incentive for occasional members who hit the numbers to remain. Technically I'm not sure how to make it work (yet) but *not* throwing baby out with bathwater is an objective.
Re OP, fair enough. No different than a shop choosing not to offer a product. It's your shop you decide what your business is.
Being a small business owner I gave up worrying about what other people thought my business was years ago. Hell if you can't sell a good pie and keep everyone happy, you certainly can't run an online discussion forum and keep everyone happy.
P.s. I'm happy, just don't ask me to make you a gluten free pie, cause that may change things.
Any decision yet on my suggestion for personal ads/singles meetup?
Seems a bit strange the more you post, and the more you contribute, the more it costs you. Is that an incentive for the guys who post up all the informative posts (like in travel threads and weather) to continue to share their information/experiences? I dunno, as a guy with around 60k posts, some of them informative, I feel a little bummed some dude can come on and read all of my information for nothing while I am paying to provide that information. There's plenty of people in the Japan threads for example that come on as newbies and the long-time posters give them buckets of information, basically organise their trips for them, and they are the ones who will pay for it? Hmm.
Will have to think about it. I do see value in the forums and the price isn't an object.
However I do object to paying for a service that permits certain types of behavior. The forum has a way to go to addressing the random and unprovoked attacks that have seen a number of my favorite posters disappear over the years. I'm talking about things that have gone way beyond a loss of temper in the discussion of a subject and resulted in name calling.
I expect the usual barrage of comments, not interested in discussing however.
Yes, it's scale. Whirlpool has both the numbers plus substantial philanthropic support (basically gets all its' hosting and all it's tech needs for free).
Pay $33 a year or @JoeKing gets your personal details, memberships to soar!
Now yer talkin'!
It's a upside down way of looking at it.
However, conversely you (figuratively you, as representative of the 1% of top posters) also expect this resource to be here every five minutes of your waking day - and you expect it to not only be good - but you also want it to be better, better emojis, better moderation (@filski), secure login - etc etc. Someone has to resource this, may as well be those with the highest expectations.
The problem is that the people with very low or no posts wont pay, start charging people to ask a question and it would be good night to the ski.com.au forums. It doesn't seem fair but I'm not sure there is any other option (Other then not charging).
Wow! I thought you were going to start paying me for my incisive comments and contributions!
People will be able to ask 1000 free questions, quit, then ask another 1000 free questions
I'm down for $11. Funny how we're so conditioned to free online services, we'll spend that much on coffee and brekky without even thinking, but for an app or a website account it's ooh ahh I don't know about that. 33 bucks? Well I'll cross that bridge when I get to 3k posts.
This is a really good point. I think it's fair to expect strong and consistent moderation from a paid for website.
One of the other sites I spend too much time on, Metafilter, has a 5 buck sign up fee, this is firstly to turn away trolls, and secondly to pay professional moderators.
I do - but I just don't pay for anything on the interwebs of this nature. While I have been around for a while the concept of paid access just doesn't work with me - not because I cant afford it just because it is something that doesn't resonate with me. I also feel it may alter the dynamics of the interactions on the forum.
I get that you need to make money but to be honest after 2+ decades on the coal face of technology I can't see a business model that could work in monetizing the types of interactions on this site. I wish you luck in your attempts to do so though.
There are plenty of tech product forums where you can read for free but have to subscribe to post. I can see parallels with the travel forums here. If people want good advice on ski holidays they may well be prepared to pay a small subscription.
Not particularly advocating that, just looking at the logic
So I have 4,907 posts according to my profile, I will pay $11p/a, and then when I hit 5,000 $33p/a. But if you are a new member you are free til your #1,000 post - am I reading this right?
Yep, same here, who doesn't drop that kind of sum on a whim once a week or so? Plus $4 coffee.. like how many times a week does that happen??
Anyone who participates in snow sport and objects to max $33 per annum??... well... what can you say - there you have it.
To be fare, I think they just want to cover costs, aside from that, I am very aligned with your way of thinking. I am a little surprised that a company like Vail wouldn't just offer to host and cover costs, but that side of the web is not something I'm familiar with.
But this forum is full of people whinging that they pay $33 more for something in a bricks & mortar shop in this country than they do when they order something off the internet when it's on sale because it's the opposite season in the northern hemisphere. They would have you believe that anything in Australia is a "rip off" (their words).
$33.00, small price to pay. That amount wont get you 3 beers in Zirkys.
For the amount of time I spend on here $33 is decent value. I'd pay it.
My employer might be happier if I didn;t though.
yep, roughly right
Those under 1000 posts are gunna be pimped like never before. All the privacy dialing down we have done the last few years is gunna be thrown open.
Oh, and if you are thinking you will use an adblocker whilst logged-in. That ain't cool and its gunna be in my sights. I'm all for adblockers personally, and I'm all for publishers who block the adblockers too unless they whitelist.
So MS couldn't have posted that he was alive and well unless he paid $33?
Yeah for sure, but I think the type of questions and answers are a bit different as well as the participants too, it wouldn't work the same here.
All as I am stating is that the site would die a very quick death if it tried a charge to post model for new\all users. That's not what is happening so its not something to be concerned about.
We know they are on to something when @Richard starts auctioning off moderator status.
I'll reserve you Louie1, and should we ever meet, it will be your shout first.
My issue is not with paying $33/pa. It's nothing I cant even get in the gate at Buller for that much. My issue is that the people with the knowledge are being charged while the people who digest and use that knowledge get to do so for free. There's probably a reason why they charge the students and pay the teacher in a classroom.
That is a fallacious argument. Linking what I pay for snowsports to what I access on the internet is not logical.
What Louie said about the concept of paid access on the internet / and the contribution aspect by forum members are more what are going to provide the aggravation.
Like all commercial transactions, it will come down to perceived value.
It's a no-brainer.
This last 18 months I'm seeing first hand, what it can do, how robust it is, how flexible it is, how mature it is and how low-cost development on it can be. Nothing else comes close, we have been on MODx for ten years now, it's brilliant, but there is no membership bridge with Xenforo and it's too expensive to custom develop for.
Yeeeaaahhhhhhh, I'm out.
Just to add, I fully support the Admins in this move. No argument that it's needed to ensure the forums move forwards. $33 is nothing for a year on here, compared to the satisfaction you get from a single lunch on snow.
Some of the details need to be worked out, which is being discussed above.
I get where you are coming from, but in my experience I found this site looking for an answer to a question, which I found without joining, just reading, a year or so past and i finally had a question I couldn't find already answered so I joined and asked it. Regardless though I kept watching the site even when i had no questions and just started posting to join in other discussions.
That initial period I could have happily never seen the site again, so if asked for money then I would have walked. The only 2 new members I have seen hit the ground running were @Astro66 and @Edgecrusher everyone else is a little hesitant at first, scaring new members away is hardly a business model.
I have less than 3000 posts in 6 years and I don't think even 10% of those are either providing useful information or requesting it. If someone has amassed over 5000 posts surely the main reason they are doing this is for their own enjoyment, don't get me wrong this can include helping people, I quite enjoy being able to answer people's questions from time to time.
at around $0.63 per week, the value proposition seems pretty clear
I'll reserve you Vermillion1.
Once we are on Wordpress, there will be different incentives for members who contribute meaningfully with their ski travel knowledge. All is not revealed because the road ahead is long.
So what you guys are saying, is that the ferraris and choppers you get about in, are NOT paid for by advertising that is attracted to this site via the bearpit?
I dont believe it!
At least I know that for my $33 I can get @JoeKing to talk dirty to me. The only reason I didnt sign up to the season pass straight up, was because I was blocked by a paypal issue from a former employee, so had to wait until I got a new credit card that wasnt linked to my email which was linked to my employees paypal account that was probably linked to a Nigerian fortune. Fark I hate computers sometimes!
I feel this will dramatically change the face of this forum. If you have to pay the more you post then many of the non ski related areas will die first - bear pit, culture vulture, tech threads, sports bar. Only die hard members will post in those.
I think it will become a much smaller place over time.
Bingo, the site is entertainment for many and clearly primarily a form of entertainment for those with 5000+ posts.
We have payments by Stripe now (about 6 weeks) - it's fantastically simple compared to PayPal.