Site update Forum Membership Changes - discuss here

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Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Sep 29, 2010
12,064
8,263
813
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.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
41,285
32,410
1,563
Kiewa Valley
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?)
 
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Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
:(

Bye

Seems like I wont make the two decades on the forum....

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.
 

Nidecker

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 5, 2009
4,823
8,327
363
Alpine the dark side of snowboarding
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?)
 

Marty McSly

A brick propping up the furniture
Ski Pass
Jul 12, 2011
11,757
1
16,952
863
Hunter Valley Whine Country, NSW
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.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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

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.
 

MarkGC

One of Youse
Ski Pass
Jul 28, 2010
3,235
1,990
363
Northern NSW
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. ;)
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Nov 13, 2005
74,329
29,673
1,563
120
Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
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.
 

filski

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Mar 14, 2011
41,775
25,426
1,563
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.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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.

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).
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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.

Yep,

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.
 

Balsta

One of Us
Ski Pass
Sep 11, 2012
903
2,417
263
Seems a bit strange the more you post, and the more you contribute, the more it costs you.

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).
 

Untele-whippet

beard stroker
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 2006
19,117
40,348
813
59
Blue Mtns, 1100M.
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).
People will be able to ask 1000 free questions, quit, then ask another 1000 free questions
 

sbm

One of Us
Aug 2, 2010
3,064
3,373
363
Sydney
huckanddyno.wordpress.com
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.

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.

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.
 

Louie

A Local
Jul 26, 1999
9,118
1,536
563
NSW
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 many to have this kind of response and whilst disappointing - it's simply too bad.

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.
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.
 

crackson

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Oct 20, 2006
12,234
12,175
813
51
Snowy Mountains
Any decision yet on my suggestion for personal ads/singles meetup?

:out:


I-Will-Keep-An-Eye-On-You-Weird-And-Ugly-Girl.jpg
 
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currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
41,285
32,410
1,563
Kiewa Valley
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).
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
 

Belly

A Local
Ski Pass
Oct 22, 2003
9,889
6,487
563
45
South Coast NSW
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?
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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?

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.
 

Nidecker

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 5, 2009
4,823
8,327
363
Alpine the dark side of snowboarding
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.

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.
 
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teckel

"I'm not a cat"
Ski Pass
Oct 16, 2004
50,247
23,917
1,515
Narbethong, Vic
www.mysticmountainsskihire.com.au
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).
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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, 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.
 
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Balsta

One of Us
Ski Pass
Sep 11, 2012
903
2,417
263
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

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.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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.

I'll reserve you Louie1, and should we ever meet, it will be your shout first.
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Nov 13, 2005
74,329
29,673
1,563
120
Cranhole, Melbourne, VIC
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.
 

Nidecker

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 5, 2009
4,823
8,327
363
Alpine the dark side of snowboarding
.....................Anyone who participates in snow sport and objects to max $33 per annum??... well... what can you say - there you have it.

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.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
(But wordpress? Really?)

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.
 

filski

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Mar 14, 2011
41,775
25,426
1,563
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.
 

MarkGC

One of Youse
Ski Pass
Jul 28, 2010
3,235
1,990
363
Northern NSW
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.
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.
 
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emkae

One of Us
Ski Pass
Nov 6, 1998
4,174
7,277
363
Melbourne
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.

at around $0.63 per week, the value proposition seems pretty clear :)
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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.

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.
 

telecrag

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Oct 12, 2007
32,303
48,823
1,063
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!
 

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
15,496
5,182
813
Brisbane
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.
 
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Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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.

Bingo, the site is entertainment for many and clearly primarily a form of entertainment for those with 5000+ posts.
 
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Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
15,353
21,480
813
Newcastle
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!

We have payments by Stripe now (about 6 weeks) - it's fantastically simple compared to PayPal.
 
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