Site update Forum Membership Changes - discuss here

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Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
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segue -> back on topic

..and bolstering my decision - it turns out this forum is not the first;

https://nomadlist.com/faq#free

Perspective comes from a slightly different space (founder is from the startup culture) but the sentiment is the same.

Nomadlist charges all forum/chat members $75 US per year and it's not nearly as good a 'community' as we have here (ihmo)
How long has that site been around for ?

Looks like a pretty small site based on the numbers.
https://nomadforum.io/about
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
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Like a service? Make them charge you or show you ads. If they won't do it, clone them and do it yourself. Soon you'll be the only game in town!

Because it's a work related site, it probably takes away some of the resistance to the paid model
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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I'm impressed by the rules. OTT but pretty clear on zero tolerance.

How do you like "we require everyone to use proper grammar and capitalization as it keeps this site clean. If you don't we'll remove your post."?
 
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Richard

Maintenance Dept
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How long has that site been around for ?

Looks like a pretty small site based on the numbers.
https://nomadforum.io/about

monthly visitors and page views appears to wax and wane within very similar scope to ski.com.au + forums over course of year.

Nomad List and its affiliated sites get about 100,000-500,000 unique users per month with 300,000 too 2,000,000 pageviews depending on each month.
 

Annabuzzy

That's 'ma Lord Buzzy to you
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I personally think that aside from a core of committed users (25? 50? 100?) the "friction costs" of joining when post counts hit whatever post counts hit will just drive people away. Zero disrespect intended, but web forums aren't exactly the epitome of "now" social media.

My bet would personally be on the current rusted on gen x and baby boomer members drifting away as they normally do, with departures not replaced in the same numbers by newcomers.

I'm personally not seeing what the evils of allowing advertising here, but I have zero interest in the mechanics of websites and the Internet
 
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currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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I'm personally not seeing what the evils of allowing advertising here, but I have zero interest in the mechanics of websites and the Internet
I thought @Richard had said that no matter how intrusive the ads and tracking, it would still not pay the bills.

And it would alienate some members more than paid subscriptions
 

Doonks

Let's cook!
Moderator
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and I guess I can afford it so why not
I defy anyone with a monthly Internet account to convince me they "can't afford" an average of less than $3.00 per month. Choosing to spend your money elsewhere is not the same thing and not being able to afford it. There's nothing wrong with choosing to spend your money elsewhere
 

LMB

Old but definitely not Crusty!
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Have we got the gift memberships up and running yet?
 

cold wombat

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I defy anyone with a monthly Internet account to convince me they "can't afford" an average of less than $3.00 per month. Choosing to spend your money elsewhere is not the same thing and not being able to afford it

Don't kid yourself. I know people that go without credit on their pre-paid phones and put $10 worth of petrol in their tanks to get to work.

OK, so they'll never go skiing, but $3/month on a luxury is still a hell of a lot to some people. That certainty isn't even close to the norm here but there are well and truly enough here that don't have any choice but to keep a very tight reign on their spending.
 

piolet

Better make it three
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Don't kid yourself. I know people that go without credit on their pre-paid phones and put $10 worth of petrol in their tanks to get to work.

OK, so they'll never go skiing, but $3/month on a luxury is still a hell of a lot to some people. That certainty isn't even close to the norm here but there are well and truly enough here that don't have any choice but to keep a very tight reign on their spending.
Yeah do these folk have a $50/m internet connection? That's his point I think
 
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Doonks

Let's cook!
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Don't kid yourself. I know people that go without credit on their pre-paid phones and put $10 worth of petrol in their tanks to get to work.

OK, so they'll never go skiing, but $3/month on a luxury is still a hell of a lot to some people. That certainty isn't even close to the norm here but there are well and truly enough here that don't have any choice but to keep a very tight reign on their spending.
Yeah do these folk have a $50/m internet connection? That's his point I think
This
 

Ian D

Pool Room
Staff member
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Try not having that when you have kids at school. Not a luxury. Personal mobile phones go long before that does.
They have 2 options open to them (3 actually)

1) Register a FREE email address, gmail, hotmail etc etc when they hit the limit, re-register and continue to post for FREE

2) Send Richard or myself a "please, please, please, I am really hard up at the moment" PM, don't need your bank details but if you are that attached to your nic here and you really can't cope then we would consider, most likely favourably, your appeal.

3) Stop posting.

We are not banning anyone for not paying, just nics. We have even openly published ways around it..
 

Richard

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I personally think that aside from a core of committed users (25? 50? 100?) the "friction costs" of joining when post counts hit whatever post counts hit will just drive people away. Zero disrespect intended, but web forums aren't exactly the epitome of "now" social media.

My bet would personally be on the current rusted on gen x and baby boomer members drifting away as they normally do, with departures not replaced in the same numbers by newcomers.

I'm personally not seeing what the evils of allowing advertising here, but I have zero interest in the mechanics of websites and the Internet

Accurate assessment of the potential pitfalls.

(25? 50? 100?)
175 & counting. My calcs are approx 500~600 'core committed' That's a community of itself that will burn for a few more years at least.

the "friction costs" of joining when post counts hit whatever post counts will just drive people away
Our bet is that the friction is less than the habit/investment in community. But it certainly will happen that some will drift away and some will rebirth. Those that drift.. Ce la vie. At the moment some drift anyway and we don't have a business model. Game theory says this is worth the risk.

web forums aren't exactly the epitome of "now" social media
Yes, this the biggest challenge.

The biggest advantage forums have is that they are still the best 'catchment' of knowledge by 'fans'.

So swim with the tide - rather than keep a forum as an island we can hook it into the modern social tools. We have a long way to go yet but two indications of this direction is the media pack add-on that allows native posting from 50 plus social media platforms and opening up image upload so it is a easy as possible for every single member (ie is at least a similar experience as any other modern global social media platform).

Also, with enough momentum we may get to the place where we can afford to offer an app like Bigfooty does.

current rusted on gen x and baby boomer members drifting away as they normally do, with departures not replaced in the same numbers by newcomers
Another very real possibility.

Hence the fee tier being orientated to the longest serving members. They 'need' the forums to continue more than some new random newbie, so they fund the renovations. Hopefully we attract some new blood that sticks around. (inspiration to invest all this energy has been the steady flow of new registrations the last year - there is still something very much worthwhile here).

I'm personally not seeing what the evils of allowing advertising here
Advertising has always been here, however, in the past we took a stand to protect the privacy of members as much as was practical. It cost us and was not appreciated by most (cost approx 40% yield on standard banners - ie CPM of $0.90 instead of $1.50).

So I've reversed that. Floodgates of data stealing beacons is now wide open. Outbrain is coming to the end of threads soon. Facebook ads will be injected into the middle of threads. It will still be a max of 3 or 4 adslots per page but they will be tweaked to generate maximum yield. Of course, gold members, like currently, won't see a single ad nor be hit by a single tracking beacon (except site analytics).

However, opening the floodgates still wont pay the bills, the above changes will just stem the tide for another year or so. Advertising on UGC like forums will never ever ever be anything except programmatic scraps. The flow of ad dollars has moved irreversibly away from www and toward mobile apps.

I have zero interest in the mechanics of websites and the Internet
Yep, nor should you, and we have to work with that. But this change is the biggest change ever to these forums and it needs to be explained completely - and this thread is absolutely essential in getting from A to B

Unlike Nomadlist, which started with a fee-based product we have to transition on the back of being 100% free for twenty years. In six or twelve months time it will be the new normal and all that will be required to set expectations for newbies is a FAQ explainer like Nomadlist.
 

cold wombat

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They have 2 options open to them (3 actually)

1) Register a FREE email address, gmail, hotmail etc etc when they hit the limit, re-register and continue to post for FREE

2) Send Richard or myself a "please, please, please, I am really hard up at the moment" PM, don't need your bank details but if you are that attached to your nic here and you really can't cope then we would consider, most likely favourably, your appeal.

3) Stop posting.

We are not banning anyone for not paying, just nics. We have even openly published ways around it..

Sure. Its a solvable problem. I'm just arguing against the proposition that its not a problem at all (for some).
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
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Sure. Its a solvable problem. I'm just arguing against the proposition that its not a problem at all (for some).

Yes, agree,

fortunately though, us Admins have a more centered ideology that can and will provide a fair and equitable CSR approach to individual cases on their merits and out of the spotlight.
 
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Scooter

One of Us
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Mar 1, 2001
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Now that will make people cough up.....

Or.............just make them say F IT - and not bother!!

I know in my travels I often stumble upon content that I am interested in but if the user experience is poor or it is in your face with crap then that's exactly what I do - say F this!! and move on. Lets face it - when you are talking content you are likely to be able to find the same stuff across numerous sites in numerous forms etc.

I am not sure taking the path of opening the flood gates and throwing this that and the other at "unpaid" members is the right way to maintain or build the community (is that even an aim?). I see it as effectively carrot and stick - carrot being paid up delivers better (or at least less annoying) user experience and stick being the opposite. I could go and quote a few comments you have made @Richard (but as I have just spent 5 mins trying to find a specific quote and failed I am done) but that was my read of it - rightly or wrongly.

For the record the quote I was looking for was something along the lines of it not being free to do or discuss x/y and z and I remembered thinking at the time "well it is" because you could just do it on facebook or Whirlpool etc.
 

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
15,496
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Now that will make people cough up.....
Or make people just use an ad blocker. At the moment I don't use one but if the ads become too annoying I will.

Some websites I don't bother using because the ads/video ads are over the top, so I go to alternate sites.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
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Flood gates are open across the web - every single site you visit. Every single one of them.

Us not having the gates open is/was silly and saved no one from nothing.

I'm not going to change the UX such that it is worse than before - we have three adslots, always have. I'm just going to maximise the yield from the three adslots we got. It won't effect UX.

Outbrain is the better of the recommendation engines and no less intrusive than a regular display ad. Plus (from reports) it's not a bad earn. It's certainly not harming Bigfooty in anyway.
 

XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
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Berlin
Can a Season Pass Gold member opt in to seeing the ads?

Am I the only person who doesn't have too much of an issue with online ads? As long as they're tailored to my interests, recent searches I've done and sites I've viewed, I'm happy to be advertised to so long as it isn't intrusive. Don't like popups, popovers or anything that can't be easily ignored.

I do use Ad Block in chrome, but I set exceptions for sites that I want to support and sites where the ads are often of interest
 
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Billy_Buttons

Part of the Furniture
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I permanently use Adblock Edge. Just as I have a No Junk Mail plastered on my letter box at the end of the driveway and a Junk Mail Box on my email. Unsubscribe to every site. And, Do Not Knock on front door. Piss Off is my favourite saying, everyday. :emoji_biohazard:
 

cold wombat

Twitter Contributer
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Can a Season Pass Gold member opt in to seeing the ads?

Am I the only person who doesn't have too much of an issue with online ads? As long as they're tailored to my interests, recent searches I've done and sites I've viewed, I'm happy to be advertised to so long as it isn't intrusive. Don't like popups, popovers or anything that can't be easily ignored.

I do use Ad Block in chrome, but I set exceptions for sites that I want to support and sites where the ads are often of interest

You just sent Richard into a tailspin.
 
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D-eye

Photographer and skier
Moderator
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deyephotography.com
Can a Season Pass Gold member opt in to seeing the ads?

Am I the only person who doesn't have too much of an issue with online ads? As long as they're tailored to my interests, recent searches I've done and sites I've viewed, I'm happy to be advertised to so long as it isn't intrusive. Don't like popups, popovers or anything that can't be easily ignored.

I do use Ad Block in chrome, but I set exceptions for sites that I want to support and sites where the ads are often of interest
depends, do you like driveby malware on your computer? (not saying that the ads here do that, but there are definitely ads elsewhere that do.)
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
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Can a Season Pass Gold member opt in to seeing the ads?

Am I the only person who doesn't have too much of an issue with online ads? As long as they're tailored to my interests, recent searches I've done and sites I've viewed, I'm happy to be advertised to so long as it isn't intrusive. Don't like popups, popovers or anything that can't be easily ignored.

I do use Ad Block in chrome, but I set exceptions for sites that I want to support and sites where the ads are often of interest

You must be in advertising!

The forum pages load sooooo much faster without ads.

To answer your question; technically yes, but not sure if worth creating for only one member. Anon membership only sold 12 over two years and it was a better proposition.
 
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XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jul 9, 2000
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Yeah don't get me wrong, I love Ad Block because the whole browser runs quicker.

I can't remember the page load time pre paying for membership. I'm fairly certain I had this site set as an exception in Ad Block. I've just tested in incognito mode and the load time was pretty much instantaneous even with ads. A tactical flashlight has piqued my interest!
 

XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
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and yes I was a Madman some years back but my comments above don't have much to do with that. I just find ads interesting and I enjoy seeing new products and services competing for my attention. The problem for the advertiser is that if they catch my attention, it might sometimes result in me purchasing their product but 9.5 times out of 10 it won't be them who I buy it from. The ad will be the start of an online search. The last 10 mins is a case in point. I saw a tactical flashlight. It looked cool. I closed down the incognuito window to post back in here. I then wanted to refresh my memory as to the name of the product and it took me a few mins of trial and error to find it. All I remembered was "tactical flashlight". I tried Braveray and various other plays on the word bravery before finally a google result reminded me that it was Blazeray. That's still the beginning of the purchase process. I'll look at Amazon. See if I can pick up something similar for 1/5 of the price, read some reviews etc...
 

Born2ski

Part of the Furniture
Aug 29, 2006
15,496
5,182
813
Brisbane
Can a Season Pass Gold member opt in to seeing the ads?

Am I the only person who doesn't have too much of an issue with online ads? As long as they're tailored to my interests, recent searches I've done and sites I've viewed, I'm happy to be advertised to so long as it isn't intrusive. Don't like popups, popovers or anything that can't be easily ignored.

I agree. While I don't like the popups or video ads I've actually clicked on a number of banner ads here lately that have lead me to new sites that I would never have discovered without them.
 

Richard

Maintenance Dept
Administrator
Mar 14, 1995
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I've just tested in incognito mode and the load time was pretty much instantaneous even with ads.

Cool, I actually put in effort to get ads to load as fast as possible and not delay the overall experience, it's pretty good on desktop, it's mobile that still hurts and removing has the biggest impact, especially pre iphone6/Galaxy6 that don't have super fast CPUs.
 

XTREMO

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jul 9, 2000
27,951
13,490
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Berlin
Before you know it you'll have a Vansky 700 on order.

Sorry. Can't stop saying Vansky. It sounds like a cross between Vandalay Industries and the Pensky file. I was a Seinfeld fan.
 
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