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Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

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Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

Old 09-29-02, 02:46 AM
  #1  
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Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

I know, I know, I'm beating this subject to death, but I really think we need to take a look at all the stuff going on in the forums today.

1)Create a "pay to play" atmosphere. Perhaps all the forums are accessible, except Other (but the 1st page can be viewed). The DVD forums, which apparently pay for themselves will stay the same, but in order to POST in Other, a small one time membership fee is required.

2)Create different account classes. For instance, if you use the FREE account set up. You can post/reply and do pretty much anything, except, SEARCH the forums. You disable the search function. Now, most people, if they value te forums, need to search it. So...you create a demand for that option. For a minimal fee ($5-$10 lifetime) you are able to search the Forums

3)Bring Back The Other Forum. Create a Membership Fee for the Others. Merge some of the slower "sub forums" back into Other. The membership fee should be somewhere in the range of $10 - $20 lifetime. Same deal with this, the basic membership costs x dollars, you wanna search? Pay a little more.

This seems to be the basic Something Awful forum model, so I can't claim any credit.

I ws just wondering how that sort of idea would be received here.

Also, since the Other Forum is now a pay to play atmosphere, there should be some let up on the strict "no fun" rules that have recently been laid down.

Also, any old members should be grandfathered in, and offered membership at a greatly reduced/free rate.


Any thoughts?
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Old 09-29-02, 06:11 AM
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First thoughts....

If people have to pay to search then there will be even more duplicate threads and more moderation required.

Merging in "slower" forums means the subjects discussed therein will again be lost from the front page alienating the same people that wanted them to be set up initially.

Special treatment (freebies for) older members seems elitist. What date do you use? Why are "newbies" less welcome? How would you have felt if, as a newbie, you had been expected to pay significantly more?
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Old 09-29-02, 10:35 AM
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Re: First thoughts....

Originally posted by benedict
If people have to pay to search then there will be even more duplicate threads and more moderation required.

Exactly. I would just start a new thread and let the Moderator lock it and post the link to the old thread.

Merging in "slower" forums means the subjects discussed therein will again be lost from the front page alienating the same people that wanted them to be set up initially.

Again, exactly. Killing the Music and Book forums that have at best a handful of posts a day under the guise of saving the Other. I don't see that make any difference at all.

Special treatment (freebies for) older members seems elitist. What date do you use? Why are "newbies" less welcome? How would you have felt if, as a newbie, you had been expected to pay significantly more?

No Kidding!! What drives bandwidth more; newby occasionally reading and posting or the old timer obssesive/compulsive with 7 plus posts per day that is constantly on line. If anything this is the group that you want to SOAK. Make these people pay through the nose because they are already hooked. If you let them in for free and charge new people the Other forum will become even more cliche'ish and duller than it already is.

I say let the site live or die on its own merits. If Geoff thinks $5 or $10 per person will save the site I'd do it once but I really don't think it's a long term solution. If there is no business model here to support itself then let it die. If the Other forum is truely costing more money than it makes I say shut it down. Meter Other bandwidth and each day when it reaches the point that it is costing to much money cut off access until the next day. The title says it all DVDTalk.com not What Should I Have For Lunch Today.com.
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Old 09-29-02, 12:40 PM
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<b>
Special treatment (freebies for) older members seems elitist. What date do you use? Why are "newbies" less welcome? How would you have felt if, as a newbie, you had been expected to pay significantly more? <b>

<i>No Kidding!! What drives bandwidth more; newby occasionally reading and posting or the old timer obssesive/compulsive with 7 plus posts per day that is constantly on line. If anything this is the group that you want to SOAK. Make these people pay through the nose because they are already hooked. If you let them in for free and charge new people the Other forum will become even more cliche'ish and duller than it already is.</i>

Let me address this situation.

1)Special Treatment for Older Members. Why not? They were here first, and should be allowed the benefit of the doubt. Without some of your older members, a lot of word of mouth referrals, and what not would have been lost. Whether you like to admit it or not, an internet site that doesn't have loyal members, doesn't exist

2) Why do you want to SOAK us? Because we spend a lot of time on DVDTalk? Becuase when we buy something, we try to go thru the affiliate links?

3)The Other Forum has become dull, because of the new rules and forum separation,not because of anything else.
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Old 09-29-02, 01:12 PM
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This board is DVDTalk, not OtherTalk, and while Other has become a popular board, if it's the main cost center and bandwidth sucker, it should be dropped, IMHO. No offense to anyone intended, I read it, and occasionally post in it.

I don't think a subscription model to access/post in it will work, especially if existing members get a free ride. Not many new members would subscribe; as fun and exciting as it is, Other is not unique to the internet. And, if everyone had to subscribe to it, I would bet there would be a lot less people in there, and it wouldn't be the same board that was worth subscribing to in the first place.

Also, sucking other boards into it seems pointless, and I agree that many of the posts in the likes of Book or Music would be lost in the 'My dog pooped today' threads. Paying for the search feature is also a bad idea as pointed out by Benedict.

If we're going to talk about a pay model, the best thing would be something more like sign up, get 30 days in all the forums for free, after that it's $20/year to access them at all. Even then I think it would hurt new membership and we'd lose some valuable existing and future membership, but it wouldn't be so bad.

Personally, if Geoff were to start charging for Other (at any price) that would be just 1 less forum for me to read. But, if he were to put up a page that said, "I need dough to keep this site up, please paypal $20 to this address," I would do it in a heartbeat. That kind of thing was common in the BBS days, minus the paypal thing. Geoff could even put up a 'Sponsor's Page' of members who'd donated, and as an incentive run giveaways open only to sponsors. Instead of giving away 5 copies of DVD X, give away 1 to the general public and give the other 4 away in a Sponsors drawing. I would definitely toss $20 into the ring if it increased my chances in the weekly giveaways!

If Other is the main cost center here, another option might be to host it on a smaller server with metered bandwidth. Yep, it would go slower, but it would still be there.

Last edited by renaldow; 09-29-02 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 09-29-02, 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by Thunderball
<b>
Special treatment (freebies for) older members seems elitist. What date do you use? Why are "newbies" less welcome? How would you have felt if, as a newbie, you had been expected to pay significantly more? <b>

<i>No Kidding!! What drives bandwidth more; newby occasionally reading and posting or the old timer obssesive/compulsive with 7 plus posts per day that is constantly on line. If anything this is the group that you want to SOAK. Make these people pay through the nose because they are already hooked. If you let them in for free and charge new people the Other forum will become even more cliche'ish and duller than it already is.</i>

Let me address this situation.

1)Special Treatment for Older Members. Why not? They were here first, and should be allowed the benefit of the doubt. Without some of your older members, a lot of word of mouth referrals, and what not would have been lost. Whether you like to admit it or not, an internet site that doesn't have loyal members, doesn't exist

2) Why do you want to SOAK us? Because we spend a lot of time on DVDTalk? Becuase when we buy something, we try to go thru the affiliate links?

3)The Other Forum has become dull, because of the new rules and forum separation,not because of anything else.
Uhh.....Lets put a little thought into this shall we. It seems that Geoff's main complaint is that high bandwidth is costing him more than banners and affiliate links bring in and that a bulk of this bandwidth can be traced back to Other. If it is your intent to fund this shortfall by charging members but exclude long time members I think you are missing a key point here. The long term users are the ones that are DRIVING the high bandwidth. You want to give people who are the main reason for having to charge to use the forum a free ride at the expense of those who might just have discovered the joy of Other.

As far as loyal members. If they are so loyal there shouldn't even be a discussion here. These loyal members should have long ago been holding bake sales and sending in pennies to save their home. The fact that this hasn't happened but instead you think these people instead deserve "special treatment" makes your point suspect.

Next.....
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Old 09-29-02, 01:59 PM
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Re: Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

Originally posted by Thunderball

3)Bring Back The Other Forum. Create a Membership Fee for the Others. Merge some of the slower "sub forums" back into Other. The membership fee should be somewhere in the range of $10 - $20 lifetime. Same deal with this, the basic membership costs x dollars, you wanna search? Pay a little more.
I just want to say that I'm not trying to shoot down your ideas or anything, but how many people do you think would be willing to pay? I believe it would be less than 100, but let's say it was 100. At $20 a pop for a lifetime membership, that's $2000. I believe that money would be used up in under a month. Then what?

Last edited by AndyCapps; 09-29-02 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 09-29-02, 02:06 PM
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Re: Re: Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

Originally posted by AndyCapps
I just want to say that I'm not trying to shoot down your ideas or anything, but how many people do you think would be willing to pay? I believe it would be less than 100, but let's say it was 100. At $20 a pop for a lifetime membership, that's $20,000. I believe that money would be used up in under 6 months. Then what?
Uh..how about $2,000 unless you meant 1000 people but I don't think that would be possible. I know what you are talking about though. The kind of money that could be raised would never be enough to meet any real shortfall. The only solution to this kind of problem is to cut expenses if you can't raise more revenue.
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Old 09-29-02, 02:11 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Just another thought on how you could maybe raise some cash

Originally posted by Creek Rat
Uh..how about $2,000 unless you meant 1000 people but I don't think that would be possible. I know what you are talking about though. The kind of money that could be raised would never be enough to meet any real shortfall. The only solution to this kind of problem is to cut expenses if you can't raise more revenue.
Uh, yeah, no sleep make mth 2 hrd.
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Old 09-29-02, 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by Creek Rat
Uhh.....Lets put a little thought into this shall we.

. . . .

Next.....
Let's take it easy. It's just a discussion, and there's no need to fart him off like you're doing.

To play devil's advocate, the long-term members are the ones who have built the community here. There wouldn't be an "Other" without them. Yes, there would probably be an Other Forum, but the atmosphere is there because of them.

As far as charging everyone the same rate, or charging current members less/nothing and charging newbies full price... if you start charging, it's got to start with someone. Either you charge everyone the same price, no exceptions, or you charge the newbies and give the people who established the community here a break as a "thank you" for making DVD Talk what it was. It's just two ways to do it... neither is necessarily wrong or right.
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Old 09-29-02, 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Static Cling
Let's take it easy. It's just a discussion, and there's no need to fart him off like you're doing.

To play devil's advocate, the long-term members are the ones who have built the community here. There wouldn't be an "Other" without them. Yes, there would probably be an Other Forum, but the atmosphere is there because of them.

As far as charging everyone the same rate, or charging current members less/nothing and charging newbies full price... if you start charging, it's got to start with someone. Either you charge everyone the same price, no exceptions, or you charge the newbies and give the people who established the community here a break as a "thank you" for making DVD Talk what it was. It's just two ways to do it... neither is necessarily wrong or right.
OK lets discuss the question.

The point of Mr Thunderballs original post was that perhaps one method to easy the finincial strain on Mr Kleinman was to put the Other in on a subscription to post basis. I'm all for this but I doubt the few thousand dollars it would raise would matter. The problem as I see it is in his final comment on allowing senior members free or reduced access.

The basis of my premise is that the most active posters are also the more long term posters. I feel this is generally a true statement but would stand corrected it I am shown to be in fault.

Now follow my thinking here; if the shortfall in revenue is due to high bandwidth and high bandwidth is caused by high usage why would you not want to charge the greatest users of the product at least an equal share of the costs? I believe that a new, casual browser with an average .5 posts per day would think twice before paying a subscription to cover costs for forum that they obviously don't get a lot of use out of. Especially if they find out that an "old timer" with average 21 posts per day can get the same access without paying for their share of the costs.

As you say there is more than one way to implement this plan but I don't think any of them this short term will work. The fact that long term members have built a "community" means to me that they have a greater not lesser responsibility to support this community. Ten dollars is chump change, I would pay that in a heart beat if I thought it would get rid of this problem but I can't see it doing anything other than delay them for a month or two. Meter Other bandwidth and kill it daily when it no longer supports itself. That would fix the money problem immediatly and help move people onto other sites that can support themselves. That's another way to solve the problem.
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Old 09-30-02, 12:11 AM
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Request for this to be locked.
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Old 09-30-02, 02:29 AM
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Okily dokily.
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Old 09-30-02, 11:52 AM
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The bandwidth is not really coming from the people posting, well not directly. A lot of bandwidth is used when someone opens a thread. All the small image files, code, and text is transferred, which is bandwidth. If someone opens a thread, types a response and hits submit, that is a certain amount of data. But then for every person that posts, there are 80 page views, that is where the bandwidth is.
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