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View Poll Results: Please read my post below, then vote on which option you support:
Shutdown the forum (ultimately, the last resort) 20 10.99%
Charge a mandatory $1.50-2.00 (suggested) per month/per member 22 12.09%
Have both free and 'Premium' memberships (detailed below) 140 76.92%
Voters: 182. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:24 PM   #1
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Important: Free, Fee, or Gone --- Feedback!

As many of you know, there have been and currently are issues dealing with the financial support of this site/forum. I am no longer able to give as much of my free time to the site, nor am I willing to spend anymore out of pocket money on it. While I have no wish to shut it down, I have attempted to find sources of money for the site by both taking donations and having affiliate links - both of these have proven unsuccessful for the long term. Over the last 6 years, I've spent enough money on the site to equal a VERY nice/large downpayment on a house here, in Southern California. Let's face it, the forum is growing, and personally I don't want the constant stress of worrying about how it will be paid for on a month to month basis, without it being paid for by myself. There is no such thing as a free ride, someone has to pay for all the bandwidth and servers.

I see three options:

1) Shutdown the forum (ultimately, the last resort)

2) Charge a mandatory $1.50-2.00 (suggested) per month/per member

3) Have both free and 'Premium' memberships (detailed below):


Quote:
These are suggested 'Premium Member' fees (they are not final yet):
$1.50 for one month
$6 for six months
$10 for a year

-------------------
'Premium Member' benefits (things MAY be added to this list)
(FREE members will not have these features)
-------------------

User Status: Premium Member
*(will link to information page about Premium Memberships, stating the 'this member' supports the site)

Can view members info: Yes

Can download attachments: Yes

Can Search: Yes

Can use 'email to friend' feature: Yes

Can post attachments: Yes

Can post polls: Yes

Can use Private Messaging: Yes

Can use Message Tracking: Yes

Can View Who's Online: Yes
Of course, the success of opiton 2 or 3 depends on the amount of people that participate. I am aware that some users may turn their heads at any or all of the above, but something has to give.

I really don't want to charge fellow U2 fans for this place, but unless someone kicks in some stable funding for the community, I see no other way. Some people have asked 'wont the band pay for it?' or 'wont the record label pay for it?', well honestly, I see this as a futile path, I've let the contacts I have know my position in recent months, and I have not heard a peep from anyone on the topic - not even a comment like "Sorry, we can't help".

Please vote in the poll, and let your comments be heard.

Joel
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:50 PM   #2
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I just voted for the Premium Service option.
As someone who has donated multiple times, I would actually rather just pay monthly....
Could it be set up to automatically deduct from a credit card? That would be great.

I don't want to see this place shut down.

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Old 10-29-2002, 03:51 PM   #3
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oops I voted for manadatory but actually think you should have both free and premium but the Free should be View Only.

I know I havent posted in a while but I've been elsewhere on the net and in real life (I workout 4 x a week now its insane). Just been busy with all sorts of things, few of them U2 related.

If you want to post you have to pay $1.50 or whatever a month. I like the $6 memebership idea I'm a member of uh em some other pay sites where I am billed quarterly or monthly alot more than this ($1.50-$2) and now that I'm working I can afford it. And we've all heard the starving college student excuse but come on, you drink $6 in a weekend, $6 for 6 months is a great price. I lvoe that $2 a month or $6 semi-annual membership, which will it be? Yeah I hate the idea of paying but I have worked in internet industry and I know that alot of stuff is not free anymore, it's harder to run a site (I pay $25 a month to keep the 3 sites I have up and they get nowhere near the traffic this place does).

Sometimes, you just got to pay.
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Old 10-29-2002, 04:44 PM   #4
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I voted for premium membership....10 bucks a year is not a bad thing.
However membership only is a good thing too....we have "over 11,000" members but there is only a core of about 100 or so that actually post on a regular basis.

I this place too much to lose it
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Old 10-29-2002, 05:08 PM   #5
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Joel,

The cost options you've listed are more than reasonable, and anyone could afford them. Do what it takes to keep this place going. Most of the 11,000+ members don't post anyway, so they won't miss it.

Martha
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:30 PM   #6
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i can't believe anyone would vote to shut the forum down...

anyway, i voted for the premium option, but either that or the monthly fee would be fine with me.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:32 PM   #7
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I voted to shut down, here's why...

As much as I do enjoy reading posts here, I voted to shut it down. I will explain why. Earlier this year I went through the same crisis on another board I visited regularly, this time it was very passionate sports fans. When the same financial crisis hit, the list owner went pay-for-read and pay-for-post. No matter how "reasonable" the fees seem to some, they aren't to all; not everyone felt like paying anything for the old site, most just went and found other (read: free) places to post on the same subject, we all emigrated there and the pay list ended up with about 30 people out of 2000, none of whom are thrilled that the action they paid up for is gone. Unless a majority of the people who post stay here, "it just won't be the same"...trust me.

While I appreciate what Elvis has done here, his post sounds like he won't be around as much to keep this the success that it is, so if it's going to change fundamentally in addition to becoming a pay site, I'd rather euthanize it now and go out in a blaze of glory.

That's just my experience and my opinion, for what it's worth.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:39 PM   #8
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Premium is good, but I don't think stuff like the ability to post polls and see if others are online should cost money. If it did, it would just discourage newcomers from posting here. I think a good idea for a Premium Membership would be possibly to allow people to use Sicy's ftp. Not sure what she'd think of the issue and such, but I'm sure there'd be lots that would fork the dough over for easy access to U2 concerts and such

Another part of the premium membership could obviously be the @interference.com e-mail addresses and such.

Finally, my third suggestion would be some sort of secret password access site with stuff like rare photos and U2 tabs and such. It's features such as these that could probably keep the site aloft.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:39 PM   #9
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Re: I voted to shut down, here's why...

Quote:
Originally posted by amybatt
As No matter how "reasonable" the fees seem to some, they aren't to all; not everyone felt like paying anything for the old site, most just went and found other (read: free) places to post on the same subject, we all emigrated there and the pay list ended up with about 30 people out of 2000, none of whom are thrilled that the action they paid up for is gone. Unless a majority of the people who post stay here, "it just won't be the same"...trust me.

I agree (posted in other thread, but oh well am gonna in this one too)
I think some other things can happen before it gets to be a question of paying like -
getting rid of some of the thousands of users who don't do anything, not keep such a huge back log, eliminating the ability to put pictures in signatures, lowering size of avatars, getting rid of the "attach picture" option, getting ppl to upload the things they want to post to a free uploading site such as boomspeed, really would save on the bandwidth here.

These are things that were done to other vBulletin sites I have had experience with and it cuts down a huge amount.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigMacPhisto
Premium is good, but I don't think stuff like the ability to post polls and see if others are online should cost money. If it did, it would just discourage newcomers from posting here.
this is just my opinion of course, but there are several sites that already do offer special priviledges to paying members. i don't think it's a bad thing. this way, if (for example, as we have some younger fans here), a 14 year old member here doesn't have a job and probably can't use a credit card, so it wouldn't be fair to cut them off from posting here.

the only problem (again, this is only my opinion, elvis may think your idea is great) is that it involves adding more options for premium members. i know things like posting attachments and such can take up a lot of bandwidth, which is why many forums only give priviledges to paying members.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:47 PM   #11
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hmmmmm..........$5,000 needed per year............$10 per premium member............that would mean 500 members would need to become premium members. I don't even think there's 200 continually posting members here as it is.........I guess if donations continued to trickle in, maybe............


I know this may sound a bit hard to swallow, people, but I think this site might be well off if it had some sort of ad support behind it. A few sponsors perhaps, or maybe even moving the site to a free message board server if any exist. Things obviously wouldn't be as good as they are now, BUT the site would still be around with most of its members, which is what matters the most.
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigMacPhisto
I know this may sound a bit hard to swallow, people, but I think this site might be well off if it had some sort of ad support behind it.
this would be a good idea, imo. some choice advertising placed according to demographics. another forum i go to just has a couple small banners at the top of the page. one of the ones is comedy central, who's advertising south park. maybe if some music sites or something were to advertise here or something, it could be a good thing. especially if they required on people viewing their site or something, i wouldn't mind clicking on and visiting a couple sites if it meant the site would be able to stay up longer.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes

this would be a good idea, imo. some choice advertising placed according to demographics. another forum i go to just has a couple small banners at the top of the page. one of the ones is comedy central, who's advertising south park. maybe if some music sites or something were to advertise here or something, it could be a good thing. especially if they required on people viewing their site or something, i wouldn't mind clicking on and visiting a couple sites if it meant the site would be able to stay up longer.
Unfortunately, the banner ad market collapsed sometime ago.... it is no longer effective as a means for a large site like this to support itself. I've worked in the 'net industry now for 8 yrs... I'm very aware of the options, where and how the bandwidth is used, and exactly how many active lurkers and posters there are here. The (3) options I've stated are direct, with direct results... I've explored other options, and have determined they are not viable (atleast at this time).

Joel
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:43 PM   #14
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How about "trimming the fat" in a sense....condense similar, smaller forums together (i.e. Gatherings and Discotheque).
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by daisybean
How about "trimming the fat" in a sense....condense similar, smaller forums together (i.e. Gatherings and Discotheque).
This would accomplish nothing... atleast nothing that would solve any problems.

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Old 10-29-2002, 08:39 PM   #16
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why don't you ask u2 to sponsor this site.

it's better than u2.com anyway.
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Old 10-29-2002, 09:05 PM   #17
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i voted for the membership fees. i'll pay $10.00 a year. i love this place.
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Old 10-29-2002, 09:14 PM   #18
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I like the premium thing...
I certainly can give $10 a year, no problem.
*loves this place*
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Old 10-29-2002, 09:49 PM   #19
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I voted for premium and free (view only). You can get alot of news here, before @U2 has it.

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Old 10-29-2002, 10:04 PM   #20
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I hate to see it come to this
I went w #3

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