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Infrastructure Geek
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  Reply # 354299 21-Jul-2010 02:29
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if the blog hosting feature could support domain names - myblog.mydomain.com - as well as geekzone.co.nz/myblog then that might be a good reason to subscribe.

subscribing to get an ad free experience doesnt really add up. i dont block them, and they dont bother me. i might even click on one every once in a while.

i'm a member/contributor on a few community sites and paying for membership certainly isnt the norm.




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  Reply # 354307 21-Jul-2010 07:17
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I don't see the need to have a subscription service.

Private forums defeat the purpose of a publicly accessable discussion medium which is this forums main attraction.

Financial position ...
Geekzone has advertising which should be sufficient revenue to cover costs, or am I mistaken?

Additional services would also not be attractive, I believe a subscriber model for any low cost service(no paid staff) is fundamentally flawed. I'consider other ways to garner money, perhaps from your expertise in a paid for service using the forums for advertising.

If you have a real difficuilty funding it drop me a pm please.

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  Reply # 354321 21-Jul-2010 08:08
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Thanx for posting this thread. It reminded me to do something that I have put off over the past few weeks due to house moving. Have subscribed now and quite a difference in speed without the ads loading all the time. For that it may be worth if for a year..




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  Reply # 354323 21-Jul-2010 08:11
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lostangel:Additional services would also not be attractive, I believe a subscriber model for any low cost service(no paid staff) is fundamentally flawed.


What do you define as no paid staff? Mauricio does have to look after himself, wife and child. So although there are no 'staff' by making money, it means he and his family can live.
Also, money Mauricio makes he does put back by providing the GZPE, yes there are sponsors also, but he still invests in the community.


I agree with what scott said above, and as per the other mods I volunteer and receive nothing but a warm feeling in return ;)



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  Reply # 354365 21-Jul-2010 10:04
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lostangel: Geekzone has advertising which should be sufficient revenue to cover costs, or am I mistaken?


You are correct. But if people use ad block then we don't have revenue, right? For those who believe on a clean site with no ads should be faster (and as I explained before "no ads" mean a lot faster than "adblock" because we don't even insert the codes there).

lostangel: low cost service(no paid staff) is fundamentally flawed.


I work full time on Geekzone. I need a salary. We are lucky Phil (redjungle here on Geekzone, www.redjungle.com elsewhere) is very good and is working with us on a contra basis.

"Staff" is needed because we do a lot of development work - in the lat nine months we have considerably increased performance on this site, by creating new login system, new session management, using services for email, Twitter deliveries, Geekzone Jobs, Geekzone Mobile and more. A lot of this development (web side) was my own work, a lot of this (services, Geekzone Jobs, Geekzone Mobile) was Phil's work.

Nothing comes free. I could just work full time somewhere else, and let Geekzone drift. You can imagine it would go nowhere. The reason we have such a good community, plus the amount of traffic we generate is because we pay attention - our moderators are a fine team too and they are all volunteers.

The idea of this topic is not to get people to subscribe, but try to understand what model we could create that would reconcile our need to generate revenue, with the desires of our members to have a relevant, faster, informative, easy going community.





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  Reply # 354412 21-Jul-2010 11:01
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Feel the need to add my voice to a number of earlier ones.  I subscribe only because I think the site is great and appreciate Mauricio's and others' contributions to maintaining what I consider to be an excellent site for me.  I'm happy to contribute where I feel I'm getting value.

I have a general interest in things technology and this site provides a lot of very sensible comment and discussion for me to follow up on specific issues.  It generally controls well the apparent illiteracy and inane commentary that appears to dog some other forums.  I admit, I'm over 50 and can afford it (who knows if I'm a target demographic!) -  but there you have it.Smile

Oh - and I do actually enjoy having no adverts, but it's definitiely not a major reason for subscribing.





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  Reply # 354436 21-Jul-2010 11:59
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With Reddit recently introducing a subscription option for their site, there's a discussion up there that has some interesting points to make about subscriptions:

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/croqe/i_gladly_donated_to_reddit_but_i_wont_pay_for_it/



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  Reply # 354437 21-Jul-2010 12:00
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The difference is that Reddit is part of Conde Nast, a billion dollars publishing company. But since Reddit revenue is low, their parent company doesn't give them any budget to work - no new features, etc.

We are not a billion dollars publishing company, so any and all ad revenue is important...







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  Reply # 354446 21-Jul-2010 12:19
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Re the "feature to remove signatures.."

"Hey i have a problem my xyz is bust please help. refer to sig for systems specs"

So the people most likely to help will not be able to see the users specs because they have turned it off.

SO I suggest more than just removing the sign info maybe hiding it so a mouse click of hover will show the signature....




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

 

 




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  Reply # 354449 21-Jul-2010 12:39
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mentalinc: Re the "feature to remove signatures.."

"Hey i have a problem my xyz is bust please help. refer to sig for systems specs"

So the people most likely to help will not be able to see the users specs because they have turned it off.

SO I suggest more than just removing the sign info maybe hiding it so a mouse click of hover will show the signature....


That is easy to do...





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  Reply # 354451 21-Jul-2010 12:49
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jaymz:
freitasm: I have no idea... It depends on lots of different factors - page views for ads that pay per impression, clicks on ads that pay per click, country, city...


The reason I ask is that if a person spent a large amount of time on the site would they generate more than $60 a year thus provide a better income than if they subscribed?

Do you know which ads generate income by simply loading and which by clicking on them? 

If you know which ones you get income by clicking then I wouldn't mind clicking on them from time to time to help you out! Money mouth
google ad words intentionally supplies up a mixture (of ones that charge per thousand impressions and ones that charge per click) so that click fraud (which is what you just described,,,) doesn't happen.




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  Reply # 354458 21-Jul-2010 13:02
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I'm pretty happy with the site as it is, ads & all. The subscription benefits are nice but I don't feel the desire to pay $60 to get them. Subscribers-only giveaways would certainly appeal to me. Geekzone gives away some great stuff, if there were a couple of subscribers-only giveaways each year, I think that would tip me over. I'm just greedy! Also, what about different levels of donations. One site I go to has bronze/silver/gold/diamond memberships, the bronze is only US$10 and it works its way up. The more you pay, the more benefits you receive. Then once in a blue moon they'll have a membership drive and halve the prices for a limited time.

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  Reply # 354464 21-Jul-2010 13:17
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freitasm:
lostangel: Geekzone has advertising which should be sufficient revenue to cover costs, or am I mistaken?


You are correct. But if people use ad block then we don't have revenue, right? For those who believe on a clean site with no ads should be faster (and as I explained before "no ads" mean a lot faster than "adblock" because we don't even insert the codes there).

lostangel: low cost service(no paid staff) is fundamentally flawed.


I work full time on Geekzone. I need a salary. We are lucky Phil (redjungle here on Geekzone, www.redjungle.com elsewhere) is very good and is working with us on a contra basis.

"Staff" is needed because we do a lot of development work - in the lat nine months we have considerably increased performance on this site, by creating new login system, new session management, using services for email, Twitter deliveries, Geekzone Jobs, Geekzone Mobile and more. A lot of this development (web side) was my own work, a lot of this (services, Geekzone Jobs, Geekzone Mobile) was Phil's work.

Nothing comes free. I could just work full time somewhere else, and let Geekzone drift. You can imagine it would go nowhere. The reason we have such a good community, plus the amount of traffic we generate is because we pay attention - our moderators are a fine team too and they are all volunteers.

The idea of this topic is not to get people to subscribe, but try to understand what model we could create that would reconcile our need to generate revenue, with the desires of our members to have a relevant, faster, informative, easy going community.


I've said this before in different threads, you need to use more off the shelf / open source. Providing everything that 95% of people need is good enough, especially when that last 5% is going to take up the majority of your time to develop.

PHPBB for instance runs many many sites which are vastly vastly bigger (just picked that as it is what I use). Right out of the box is does almost everything this forum does, and most of the time a lot better too. Just this point would free up a lot of your time if you'd used it already.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread I run a small forum with over 600 registered users, while I appreciate there is a lot more effort involved in running a large site.... I'm still sure that even if my site doubled in size every six months I could still easily cope with that, without still treating it as a hobby that I run in my spare time for no pay.

As on virtually all forums the moderators are unpaid (currently I spend enough time using my own site that I don't need moderators yet, but at our growth rate I probably will need some soon....   currently the system I have for reporting posts to me works well), then there are no real costs involved, all I need to do (even if the site is ten times the size) is a few times a year sit down and think about the "big picture" of where is our community going and what plans should I make (meetups, seminars, a new subforum to add, tweaking the posting rules, etc...).

I think geekzone has fallen into a typical geek trap, of wanting to do it all themselves (for the sheer love of it, or for the intellectual challenge, there are heaps of reasons) but completely missing what makes practical and business sense.




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  Reply # 354466 21-Jul-2010 13:23
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freitasm:
You are correct. But if people use ad block then we don't have revenue, right? For those who believe on a clean site with no ads should be faster (and as I explained before "no ads" mean a lot faster than "adblock" because we don't even insert the codes there).

I think it's fine for people to pay to remove the ads if they really care so deeply about them. But a subscription model overall for this type of forum truely seems out of place.

But for all the other, I suggest adding a script to check for ad blockers, so the revenue from advertising is preserved. ABP etc would cheat you out of revenue.

I have seen several sites recently scripted to require advertising be allowed or else send them to a page explaining why it is necessary(sorry can't remember them at the mo though).

The subscriber forums though, still seems to be counterproductive.

This is a very active online community and there's no reason advertising and corporate sponsership cannot pay you a nice salary.


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