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Thread: part one: Just a thought.. But would members be interested in.....

  1. #49
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Of course, you'll need to make it excessively apparent that even if you donate, you need to follow the rules. Regardless of donation status, the rules still apply to everyone.
    This is a very good point. I had not thought of this; but, it is definitely something to make sure everyone understands.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

  2. #50
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Of course rules still apply I think that was apparent even with the "quick" rules/ benifits I listed in the start of this topic.
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

  3. #51
    Jeztor's Avatar
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    I think it's great that you're looking for ways to help support the site and giving something to members as well, but as someone who runs two websites (both using vBulletin with forums) I know that all the features you mentioned in the OP are just a few clicks of some options. Considering the amount of bandwidth the site probably consumes I can give an pretty accurate guess of what this site costs you to run and, well, I'll just say that you'll be on the plus side.

    That said, I think some of the ideas of giving members other things like T-shirts wouldn't be a bad idea. Have you also thought about maybe printing a newsletter that is CP related that premium users would get? If you don't want to do the work of a newsletter yourself (or don't have time) how about the newsletter of another CP related site or organization?

    I'm still new here really, but maybe even discussing something with the NASC founder about finding a way to bundle membership since it doesn't seem like NASC has their own forum community.

  4. #52
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew, I've been reading through all the posts and it seems many of the members here seems to prefer that the forum remains free.

    Here are some of my experiences and thoughts, being involved in a local gardening forum here in Singapore where a friend who is the admin is currently paying for the website.

    1. He started out very small - less than 100 members and a basic simple forum. But now the membership has gone up to about 1000+ (our population here is but only 4M), we are already starting to think very hard about possible sources of revenue for him. Firstly, he is doing his research and is not paid a lot. Secondly, though the national gardens department is fully supportive of his forum, there is no funds for such online stuff.

    2. We had wanted to register ourselves as a society because that would mean we would be able to charge membership fees. But the admin feels that the forum must remain free because the sole purpose is for the exchange of information.

    3. Ways we have thought of supporting the website. Advertising, sponsorship, talks organised by the moderators or advisors (the plant experts who does not want to do mod work), sales of T-shirts and even distributorship for plants.

    4. Currently, we have talks lined up for the year...I think there is a small fee paid to every speaker and instead of the speakers keep ing the fee, the fee is kept by the admin for the purpose of paying for the website. The key issue here is of course, trust. We all know the admin guy as a personal friend so we won't mind taking out 2 hours on just one or two Saturdays in the entire year to lend him our support. Sometimes, extra plants propagated by members are also sold after the talks to draw in revenue.

    5. I must stress that the traffic that we are dealing with is way minute compared to Terra's. And we have the benefit of being in a tiny country where we can all gather within an hour. But the reason why Terra grew so large is because it is free and you have members from the most remote places of the world. We also need the younger generation to come in to learn (especially about conservation) and take over in the future...I still direct some of my primary school kids here so if it is going to be paid membership, we'll lose them.

    6. So on a personal note, I feel that sales of T-shirts...sales of members' extra plants (donated seeds, cuttings etc)...is the way to go. And to give your business a jump start, how about donation of plant material to your collection?

    7. I am for paying the membership fee; if you that's your final decision.
    Cindy

  5. #53
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I think everyone is having a problem understanding the idea. The forum is and will always be free. The idea is there would be a premium option. Where if you wish to "donate" a set amount you would get a few extra "features" as mentioned earlier in this topic. I don't know how it keeps coming down to "to pay or not to pay" Don't pay, and everything stays the same. Pay and get a few extra features. that's it.

    Jeztor- There is no way that 14 members (at current count) paying $20 a year would even come CLOSE to paying for the costs of just the server here. It is true that if I went out and picked the cheapest hosting service this would not be necessary. But I'm not with the cheapest. I'm with a high end package. It keeps your information secure, and keeps the forums running fast! (AND reliable!) Which compared so some other forums I visit.. that are on "cheaper" hosting services are defiantly slower. And are down a lot more. Also keep in mind I provide a photo hosting site for CPers here to host their CP pictures and show them off here. That site pulls quite a bit of bandwidth. So again, I need a "better" package to provide that service to you guys. And yes, I was thinking about Tshirts, I used to work for a guy that does screen printing... As far as news letter etc, no. I don't have time for that kind of thing.

    Another part of the "fee" to be "premium" would be to allow you guys to have a buy / sell forum. So part of those "fees" would be to help me recover some of the sales I would lose through you all selling each other plants. Sort of an "advertising" fee I guess.

    It does seem although some people would be interested in the features... And some people would not... Some still don't understand the whole concept of it and feel the forums will no longer be free... THEY WILL. But for the sake of keeping it simple and not rocking the boat... And not scaring anyone into leaving for the fear of fees popping up. I think this offer is closed. Maybe we'll revisit some other time.

    Thanks to those of you that expressed willingness to help, and expand the forums further than what they currently offer. For those of you that showed interest around the $20/year mark will get the following extra features FREE (effective soon... Will last for, I dunno how long yet a month, 2... some thing like that... More if I forget haha) Just for showing your support
    Name in gold, 150 MB to upload pictures directly to the forum (scroll down below where you type your post and you should see the upload options), Can store 125 PMs instead of 75, Ability to CLOSE your own topics (a mod will still need to open them for you PLEASE make sure you post why you’re closing it IE “offer ended”)

    Thanks again for your willingness to support, the people I pulled from the previous pages of this topic that will get these features for a little while are:

    nepenthes_ak
    JustLikeAPill
    herenorthere
    Jayson16
    glider14
    nepenthes gracilis
    PlantAKiss
    xvart
    rubrarubra
    jiana54
    rattler_mt
    Dave S.
    Presto
    Finch


    (again, please give me a day or so to get this set up if it isn't working when you read this...)
    Andrew

    Notice: to manage your attachments go to your user CP and go down to the far left, you'll see the option there (for seeing all you have, how much more room you have available ETC.)
    Last edited by adnedarn; 03-16-2007 at 01:11 AM. Reason: spelling
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

  6. #54
    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    alright!! good so far Andrew. when you say the far left on the bottonm for attachments...is that the little box that says:
    "You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may post attachments
    You may edit your posts"
    are you still adding to that?
    Alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

  7. #55
    JRFxtreme's Avatar
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    Sorry about sounding negative but I'm really not a fan of this idea.

    If you need money to help run the forums, why not auction off plants every now and then? I'm sure people would be willing to donate some plants/seeds as a way to help keep the forum running and any additional benefits could be accessable to everyone.

  8. #56
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Glider- No, You need to go into your user control panel... (where you set your settings and signature and such) and it is on the bottom left of that. I think they exact words are manage attatchments.

    JRFxtreme- read this topic again. I think you're missing the idea. And why would I need to auction off plants when I'm opening a CP store? :P
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
    Support FlyTrapShop, support TerraForums! www.flytrapshop.com

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