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Thread: Thoughts on paid forum memberships - free for active members

  1. #21
    Supporting Member sossol's Avatar
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    How about something akin to Patreon where the donors would have some sort of premium access and/or recognition? It could either eliminate the need for a subscription for all, or at least reduce that subscription to a more affordable amount. $5 seems steep, especially for a lurker.


    Neil

  2. #22
    Jon
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    Quote Originally Posted by sossol View Post
    How about something akin to Patreon where the donors would have some sort of premium access and/or recognition
    Yes, this is essentially what it's going to look like. Non-subscribers would mostly get what they get now, although they might have to see some banner ads, or wouldn't get, for example, a custom user title in their postbit or a large signature under their posts.

    Subscribers would get more stuff, and that "stuff" would mostly be more carefully curated and organized collections of tools and plans. Possibly an additional new subforum too; not sure yet. For example, a collection of links to free sets of plans for homemade tubing benders. Or stuff like these:



    I'd also like to take a portion of subscriber revenue and use it as prizes for more higher-dollar long-term tool building contests, that subscribers could enter. Instructables does a good job of this; of course instead of crafts and such, our contests would be all different kinds of tool contests.

    Broadly, even if people wanted to (I don't) - privatizing entire forums to require paid subscriptions doesn't really work as a content model, because then search engines and other traffic source websites can't see the forum pages, and won't list any of them.
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  3. #23
    Supporting Member shopandmath's Avatar
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    Sad to say I only have 10 posts
    What if after you could earn your way to free membership ?
    With posts
    I like the idea of selling stickers
    Ray

  4. #24
    Jon
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    Quote Originally Posted by shopandmath View Post
    Sad to say I only have 10 posts
    What if after you could earn your way to free membership ?
    With posts
    While this may lead to people making low-quality posts, I like the concept. We could do something similar by awarding free memberships to people who have earned the most Thanks votes for their posts.
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    sossol (09-10-2019)

  6. #25
    Supporting Member Bony's Avatar
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    I really appreciate you maintaining this site Jon, it must be a thankless and very time consuming task.
    Paid membership would deter members from joining and have it's own set of overheads. Presumably the fee would be in $US, as I live in Australia, and our exchange rate with the US is the lowest in 10 years I would question the benefit of remaining to be a contributor.
    Advertising doesn't really bother me, I notice it but completely ignore it.
    Have you thought about selling a compilation of various categories of home made tools and ideas. I'm not sure how that sits with intellectual copyright laws in the US, or elsewhere for that matter.
    One more thing, I guess you want members to remain active, and you could adopt a rewards scheme for regular contributors, or a disincentive arrangement for those, say who don't participate for 12 months or so.
    For example, a member would lose all statuses and have to rejoin if a contribution is not made at least every year. That doesn't help with funding of course.
    Maybe setup a tools for sale page, and charge vendors for advertising.
    Whatever the solution I do not favour paid membership.
    Tony


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