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Old 09-23-06, 08:01 PM   #1
patc
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Making memberships worthwhile...

Replying to Joe's request in another thread, here are some ideas I would suggest exploring to make forum memberships more attractive to users. I realize these may or may not be possible with the forum software, and these are just brainstorming, not necessarily things I would want.

1- Restrict PMs to paid members.

2- Restrict non-paid members to 10 posts/day.

3- Restrict personalization options to paid members (sigs, custom avatars, etc.)

4- Allow paid members votes on forum policies, etc.

5- Work out a partnership with Nashabr/Performance etc. for special coupons for members only.

6- Develop a BF.net store (e.g. use cafepress.com) and make things available to members at a special price.

There was something else I came up with on the way home... but its gone now.
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Old 09-24-06, 10:01 AM   #2
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2- Restrict non-paid members to 10 posts/day.
I think this is a REALLY bad idea. The whole point of the forums is to provide a useful service to cyclists... The point to subscriptions and ads is to make it affordable and/or profitable.

If you drive away customers before they have a chance to decide they like the site, you'll reduce your ad income, and never get a chance for a subscription.

Personally, at the moment I can barely make my rent payment. I also don't have any credit cards... not a single one. I do have a debit card, but I JUST got that, and don't have $25 to spend on bikeforums right now.

When I DO have $25 to blow here in a week or two, then I have to make another choice... Send it to Joe for burritos and servers, or add another $5 and get the fenders on my commuter bike that I really need?

I love bikeforums, and I will subscribe when I have the money, but right now I just don't. I hope that I add enough to the community and that the ads that get displayed cover the cost of my usage.
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Old 09-24-06, 10:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by patc
Replying to Joe's request in another thread, here are some ideas I would suggest exploring to make forum memberships more attractive to users. I realize these may or may not be possible with the forum software, and these are just brainstorming, not necessarily things I would want.

1- Restrict PMs to paid members.

2- Restrict non-paid members to 10 posts/day.

3- Restrict personalization options to paid members (sigs, custom avatars, etc.)

4- Allow paid members votes on forum policies, etc.

5- Work out a partnership with Nashabr/Performance etc. for special coupons for members only.

6- Develop a BF.net store (e.g. use cafepress.com) and make things available to members at a special price.

There was something else I came up with on the way home... but its gone now.
So in other words, you want to make guest viewing as annoying as possible so bikeforums turns into a $25 registration only place.
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Old 09-24-06, 11:03 AM   #4
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I really don't like the restricted PM idea. Before I slapped some money down I PMed a few people with questions and was eternally thankful and realized how useful people can be here. Without that interaction I probably wouldn't have joined since I wouldn't have made as much of a connection.

I think it takes someone 100-200 posts to really try out a site and get the hang of the politics, posting styles (+1 is something I haven't seen before and I'm on a few boards), effective titling, interactions, in jokes, etc... Stopping that process in any way is a site deterant.

I do like the ideas of discounted gear idea, exclusive coupons, etc... I also like the idea of having custom sigs and avatars for members as well. Perks

Basically anything that would enhance the site is good. Anything that restricts the site is bad.
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Old 09-24-06, 11:22 AM   #5
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So in other words, you want to make guest viewing as annoying as possible so bikeforums turns into a $25 registration only place.
I don't want anything, I made that clear in my post. I am happy enough with the current free and paid membership levels. I was invited to make suggestions, and I did.

As for making the site annoying, nothing could make it more annoying to me than the current barrage of ads (save adding a pop-up or two). That backcountry.com ad with the rapidly changing image is so visually distracting that I have a hard time writing this.
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Old 09-24-06, 12:35 PM   #6
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I don't want anything, I made that clear in my post. I am happy enough with the current free and paid membership levels. I was invited to make suggestions, and I did.
Ironic. You don't want anything but provide suggestions. Own up to it. You wouldn't suggest it if you were against it.
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Old 09-24-06, 01:09 PM   #7
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Ironic. You don't want anything but provide suggestions. Own up to it. You wouldn't suggest it if you were against it.
I'm not sure what you motivation is here, you seem intent on picking a fight. Whatever you're up to, I'm not interested in playing. Do you have any suggestions for Joe on how he can make paid memberships more worthwhile, and thus have more people pay up? That is the topic here.

(Aside to Joe, one of the things I demand in a paid-membership forum is moderation with zero-tolerance for OT replies like the above.)
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Old 09-24-06, 01:51 PM   #8
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Your intentions are positive, but the only ones that seem like a good idea are # 5 and 6. The other ones, would annoy and piss people off and make the site less active.
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Old 09-25-06, 11:39 AM   #9
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Your intentions are positive, but the only ones that seem like a good idea are # 5 and 6. The other ones, would annoy and piss people off and make the site less active.
To some extent, "annoy and piss off" is what I feel ads do, however that's just my opinion. I was hoping to generate a little brain-storming for other ideas.
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Old 09-25-06, 12:05 PM   #10
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Only give avatar priveleges to paying members. This is a bigger deal than you might think! When i was a non paying member, honestly i never saw a good reason to pay.

What did i gain? a little bit bigger avatar? That's why i figured it wasn't worth it. I did join eventually but it had nothing to do with added features, there really weren't any that appealed to me.

Now I think Joe is on the right track by providing some real motivation to join.

Last edited by Portis; 09-25-06 at 04:57 PM.
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