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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Originally Posted by MacMacMac

@EssBrace: I don't see any rationale for PW paying you ... or me or anyone else.

On the forums, we use our experience, knowledge, skill to act as the authors of the information provided.


Exactly. And without information (from the contributors), there is no reason to visit. And therefore no reason for the forum in the first place. The contributions from forum members are the lifeblood of any forum. And now those same contributors are being forced to pay if they wish to contribute to the entity known as 'PianoWorld', the entity that would not exist without those same contributions. Seems wrong to me.

My post was meant to be rather tongue-in-cheek but I stand by the sentiments I expressed.

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$30 is too much to be fully forgettable, doesn't matter how many instalments you break it down into. Will deter a shedload of people who initially register to get a single answer, but (like me) get to like it and stay.
$10, one payment yearly. Dispensible, if you drift away, et:c.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Wow, you don't pull any punches, do you David? laugh

It might be direct, but I think David is right on the money. And if this is going to be the last weeks of being able to speak without having to pay for it - we may as well shoot from the hip.

My take: this forum is going to disappear within 12-24 months. As much as it has an incredible legacy of discussion and information, I think David is right, Frank is getting on and possibly losing his enthusiasm for this place. It's draining to a guy who is well past retirement age to keep it going. He's throwing a hail Mary at it by trying the paid-subscription model. If it happened to pay for itself with the money going towards paying people to maintain the site, all good and well, but I think his days of putting in uncountable hours of unpaid work into the site are coming to an end.

The bad news is that the world largely hates paying for discussion platforms when they have been spoiled for so many years with "free" services. Of course, in reality, Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, etc, etc. are generating huge revenue from its users through advertising, but most people see that as something they can take or leave and the service itself is principally free. (a myth, in truth, but we're talking about perception here).

Although I think the Pianoworld demographic is a little different in terms of financial well-being, I still think that resistance to paying money for a forum/social media is going to kill this place. Also, being a US based site, it will be more affordable in the local currency than foreign currencies. For me, $30US does not convert very kindly in Australian dollars. The AUD is trading poorly against the USD, plus there would be currency conversion costs which make it even less expensive. PayPal is famous for choosing exorbitant conversion rates for foreign currency transactions. Banks too, for that matter. I can see that this will easily push to $50AUD+ for me. I don't know that I can justify it given how little I post these days.

I'm like CyberGene really. I have enjoyed my time here a lot, but I really should just play more piano rather than pay for being able to talk about it. I am also very aware of how addictive forum checking is - it's a dopamine-enslavement that is difficult to disengage from. This might be just what some of us need...

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I think Frank needs a good PR person.

I would feel better about donating to a pledge drive to raise funds rather than a mandatory subscription. Well advertised and thought out pledge drives e.g., Wikipedia, would probably raise more money for the forum and not jeopardize its future like mandatory subscriptions would.

I'm ready to voluntarily support a pledge drive to keep this going.

God Bless,
David

Last edited by David B; 07/03/19 04:10 PM.

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Originally Posted by David B
Well advertised and thought out pledge drives e.g., Wikipedia, would probably raise more money for the forum and not jeopardize its future like mandatory subscriptions would.

+1!!!! thumb


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TS, With 5000 post a year your donation will need to be larger than Platinum. wow



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Originally Posted by TomLC
TS, With 5000 post a year your donation will need to be larger than Platinum. wow

If this forum survives the present crisis, I'll upgrade to Unobtanium just to get the cool black flair.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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This makes it sound as though you were an author expecting to be paid. Am I understanding correctly?
Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
On the forums, we use our experience, knowledge, skill to act as the authors of the information provided.
Authors publish for a contracted fee. Have you contracted with Frank to be paid? If not then this expectation is just talk.

Also ... I find it insulting that anyone here claims to know that "it's draining to a guy who is well past retirement age to keep it going".
That might be true. Or not.
But given absolutely NO facts on the subject I'd be loathe to make such a claim.

As for the economics ... Frank posted some information about the cost of running this board ... but we have no information about income.
Any business must have income in excess of expenses, so we don't know whether there exists a shortfall.
The coming subscription model implies that income is inadequate, without any numbers given.
So all we can do is have FAITH that it is so ... and throw down $29 a year. I think it's well worth it.

But ... I guess I'll have to sign up for a gold level membership to make up for the cheapskates.
And hope that TS (with his platinum badge) doesn't turn his nose up at me. smile
BTW, bravo Tyrone.

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It looks there some things to try and do before going the self-destruction way. The issue seems to be that adrevs aren't high enough, which is fair. The costs seem to be fairly limited, about 10k.

But let's look at what other solutions there could be: are PW ad spaces optimised? Doesn't look like it. Ads are quite lame and the "advertise with us" page isn't up to par. I'd try the media agency way, the space in here is pretty juicy. Why do I see an ad around a damp chaser instead of an N1X ad with a 10% discount? I'm a product guy, hence all but an ad expert, but it seems to me there are pretty basic tools that can be used to improve monetisation right away. How much of am improvement I don't know, but it's a better route than self destruction.

The host's last resort before subscriptions is another plea for help - the Nth sticky thread will do nothing. The host could look at one of the many crowdunding platforms, Patreon even. That's better than a sticky topic.

Awareness then - I didn't even know there were donation tiers. Are there any rewards? Look at the funnel - how do you get more people in? Is the pianoworld.com even useful or is it more of a boomerang? So many layers of the user journey you could look at monetising indirectly... what about a YT channel for recitals and PW-specific performances or competitions?

2016 - 2017 had 5m UUs with 20m PV, there are people who'd sell a kidney for those numbers. In my mind it's all about getting the right expertise to milk those 5m and a subscription model is around the bottom 2 I'd look at, the only worse one being threats.

Last edited by Hecarim; 07/03/19 04:54 PM.
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Originally Posted by Hecarim
The host could look at one of the many crowdunding platforms, Patreon even. That's better than a sticky topic.

Patreon is a good idea. I support a pianist on Patreon. I think that's a good platform. But it takes management. The pianist I support on Patreon is posting there every few days like social media, including videos.


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+1 to Hecarim for some positive suggestions.
I would only add ... Don't let those ideas die here in an obscure thread. Instead, send that directly to Frank.

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+1. I think Gearslutz is a great example of how advertising can work on a forum.

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I am totally blanking on where to go to become a subscribing member. At the main site there is a place to make a donation but it doesn't seem to attach to your user ID. It also doesn't show the different levels. Can someone post a link?

Edit. I found it never mind.

Thanks.

Last edited by oneilt130; 07/03/19 05:47 PM.

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Click on your name in the upper right hand corner. Click on Subscriptions.

I would rather do a fundraiser, or just pay a monthly/annual subscription fee than to have a lot more obtrusive advertising.



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I subscribed but I agree with others that I don't think this site will last more than 12-24 months on the subscription model for all of the reasons people have posted. My reason for subscribing was because of the help and information I got on my DP purchase and it was here that I found out about the software update for the NU1X. I don't think I would have gotten the NU1X if it hadn't been for this forum and that is worth something. However I think Frank is between a rock and a hard spot. As useful as I find this forum the number of users here is a rounding error in the advertising world. So many companies now do not hand craft their web advertising presence. It's lots of automatically placed ads where the compensation is based on views and clicks. PW hasn't got enough of either to amount to anything. It's regrettable but sometimes things that are very useful and loved by a small group of people just can't be turned into a viable business model. frown Unfortunately once the pay wall goes up the usefulness of this forum will go down. The product is the postings by the members, if you reduce that you reduce the value of the product. My subscription was to pay it backward for the benefits I have received from PW. If I had to guess in a year I don't think I will find the benefits worth renewing.


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The people who post the most are (in the main, at least) the same people who help others. Expecting people to pay for the privilege of being allowed to give help doesn't strike me as a winning strategy.

Last edited by Cheshire Chris; 07/03/19 06:15 PM.

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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
The people who post the most are (in the main, at least) the same people who help others. Expecting people to pay for the privilege of being allowed to give help doesn't strike me as a winning strategy.


This. Expressed far more succinctly than I managed to.

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I think it should continue in the current format, but with an annual fundraiser in exactly the same style as Wikipedia. And rather than just asking in a non-specific way, state precisely how much money Frank needs to keep the site operating for another year. I think there is enough wealth on this forum to get it over the line each year. People are motivated by such incentives. They don't want this forum to go away.

Frank, if you are reading these posts, please consider this option. We respect that you need to be supported adequately to keep the place running and I think there is enough goodwill towards PW that the wiki-fundraiser approach will work - and without inhibiting new members from joining up.

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The people who <abc> are the same people who <xyz>.
This is a common cliche ... all too terribly common these days ... with no basis in fact.
Try a better argument please.

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