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When does this become compulsory ?

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I think the forum will die if it becomes subscription only.

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Lady Bird, it's not a done-deal yet.
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
In Frank's post, in the Where's my Badge post, he wrote
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The forums will likely be changing to an all subscription model soon.


S, it's not a done deal, there's no timeline yet etc. "Likely" is a pretty strong word, but I think speculation is premature.


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If any of you can afford it and don’t usually donate, you might think about a donation or subscription. The possibility of making this a subscription site should not be surprising; Frank has been asking for donations.


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I have my donation on a recurring charge. I am very sympathetic to the issue of not having a lot of disposable income, and I value everyone’s contributions. That being said, I also understand that you can’t hohoststt host a good website for free. I am sure that if everyone who can contribute would do so, and t a level that makes sense for them, we could probably get this done without a lot of trouble.

Last edited by Medved1; 07/03/19 02:18 PM.

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Originally Posted by FrankCox

According to a post earlier in this thread, this forum has 93,000 members. How many of those are what you could call active, i.e. how many of these people come here to read what's new, and how many are people that last visited this site many years ago and have long forgotten that they ever signed up and have moved on to other interests or died. I suspect that the first number is a much smaller number than the second.



The first number is probably just a fraction of the second. I used to be a moderator for a forum (on a totally unrelated subject matter) and the administration kept a very close watch on participation rates, member retention, etc as if we were a Fortune 500 company. The statistics were typically something like 10% of the membership made 90 to 95% of the posts; and there were upwards of 40% of the membership which had registered and made either no posts or just one post. There was also usually some large number (like 30%) which hadn't posted at all in the past year.

These numbers were considered normal in the forum world and are probably true here too.

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Forums with substantive content are on a downward spiral. Like it or not, this is a consequence of concentrating global media power into just a few hands, mainly those of Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Google.


This is true. The heyday of the forums are over; just as forums replaced email lists and bulletin boards in the early 2000s, Facebook and social media is replacing forums nowadays. Which is unfortunate, I think. Facebook's user interface is awful and its archiving abilities are probably even worse. I am on several of formerly-busy forums which have died (or nearly died), and every time someone wonders why, the answer is always the same: the traffic moved over to Facebook. And with it, goes a certain tangible sense of community that the forum once had.

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Re Pau Gasol's comment about archiving: yes, Facebook is basically useless for finding older information. And it'a pain in the rear even to try to go back to something you saw earlier in the day! FB is just not geared to be a information-provider, which is what many of us want from PW: information.


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Maybe charge for the recital features, and leave the forums free? The recitals here I like and are unique I think. I'd get a subscription for that alone. Not sure if I'd want to pay for a forum though.


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When I did the ABF surveys we got around 100-200 responses, but usually around 100. The quarterly recitals have drifted down to around 50 performers and stayed there for years. Except for the 50th anniversary - we tried to contact everyone who had ever participated and managed to double our numbers, but then the numbers dropped right back down for the 51st.

So numbers are really pretty low here, I think. How many people post regularly? Surely less than 100, maybe less than 50.

On facebook, the users are the product, which is why I have no friends on facebook - I just use it to keep track of a sports club I belong to.

I will try to contact Frank to see if he has thought about what will happen to the recitals if he goes to a paid site.

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I probably would not subscribe. I am trying to spend less time on the internet and the subscription would give me an excuse to head in that direction. I like the camaraderie of the group but get tired of the same questions asked over and over, frivolous topics, and people asking us to comment on their abilities and prospective pieces when we are not in a position to do that. Also, people who ask for advice and you never hear from them again. I hope that Frank is reading the responses to this thread and takes them into account when making his decision.



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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Maybe charge for the recital features, and leave the forums free? The recitals here I like and are unique I think. I'd get a subscription for that alone. Not sure if I'd want to pay for a forum though.


Why not? Think about how much utility it’s provided. I’ve spent countless hours. Even if it cost $100 / year, and I spend 100 hrs / yr, that’s $1 / hr. I suspect thought that it’s more like $350 hrs and $35, so it’s actually closer to $0.10 / hr of entertainment. That’s a bargain in my book. Not to mention what it must cost him to run the site.


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Lady Bird, it's not a done-deal yet.
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
In Frank's post, in the Where's my Badge post, he wrote
Quote
The forums will likely be changing to an all subscription model soon.


S, it's not a done deal, there's no timeline yet etc. "Likely" is a pretty strong word, but I think speculation is premature.

Frank, the owner, posted the announcement of the (likely) change under a banner of Please Note! and gave his reasons. It's not just speculation on our part.

He does state he may try the voluntary route one more time. Folks, here's a chance to influence his decision! Make a donation/suscribe!


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I think if there is a fee for people to be able to write or ask a question, the forum is dead. I doubt any occasional user would bother to pay something just to be able to ask one question. The only viable solution is for people really interested to subscribe and cover the cost of operations. Now what would be usefull is for the owner to tell us how much more subscribers he still needs and whether its far away or close enough.

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Personally, I like this much better than Facebook. It is not (supposed) to be political. Even though this is a insecure website, is Frank mining our data to sell to advertisers? Charging a minimum of $3.00 a month is more than reasonable. Anyone that wants to post for advice can get it for $3.00 and quit. The rest of us would really miss it I bet. So why not pay a small fee. Those folks that pay $5 or $10 a month would still be subsidizing the people that can only pay the $3.00 a month. Just as we do with our taxes. I honestly never thought of PW as anything other than a business. Frank needs revenue and should be also be fairly compensated for the successful forum he has created. And don't say that he didn't make it successful, but the members did. Go ahead, start your own piano forum and see how far you get before you run out of money.



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What about a fundraiser? I wouldn’t subscribe, but a one time donation I would do. But not if I donate and later it becomes subscriber based. I read a lot but don’t post much. I’m cool with older posts disappearing. We seem to repeat the same discussions over and over anyway lol

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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
What about a fundraiser? I wouldn’t subscribe, but a one time donation I would do. But not if I donate and later it becomes subscriber based. I read a lot but don’t post much. I’m cool with older posts disappearing. We seem to repeat the same discussions over and over anyway lol

Agreed. Do an annual voluntary fundraiser - Wikipedia style. That would yield far better results than a subscription model which has a very poor longevity rate. Subscription will kill this forum within 24 months, IMO.

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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by Animisha
This is very sad. I would be willing to subscribe, but with less new people coming in, and members eventually not renewing their subscriptions, there will be fewer and fewer people to keep this forum alive.


Agree with this sentiment. Sad, indeed!


I agree too. Very sad. While there are probably some exceptions, forums that go the subscription route usually wither and die. Been there, done that.



That has been my experience as well.



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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
What about a fundraiser? I wouldn’t subscribe, but a one time donation I would do. But not if I donate and later it becomes subscriber based. I read a lot but don’t post much. I’m cool with older posts disappearing. We seem to repeat the same discussions over and over anyway lol


That's a really good idea.



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Those interested in this issue can also check the lively discussion over here in this thread.


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