Mandatory paid membership. Has the time arrived?

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by Tommie, Jan 14, 2019.

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  1. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 12, 2007
    @Forum Boss
    We have all read Forum Boss' posts regarding the time and energy demands involved with running this first-rate website. Example:

    "I have no time to handhold or babysit bad members.

    Why? Here are my duties:

    Write or Release 1000 articles a year.
    Manage Forum with 42,500 members
    Manage 100+ Ad Campaigns (and solicit and build those ads)
    Read 100 emails daily
    Answer 50 emails daily
    Make or take 1.5 hours of business calls daily.
    Security check 5000+ new members per year. (I just spent 1.5 hours doing that daily task on a Sunday night.)

    One guy -- to do all that."

    OK, we get it! Or at least some do. There is so much amazing content on this site and frankly none of us want things to reach the point where the powers that be throw up their hands and yell "F all this I'm outta here".

    Unlike PBS, this media service receives no government support. I believe the voluntary paid membership experiment has been less than successful. With only 3.2% of the membership contributing any funds, maybe the time for asking, suggesting, peer pressure or expecting people to simply do the right thing has run its course. Yes, we've all read member posts saying something to the effect of "There are different ways to contribute other than financially". Nice idea but insightful posts do nothing to aid in the hard work of running this website. To spread the workload and maybe even increase content, it's going to take money. M-O-N-E-Y.

    Since the forum section of this site seems to be the focal point of the discussion, here are a few suggestions:

    - Limit the number of free non-classified posts. Everybody needs a chance to get acquainted with this site and the members here. Pick a number (20, 50, 100, 1000) and make that the post limit. After that it's time to step up to the plate.
    - The site currently allows 5 free classified posts per year to non-paying members. IMO way too generous. One free classified post is plenty. If a person buys or sells 5 items on here per year, they will have $20 under their couch cushions to contribute.
    - Unlimited classified sales or purchases with a Silver membership? Gotta admit I struggle with this one. There are quite a few people who rarely (if ever) use this site for anything more than store front. Bought and sold hundreds of items? Time to upgrade that membership.
    - Several members have suggested a contribution level past Gold. Diamond, Platinum, Titanium, Moon Rock, etc. I'd be all about it.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    dgeesaman, Bc'z, Rushty and 13 others like this.
  2. Ramblerman

    Ramblerman Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 14, 2016
    I for one am completely for some monetary exchange at some minimum membership level to post in any way, in the classifieds. It is monetizing everyone in some way that uses it, therefore everyone that uses it should help $.02. Ramblerman, out.
    dgeesaman, AJC, dogdude and 2 others like this.
  3. Richard Coody

    Richard Coody Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 19, 2017
    i contribute

    might cut out some of the riff raff
    painter likes this.
  4. moondog

    moondog Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hey now! I resemble that comment.
    GotRDid, group therapy and MrMajestic like this.
  5. Uthink Uknow

    Uthink Uknow Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 7, 2012
    Well, you can go to the local pubic library and read any book you wish to read. It’s even free to take home a book as long as you bring it back in time. Something similar can be done here such as come on in and read for free. Oh, you wish to speak? That’ll cost you. In other words, you are invisible until you want to give your two cents worth. And if you wish to sell something you will have to have been a member for a period of time. This will keep the freeloader and the scammers where they belong.....gone.
    foxguy, Evlshnngns, Willie and 2 others like this.
  6. KMart

    KMart Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm in. Where else can you go and have this much fun or get this much information for the cost of a Silver membership?
    snakepit, New Gun and pirate ammo like this.
  7. MrMajestic

    MrMajestic Gold $$ Contributor

    Oct 24, 2010
    Would the membership incude a "Creed" talisman, asking for a friend...
    New Gun, AJC, 300_whisper and 2 others like this.
  8. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 18, 2018
    Maybe the best idea is to have a lower grade membership Say$5.00 for Brass. For this you get five classified adds. No membership no adds. No postings either. No postings means no questions.

    Another idea. Why not take the time to PM those who place adds but aren't paying members and ask them to help us with the cost of the site. It does not have to be the administrator who does this. As a group we could, with the direction of the administrator, send a brief note.

    It is my opinion, the reason so many of us are not supporting the forum, is that they just do not realize the value of what we receive from this forum, and the costs of operating it.

    Advertising is the key to raising money. I was a silver contributor until I saw the Boss asking us to upgrade because of the costs to run this show. It made me think and I opted for the $5.00 monthly Paypal method. It is a pittance to what I spend on this hobby of ours.

    I have noticed that at least one Silver member has sold thousands of dollars in merchandise this year alone. Strikes me as unfair to the ones who pay their fair share. Many of the Gold members sell and buy nothing but are willing to go the extra mile for the rest of us.

    We have 42,000 members, but I am sure that most are not on the forum very much or not at all. That's understandable. However there are enough folks on this forum every day, who are not afraid to post questions and learn from others. These folks should man up and pay their way.
    Termite I and hogpatrol like this.
  9. nmkid

    nmkid Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 31, 2014
  10. rwj

    rwj Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 16, 2017
    That would likely depend on whether @PirateAmmo is willing to determine if/when sales tax applies!
    MrMajestic likes this.
  11. Lee in Texas

    Lee in Texas Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 21, 2016
    Creedmoor talisman? I'm in!
  12. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 25, 2010
    I say zero adds for want to run a want a sight contributor.
  13. pirate ammo

    pirate ammo Guaranteed to take the wind out of their sails Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 9, 2017
    all the creedmoor bashing beware,,the masses are calling and the forges of the realm may be fired up once more. Taxes, whats that? The secret Creedmoor club will rise like a Phoenix
    from the ashes of a wasted land. Take note, WE ARE HERE...PIRATE HAS SPOKEN,,
    Bc'z, New Gun, 300_whisper and 2 others like this.
  14. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    May 8, 2014
    At least silver to post, free to read, and gold to sell. Its cheap in the grand scheme
    dgeesaman, Bc'z, dogdude and 12 others like this.
  15. geraldgee

    geraldgee Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 22, 2011
    I realize this is nothing more than a concession to those too selfish to pony up but how about a NRA approach - say 1 week reduced fees (I.e. silver for $15 and gold for $35) for first time supporters. After the campaign ends, membership goes back to normal price.
    Crow likes this.
  16. geo.ulrich

    geo.ulrich beware of owner Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 16, 2009
    Agree with zero sales and limit the # of posts without contributions , also I like the idea of the higher the level the more you can sell the unlimited sales for silver is a little much if you are selling that much on here pony up... seems easy enough.. just my .02 worth
  17. clunker

    clunker Silver $$ Contributor

    Jun 15, 2018
    Coming from a member who joined 7 months ago (I think), if I did not have a chance to post anything on this site before becoming a contributing member, I might not have ever discovered what an amazing resource it is. I have memberships in several other free forums, but the participation in those forums is dismal, and the advice you DO get is 90% worthless. Based on my experience from every other forum, I would not have paid a penny for their services. This forum is a totally different animal where you have daily activity from knowledgeable, intelligent people with 90% great information (the other 10% being statements that make you spew your beer all over the computer screen).

    When I first joined, I blasted through my 11-post limit in two days. Totally fair, as I acknowledged at that time. If I had to pay to continue my membership at that time, I probably would have bought the silver membership even though money was tight (and still is). As soon as the forum boss chimed in with a request for contributions, I paid up immediately, and I plan to upgrade soon. However, if I never had that chance to post a few questions before paying, I never would have seen the true value of this forum, and the boss would have lost my contribution.

    The classifieds are amazing, but I'm not sure I would buy from anyone in that section unless they were a contributing member or someone I recognized in previous discussions. I have a lot more confidence dealing with people who are invested, and with a forum boss who doesn't tolerate riff raff. Here's my vote!

    Unpaid membership - 10 forum posts total until you sign up for silver. No classified sales

    Silver membership - Unlimited forum posts. 5 classified sales per year

    Gold membership - Unlimited classifieds

    Platinum membership - Just to throw shame at those who aren't contributing more

    Whatever-is-more-valuable-than-platinum membership - Someone who helps with site management
    KMart, Termite I, Ramblerman and 2 others like this.
  18. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 18, 2018
    As of now, over 400 views of this topic have been made. I wonder if any of those who viewed this thread decided to upgrade?
  19. rickiesrevenge

    rickiesrevenge Silver $$ Contributor

    May 16, 2011
    I think you guys are trying your very best to kill this forum
    snert, Gary in MD, CjC73 and 13 others like this.
  20. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

    Jul 18, 2018
    When the Forum Admin posts a thread that he needs money to keep this forum up and running to the high standards that we have come to enjoy, that says it all.

    Are you comfortable, with a reduction in the services, we are accustom to? Obviously something has to change. He is not asking for money for personal use. He takers no salary.

    We the People need to step up and support this forum. I have gained thousands of dollars worth of information I could not have found anywhere else here.
    Bc'z, Tommie, dogdude and 1 other person like this.
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