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Discussion in 'Archived Threads' started by kirxklox, Feb 10, 2009.
John: For some reason that made a LOT OF SENSE.
I volunteer to help craft the proposal.
Accepted! We will need to include the Friends proposal as part of it just incase the BOD determines that it is a Member Class.
Info for background:
http://www.kirxklox.com/project/aess/gpreed01.pdf ~500 KB
I would like to suggest that the name "Netizen" sounds harsh to me rather like Denizen. I would think that something like eHorologists (singular or plural) would be more appropriate. To indicate the practice of Horology on the Internet. The single character "e" prefix seems to be pretty well established as an "on the Internet" designator.
Perhaps we should discuss some of the fundamentals, so we can decide how we're going to craft this new entity.
For example, is this another single tier, multi-tier (e.g. Full/Basic, Sliver/Gold/Platinum) or a-la-carte (select your features, select your price, with a menu that grows as our feature list grows)?
Not surprisingly, I'm leaning toward a-la-carte because it offers us and the customers more flexibility. However, I'm willing to work with whatever definition the group decides on.
Another fundamental... where do we get the data that we use to underpin the proposal? Maybe even more fundamental... what data do we actually need to underpin the proposal?
I think you already have the first bit of data as it was mentioned earlier.
You know how many members currently visit the board and you have a rough idea how many non members visit it.
You can not say for certain who will take up the new offerings but you can give some idea of the target audience.
We are aiming at those casual users who are not currently members.
I only see two tiers for the Internet needed. This is not about unbundled Benefits but adding BENEFITS and offering those Benefits to the Public.
Tier 1) NAWCC Friends - $15.00
Tier 2) NAWCC Netizen - $45.00-50.00
I think I'll draw up two draft proposals... one for a two tier solution and one for an a-la-carte solution, so we can compare them side by side. I'll try to get a draft of each ready for posting tonight or tomorrow morning.
Please feel free to continue to discuss your preferences for either. I'll try to integrate as much as possible into the drafts under development.
Attached is the first raw draft of the two-tier proposal.
Good idea. The pros and cons of both need to be considered.
I am going to take about three weeks off. I started a great IDEA that could have worked, but somewhere along the line it has become a LOUSY idea that will never get past the NAWCC BOD let alone the Executive Director.
Sam, it is a good idea.
illigitimati non carborundum
Ray: You are just as much a part of the problem as Tom and all the rest. You guys set around and protect your little fields of endeavor without even recognizing the competence and capabilities of others. I spent hours setting up a Front End web pages for this site and nothing. I ask to have a few Admin Rights and it is not able to be done. You guys have little knowledge about how vBulletin can work but I can't even help.
It is about time that some of you get off your duffs and do some work. Take a look at Web Horology and copy it.
Greg, I think your document is a good start.
Sam we need you to help get this from an idea to a proposal. Please stay.
I still think $45 for Netizen is to much.
Would you give someone else every other membership privilage except the web based stuff for $25. I don't think so.
No doubt there will be much tooing and frowing but that is part of project developement and knowone gets everything they want.
The concept of a net based member is the most important thing to get recognised. The rest will no doubt be played around with many times even after it is up and running.
Stephen: If you would take a couple hours and reread everything that has been said about this, you would realize the $15 Friends package is the only area that will have an immediate result. The Netizen Package will take 6 months or even a couple years to get going with any luck.
But to set here and spin this is inexcusable, We have to have this system in place or there is no Internet Services beyond a little Message Board and some minescule Web Pages.
Sam, that is not all.
What about the other web sites currently running.
At the moment if someone wants to use the 149 web site or the 192 web site and no doubt there are others I am not aware of they have to join the NAWCC first.
A "net member" would be able to use these sites as well as the main NAWCC one here. These are benifits you can add to the package and they cost you nothing.
On the other hand the current idea of "You have to be a NAWCC member first at $70 a hit" is, in my opinion holding these sites back.
If they start to grow and attract new members there will be a flow on effect and the NAWCC does not have to do anything to benifit from it.
Just get out of the way.
Stephen: Having a Chapter Member tell the Executive Director that the NAWCC can not build up the NAWCC Web Sites because it will hurt the Chapter Web Site is Hog Wash. I would hope that the NAWCC does destroy Web Horology. They could do so so easily if, and that is a big if, they could decide to do what is right. I would even help them.
Hardly any of the Chapters will help though. Take a look at how many of them LINK to the NAWCC or even try to help the NAWCC.
The $70 is not a big deal to me. It should be $100. It would still be a steal. I spend ove $2000 a year on the Internet for all that I do. Chapter 149 thinks it is FREE and does little to offset the costs. Why should they, after all I donate all my time and money to pay for it.
I am not going to argue about this.
I just have to sit back and wait.
Every day more and more stuff is coming online for FREE.
The only question is does the NAWCC want to be part of it.
Anyone who has tried to set up anything on the internet knows that a fee, unless it is very small, stops people in their tracks.
You can charge for add on services but not for membership.
Netizen at $45 will not fly.
I have added a few changes to Greg's document for review.
Well written as usual.
A good basis for discussion instead of fragments of messages.
This looks good to me. I would like to make a couple of technical comments on the operations.
If we succeed with the Single Sign On facility, membership levels will be embedded in the basic logon, which will reduce the complexity of management. The iMIS Login will provide the message board software and/or the web site resource software with credentials for the user.
There will need to be some kind of coordination between funds handling between the vBulletin system and the iMIS system. Subscriptions to Usergroups in vBulletin are currently designed to be stand alone.
What sort of billing do we have in mind for Friends and Netizens? The design and mailing of invoices is one of the significant job activities in Columbia for the Membership Department. I am concerned that our current process would not work well with a $15 annual invoice.
Will we want to include these new network classes in the information we send to chapter? Geographic chapters might want to attempt persuading such members to become full members and chapter members. Our Internet chapters may want to extend membership invitations directly to these members if that is covered under this proposal.
On the schedule front, an analysis and report of progress should be targetted for mid November to be available for the December BOD meeting.
As Internet Services neither is eligible for Chapter Membership.
The only one that you might want to send an Invoice to would be the Netizen Member since that may become a reduced level NAWCC member. This will at least verify their Status.
Why can't these two groups just be Electronically Billed?
Tom: Here is a Category/Forum design that I use.
How about doing away with billing completely and using some kind of counter like a lot shareware programs do.
You join up and pay your fee whatever it might be and that gives you access for 30 days or 12 months or whatever At the end of the period when you try to log in you are advised you membership has expired and you either go away or pay up a bit more.
No bills and no action required from someone at the other end.
It is all done by the user.
I get a Bill and a Paid Invoice every month for my Leased Web Service. It is all automatic with no Hands On required.
For the "Friends" level this could be very workable . . no need to assign membership numbers or any other kind of tracking except I presume we would have that info via the user registration info. I belong to one such service payable by the year that gives me a one-month warning of expiry by email, click to pay and it renews for another year. That would be something desirable if we go this way for this level.
The description in the proposal says that Friend is a supplement to Member for the same $15 fee, but that Netizen at $45 includes Friend. That is what I was trying to figure out.
Friend and Member/Friend could both be handled by the builtin subscription mechanism. Netizen looks like it might need special handling if it requires an iMIS account and is a new class of NAWCC member.
I set it up as a primary draw for Friends and believe that the Netizen aspect is going to be a hard sell. Now don't get me wrong it can work with the proper effort.
I read over Sam's changes and they look good.
I think we need to clarify if the friend is included in the Netizen.
I believe it should be, but how do we handle an upgrade to Netizen?
I assume we would do that for $30.
Stan: That is what I meant and thought I said.
The latest revision makes it very clear about the cost.
All: I would like to squash a RUMOR, I do not know how it is being circulated that the IAC is recommending that there will be NO public Forums. There is no where in the document that is being put together that hints at No Public Forums and that we are recommending that for all to be able to use the MB they are going to have to pay for it. The NAWCC Friends is to develop Private Forums for the future use of this GROUP.
Am I correct in my assumption that full NAWCC members will also have to pay to view the new features available to the Netizen members?
Thanks for clearing that up.
I still think the Netizen is going to be a very hard sell and I am not trying to be a pain and I am not picking on anyone and I can see what Sam is trying to achieve by creating an income stream.
So in order to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem would this work.
We have 1 new level of membership aimed at internet users.
Keep the fee as low as possable to get them in the door.
Each new member creates an account when they join up into which they are asked to put some money. Say $10. more if you want.
All the new content we are creating is set up as pay for view.
2 buttons to see it with one for members and one for friends.
Different prices for each. May be a few really cool things where members are asked to pay a bit as well but they would get most free. They can use the same system as friends to go create an account and put a few dollars into it.
Friends see everything but may be denied access to certain things (motivation to become a member)
This still achieves the same objectives but would be a simpler structure to maintain. It also removes that high up front fee ( I know Sam but it is high to many) that is a dis incentive to a new player who knows nothing about the NAWCC or what it is or what it does. They might even end up sending more if they get that first rush of enthuiasm.
It would also give a very convient way to see which bits of the new system are working and which bits are not as the good bits will be bringing in money and the not so good bits won't.
There could even be a feedback link next to each so that people who have watched it or read it can offer a comment for others or perhaps something simple like a mark out of 10.
Stephen: I too understand your ideas, but I wonder if you understand the Programming Nightmare it would be and the cost of such a system. Really would not be worth doing because of the cost per item. I do not even know if it could be programmed to allow something this complex.
I said at the start that I know little about programming.
My experience is with the human side of the screen.
Ironically many programmers are equally unsure when asked to swap to the other side of the glass. ( present company excepted of course )
Stephen: I am trying to make a system that I know will work.
One of the areas I would like you to consider is to Draft up the Pro's and Con's for both the Friends and the Netizens. One of the areas that should be included is how easy it will be to CON the system.
I viewed two .MOV files that Greg has loaded. Those two Videos consumed over 1 GB of data storage space. Several here have asked where is the CONTENT, now where do you think the content is? We have it available and can place it on-line fairly rapidly.
Unless we work together as a TEAM this system will not be built in a timely fashion. We will still be here Five Years from now kabitzing about who is going to be in charge and who will be able to do their jobs.
I would like to build a Sample System and have requested Tom and Ray to help me do so. We need this to show what IAC can do.
The Netizen membership is about providing content to the public that would normally be reserved for NAWCC Members. That Internet Content comes at a cost and it is my contention that that cost should be charged for at a fee. Since I have no way of determining the physical overhead that a normal NAWCC Member dues pays for I have suggested a price of $45. This figure can be adjusted up or down if someone could provide me better financials that could be used to figure this cost.
The Bulletins is one area that could be used to provide more CONTENT to the Netizen Members. This could be limited to all past Bulletins that are over 1 year old.
I agree with you Sam about the need to recoup the cost but I think we have to be very careful how we go about it.
If we charge $45 per year a person may join up and then pick the eyes out of our offerings in the first 6 months.
What will we then have to offer him for the next 12 months to get him to stay and pay another $45.
I still believe the first step is to get a new player to become a "member" of some kind and the lower the fee the easier it is to attract people.
The term imparts a sense of belonging to something that you don't get from "friend".
This adds incentive to stay a member for more than 12 months so that there will be time to make friends, get to know people and develop a genuine interest in the place.
By all means offer other things as add ons that he can take up or not as his interest develops but don't assume everyone will want it all.
These people will also be available to canvas for donations and support.
I see no reason that the video services could not be offered to all as some kind of subscription service even if you want to have a cheaper fee for full members.
After all it is something totally new.
Actually, the video itself is not new. Current members can borrow VHS tapes and DVDs from the library. The only thing new is the method of delivery and presentation. More to the point... the immediacy of delivery and the mode of presentation.
Is that sufficient difference to warrant the cost of Netizenship?
Well, that might depend on your circumstances. If you live in, say, Australia, and it takes a thousand hours to get something delivered to you from Columbia, then maybe the ability to view the entire contents of the video library in a fortnight would appeal sufficiently to warrant one year's membership... but probably not two years... unless new content was being provided all the time.
Our next problem is that new content trickles in rather than flows. Oh sure, it will flow like a river at first, but once the entire library is online the river will dry up and all we'll have is a tiny creek flowing in a dry riverbed.
So what do we do to keep the river flowing? That will be the next challenge for the Netizens.
Your comments bring to mind my local DVD rental store.
They have a sliding scale starting at a high price for the latest and greatest and reducing in cost to stuff that has been around for a long time or is second rate.
Perhaps this could be achieved by having different rates to view our offerings depending on what it is and how old.
Everything might start off at $2 a pop but each month a couple go down to $1 and a couple go onto the free list.
This will allow you to spread out the release to a longer time frame or the really keen people can pay extra to see everything now.
Some of the share trading sites do a similar thing with their news stories.
New fresh articles cost 3 or 4 dollars to view but as they age the cost reduces till they become free to view for everyone.
Personally, I think we need to consider other levers besides price. The video store model of operation is inherently different from ours because their business is based upon popular demand/popular culture. Ours is not. Our content doesn't get "stale" just because it gets old. In fact, some of the most valuable content we'll be able to provide will be the oldest content (including videos by now deceased members that were experts in their areas, scanned catalogues from the period when the colcks/watches were new, and so on).
Manipulating the price lever works best when you are going head to head with other vendors offering the same content. I don't think that's the game we're entering. Instead, I think we need to incentivize the members to contribute more content to keep the Netizenship "fresh" for old members, while creating an ever-growing base of information for current and future members.
I agree with your assumptions. I was coming at things more from the direction of using price as a way to spread out the delivery of our product. If we started with 100 items at $2 a pop we could then lower the price to $1 on ones that were not getting much custom or eventually make them free.
This as opposed to putting up 100 items for free and then charging a flat membership fee to get the lot. Once you do that there is nowhere to go to change things.
With user pays on each item there is also the option of putting up commercial content at a later time if you can come to a suitable arrangement with the owner. He would get part of the fee and we would already have the structure in place to offer it.
Some of you are promoting Pay-Per-View. I would like you to set up a scenereo of what the expected income from one of these videos would net as a business model.