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Old 01 September 2013, 05:01   #31
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I also agree that a bigger avatar and bigger email box is a lot of money for 20.00 and thats if it was for life let alone per year.
Keep talking Dave. Without Supporters, the Trade Members will have to make up any shortfall...

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Old 01 September 2013, 05:04   #32
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I think the emphasis on funding the site should be spread across more trade members and advertising. Id consider paying more, based on how the site worked for me. I've said it before but if you actually charged all trade members you'd not need to charge anybody else to "support". One look through the classifieds will show who's who. There's a few missing out on the extra mailboxes at the moment

If you continue with the supporter charge I'd suggest making it mandatory after say 3 mths membership or a certain number posts. Charge everybody 5, rather than a few 20. Guests can then enjoy the site before deciding if they wish to join or leave. You'll have the facility to remove guests who simply re-join each time.

I can see why people don't bother supporting as for most its pointless. Having a bigger mailbox means little. Maybe you could change it to only supporters can access the classifieds listings, or post into it, or even non supporters cannot gain access to search, member ID info or private messages, at least until after they posted 20 times etc ?

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Old 01 September 2013, 05:20   #33
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There'd be a mass exodus if it essentially became a subscription website; they're hugely unpopular. What I want to know is who currently gets the subscription money and what exactly is it spent on? Publishing the site's accounts would provide a sense of transparency and may encourage some to contribute in this way.
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Old 01 September 2013, 06:45   #34
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What I want to know is who currently gets the subscription money and what exactly is it spent on? Publishing the site's accounts would provide a sense of transparency and may encourage some to contribute in this way.
How much money do you think the site makes ...

it is quite clear that the site is owned by Social Knowledge LLC. They have to pay Hosting, Technical Admin, License Fees (vBulletin, Apps, and probably various Antispam tools etc).
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Old 01 September 2013, 08:23   #35
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How much money do you think the site makes
I've no idea. You're an administrator; you tell me.
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Old 01 September 2013, 09:37   #36
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I've no idea. You're an administrator; you tell me.
I have no way of knowing - I don't get access to much that you don't!

At last count there were 42 trade members, each paying 100 p.a. = 4200

I have no idea how many supporters there are but even it is 100, then its only 2000.

So 6k? Advertising incomes are usually lousy from websites. My guess is the total income is less that 10k p.a.!

I've no idea which bits of the forum software we use, but when you add in the Apps, the AppleStore annual fees etc - it will be the best part of 2k.

The moderators get no remuneration - we do it just for the gratitude and happiness we bring to you - or because we believe the site is a really good resource and want to contribute to the community.

Hosting, backup etc for a site of this scale won't be trivial.

There is a very small back office team in the US who seem to keep the admin, legal, accounting and technical stuff going. They are shared across all the social knowledge sites.


PS. Other than knowing how many trade members we have the above is all total educated guesses - the sort of thing you could do before implying there was a need for transparency and thus suggesting someone was 'on the make'.

PPS. If you think you could run the site better (whether that is to make more money, or to make less money but 'give the rib community what it needs' then I'm sure Social Knowledge would consider the offer you wish to make).
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Old 01 September 2013, 10:26   #37
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PS. Other than knowing how many trade members we have the above is all total educated guesses - the sort of thing you could do before implying there was a need for transparency and thus suggesting someone was 'on the make'.
Must be how you read it. I didn't read it at all as someone 'on the make'. I read it as if you think/hope/expect people might chuck some money at something then you'd think/hope/expect there might be a distinct outcome from that. So for instance...

If another 100 imaginary people chipped in 20 a year what would that bring? Less advertising? More robust servers? Better moderators ;-) Or would it just make the owners of Social Knowledge Happier?

There is no issue with the current site. We dont see lots of spam. Appart from the brig issue its kept pretty much transparent about trade people being trade etc. Yes there is a load of advertising clutter round the sides of pages which I can probably switch off but leave on coz it might make the site 1 or 2p now and then.

The admin team didn';t start the thread so they aren't saying they need more mulla to keep the site running, but there is clearly a question of would more people contribute if they felt they got value for money from the contribution rather than the free parts of the site.
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Old 01 September 2013, 10:38   #38
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Good point that somebody made....


The advice I've taken from this site is worth far more than 20.

I also didn't know about the voluntary donation, I thought your membership status changed with your post count....!!

Keep up the good work.
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Old 01 September 2013, 11:16   #39
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If another 100 imaginary people chipped in 20 a year what would that bring? Less advertising? More robust servers? Better moderators ;-) Or would it just make the owners of Social Knowledge Happier?

There is no issue with the current site. We dont see lots of spam. Appart from the brig issue its kept pretty much transparent about trade people being trade etc........

The admin team didn';t start the thread so they aren't saying they need more mulla to keep the site running......
You make a few interesting/good points there Shiny.

The Admin Team didn't start the thread, although I'm sure they/we all have an opinion. I have no idea how much the site makes or where that money is spent by Social Knowledge. I do remember the forum in the later years of John Kennett's ownership, and I know that he struggled with server and software issues. I suspect that both finance and technical know-how, or lack thereof, played a large part in that. As Poly says, the staff employed by S.K. have made a lot of things possible and mean that the resident Admin can focus more on the day to day running of the forum. At the end of the day practical support costs money and while there may be no immediate risk of the forum ceasing operations due to lack of it, an income stream has made a lot of things possible - things that newer members are certainly taking for granted. Note the whinging when mobile platform features don't do what they want!

I'm pleasantly amused by your observation that the site is issue and spam free. It means that the Admin Team is doing it's job well, that and the (paid for) spam filters are working. We couldn't run the site without S.K.

We don't get paid, we don't expect thanks, and we don't push people to Subscribe (except Kerny). But we do think it's a good idea. The same way that when you visit and enjoy an old Cathedral, putting a couple of quid in the Donation Box is a good idea. No one will make you donate, the roof won't fall in (today at least) and you won't be given anything in exchange for it - but you should feel better for having done it. Because it helps.
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Old 01 September 2013, 11:33   #40
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in which case there should also be a 'donate' option so I can put 10p in if i want to or 100 if I want.
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