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Funding for the forum

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This post is not meant as a challenge to the leadership, nor is it a criticism of how it is currently set up. It is intended to open a discussion, one I hope will be useful, about the funding for the operation of the board.

A few (now getting close to many) years ago the board had a subscription basis, wherein one could visit as a guest and use the board, but there was a voluntary subscription that, as I recall, gave access to some additional forums, particularly the one with buy/sell and special deals. I could be mis-remembering it, but I do recall paying an annual fee and setting it up to be automatically renewed each year. In the transition of owners and eventually the threatened shutdown and rescue, that subscription process was abandoned. Now the board seems to be supported by advertising. I don't know that for sure, but the number of ads has certainly increased over time, so my presumption is that the advertising defrays at least some of the expenses of operating the forum. Recently the advertising is increasingly less Apple-related. Right now my top bar has medicare plans, weight loss, auto insurance, antivirus ads. The sidebar has stock plans, cleanup apps, and the best vpn providers, plus some loosely related items like printers, free apps, refurbished Macs, and one for Apple Mac OS X that leads to a very strange page in Korean that I cannot read and two other websites.

So, what I am asking is; how many of us would be willing to pay an annual subscription fee to eliminate the advertising? Maybe have a free version with advertising and a subscription version with no ads?

I'm just opening this thread for the discussion, as I said. If there is sufficient support for a subscription, ad-free board or version of the board, maybe the leadership will consider it and maybe not. It's up to them, no matter what support there may be for this idea, but I thought it would be useful for them to at least see if there is any support in this area.

What do you think, guys? I know I'd pay for an ad-free version if the price was reasonable. I already do that with a couple of other sites. Would you?
 

chscag

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The former subscription membership was an agreement between the old site owners at the time (INET) and PayPal. Where you would pay a fee of $25.00 per year and have an ad free screen. It was called "Premium Membership". That fee (Premium Membership) was automatically renewed every year unless you stated otherwise by unsubscribing.

That went away with the new ownership after INET but PayPal was still deducting the fee. More on this a bit later while I look up some of my old notes....
 

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I was just about to ask Jake if he was thinking of the Premium Membership program.

I was never privy to how much money that program generated. I would think though that if it were generating a significant amount of revenue they would simply have continued operating the forum.

FWIW My thinking is that if we were to be successful reviving such a program it would be due to:
1. Users willing to contribute because they want the forum to continue.
2. Some desired benefit other than ad blocking. Ad blocking probably isn't an attraction since, I suspect, many users are already running ad blocking software.

×
 
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Sly, the ad blockers work, sort of, but I think an ad-free version would be better overall. If there isn't any interest, no problem, we keep going as it is now. But do the advertisers pay for a visitor with ad-block on?
 

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Here is some more follow up on the "Premium Membership" program that we formerly had but is no longer supported:

After INET sold out their sites to Penton the Premium Membership program was discontinued. However, no one evidently informed PayPal of this and so they (PayPal) continued to automatically deduct the membership fee from those who originally subscribed to the Premium Membership program. This created problems for us and those members who no longer were active in these forums for one reason or another.

We finally were able to stop the automatic deduction of the Premium Membership fee. But we ran into another problem.... many of our members who originally were Premium Members still had the "Premium Membership" banner above their user name and warnings were issued when the membership expired.

What we did was extend the membership dates in our data base to get rid of the warnings. Those of you who have the "Premium Membership" banner above your name have had the membership date extended so you would not be nagged about paying for another year.

That's where we stand now.

The staff will certainly review the suggestion that Jake submitted about starting a paying membership program again. And we will get back to you.

Our thanks to Jake for his suggestion.

Charlie
 

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Sly, the ad blockers work, sort of, but I think an ad-free version would be better overall. If there isn't any interest, no problem, we keep going as it is now. But do the advertisers pay for a visitor with ad-block on?
I doubt it since the potential customer never sees the ad.

Personally I'm all in favor of giving some thought to the idea though i'm not familiar with what it would take on the back end to make that work. When we had the premium member program before those users got an ad free experience and a badge designating them as a premium member. There was some thought given at the time to other benefits that might be added and I suspect it might take something like that to convince most users to contribute.
 
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I have no problem supporting the forum. I guess I just assumed we would be paying a fee at some point when all the dust settled after the change over. An ad free version would be nice but as Sly states most of us use ad blockers.

I would suggest seeing if the current ads are paying for the forum. If they are then we could leave well enough alone. If not, I do not want anyone else getting stuck with the bill. Now if charging a fee would result in really cool gifts or prizes.... ;D

Lisa
 

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Now if charging a fee would result in really cool gifts or prizes.... ;D

Lisa
Just in case you're hoping that future Mac-Forum swag would take the form of photos of the admin team (possibly resembling wanted posters) this will not happen in my case. I refuse to be responsible for damage done to our members equipment when they get a look at my photo.:)
 
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Hum....Not exactly what I was thinking Sly. :*

Lisa
 

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Hum....Not exactly what I was thinking Sly. :*

Lisa
Just making sure we're on the same page. If that had been want you were thinking I was going to suggest some sort of checkup was in order. :)
 
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A few more days of being stuck in the house all day with my husband and just about anything might start looking good! He is currently on the porch with his wild animal caller cranked up entertaining the dogs. Good thing we live in the country or the neighbors would be calling the men in the white coats. I accused him of sliding into COVID-19 cabin fever syndrome. He just cackled, smiled and cranked up the volume more on the caller. :Shouting:

Lisa
 
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Lisa, remember that "The Shining" was a documentary. We just didn't know it at the time it came out.
 

chscag

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I don't know Jake, anymore of this stay at home stuff we'll all be running around looking like this guy:

Shining.jpeg

:rofl
 
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Charlie, that's on a calm day!
 
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Hum.... I can relate to that look!

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I'm not sure it could be justified on the basis of no ads since many, including me, use an ad blocker effectively.

I've learnt a lot, and hopefully have been able to offer advice (albeit limited to a few topics), but the variety of threads isn't what it used to be and most members are long standing. How do we attract new members when there are now so many other resouirces online?
 
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