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Becoming a pay site?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by PSP, Nov 1, 2003.

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  1. PSP

    PSP Formula Junior

    Mar 31, 2001
    603
    Lake Forest, CA USA
    Full Name:
    Patrick S. Perry
    I have been "out of the loop" for a bit, so please excuse me if this has been discussed to death.

    The e-mail I got said something to the effect "sign up now and get 6 months free" - did I misread that, or is this something new coming up?

    TIA

    (BTW, I wouldn't mind a small monthly/annual fee)
     
  2. Stephen S. Saia (sssaia)

    Apr 14, 2003
    72
    New Orleans
    Full Name:
    Stephen S. Saia
    i saw that too. I wouldn't pay to be a member, I don't post enough to care, I just read everything. I would pay if we were charged to read it too. But it wouldn't be as good if it was a pay site :(
     
  3. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    The very same thing happend on 300zx.co.uk last year. It was a fantastic and busy chat site then they changed software and charged a subscription, there was a 50% fall of,folk went of else were.They now let anyone post but the none members have "non mem" next to there posts. funny thing is most of the best cars belonged to non members. I am not for one moment saying that i wont subscribe,i am just telling you guys what happend.
     
  4. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    There is a good reason to charge: 1. Rob should be compensated for his work, and as an additional benefit, we might eliminate some of the flakes.

    Art
     
  5. Alxlee

    Alxlee F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2002
    3,694
    Wilmington, DE
    Full Name:
    Alex Lee
    Compensation should come from the sponsors and advertisers IMHO. Rob should be compensated; however, a pay site really may scare off too many people.

    Alex
     
  6. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,799
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    FChat means a great deal to me and I get a lot out of it. So I'd like to see it around forever. That's why I'm happy to have a charge if it assures FChat's future.

    Aside from that it might eliminate some of the goofs (although sometimes they are entertaining in their own way). If it means a 50% drop in the user community so be it, the remaining 50% are the ones who care enough about the marque and those are the ones I'd like to hear and see on here anyway.

    Not to be snobby, but a little house cleaning won't hurt.
     
  7. Santini

    Santini Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2003
    480
    North Carolina
    Intentional or not, your post comes across as extremely arrogant.
     
  8. cmparrenzo

    cmparrenzo F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 3, 2002
    2,685
    Kansas
    Full Name:
    Chris Parr
    The best things in life are not always free....

    I think $1,000 dollars a year is reasonable, plus we get a cool free t-shirt!

    My check is in the mail!
     
  9. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
    26,572
    Paris / Chicago
    Full Name:
    Andrew Menasce

    Lol i hope for that price they are in cashemere..
     
  10. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    42,325
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    Well put. The only concern I envision is any new and worthy members coming aboard after the proposed 6-month window has elapsed. Or not.

    I wonder if there is a way for these folks to have a free trial period of say, 3 posts or 12 page views - yet keep innumerable freeloading persona-non-grata trolls who are hellbent on diminishing the f-chat experience - out.
     
  11. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,799
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    Wax has a good point. New blood keeps things fresh and entertaining. A stiffy club is not what we want either.

    Santini, sorry if I sound arrogant. Was definitely not the intention. As Rob once said: If you have to pay $ 10 for a year (and I think that is what we're looking at here, really not a big deal) it will at least prevent some pranksters from picking up a new identity every five minutes to post some other troll like message. THAT I clearly don't need.

    And if you compare the ten bucks to any other F club fees (FCA, FOC or a mag subscription like Forza or Cavallino) it is really modest. And quite frankly I'm getting so much good information out of this site (aside from the comraderie), that is a lot more worth to me.
     
  12. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    If the $10 keeps the trolls away i am all for it. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Rob Guess "The Other Rob"
     
  13. Santini

    Santini Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2003
    480
    North Carolina
    Tifosi-maybe I haven't been here long enough to discern who truly loves the marque and who are merely pranksters. I haven't personally read many "troll" posts here; a few pissing matches here and there but that's not out of the ordinary for the 'net. 50% seems to excessive.

    My apologies for being quick on the trigger.
     
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,799
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    Santini, no problem.

    Quite frankly I don't want to loose 50% of the users on here. Neither does Rob I would think. I just picked that statistic up from a post on this thread as a worst case scenario. I don't think it would drop that low.

    You missed some good action with some weird guys. As I said, sometimes they're even funny, but once they start posting porn and other crap, the joke is over rather quickly. If we can slow that down a bit, that'd be worth some bucks.
     
  15. PSP

    PSP Formula Junior

    Mar 31, 2001
    603
    Lake Forest, CA USA
    Full Name:
    Patrick S. Perry
    My only concern would involve some of the professionals who come here (mostly the Tech Q & A) offering advice and troubleshooting tips that you'd never get anywhere else.

    It's one thing to offer expert advice at no charge - it's quite another to pay for the privilige.
     
  16. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jan 30, 2002
    2,873
    NYC, A'dam, W'stock
    Full Name:
    rijk rietveld
    As I stated many times before, I'm all for a paid site. If Rob keeps only 50% of the current registered users, so about 1500 users at, say $3 per month, he would get $4,500 per month from subscriptions. Still not a lot of money, but surely he deserves this and more. If we can get rid of the trolls, the site can become a truely great site for Ferrari enthousiasts and I would hope it would build back up to 3000 or 4000 members.

    Atlas F1 does this and I'm glad to pay for their service, as I would for the great job that Rob is doing.

    I think that we have to do this, so that we can have Rob full time on this site. Now is the time.

    Rijk
     
  17. sportveloce

    sportveloce Formula Junior

    Aug 31, 2003
    431
    The Aussie section
    PSP - I totally agree with that. Some of the best contributions are from the mechanics offering "free" advice. Having to pay to give "free" advice is slightly absurd. Maybe a "consultant fee" might be introduced for access to some threads.

    How about the membership is on a voluntary level. This way Rob can guage the response to the new F-Chat subscription service.

    What you don't want is to loose some of the good but infrequent posters because it is just too much hassle otherwise you end up with a mates club and new pollinating of ideas, advice etc.

    Another idea would be to associate some tangible asset with membership, such as a T-Shirt (everyone would like an F-Chat t-shirt and wouldn't mind paying $10). This way there is a lot of free advertising getting around on people that attract attention (F-Cars).

    OR - Create an F-Chat online store that sells F-Chat goods such as T-Shirts, sweaters, mugs etc.

    The last thing you want is a F-Chat 2 popping up and getting your members because it turns into a mates club.

    Just my 2c.
     
  18. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    10,213
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    Russ Turner
    One of the things that keeps sponsors is Rob's impressive user base of 3000 and growing. A sponsor would be willing to pay more with a larger documented target audience. Rob will have to weigh this against the quantitative loss of users. Of course, as said before, doing the math of 1500 paying subscribers does a lot for cash flow.

    Rob has done a great job, and I do support the sponsors. I've tried to contribute to the tech section with articles on stuff and answered emails, but it would be tough to judge who has done enough to warrant free admission status (other than me, of course :) ).

    best to all
    rt
     
  19. sportveloce

    sportveloce Formula Junior

    Aug 31, 2003
    431
    The Aussie section
    Thats assuming that there are 1500 users willing to pay for subscription.

    I think that free-admission status would be a bad idea. It creates a "mates" club where some members are judged better than others. Its hard to define who contributes more. Some people post 1 line responses to everything. To me that is post whoring or spamming not contributing. But their post counts are very high and therefore they look like excellent contributors.

    I 100% agree that Rob has and is doing a great job with FerrariChat.
     
  20. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    I have some experience with this. I think if it went pay-only, it's going to drop a lot of members. The other problem is getting new members... most of those willing to pay are willing to do so because they have already experienced the value of the site. If they had not been able to "try for free", they may not have signed up.

    I have seen a lot of different mechanisms in place, but remember guys, Rob makes money on the sponsors too, and the sponsors want as many users as possible. Weeding out a large group of people is counter to what they would want.

    I think the best way to do it is to have a basic level of membership for free. For a fee, you can get more. Maybe "more" includes an image gallery to post pics of your cars, or maybe it gives you a t-shirt or maybe Rob does a quarterly giveaway that only paid members are eligible for. I dunno... but they are some ideas to consider.

    I would be willing to pay for the site - but not a lot. I have so many bills in my life already and it's less about the actual cost as the bother of having yet another bill to think about. I think starting off at $30-$50/yr to be a "paid member" would be a good start.
     
  21. KennyH

    KennyH F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Aug 13, 2001
    5,218
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Kenny
    Couldn't have said it any better..
     
  22. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,927
    socal
    If FC is a business then I would say "don't forget the first rule of business" "Don't forget what made you succesful". If you charge for the site the board will crash and the advertisers will flee. If FC is a money loser for the host then everyone must pay to keep the community floating. It is pretty simple. The same stuff can be found on Ferrarilist and Ferrari-talk and even the Ferrari owners site which never really took off. I'm kind of surprised about the last one since you get a cool e-mail like fatbillybob@owners.ferrari.com. Heck everything could move for free to Yahoo groups too. What makes FC so successful is the ability for users to go to chapters instead of having to swim through the board. Look how fast ferrari-talk took off. In fact F-talk kind of looks like it copied the layout of FC. Now FC has copied Ftalk and they really look exactly the same. Except there are no ads on F-talk. That in itself has and appeal to some. FC is really convenient with some really knowledgeable ferrari guys here. But those same ferrari guys are lurking on the other boards. When advertisers think the competition has an advantage they join in just to get thier 02 cents in which is to our advantage. JRV mostly handles tech issues at F-talk. As that group really grows you can bet the other pros will be wanting to participate in F-talk. The Fmarket is really small. If business was so hot for Ferrari guys they would not be advertising. The bottom line is the ferrari is a comodity all aspects of which can be sold by many others with little to know knowledge or experience. Competition is stiff. I like FC. I hope it survives if "membership" is on the horizon.
     
  23. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    www.s2ki.com is a site I frequent, and they have two stages of membership. For free, you can post. For $20/year, you can have a "signature" in all your posts, you have an avatar next to your name, access to image gallery for hosting pics, etc.

    Those who are saying $30-50/yr is reasonable really should consider offering scholarships to poor college students. I know that for some members here, it is difficult to remember have to "budget" $30, but that is DEFINITELY a reality for me at this point in my life.

    I enjoy Ferrarichat very much, and I am NOT opposed to paying a small fee for it. I think it is worth paying for. But I do think that there should be some basic membership free, and then incentives to step up to a "Member" status.

    Perhaps the first 30 days for a given IP address could be free, and after that, you must be a member. As others have said, when you grow a business, don't forget what it is that made you successful in the first place. I came here first because of a random link on another website to some pictures.

    Rob, Thanks for offering this, and as I said -- it's worth paying for. Just don't price it above my head :)
     
  24. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    13,337
    Ex-Urbia
    Full Name:
    Jack
    Rob, here's a thought. Ultimately, as with any website, the aim is to build it up and sell it. Establish a Delaware Corp. for FerrariChat. I think you are allowed an initial 3 million share allocation (need to confirm that total). Earmark a third of the shares on a $1/per basis for memberships. Assuming your goal is to realize a profit from all of your efforts, so too can the members who have helped build it up. By establishing a cash reserve, you readily display the potential of the site. Like I said, just a thought.
     
  25. robiferretti

    robiferretti F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    3,252
    NYC area
    Full Name:
    rob ferretti
    not to offend anyone, but i think its sort of ridiculous to make it a pay site, your not offering any professional advice or any service really. Its a public car forum and without members the site cant function.
    If people are willing to pay to use the site they should become sponsors. if not a free ferrari site will pop up and steal all your users. I belong to 5 car forums i post on here and there...they have sponsors so that the sites remain free. Its not the users responsibility to make sure the site is funded. Its the users that attract the sponsors that come and fund the site. Just think that some of the most contributing members here may not be able to afford to throw $50-$1000 a year to talk to others about ferrari's
     

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