Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Interesting article on running a pay community site

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CK5, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Posts:
    21,622
    Likes Received:
    701
    Location:
    CO
    Thought this was good, this is part of an article written by Derek M. Powazek


    In community-building circles, "revenue" is a dirty word.

    We know that building community online can be a wonderful, enriching process. We know that it creates sites with a tighter bond between creator and visitor, and member to member. We might even suspect that those bonds can sometimes transcend the virtual realm and cross over into the real world.

    But at almost every talk I give on community online, eventually someone asks the question: "How does this make money?"

    In truth, my answer is usually: "It doesn't." And it's not just me being glib. It's that, in truth, community is like love: hard to find, impossible to engineer, and priceless.

    Money can no sooner buy you love, than community can bring you riches. Still, in this post-boom web world of 2002, it's time for websites to start earning their keep – especially community sites which cost more money to create, host and manage.

    Gimme gimme money

    Many big league websites with community features have been reassessing their community involvement this year.

    In early 2002, CNN examined the return on investment (another dirty phrase in community circles) they were getting for their web-based discussions and decided it wasn't worth it. So they shut down their community features abruptly, promising to bring them back from time to time for "hot topics." So far, they haven't, and it's not like we've had any shortage of hot topics in the world.

    Motley Fool, the financial site, did a similar review of its community offerings and decided that they could no longer support its forums for free. But instead of closing them down, they went pro: now you have to pay a monthly fee to read or post. In doing so, they join Salon's Table Talk and The Well in the for-pay community space.

    It's a play that makes sense: If the community is getting value from the site, and the site takes money to run, then ask the community to pay. In the go-go boom days, this would have been a death knell – a competitor would have just offered a similar service for free and scooped up your precious market share. But, lest we need reminding, these are not the go-go days, and market share is not the one and only goal anymore. In fact, the more members you have in a community space, the more expensive the whole thing gets.

    On the other hand, asking users to pay for something they're used to getting for free is sketchy at best. A recent survey by Jupiter Media Metrix asked web users what they're willing to pay for. Sixty-three percent said, "nothing."

    Community sites are even more problematic, because users are being asked to pay for a tool, not content. There's something intuitively slimy about asking someone to pay for something that they have to produce themselves.

    We'll have to wait and see how these attempts at for-pay community play out. But it's clear that it would be next to impossible for a fledgling community to pull off the trick. To go pro, you need a built-in memberbase that is likely to survive the switch.
     
  2. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Posts:
    21,622
    Likes Received:
    701
    Location:
    CO
    Some more related by – Derek M. Powazek

    First off, it should be noted that Utne is not putting up a gate and making people pay, as many others have. They're just asking for donations.

    Still, Greg is right. This is yet another example of a community site getting desperate for money. It's not hard to see a future where these sites charge for admission or cease to exist.

    Then again, everyone's having a hard time right now. It's hard to make any website economically sustainable, community or not.

    So, if I may, let me rephrase the question: If we assume, as I say in the book, that barriers to entry can create better communities, perhaps charging a couple bucks at the door isn't such a bad idea? It would create a group that takes what they're doing seriously, and drastically discourage troublemakers. After all, would you pay five bucks just to post "th1s suxz l00xors!!!"?

    Perhaps what we need to do is find a way to have members support the community financially, without it being sleazy, patronizing, or just annoying in general. I could imagine a site that was free to join and participate in for a certain amount of time, but then you'd have to pay. And perhaps posts from the "entry-level" members would be marked in a certain way.

    The thing is, commerce and community aren't mutually exclusive. It's just a matter of doing it in a clear, non-intrusive, open way. I'm not sure anyone's found that way yet
     
  3. delta9blazer

    delta9blazer 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern California, over by 7-11
    props to you for sticking it out, and making it better every try.
     
  4. blk87K5

    blk87K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Posts:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Props? Screw that, everyone knows Steve is getting rich! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  5. uglychevyZZ4

    uglychevyZZ4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Posts:
    6,094
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Black Diamond, Wa
    I say charge Rene /forums/images/icons/grin.gif and shannon more, Rene has the most posts on the site and 3 x the the posts of the owner /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif thats gotta be good for 50% of the bandwidth charge, but then youd have to give him stock, and we cant let oh-canada in on the loot /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif ROTFLMFAO!!! and Shannon hasnt even paid his membership and he is a Moderator /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif Shannon, shame on you for not setting an example /forums/images/icons/grin.gif ( ya'll know im j/k ) /forums/images/icons/cool.gif god im killin myself here lmao!! /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  6. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Posts:
    21,622
    Likes Received:
    701
    Location:
    CO
    Steve Trump, I like the sound of that. /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif
     
  7. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2000
    Posts:
    17,899
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    portland oregon
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Shannon hasnt even paid his membership and he is a Moderator

    [/ QUOTE ]
    um how in the blue hell do you get that??????????? i was a paying member before i was a moderator and moderator or not i will allways send in my $25 when it comes due every year /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif so there /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  8. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    I couldn't justifie jusing up as much space as I do without becoming a member. I'm hooked, so I'll reup when it's time.
     
  9. uglychevyZZ4

    uglychevyZZ4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Posts:
    6,094
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Black Diamond, Wa
    ok, i have stood corrected, that GREEN thing threw me off /forums/images/icons/grin.gif you and rusty got me good a while back, i guess ill have to think harder /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  10. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2000
    Posts:
    17,899
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    portland oregon
    lol no problem just didnt want people thinking im not paying my way lol
     
  11. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Posts:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Centennial, CO
    Steve Gates?
     
  12. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2000
    Posts:
    17,899
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    portland oregon
    Steve Trumps Gates /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  13. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2001
    Posts:
    20,716
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    /forums/images/icons/grin.gif Yeah, you're making a fast run up the rung. You'll have caught up to me in a few more days. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  14. NoAngel

    NoAngel 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2001
    Posts:
    1,497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northampton,MA
    Steve"Big Daddy"Fox /forums/images/icons/grin.gif /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     

Share This Page